Garage door cleaning basics
Your garage door is one of the hardest working components of your home, completing its up and down cycle thousands of times every year. It’s no surprise, then, when a substantial amount of dirt, stains, and other debris accumulate on the door’s expansive surface. At some point you’ll have to clean it, but when was the last time you gave that a second thought? Cleaning your garage door is likely way down on your priority list; however, proper cleaning can greatly extend the door’s life and prevent an array of more serious issues from developing. Indeed, an hour spent cleaning your garage door can alleviate hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
That being said, what is the best way to bring your door back to its spic-and-span best? Convenient rainfall will often do the trick, as well as a dousing from a garden hose, but sometimes a garage door needs a more thorough cleaning. Make it shine with these handy tips:
Cleaning steel or composite garage doors
The best cleaning solution choice is a mild detergent such as dish soap, car wash soap, or everyday laundry detergent with less than 0.5 percent phosphate. Mix a cup of detergent with five gallons of warm water. Stubborn stains usually succumb to a diluted bleach and water solution but be sure to rinse the door prior to full washing; detergent and bleach are too potent a mix and can cause damage.
Clean soiled weather stripping on the top and sides, and use good old fashioned elbow grease to remove accumulated layers of dirt. A soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge is best to clean the door surface, and then dry with a soft cloth as well.
- Pressure wash your garage door
- Use detergents with more than 0.5 percent phosphate
- Use abrasive cloths that could scratch the surface
- Use window cleaning solutions or scouring products
Cleaning wood garage doors
Wood garage doors also clean well with a mild detergent-water mix. When you’re done washing, rinse with water and let dry. If your door has areas of thin finish, clean those sections with a detergent solution, rinse, and let dry. When the door is fully dry, prime the areas with an oil primer followed by a finish coat.
Always consult your door’s maintenance instructions for full information on proper cleaning. Keeping your garage door clean and maintained goes a long way in ensuring a long and serviceable life.