How to Clean Electrostatic Bonding Tiger Stripes on Gutters

The black stripes, also known as "tiger stripes," that appear on the outer surface of gutters are the results of water run-off, which causes particles from algae, roofing materials or the air to cling to the surface.

Tiger stripes are unsightly but can be removed by using specialty products such as Gutter Brite and Purple Power.

Using a conventional garden hose and water, wet down the surrounding area including the home, bushes and plants prior to cleaning the gutters with chemicals.

Place the ladder next to the area to be cleaned. A ladder equipped with a wing span or an A-frame ladder will minimize damage to the gutter.

Apply cleaner to the outer surface of the gutter. Cleaning agents such as Gutter Brite are designed for gutter applications and come in easy-to-use spray bottles. You can also use a degreaser such as Purple Power with a 50/50 mix ratio in water to remove the tiger stripes from the gutter.

Allow the product to soak into the stains for two minutes and then scrub them with a stiff bristle brush. Prior to scrubbing, test painted gutters in an inconspicuous area to ensure that the paint will not be removed during the cleaning process.

Spray the gutter with water to remove dirt and cleaning agents. Finally, spray the surrounding bushes, home and lawn with water to remove excess cleaners and dirt.

Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Cleaner such as Gutter Brite or Purple Power
  • Hose
  • Scrub brush


  • Read cleaning product directions to determine if it can be used on aluminum, PVC and/or steel gutter materials.


  • Follow all safety precautions when using any type of ladder.

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.