We’ve written before about how garage doors impact the curb appeal of a home. Essentially, garage doors greatly impact the appearance and value of a home. Due to this impact, it is in a homeowner’s best interest to keep their garage door clean. In this article, we explore the different ways to clean garage doors.

Wooden Doors

Wooden doors are the trickiest type of door to clean. They are not as durable as steel and aluminum doors, and often have more details. The key with wood is to be patient and gentle. Wash the door carefully with soap, lukewarm water and a clean cloth. To take care of the nitty gritty details, use an old, worn out toothbrush. The bristles are stiff enough to remove dirt and grime, but not so wiry that it scratches the wood.

After you wash the door, carefully dry the wood with a clean rag. If dirt is still coming up in certain areas, gently spot clean until the drying rag comes back clean. Once the wood is dry, reapply the stain where needed. Reseal the wood against weather and dirt to preserve your hard work for as long as possible.

Cleaning Steel & Aluminum Doors

If a steel or aluminum garage door is looking a little grubby, it is time to clean it off. Fortunately, steel and aluminum are a little more resilient than wood, so you can use the help of a hose or even a power washer if you are in a rush. If you are using those tools to your advantage, be careful to avoid damaging any electrical components.

While steel and aluminum are heartier than wood, they still need to be dried thoroughly after getting washed. Homeowners must dry their steel and aluminum garage doors in order to avoid rust.

Removing Rust From Steel & Aluminum Doors

A rusting garage door is not just unsightly, it’s a safety hazard, especially in Florida. Rust weakens a garage door by slowly eating away at it. If a homeowner notices rust on their garage door, it needs to be removed as soon as possible. First, gather the materials.

  • Dish detergent
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar (Do not use any other type of vinegar)
  • Gentle cloth, preferably lint-free
  • A pad of steel wool
  • A palm sander
  • Painting materials (a primer, brush, and paint)
  • Baking soda (Only for if the rust is severe)

Before removing the rust, the area must be clear of dirt and grime first. Due to the way that rust weakens the metal, it cannot be cleaned as aggressively as usual. Use the warm water and dish detergent to clean the door. Dish detergent cuts through any grease and grime on the door.

Wipe the rusted area with vinegar and scrub the rust off with steel wool. Continue to alternate between the white vinegar and steel wool. If the vinegar isn’t strong enough, make a paste that is one part baking soda and one part water. Spread the paste on the rust and let it sit for five to ten minutes, then scrub it off with the steel wool.

Once the rust is gone, sand the area of the door that used to be rusty with the palm sander. Paint the sanded area with primer and let dry. Once the primer is dry, paint the primed areas. Let the paint dry, and then the job is done!