Sliding glass doors are designed for beauty, convenience, and efficiency. They are a great addition to any home. But after a successful windows and doors replacement project, you need to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to keep them functioning properly.
Poorly cleaned and maintained sliding glass doors can be unattractive and bothersome. Dirt, smudges, and grime are much more visible on glass doors than conventional wood doors. The rail on which the door runs also tends to get very dirty, affecting how smoothly the door opens and closes. A stuck sliding glass door increases the risk of injury, especially for young children in the house, as they try to force it open.
So how should you clean your sliding glass doors?
Step 1: Clean the sliding door rails
You will need:
- A miniature vacuum
- A Screwdriver
- Lubricating grease
- A toothbrush
- Steel wool
- A tack cloth
- A terrycloth towel
Wiping the sliding door tracks, sometimes with a slightly oily cloth, is usually sufficient to keep it operating smoothly. But if you notice some resistance to movement, you may need to remove the door for thorough cleaning. So,
- Pull out the sliding door. There are two ways to remove the sliding glass door: grasp the door at each end and lift it upwards as you pull it towards your body, or use the screwdriver to raise the lower rollers off the track and then pull the door towards you as you lift it.
- Use the miniature vacuum to remove sand, gravel, bits of leaves and bark, and other debris that get into the door’s track and prevent it from sliding smoothly. Vacuum the top and bottom of the door as well.
- Clean the rust. If your sliding doors are made from a material like aluminium that is prone to rusting, check if there are any signs of rust as it could cause your door to stick. Use steel wool to remove the rust, and then wipe the surface with a tack cloth to get rid of any metal particles.
- Changes in temperature, exposure to the elements, and regular use of your sliding glass doors can cause grime to surface in the tracks. The oil will thicken and keep your door from operating smoothly. To remove the grease and grime, dip a toothbrush into acetone and use the wet bristles to rub the inside of the tracks – top, bottom, and on the door. When you are finished, wipe the tracks with a terrycloth towel.
- Grease the tracks. Once the tracks have been thoroughly cleaned, apply a small amount of lubrication on the door tracks alone, and then put the door back in its position. Glide the door several times to spread the lubricant along the wheels and tracks.
Step 2: Clean the glass surface
You will need
- Rag, clean cloth, paper towels, microfibre cloth, foam sponge
- Soap, mild window washing solution
If you reside in an apartment building or condo, you should lay some rags on the ground to keep the soapy runoff from dripping down the side of the building and affecting your neighbours. Then,
- Dip a clean rag in soapy water and use it to wet the entire glass surface. This will help to loosen stuck-on dirt deposits. You can start with either the interior or exterior of the door.
- After several minutes, wipe off the solution using a clean cloth or paper towels. Work your windows from top to bottom.
- Apply the mild window washing solution using a microfibre cloth, foam sponge, or any other non-abrasive applicator.
- When the entire glass has been covered with the cleaning solution, wipe it off immediately using the squeegee. Waiting too long can cause the solution to create streaks or blotchy spots when removed.
- Repeat on the other side of your sliding door.
Tip: Don’t use any type of scraping tool to remove stuck-on debris. Instead, repeat the steps as many times as you need to so you don’t scratch your door.
Step 3: Clean the door frame and hardware
The door frame and handles are used extensively, which makes them likely to accumulate smudges and smears.
- Wipe the frame around the glass and edges of the sliding door using a damp cloth.
- Use a rough damp cloth or scouring pad to clean the door frame bottom and threshold, which are likely to be ingrained with dirt due to frequent traffic.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe off any dust at the top of the frame.
- Wipe down the entire frame with a damp cloth.
- Use a damp cloth and warm soapy water to clean difficult spots, including the door handles. Clean the inside of the handles carefully.
- Polish metal door hardware lightly after cleaning it.
Step 4: Clean up
When you are done cleaning your sliding glass doors, use a clean rag to dry any surfaces that are still wet, such as the house siding or floor.
A clean sliding glass door can maximize the impact of your windows and doors replacement. It can help add natural light, open up your house, and provide an inviting view of your outdoor space. If you have an old door that still doesn’t function properly after cleaning, consider replacing it with a more efficient one.