Garage
Keeping your garage clean can be a chore, but these helpful tips and articles can make it easier.

How to Clean Your Garage Door To Make It Look Like New

Your garage door plays a big role in your home’s overall appearance and curb appeal. Whether you’re up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends or your garage door is a bit more dated, cleanliness will always improve the look. 

When you spend so much time keeping your lawn nice and windows clean, why neglect your garage door when it’s one of the focal points of your home? Perhaps even more important than the appearance itself is making sure to maintain the functionality of the garage door via regular upkeep. 


Why Cleaning Your Door Is More Than Aesthetics 

Regular maintenance of your garage door helps to keep it intact and functioning as necessary. Don’t wait for a major problem to develop before investing some time in upkeep. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as salt sea air, or heavy snowfall, it’s especially important to keep up with cleaning. If you don’t, your finish may wear quicker and rust, or you may even void your door’s warranty. That means any problems with your garage door may be your responsibility if they decide you’re to blame for improper upkeep. Yikes! 

No need to worry, we’ve gathered the best tips and tricks to keep your garage looking great and functioning well.


Do This Before Cleaning Your Garage Door

Before going to clean your garage door, there are a few things you will need to do to ensure preparedness and safety. 

Ensure Safety

  • Ensure the area is well-ventilated to avoid excessive inhalation
  • Disengage the opener
  • Avoid contact with harmful chemicals with your clothes or skin
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners like muriatic acid. They can be highly toxic and are best left to a professional.

Gather Materials and Tools

  • Brush 
  • Scrubber
  • Cleaning agents 
  • Step Ladder
  • Hose 

General Cleaning Methods

If you’re looking for simple solutions to clean on a day-to-day basis without busting out all of the supplies, there are a couple of simple ways to keep your garage door clean. 

Spot Cleaning 

Spot cleaning is an easy way to keep up with obvious dirt. For spot cleaning, you may use a gentle cleaner on a damp cloth to wipe away mud splatters or other imperfections. This is a good way to rid yourself of painfully obvious dirt and grime in between major washes. 

Get Rid of Debris

If you notice that there is debris on your garage door, don’t just leave it there. It can lead to worse problems later. Good examples of this are bug nests and spiderwebs. If a spider has picked corners along your garage door opening to make a home, discourage the habit immediately by knocking it down and spraying deterrents. 

Today's Homeowner Tips

If you do not open your garage door often you may notice that things are collecting in the crevices and building up. Wipe these away as they develop as well. 

Hose It Down

Spraying your garage door down with a hose every so often when you’re out watering the grass is a great way to keep the door fresh between deep cleans. Don’t hold the hose too close to the surface to avoid harming the paint, but otherwise, a quick spray can keep things from building up. 


How to Deep Clean for Specific Garage Door Materials 

Wood garage doors are as unique as every piece of wood they’re made of, and they’re rapidly rising in style. Luckily, they’re also relatively easy to deep clean for general upkeep. 

  1. Prepare the Cleaning Solution. For wood garage doors, you will need a mild mixture of detergent and warm water. The general ratio to follow is one cup of detergent to five gallons of water. 
  2. Gather Supplies. In addition to the cleaning solution, you will need a few other materials, including a ladder, gloves (optional), and a hose or rinsing method. 
  3. Apply the Solution. Gently wipe the sudsy mixture across the door. 
  4. Scrub Softly. You’ll want to use a soft object to scrub the detergent mixture across your wood garage. Options include a cloth, sponge, or soft brush. When you’re cleaning, begin at the top of the garage and work your way to the bottom. Be sure to focus on problem areas and 
  5. Rinse. After you’ve scrubbed the cleaning solution into the door, rinse it from the top down. Depending on the severity of the dirt, you may need to do one or two more rounds to get the door fully clean. 
  6. Allow to Dry Fully. Before re-engaging the garage or putting it in use, wait for the door to completely dry. For wood doors, air drying will suffice. 
Today's Homeowner Tips

It’s crucial you keep an eye on your wood garage door’s primer at all times, but it is never easier than when it’s freshly cleaned. If the primer is worn off, your wood door is more susceptible to the elements and wear and tear. 

One of the most common options for garage doors is metal, including aluminum and steel. As one of the more resilient options, you shouldn’t find the process of cleaning them too difficult. 

  1. Prepare the Cleaning Solution. For metal garage doors, you will only need a mild detergent mixture for thorough cleaning. Similar to cleaning a wood door, you will add one cup of detergent to five gallons of warm water. 
  2. Gather Supplies. In addition to the cleaning solution, you will need a few other materials, including a ladder, gloves (optional), a sponge, and a drying towel. 
  3. Apply the Solution. Gently wipe the sudsy mixture across the door, top to bottom, working in horizontal swipes. 
  4. Scrub Softly. Using a cloth or soft sponge, scrub the mixture into the metal door, making sure to focus on the problem areas. Begin at the top and work your way down to guide run-off down to the ground. 
  5. Rinse. After you’ve scrubbed the cleaning solution into the door, rinse it from the top down. Depending on the severity of the dirt, you may need to do one or two more rounds to get the door fully clean. 
  6. Allow to Dry Fully. Before re-engaging the garage or putting it in use, wait for the door to completely dry. For metal doors, it is best to dry the door via a slightly damp cloth. 

Glass doors are trendy and eye-catching with their see-thru appearance. Most often used as a stylistic choice for modern and contemporary homes, the process of cleaning is easier than you might think. 

  1. Prepare the Cleaning Solution. For glass garage doors, you have a few options, including buying a commercial product such as Windex. However, we recommend skipping the store for an easy homemade mixture. This solution calls for a squeeze bottle, warm water, and white vinegar. You’ll simply combine a ratio of 10-to-1 in the bottle. 
  2. Gather Supplies. In addition to the cleaning solution, you will need a few other materials, including a ladder, gloves (optional), and a squeegee or microfiber cloth.
  3. Apply the Solution. Spray the vinegar and warm water solution across the glass panels. It may be easiest to work in small sections or single panels. Avoid hardware as it may not react well with the vinegar.
  4. Work the Solution in. Using a cloth, rub the solution into the window, particularly focusing on tough spots with caked-on grime. 
  5. Rinsing and Drying. In a combined step, you’ll be able to rinse and dry in the same moment. Depending on what’s available to you, choose either a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to wipe away the solution. 
Today's Homeowner Tips

Don’t wait until you’re finished with the entire garage door to rinse/dry. You run the risk of leaving streaks. Instead, wipe away excess liquid as soon as possible. If you notice that streaks persist, repeat the process, moving swifter, or spray down with water. 


Can You Powerwash Your Garage Door? 

No, you shouldn’t power wash your garage door. While it may be acceptable for driveways and garage floors, power washing your garage door can lead to significant damage, starting with chipped paint that leads to rusting and many headaches. 


How Often You Need to Clean Your Garage Door

Depending on the material, your garage door may require cleaning quarterly, semi-annually, or once a year. Below is a quick breakdown of frequency based on your climate. This schedule is also a good indicator of how often to check your door’s functions to catch problems early. 

  • General Recommendation: twice a year 
  • Snowy Climates: quarterly 
  • Coastal Climates: quarterly
  • Arid Climates: semi-annually, quarterly

Learn More About Garages


While You’re At It, Don’t Forget the Mechanics and Hardware

While not necessarily your garage door, it’s also important to keep your hardware clean. If it’s an automatic opener, be sure to check the sensors. If they get caked with dirt, they will no longer work effectively. 

You might also check the garage door tracks and give them a quick wipe down to avoid any buildup of grease or grime there as well. You can also make sure to get the weatherstripping if your door has it. 

Don’t forget door embellishments and decor! They may require polishing or different cleaning solutions depending on their material but don’t neglect the additions. 

[adinserter block="23"][adinserter block="24"]

Meet the Contributors

Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford

Founder

Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Contributor

Jodi Marks

Jodi Marks

Contributor

Elisabeth Beauchamp

Elisabeth Beauchamp

Staff Writer

Alora Bopray

Alora Bopray

Staff Writer

Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson

Staff Writer

Alexis Curls

Alexis Curls

Staff Writer

Amy DeYoung

Amy DeYoung

Contributor

Sean Donnelly

Sean Donnelly

Contributor

Sarah Horvath

Sarah Horvath

Contributor

Jonathon Jachura

Jonathon Jachura

Contributor

Sharon Lord

Contributor

Coty Perry

Coty Perry

Contributor

Dan Simms

Dan Simms

Contributor

Dani Straughan

Dani Straughan

Contributor