How To Clean Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors can add an air of elegance to your home. They let in more natural light, give you optimised views of your garden, and they can add extra space for you to enjoy. They’ll also help you save on electricity by not relying as much on indoor lighting or temperature regulation.

How to Clean Sliding Patio Doors

The origin of sliding doors is somewhat murky. There are those that argue sliding doors originated with Roman houses in Pompeii in the 1st century CE, while others think they were adapted from 17th-century French-style doors. Others believe they were fashioned under the influence of the Japanese ‘shoji’ door. No matter their origin, there’s no doubt that many were included in homes built during the pre-war period.

Safe to say, sliding patio doors have a timeless functional and aesthetic appeal. To help them keep that appeal, it’s vital to properly maintain and clean them. That way, you’ll avoid any damage, unwanted squeaks or excessive amounts of grime. If left unattended, your family and wallet may begin to grumble a little more frequently than you’d like.

Below are a few tips and tricks on how to clean sliding patio doors efficiently:

Ensure You Have the Correct Cleaning Supplies

There’s no point putting in 100% effort if you’re using the wrong cleaning supplies. Scrubbing your glass doors with rough sponges, for example, may not be the best choice. Fortunately, you don’t need to buy anything too fancy to clean your sliding patio doors. You can get along fine with everyday items like the following:

  • Water
  • Cleaning solution (homemade or commercial)
  • Non-abrasive sponges
  • Paper towels/cloths
  • Brush
  • Vacuum
  • Butter knife

Clean the Glass

As mentioned above, it’s wise to use a soft-surfaced cloth or sponge on your sliding glass doors. It’s also recommended that you have some warm, soapy water nearby and/or a mix of water and white vinegar for stubborn dirt. Once you have these tools handy, you can take the following steps:

  • Dip a clean cloth in water (no soap) and give the doors a wipe
  • Dry with a paper towel or dry cloth
  • Using a gentle solution, as mentioned above, give your doors a proper clean with a non-abrasive sponge
  • Wipe in the shape of an ‘S’ for optimal dirt removal and coverage
  • Remove excess moisture immediately with a squeegee
  • Repeat if necessary
  • Use newspaper to finish it off

Clean the Sliding Door Tracks

Vacuum

To clean your sliding door tracks, first scoop up any debris or gunk with your hands, then follow through with a vacuum.

Apply Solution

You can experiment with different solutions by mixing water with any of the following:

Apply your homemade solution with a spray bottle along the length of the track, wiping it dry afterwards. It’s important to ensure that no moisture is left.

Another method is to first apply baking soda before adding a vinegar solution. Once the combination has been left fizzing for approximately five to 10 minutes, you’ll be able to continue with the following steps.

Scrub Away

Using a small brush with fairly firm bristles (but not abrasive enough to damage the door), you can scrub away any dirt, dust or grime you see within the track. Once completed, use a paper towel to wipe away the debris.

An appropriate brush could be a:

  • Wire brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Specific/multipurpose window track crevice brush.

Grab the Butter Knife

In order to efficiently clean every inch of your sliding door track, a sharp object such as a knife wrapped in cloth can be used to reach those stubborn corners. It’s crucial to do so carefully to avoid compromising the door’s structural integrity (or leaving any unsightly marks).

Apply Lubrication

In order to ensure your door slides smoothly, you can use a bit of lubrication (preferably silicone-based). It’s important, however, to choose your solution carefully and confirm that it’s compatible with your style of doors.

You can also apply lubricant in the small holes at the edge of the door in order to keep the wheels spinning smoothly.

Test the Doors

After your deep door cleaning is complete, it’s wise to slide them back and forth for a while in order to break them in again.

Considerations When Cleaning

Here are some things it’s worth keeping in mind when cleaning your doors:

  • Avoid heavy chemicals in case of potential frame erosion.
  • Clean tracks at least once a week.
  • Lubricate tracks once every two months.
  • Prepare the area (lay down towels if necessary).
  • Prioritise safety when handling tools.
  • Use protective gear if allergic to any substances.

How to Clean Sliding Patio Doors – Final Thoughts

Proper maintenance on your sliding patio doors is vital to avoid any structural, functional or aesthetic damage. Taking careful consideration of what supplies you’re using is also an important step on your road to glistening glass and smooth sliding.