A garage door is a big investment, and it’s exciting when it’s first installed and looks brand new. But how do you keep it looking like that? In this blog, we’ll outline how to clean your garage door so you can prolong its lifespan with minimal maintenance efforts.
What You’ll Need
Before we get into how to clean your garage door and its different components, here’s a list of every garage door cleaning product you may need.
- A bucket of water. A lot of garage door components will need a diluted solution, so it’s important that a majority of your cleaning solution is water.
- A sponge and rag. You will need a soft sponge and rag so you don’t accidentally chip or scratch the stain or paint on your garage door.
- Garage door cleaner. We will mention a few different types of garage door cleaners below that can be used depending on the garage door part.
- A ladder. This helps you reach the higher parts of your garage door.
- A vacuum hose. This is an optional tool you may use if you don’t have a ladder. You can use the vacuum hose to reach the top of your garage door.
- Lubricant spray. For every moving part of your garage door, you should clean them off as well as lubricate them. This helps each part continue to move smoothly and prolong the life of your garage door.
Different Materials of a Garage Door
Your garage door is likely made of vinyl or a different variation of wood. There’s also a possibility that you have decided to incorporate windows into your garage door design. Depending on the materials, your garage door cleaning products will look a little different.
No matter the material of your garage door, we recommend not pressure washing the surface because you risk denting your door or chipping off the paint or stain. Below, we’ll provide some easy solutions that help prolong the life of your garage door.
How to Clean a Vinyl Garage Door
Vinyl garage doors require less maintenance than wooden doors because they are naturally insect-, moisture-, and rot-resistant. However, dirt and debris can still get onto your garage door, so it’s best to clean it every so often.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend cleaning your doors at least once a year. If you find that dust and debris are dirtying your garage door more often, then you may want to consider cleaning it every few months.
By keeping your vinyl garage door clean, you’ll be able to prolong the color of your door. Without cleaning, you risk your door fading unevenly down the road.
Now let’s explain how to clean a vinyl garage door. We suggest using either a simple dish or car wash soap. Dish soap will be a little more aggressive since it’s made to clean off grease. If your garage door is regularly cleaned, we recommend using car wash soap for a gentler wash.
Composite wood garage doors are similar to vinyl doors as they are naturally resistant to a lot of natural elements. This means that in the long run, they are relatively low maintenance. Because of this, you shouldn’t have to clean this type of door as often.
How to Clean a Wooden Garage Door
Although a real-wood garage door may have more maintenance, it is a great choice for high insulation. In order to properly clean your wooden garage door, you’ll need mild detergent and a big bucket full of water.
The main difference between a vinyl cleaning solution and a wooden garage door cleaner is that you should thoroughly dilute your wooden cleaning solution. If you just use a mild detergent, you risk chipping or damaging the stain on your door.
You can use a common household detergent or a specific cleaning solution for your exterior siding or garage door.
How to Clean Garage Door Windows
Whether you have a vinyl or wooden garage door, your windows or specialty glass can be cleaned the same. It’s likely you have cleaned interior windows before, and it’s a very similar process. However, your garage door windows may have more grime and dirt on them so they will need a more intense cleaning.
To clean your windows, first lightly rinse them with warm water so any surface dirt and debris is removed. If you regularly clean your windows, this may be all you need to do! If this is the first time you’re cleaning your windows this season, you may need to wash your windows with a non-abrasive sponge and cleaning detergent.
Cleaning Different Parts of Your Garage Door
Now that we’ve covered how to clean your garage door surface, we’ll dive into different parts of your garage door that deserve your attention. We’ll outline the cleaning solutions and steps for your decorative hardware, garage door tracks, springs, hinges, and rollers.
If you have any decorative hardware on the surface of your garage door, you can clean these with the same solution as you would with a wooden garage door. Make sure you’re using a soft cloth and diluted detergent so you don’t cause your hardware to rust or chip.
Garage Door Tracks
Next, we’ll move on to the interior of your garage and outline how to clean garage door tracks. Clean tracks mean your garage door isn’t getting stuck on debris when it’s opening and closing.
First, you should close your garage door so the tracks are accessible and then you will need to turn off your garage door. That way you don’t risk your garage door accidentally opening while you’re cleaning the tracks.
We recommend getting a wet rag and gently wiping down the inside and outside of the tracks. With bigger debris like leaves, you may be able to use your hands to pick it all out.
Once you have the surface and bigger pieces cleaned out, you can go back in with a heavier cleaner to get the dirt and grime off. You can use an automotive brake cleaning fluid to help loosen and wash away dirt that’s been stuck on the tracks for a while.
To reach the top of your garage door tracks, you can either use a ladder or a vacuum hose extension. And again, if you are routinely cleaning your garage door, you may not need to use an intense washing solution.
Garage Door Springs
The next couple of components of your garage door are all going to be moving parts. That means that along with using a cleaning solution to get the surface dirt off, you will also want to lubricate these parts. This not only cleans them off but also ensures your garage door is moving smoothly.
It’s important to lubricate all moving parts of your garage door so you don’t cause additional stress to just one specific component. For example, if you only lubricate your garage door springs and not the hinges or rollers, you will cause a lot of stress on your springs and run the risk of needing to replace them sooner than usual.
On all the interior components of your garage door, it’s important not to use a harsh material or detergent to clean them. This could cause the metal to rust and ultimately worsen the lifespan of each part.
Garage Door Hinges & Rollers
Both the garage door hinges and rollers help your garage door open and close properly. So if gunk is stuck on these parts, you may see your garage door not operate as smoothly.
To clean your garage door hinges, slowly open your garage door and wipe off each hinge. Then use your lubricant to spray each hinge once or twice so each is covered with the spray. As you are cleaning the hinges, you can also spray the rollers which are attached to the hinges. You may need a thin hose attachment to reach each roller.
Once you wipe down the inside tracks with your garage door cleaner, your rollers should be able to smoothly move up and down when you’re opening and closing your garage door.
Just like your garage door springs, you don’t want to use a very heavy chemical solution to clean the hinges and rollers. Using a damp rag and sponge with soap and water should do the trick.
These tips and tricks on how to clean your garage door will help it continue to look brand new, long after it’s installed. If you have any questions about maintaining your Artisan garage door, you can call our office at 888.913.9170.