How to Clean Exterior Doors

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Exterior doors are often one of the first things people notice about your home. A clean door can provide a positive impression, while a poorly-maintained door can have the opposite effect on your visitors. Because they are exposed to many different types of exterior elements, these doors can quickly become dirty. No matter what type of doors you have on your home, you'll find that it's easy to maintain their appearance with regular cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft, clean rags
  • Sponges
  • Mineral spirits
  • Metal cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Stiff brush
  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Squeegee

Cleaning Wood, Steel or Fiberglass Doors

  • Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle to create an affordable homemade cleanser. Spray this mixture on the door frame, then wipe the frame with a soft cloth to remove dirt, dust and fingerprints. Make sure to clean the top of the frame, as this area is often overlooked.

  • Repeat Step 1 to clean the door itself. Spray the vinegar and water solution on the door, then wipe it away with a clean cloth. Make sure all moisture has been removed after cleaning to help prevent water-damage to your door.

  • Try mineral spirits for tough grease or stains. Apply mineral spirits to a cloth or sponge, not to the door itself. Use the cloth or sponge to scrub away these stains, then wipe the surface clean to remove remaining dirt or cleaner. Make sure the room is well-ventilated when working with this type of cleaner.

  • Clean windows within your door using a basic glass cleaner. Spray the glass cleaner on the windows and wipe it in smooth, even strokes to avoid streaks. If the windows are large enough, use a squeegee for this task. Dry the windows with a soft, clean rag once they have been cleaned.

  • Use a brass or steel polish to clean door hardware. Apply the polish to locks, handles, kickplates and other hardware using a soft polishing cloth. Wipe the hardware clean then dry it with a separate rag, making sure to remove all excess polish.

Cleaning Glass Doors

  • Vacuum the tracks at the base of sliding glass doors. Use vacuum attachments as needed to reach small crevices and corners.

  • Spray the tracks and frame with multi-purpose cleaner. Wipe the frame with a sponge or cloth to remove dirt and grime. You may need to use a stiff brush to clean tight corners or tracks.

  • Use glass cleaner on the interior and exterior glass surfaces. Spray the glass liberally, then use a squeegee to clean the entire surface from top to bottom. Wipe away all excess cleaner at the top and bottom of the door when you are finished.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid pressure washing exterior doors and windows. This could allow moisture into your home through gaps around or under the openings.

References

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