When you think about cleaning your home, cleaning the garage door probably is not very high on the list – if it makes the list at all! Which makes perfect sense. It is hard enough to find time to clean floors and counters and gutters and laundry and the bathroom… Why should the garage door deserve attention? Hopefully, we can convince you that there are good reasons to spare an occasional (just, occasional!) thought for your dirty garage door.

The average garage door lasts about twenty years, so it is useful to do whatever you can to help your investment and prolong the life of your door. Homeowners should consider cleaning their door twice a year. If you live in an unusually harsh climate, you might think about cleaning more often.

  • Help the Door’s Finish Last Longer: Dirt, wind, rain, even sun. They can all dull, erode, or damage the finish on your door. Keeping the door clean will maintain the condition of the finish for much longer.
  • Keep Your Home Looking Good: A sparkling clean garage door does wonders for curb appeal. This is lovely in general, but if you are thinking about selling your home, this is a relatively easy job that can have a significant impact.
  • Prevent Rust from Accumulating: Rust is going to hurt every aspect of your – the appearance, the finish, and perhaps most importantly, the integrity. Keeping rust away will extend the life of your door… and save you the hassle of cleaning off rust!
  • Read through Your Warranty: It is possible that not keeping your door clean will have an effect on warranty claims should problems arise. It is definitely worth a check! 

But even if you decide it is worth cleaning the door… how are you going to go about that? Cleaning the garage door is not as intimidating a task as it might seem. It is, frankly, quite similar to cleaning the outside of your car. Here is a quick rundown.

What Will You Need

  • Several soft, clean cloths or sponges: Use something gentle, so you don’t end up damaging the door with abrasives. Use something clean, so you don’t end up damaging the door with dirt already in your cloth or sponge. 
  • A gentle soap: Again, use a soap that is mild. Perhaps a dishwasher soap or car soap. You can also use a detergent that has less than 0.5% phosphate, or a non-toxic biodegradable cleaner. 
  • A large bucket for the soapy water: Mix about one cup of the soap with two gallons of water. This tends to be a good ratio for common cleaning.
  • A broom or a mop
  • A hose
  • Silicone wax: If you have a steel, aluminum, or fiberglass garage door, then it is a good idea to wax them yearly and there is no better time than right after a cleaning.

Now, time to get started!

Prepare your door for cleaning by removing as much of the dirt and debris as possible. It may be best if you are able to use a broom to sweep your and then follow up with a good rinsing from a hose. This way, when you wash, you aren’t just pushing dirt from one crack to another. (DON’T ever use a pressure washer in place of a hose. A pressure washer may seem like a time saver, but more than likely it will damage the door.)

Now, make your soap solution, climb up your ladder, and use the cloths to scrub the garage. You will want to move from top to bottom. If you go from bottom to top, then as you move up, you will end up dripping dirt onto the area you just cleaned. You could likely use a mop for a satisfactory clean, though you will generally be more successful by hand. (DON’T use bleach in your soap solution. It may be tempting, but it can easily destroy the finish or the paint on your door.)

Use your hose to rinse the soap from the door. This is a good time to see if any spts need a little bit of extra help. If you are not waxing the door, you can probably just let it dry on its own. Otherwise, dry it and then apply the wax.

As long as you are giving your garage door some love, this might be a good time to check on any weather stripping, clean the tracks, lubricate rollers, and generally give your garage a once over.

Finally, take a look at the inside of the door. It is easy to want to skip cleaning the inside and it does not need cleaning as frequently. It doesn’t affect curb appeal and it isn’t buffeted by weather. Every now and then, though, it is worth some attention. It will help the upkeep of your door. Especially, take a look at the bottom of the inside which is likely by far the dirtiest area.  

If you have questions about cleaning your particular door or while you are cleaning your door, you notice any issues  that need to be addressed, please contact us! We are here for you – and for your door!