Cleaning the garage door: Tips & tricks

Cleaning the garage door: Tips & tricks

Your garage door no longer looks as good as new? Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. Over time, dirt and dust accumulate, and the door begins to lose its sheen. However, with the help of a few tips and tricks, you can have your garage door clean again in no time! We show you how.

How often should I clean the garage door?

Particularly in the winter months, dirt often accumulates on the garage door and the door fittings. To ensure that your door still looks good and functions properly in a few years’ time, it should be cleaned regularly. Clean your garage door about once every four months. Regular cleaning prevents stubborn dirt deposits.

Do not use detergents containing scouring agents, sponges with rough surfaces, steam or high-pressure cleaners. These may damage surfaces.

How often the garage door needs cleaning also depends on the weather and other environmental influences. Is the garage on a busy street or near the sea? Then you should clean the garage door more often, as exhaust fumes and salty air mean that a lot of dirt accumulates. By cleaning the door system regularly, you can prevent heavy soiling which may impair the function of the door over time.

A clean garage door in 3 easy steps

Dirty garage door
Dirty garage door

It’s really easy to keep your garage door clean – and the effort pays off! A door which is cleaned regularly is not only more attractive, but also has a longer service life. And you will see: cleaning doesn’t always have to be a chore.

  1. Carefully remove heavy soiling with a hand brush.
  2. Clean the surface carefully using a soft, clean cloth or a sponge and cold water. Coarse dirt could scratch the surface. In addition to the door surface, always clean all glass surfaces, seals, frames and fittings, too – including the area between the slats.
  3. Heavy soiling can be removed with warm water (maximum temperature 25 °C) and household washing-up liquid. Clean using little pressure and circular movements. Then wipe with clean water.

Tips on how to take care of the various materials in doors

A door system should always be cleaned using only water, household washing-up liquid and a soft, clean cloth. Not every cleaning agent is suitable for every material. In the following section, you can find tips & tricks on how to take care of the various materials in a garage door.

Follow the cleaning and care instructions from the manufacturer of the door. Do not use sharp-edged objects, steam or high-pressure cleaners, as these may damage the surface coating.

Sectional door panels

The panels of a sectional door should only be cleaned with warm water and a very mild soap solution. For best results, remove coarse dirt and dust with plenty of water and a very wet cloth. Don’t forget to clean the areas between the individual sections.

Garage doors made of wood

Blotchy garage door made of wood
Blotchy garage door made of wood

Wooden doors are usually sealed with wood stain or a lacquer finish. To clean them, use a little mild washing-up liquid and a slightly moist cloth. If the paint or finish is already flaking, it’s time to apply a new coat. For best results, use a sander to remove the remains of the old finish from the wooden door and then apply an undercoat. Once the undercoat has dried, apply protective paint or lacquer in the desired colour. Observe the manufacturer’s information on usage and drying times.

Plastic windows

Plastic windows in garage doors should not be cleaned using aggressive cleaning agents or cleaning agents containing alcohol. Use clear water or a mild cleaning agent. Use a clean, non-linting cloth to avoid scratching the surface.

Elements made of steel

Elements made of steel should be rinsed a dishwater solution. A soft sponge or commercially available paint cleaner will suffice. Check for rust and apply rust remover if necessary.

Elements made of stainless steel

Most soiling can be removed with a soft, clean cloth and a warm dishwater solution. A stainless steel cleaner can be used to remove stubborn stains such as limescale or discolouration. Scouring agents are not suitable, as they scratch the surface. After cleaning, wipe with clear water and rub stainless steel surfaces dry. Use baking powder and a soft cloth to restore the sheen of stainless steel. Rust remover, lemon juice or coca-cola can help remove surface rust.


Cleaning the photocell of the garage
Cleaning the photocell of the garage

To ensure correct functioning of safety devices such as photocells, they must not be damaged, twisted or soiled. Wipe the photocells and reflectors using a moist, non-linting cloth and exerting only light pressure. Always take care not to change the position of the photocell. After cleaning, check for correct functioning by closing the garage door and interrupting the photocell.

Closing cylinder

The lock or emergency release can be cleaned with a commercially available penetrating oil or lubricant. To do this, hold a cloth under the lock and spray a small amount of the fluid into the closing cylinder. Remove superfluous fluid to prevent smearing. If the closing cylinder is not frequently used, take the opportunity to check it for correct functioning.

The motor carriage is supplied with safety low voltage via the chain and the rail. The use of oil or grease will greatly reduce the conductivity of the chain, rail and motor carriage. This may result in faults due to inadequate electrical contact. The chain and the rail of garage door operators from SOMMER are maintenance-free and must not be oiled or greased.

  1. If required, install the accumulator in reverse order of removal. Re-connect the garage door operator to the mains voltage and check the voltage supply.

Automating your garage door with a garage door operator

Retrofitting the garage door operator
Easy retrofitting of an electric garage door opener

Keeping your garage clean and tidy

Cleaning and taking care of your garage and the garage door is quite simple and doesn’t require too much effort. Always observe the information from the manufacturer. If you clean your garage door properly, you will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. Don’t wait until it jams or squeaks – carry out cleaning and care work regularly. All you need for basic cleaning is warm and cold water, soft cloths and sponges, a brush and simple household cleaning agents such as washing-up liquid. This not only ensures that your garage door will function properly for a long time to come – it also looks good.