Complete Guide To Cleaning Glass Sliding Doors

15 minutes
April 30th, 2021

When it comes to cleaning your glass sliding door, it’s not enough to just clean the obvious fingerprints and marks on the glass panes – you also have to consider the tracks and wheels.

Have you done this before? If not, it will now probably make sense as to why the wheels aren’t gliding as easily as they used to. A buildup of dirt, grime and dust over time will stop your sliding doors from rolling completely.

In order to avoid this situation from happening again, here is our guide on how to clean your sliding door.

Knowing Each Sliding Door Part

Before you begin removing the sliding door and giving it a thorough clean, it’s important to know what you’re working with and to understand each sliding door part:

The Head

The head is the horizontal part at the top of the sliding door frame.

The Sill

The sill is the horizontal part at the bottom of the sliding door frame.

The Jamb

The jamb is a component of the sliding door frame that runs along the top, sides and bottom.

The Roller

The roller is the mechanism that enables the door to slide along the track and is attached underneath the door.

The Track

The track is located on the bottom (or the top depending on your sliding door) of the frame.

What You Will Need

Before you start getting your hands dirty, here’s a list of everything you will need. We also have a more comprehensive blog that covers the equipment you’ll need if you need more information.

  • Vaccum
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Old toothbrush
  • A large blanket
  • A couple of clean cloths
  • Paper towels (or a squeegee)
  • Water bucket filled with soapy water

How to Remove the Sliding Glass Door

Now that you’re ready, let’s begin by removing the sliding door from the frame. Follow our steps below and it’ll be a piece of cake.

Step 1 – Getting Prepared

Before you start taking the sliding door off, you need to make sure you have enough room to work with. Make sure to move all surrounding furniture out of the way and lay down a large blanket in the centre of the room for the sliding door to lay down on. Also remove any rugs, mats and anything else that might be a potential tripping hazard – especially when holding a glass sliding door!

Step 2 – Detach From the Track

Examine the door frame to determine if both the top and bottom tracks have screws that need to be taken out first. To detach the sliding door from the track, grab a flathead screwdriver (depending on what type of screws the track has) and start loosening the screws by turning counterclockwise. Once you have taken out the screws, grab the sliding door securely on both sides.

Step 3 – Lift Out the Door

It’s best to get someone to help you with this step if possible. Make sure you have a good grip and then begin gently lifting the door up into the top track to release it from the bottom track, then start to slowly pull the door out. Once the door has come out, gently lay it down on a spread out blanket on the floor or carefully lean it up against a wall.

How to Clean the Sliding Door Tracks

You may have already discovered that cleaning your sliding door tracks is somewhat of an awkward task. The accumulation of dust, debris, bugs and grime that they collect over time can often make them particularly difficult to clean. Ignoring this, however, could cause your sliding doors to stop working altogether, therefore making it unsafe and inconvenient for everyone living in the property. Check out our blog on tips for cleaning sliding doors for more information regarding this process.

Vacuum First

Start by vacuuming the tracks with the narrow tip attachment first as there can be a lot of dirt and grime built up depending on how long it’s been since the tracks were last cleaned. Vacuuming the bulk of the dirt will make the rest of the cleaning process much easier for you.

Start Scrubbing

Now grab a sponge, a bucket filled with some soapy water and a toothbrush and then start scrubbing away the rest of the dirt and gunk from the tracks. You will never get this area perfectly clean, but you will notice that with regular maintenance, (at least once a week), your sliding door will glide a lot easier. Remember to wipe down the tracks with a clean cloth afterwards and ensure no moisture is left on the tracks.

Clean the Sill

Keeping the glass of your sliding door clean is important, so it should be cleaned regularly to remove any fingerprints or marks that it may have acquired from frequent use. However, it’s also important to remember that the sill also needs regular cleaning. Leaving this to collect dust over time will eventually damage your sliding door rollers.

We do not suggest using oil or any form of lubrication to clean your sliding doors, unless specified from your supplier.

Clean the Jamb

Finally, cleaning the jamb is the last step. As getting into the corners can be difficult, a great little tip is to wrap a cloth around a butter knife. Not only will this help you to clean the hard to reach corners but it also will protect the track from any accidental damage. Also make sure you aren’t using any harsh cleaning chemicals as they can erode the sliding door frame if you’re not careful.

How to Clean the Sliding Door Rollers

To begin, you need to check to see if the door rollers are broken. If they’re okay, then you’ve most likely got a build-up of debris that needs cleaning. You can easily clean it with some warm soapy water and a toothbrush. Once that’s fixed and you have managed to remove most of the dirt, you can begin reinstalling your sliding door back into place.

With regular cleaning, sliding doors shouldn’t incur too many problems. Given they are used often, they are bound to have noticeable wear and tear, though the risk of this can be easily mitigated by making sure you’re keeping the rollers clean.

If you continue to experience problems or notice that your rollers are broken, then it’s important to reach out to an industry professional or look into getting your sliding door rollers changed. Check out our wide range of internal and external sliding door rollers if this is the case.

Now there’s no point cleaning the sliding glass door itself until we lift it up and put it back into the frame.

How to Install the Sliding Glass Door

Once you have finished scrubbing and cleaning, it’s now time to put the sliding door back onto the tracks.

Step 1 – Get the Door into Position

Make sure you have cleared away all the cleaning equipment and lift the door off of the blanket and stand it upright. Now grab the door tightly with both hands and move the door over to the frame so it is facing towards the tracks.

Step 2 – Fit it onto the Tracks

Bend both your knees and lift the glass door up so the top of the door is angled towards the top track. Slide the top of the door into the top track and then push the door upwards. Now angle the bottom of the door so that the rollers fit onto the bottom track and then slowly lower the door down into place.

Step 3 – Tighten the Screws

Now that the sliding door is in place, all that’s left is to tighten the screws to make sure the door is nice and secured. Depending on the type of your sliding door, take your flathead or Phillips screwdriver and start turning clockwise to tighten the screws on the bottom of the door to secure it in the frame.

Step 4 – Test the Sliding Door

The last thing you want is to go through all that effort, only to realise that your sliding door still won’t close properly. Simply move the sliding door back and forth to ensure that the rollers are sliding smoothly along the tracks.

How to Clean the Glass Sliding Door

Now for the final part, cleaning the glass sliding door. Follow these quick steps to ensure a polished clean and that you aren’t leaving behind any marks or spots.

Step 1

Grab a clean cloth or rag and dip it into a bucket filled with soapy water. Wipe over the entire surface of the glass door to loosen any stuck-on grime or dirt.

Step 2

Let it sit for a few minutes and then grab another clean cloth to wipe off the soapy water. Remember to always clean from top to bottom.

Step 3

Using another clean cloth or sponge, apply a window washing solution and wipe it across the entire glass door surface.

Step 4

Unlike the soapy water, make sure you clean the window washing solution off immediately, as it can leave behind blotchy streaks if left on too long. If you have a squeegee, then start from the top of the glass door and wipe downwards in long streaks until clean. If using a paper towel or cloth, gently wipe in a circular motion until the glass is completely clean.

Now repeat these steps on the other side of the glass sliding door.

Following these steps will ensure that your sliding glass door is thoroughly cleaned and sliding smoothly. However, going through this entire process can be pretty time-consuming. To save yourself time, read our blog on how to maintain sliding doors and avoid the whole rigorous process with just a little bit of routine maintenance.

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