How to Clean External Doors

Sentinel Composite Front Door

We often hear about people cleaning their windows but less so about cleaning exterior doors and so they can be the neglected element of our cleaning routines. The front door of a property is one of the first impressions we get of a home and if it’s dirty, that will impact on the overall look of the property.

Similarly, back doors including bi-folding doors accumulate grit through day to day use or just from being in the firing line in terms of the wind, rain and passing dust. New builds or renovated properties of course are likely to accumulate dust and dirt quickly too with all the associated ancillary work going on in the vicinity of the property’s exterior. So, now we know that we need to include external doors in our cleaning regime, how do we go about it?

Key Things to Remember Before Your Begin:

  • We advise carrying out routine maintenance and cleaning of external doors twice a year, although this may need to be done more frequently in areas of high exposure.
  • When cleaning door hardware, avoid ammonia and abrasive cleaning agents as they can cause damage.
  • Exposed parts when the door is open should be simply wiped or brushed clean (for example with a dustpan and brush); this will help to clear debris like gravel, dead insects, cobwebs and so on.
  • Wooden external doors might need specific cleaning methods so contact your manufacturer/supplier first or check their website for advice before you begin any type of solid wood door cleaning.
  • Don’t use a pressure washing system or hose for washing exterior doors and windows. This could allow moisture to build up through any gaps around or in the openings.

Cleaning of the Front & Back Doors

What You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Washing Up Mixture
  • Basin/bucket
  • Soft Sponge
  • Kitchen Paper / Old Cloth or Rag

Step 1. Use your vacuum cleaner to quickly clear the door and its frame of cobwebs and debris. Use the accompanying smaller attachments that come with the vacuum if you have them as they will help to get into those nooks that are difficult to reach.

Step 2. Create a mixture of gentle washing up liquid and water in a basin. A tablespoon of wash up liquid to a litre of water would be sufficient.

Step 3. Use a soft sponge to wipe down the door and its frame with the pre-prepared solution from the basin.

Step 4. Don’t forget to tackle the handles and hinges parts of the door with your washing up mixture and sponge.

Step 5. Dry all areas fully with a good quality paper towel or old cloth/rag.

Aluminium Bi-Fold Door

Cleaning of Sliding or Bi-Folding Doors

What You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Washing Up Mixture
  • Microfibre Cloth
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Homemade Glass Cleaning Solution
  • Basin/bucket
  • Soft Sponge(s)
  • Kitchen Paper / Old Cloth or Rag

Step 1. Use the vacuum to clear debris, dust and any cobwebs from the door tracks at the base of the door.

Step 2. Clean the tracks and frame with a mixture of washing up liquid and water (approximately 1 tablespoon washing up liquid to 1 litre of water) and a microfibre cloth.

Step 3. Use an old toothbrush to remove any difficult grime areas at corners.

Step 4. Use glass cleaner on the interior and exterior glass. We outlined how to make an easy homemade glass cleaner in our window cleaning post here.

Step 5.
Spray the glass with your homemade solution and then using a squeegee or your tool of preference, clean the glass surface from top to bottom.

Step 6. Clean any stray dust or debris using a piece of kitchen paper or an old rag.

Things to Remember When Cleaning Bi-Fold Doors or Sliding Doors

These types of doors generally have a lot of glass so it will be an energetic session of cleaning. We recommend cleaning the glass of these doors on a dull day as opposed to a sunny day. If it’s too sunny, the glass may dry while you’re in the middle of cleaning it creating streaks. The optimal weather is overcast but not too windy as you don’t want debris blowing onto your wet doors/glass; of course a rainy day isn’t suitable either for obvious reasons!

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