Restoring copper gutters

So I cleaned a roof a couple weeks ago. Plants everywhere. Close quarters, steep roof, painted dormers and copper gutters. On a scale of 1-10 difficulty level I would personally rate it a 8.5. Fast forward two weeks. Roof looks great. No plants or grass dead. Customer calls and says his gutters where the seams are are showing patina drip marks that were not there before. I guess his gutters were/are leaking and the drip marks were caused from either the SH run off or the sh turned to salts with the rain. I did a few google searches about removing patina but I’m wondering if any of you fellow washers have any suggestions. Can I remove just these spots without disturbing the normal brown patina? Or is it necessary to restore the entire gutter to bright copper appearance?

If needed to restore to its original bright copper appearance I plan on using this chemical. Application sounds easy and the price is reasonable.

Anyone suggest an alternative chemical or process?

I had a conversation with the customer about this being a possibility and he agreed to move forward. Yet here I am. Commercial please take off any day now. @Kps0410 you have the right game plan buddy

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If I end up restoring this copper and it’s not too labor intensive, cost prohibitive or time restrictive I’m going to upsell it with each roof cleaning where copper is present or get it in writing.

Try vinegar

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I used vinegar to purposely put a patina on my high carbon knifes idk if i would try that.

Edit: @Firefighter4hire well idk i just seen a video where someone removed patina on copper with ketchup, flour and vinegar… But that would be a real pain to do @Harold.

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Those gutters are not carbon. Put a dirty penny in a cup ov vinager and watch


I’ve found a few diy methods on google. They all require some elbow grease. I’m looking for a more efficient approach. And before you go all coocoo on me I do scrub things daily :joy:. As well as try. If it comes down to it… elbow grease it is but there is a better way. I just haven’t found it yet.


Being a redneck has its benefits but i do remember a man telling me he cleaned his copper stills with citric acid.


At work so dont have time to read but there might be some info in here.

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Damn good thread. Thanks.

And @Firefighter4hire is on to something. Here’s an excerpt: “ Vinegar. Ate away the oxidation w/out much scrubbing and left the patina on. Seemed like it would do a good job on light oxidation if you wanted to leave a patina and didn’t want shiny copper.“

Harold I will never put a man down that puts in the effort the fact that you are looking for a solution other than just refunding his money makes me smile. You may want to try cleano also Google it I use it all the time may work

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Squirt it with decent pressure, and maybe use soft brush to knock off. . It’s same thing you get on your nozzles if you don’t rinse after using roof mix. Probably fine underneath.

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I scraped it with my finger nail and it revealed like new bright copper. I’d imagine high pressure would do the same. I’ll give it a shot any how.

Vinegar with a little salt and you can polish a penny in seconds with your fingers. Cool little magic trick.

I’m not going to lie, if I didn’t read your text and only looked at the picture I wouldn’t have noticed anything out of the ordinary. Almost every copper downspout I’ve ever seen looks very similar to that. Your roof mix may have sped up the oxidation but it will probably eventually end up looking like that. Ive work on quite a few old houses or old gutters retrofitted into newer homes.

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I agree. It definitely accelerated it. They were an even brown prior to the cleaning. Almost mistakeable for painted brown. This is a dentist in my BNI group. Looking for testimonials and referrals so I’m gonna make him a happy customer. I’ve been pushing roofs within the group. Trying to get it to catch on. It’s still a fairly new service that most aren’t familiar with in Louisiana. Trying to change that.


Be honest with them it will go a long way tell him about the research you did and what you want to do to fix it

I’m not knocking the research or anything. I think it will go a very long way of he continues on getting it back to “Normal”. There is nothing wrong with making something right.

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Interesting thread and good intel. I use acids alot as everyone knows. When I do an engine bay that a customer wants pristine, I’ll put down hot degreaser first let it sit and hit it with hot water, then I use a good strong acid on top of that and it shines all the aluminum and COPPER to new. Then I apply a good high ph soap to neutralize the acid,then rinse. It’s neat how we all wash different things to get the same affect ,with different procedures