How To Clean Doors: The Ultimate Guide to Clean Like a Pro

The door is hardly the first thing on our list when we tackle the cleaning of our home. However, a dirty door can impact the general feeling of cleanliness we experience.

black woman cleaning door handle

The regular maintenance of our doors not only makes our home feel more welcoming, but it also prolongs their lifespan.

That’s why I have put together this comprehensive guide on cleaning different types of doors. Coming from someone who has 10 different types of interior doors, I have learnt a thing or two.

In this article, we’ll explore how to clean various types of doors, from wood to metal, as well as the best practices for maintaining clean doors all year long.

Wood Doors

wooden door painted black

Wood doors are the most popular doors in most homes and are undoubtedly the easiest to clean and maintain.

They are also the most ignored and if not properly maintained, will lead to a build up of dirt that can cause discolouration and potentially damage over the years. 

These doors also vary in their finishing so the methods for cleaning different types of wood doors will vary as well.

When we want to tackle cleaning, many of us bring out all the cleaning products we have. We think the stronger the cleaning product, the more effective it must be.

In this section, I’ll go over the materials you actually need for most types of wood finishes and a few maintenance tips to keep them looking their best.

Cleaning painted wood and wood replica 

Although easier to maintain than real wood doors, cleaning painted wood requires care. You can’t use anything abrasive, as it will scratch off the paint. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Materials

  • Soft brush/old toothbrush
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Bowl or spray bottle
  • Soft cloth/dry microfiber cloth
  • Magic Eraser/Melamine sponge

Method

  1. Begin by removing any loose dust in the corners and grooves with a brush.
  2. Create a cleaning solution using warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  3. Pour the solution into a bowl or spray bottle. (I prefer a bowl because spraying the soap solution makes me cough.)
  4. If using a spray bottle, spray the surface of the door; if using a bowl, dip the microfibre cloth into the cleaning solution.
  5. Wipe down the surface of the door in a circular motion, paying special attention to the area around the door handle where stubborn stains and fingerprints tend to collect the most. Don’t forget to clean the handles.
  6. Use a damp magic eraser to tackle any tough stains or scuff marks, especially at the bottom of the door.
  7. Dry the door with a clean cloth or dry paper towels to prevent water from sitting on the door.

Cleaning real hardwood doors

Real wood doors, although durable, need to be treated with the utmost care. The build-up of dust and dirt can easily scratch and dull the finish of your hardwood doors.

Most real wood doors are finished with a hard wax which will instantly react to harsh chemicals, so it’s important to avoid them. Here’s how to care for your solid wood doors:

Materials

  • Soft brush/ feather dusters
  • Dry microfibre cloth
  • Dish soap 
  • Warm water
  • Bowl or spray bottle

Method

  1. Remove any dust in the corners and grooves with a brush or feather duster.
  2. Make a very light cleaning solution with warm water and a drop or two of mild dish soap.
  3. Pour into a bowl or spray bottle.
  4. If using a spray bottle, spray the surface of the door very lightly. If using a bowl, dip the microfibre cloth into the cleaning solution.
  5. Wipe down the surface of the door in a circular motion but take care not to over soak the wood with water.
  6. Pay attention to stubborn stains on and around the handles.
  7. Dry with a cloth or paper towels to avoid water sitting on the door.

Tips

  • Avoid any harsh chemicals like bleach and commercial cleaners, and even white vinegar.
  • Never use a steam cleaner for hardwood doors.
  • Always remember to clean the edges and door frame.
  • Re-polish with a hard wax like Treatex or Osmo once in 6 months 

Glass Doors

Glass doors are not the most common in most homes. Although they add a touch of elegance and let in a lot of light into the home, they are magnets for fingerprints, water spots, and scratches.

glass door
My glass door which leads to the kitchen is a magnet for stains, fingerprints and dirt.

In this section, we’ll go over the best materials, methods and tips for streak-free, scratch-free glass doors.

Materials

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Microfibre glass cloth 
  • Warm water
  • Soft toothbrush

Method

1. Dip your microfibre cloth in a some warm water or spray the door with water.

2. Wipe till damp.

3. Polish with glass cloth.

4. Use a soft toothbrush to loosen dirt around the wood or aluminum frame.

5. Wipe over with the glass cloth.

Tips

  • You may also use a glass cleaner and squeegee to clean your glass door. However, I find that water and a glass cloth do the job just as well without the need for chemicals.
  • If there are any scratches on the glass, use a professional glass scratch remover to reduce their appearance. For deeper scratches, consult a professional.

Steel Doors

Steel doors are a popular choice for external doors due to their strength and durability. In this section, we’ll go over some of the best practices for maintaining your exterior or interior steel doors.

steel door

Materials

  • Mild dish soap 
  • Warm water
  • Dry cloth or towel
  • Soft sponge
  • Degreaser (optional)
  • Bleach (optional)

Method

1. Make a very light cleaning solution with warm water and a drop or two of mild dish soap.

2. Dip the microfibre cloth into the cleaning solution or spray directly onto the door.

3. Wipe down the surface of the door.

2. Go over tough stains with a degreaser.

3. If the stains persist, follow up with bleach but test a small, inconspicuous area first. Never mix a degreaser and bleach as it can be corrosive.

4. Wipe several times with a damp cloth till all the bleach is removed as you don’t want bleach sitting on the surface for too long.

Tips

  • Although popular, never use steel wool to remove stains as it can scratch the finish on your doors.
  • If you notice any rust on your steel door, it’s best to contact a professional for proper removal and treatment.”

Fibreglass Doors

Fibreglass doors are one of the most low maintenance doors for both internal and external doors. Here’s a guide on cleaning them effectively. 

fibreglass door

Materials

  • Mild dish soap 
  • Warm water
  • Dry cloth or towel
  • Baking soda

Method

1. Make a solution with warm water and a little bit of dish soap

2. Dip the microfibre cloth into the cleaning solution or spray directly onto the door

3. Wipe down the surface of the door in circular motions to loosen any dirt.

4. Go over tough stains with a paste of baking soda and water or a light abrasive cleaner like The Pink Stuff

Aluminium Doors

Aluminium doors may not be the most popular but they are chosen by a lot of people for their strength and durability hence why a lot of external doors are made out of this material.

aluminium door

Like any other door, dirt and debris can affect its look and performance. Here’s a guide on how to clean aluminium doors effectively.

Materials

  • Soft brush
  • Dry cloth
  • Dish soap 
  • Warm water
  • Bowl or spray bottle
  • Vinegar

Method

1.Remove any loose dust in the corners and grooves of the door with a brush.

2. Make a cleaning solution with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.

3. Dip the microfibre cloth into the cleaning solution or spray directly onto the door.

5. Wipe down in circular motions, paying attention to the the door handle and surrounding areas.

6. Go over any tough stains with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and a cloth. Test a small area first to ensure it’s not too harsh on the door finish.

7. Dry with a clean, dry microfibre cloth.

Tips

  • Take care when using more abrasive cleaners like mineral spirits and even vinegar. Different surfaces react differently 
  • Be sure to dry up any water spots promptly to prevent damage to the doors over time
  • Occasionally lubricate the hinges with silicone-based lubricant to keep them moving without friction

How To Maintain Clean Doors

black woman squats to clean glass doors

Regardless of the type of door you have, regular maintenance will keep it in great condition. Here are some additional tips for maintaining your doors:

  1. Dust weekly to remove dust and debris from clinging to the surface.
  2. Keep a consistent and regular cleaning schedule, just like any other area of your house. Pay close attention to doors in high-traffic areas.
  3. Deep clean (and polish wood doors) every 6 months. Take care to clean the frame and door edges.
  4. If regular home cleaning doesn’t take care of stains, dents, or damage, consider speaking to a professional or changing the door.

Cleaning our doors may not be the first or most important thing on our cleaning to-do list, but it is undoubtedly an important one.

Taking the time to clean them regularly will ensure their longevity and make our home feel more welcoming.

I hope this guide has been helpful in providing you with all the tips you need to clean your doors like a pro.

Other Cleaning Posts You May Like:

Testing 5 Popular Ways To Clean Badly Tarnished Brass Door Handles

12 Quick Ways To Stop Being Lazy and Clean Your House

7 No-Fail Solutions To Clean A Hazy Mirror

Categories

Hey you, I’m Torera

Hey there! I am Torera, a home care and cleaning enthusiast with a mission to make cleaning as fun and easy as possible for women like you. As someone who had to learn everything from scratch, I have the mindset of a beginner and know exactly how to take you from A to Z. Let us ditch the overwhelm and create a space that is clean, cozy, and totally you!