Black stuff on white gutters


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Old 07-06-09, 02:06 PM
J
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Black stuff on white gutters

I have white aluminum gutters that have a lot of black areas that resist all methods of cleaning I have tried. It just looks like dirt, but it is really stuck on. I have used high pressure as well as mold removers and straight clorox. Nothing so far seams to even make a start in getting the gutters back to their white condition. You can see the white but it just looks dirty. Do you have any suggestions for cleaning this stuff off?
 
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Old 07-06-09, 03:04 PM
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In the past I've used acetone for cleaning painted aluminum, and it works really well. You can find it in the paint section of most hardware stores. Test a hidden area to make sure it won't strip off the paint, but I've never had any problems with it.

Just put a little on a rag and wipe away.

Of course once you start cleaning a bit you're probably going to have to clean all of it, which seems like a waste of time to me. But by all means, if this is what you have to do to sleep well at night, then wipe away.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 05:53 PM
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I'm surprised the acetone doesn't remove the paint... I would imagine it would turn the rag white pretty quickly. When I clean aluminum (trim coil) I use either soft-scrub, or denatured alcohol. But I guess I've never tried acetone, I imagined it was too harsh.

On gutters, I've had good success with Westley's Bleche-Wite whitewall tire cleaner. Light scrubbing and a good rinse with a hose before it dries. You probably wouldn't want to spray this on shingles due to the risk of bleaching them.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 07:49 PM
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If you use the acetone be sure you wear gloves. Some people are very easily burned by it. MSDS sheet says gloves, goggles and mask.
They banned anyone but trained persons from using it at my last place of work. You had to show your training card to even get it from the tool crib. Had to sign it out also and were responsible for anyone that used or borrowed your bottle of it.
Before the last MSDS sheet we used it like water, everywhere and no safety equipment.
ACETONE
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:35 PM
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I started using acetone to clean vinyl railings, but I found it did a good job cleaning up aluminum that would get scuffed up during transport.

Like I mentioned earlier, test a small area first to make sure it doesn't strip off your paint. I've never had a problem with the aluminum I use, but you never know, and I'm sure you would be too impressed if you had shiny silver gutters after following my advice

I usually follow applications of acetone with a good dose of water. If you're not sure which rag has water and which has acetone, I don't recommend sniffing to find out. According to the MSDS posted "may cause dullness"
 
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Old 07-08-09, 06:25 AM
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Thanks to all of you for the suggestions. I plan to try the white wall cleaner first, but move to the acetone if it doesn't work well. It is really great to have a site like this provide support to those of us who like to do our own work, but really need the advice. Thanks again for all your time, effort, and most of all knowledge.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 04:57 PM
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Your welcome, Jameswil... it's the appreciation of ppl like you that makes all of us here happy to help. I'm sure the other guys feel the same way.
 
 

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