How To Clean a Garage Door Without Damaging It

How To Clean a Garage Door Without Damaging It

The garage door is a vigorous household component that withstands weather and daily cycles. The constant operation and weathering call for routine washing.

But how do you clean a garage door without damaging it? The following information will guide you through washing and caring for the different types of garage door materials.

1. Gather the Supplies

Cleaning cannot begin without the right tools at your disposal. Some of the supplies you will need include:

  • A bucket filled with warm water
  • A soft sponge
  • A garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment
  • Soap or a designated garage door cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A step ladder

Bonus Advice: Select the Right Soap

Water alone cannot cleanse your garage door. Soap is the component that will eliminate the grime built up on the surface. However, you must select the right soap based on the garage door’s material.

A mild dish soap is sufficient for most surfaces due to its gentle nature and ability to cut through grease. It effectively cleans the doors and helps to maintain the door’s condition over time when mixed with warm water.

Always stay away from abrasive cleaners. They will strip paint, corrode metal, or degrade plastic or wooden surfaces.

A special garage door cleaner is a safe option because manufacturers specifically designed it to clean these structures. Be sure to select the cleaner based on the garage door’s material, and you’ll be ready to get the cleaning process started!

2. Prepare the Garage

Preparing your garage door for cleaning is a step you cannot skip. It’s essential for your safety and safeguarding the quality of the garage.

First, disconnect the power to the automatic garage door mechanisms to avoid any accidents during the cleaning process and to prevent the door from activating unintentionally. An abrupt movement of the door while you’re cleaning poses injury risks.

Next, clear the area beneath the door to ensure that no items obstruct the cleaning process. You can choose to cover your belongings, plants, or surfaces with a tarp or plastic sheet for extra protection.

Lastly, inspect the door for any damage or issues that could worsen with cleaning. Seek assistance from a repair service before cleaning to protect yourself if you notice any issues.

3. Clean the Garage Door

Don’t forget that the cleaning technique greatly depends on the door’s material. Here’s the approach to take, whether you have a metal, wooden, glass, or fiberglass garage door.

Steel and Aluminum

Begin by dipping a soft sponge or cloth into soapy water for a thorough door cleaning. Gently scrub the entire surface, using smooth motions. Afterward, rinse the door starting at the top to prevent streaks or soap residue.


It is crucial to use a gentle cleaning solution that protects the finish and prevents damage when caring for wood doors. Always remember to clean in the same direction as the wood grain to avoid streaks and achieve a flawless outcome.

Pay extra attention to the door’s bottom, as it tends to accumulate moisture and dirt. Be sure to rinse the door thoroughly and dry it promptly to prevent potential warping.


Begin by carefully preparing the glass cleaner solution according to the instructions provided for a spotlessly clean finish on your glass panels. Then, take a soft cloth and gently wipe down the surfaces, paying extra attention to any seals or trims that may be delicate.

Rinse the glass with clean water, ensuring there are no traces of residue remaining. Then, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry the glass panels for a streak-free shine that will leave your glass looking flawless.


Fiberglass doors are simple to maintain due to their durability. You can apply the same cleaning solution as recommended for steel or aluminum doors.

Thanks to their resilience to gentle scrubbing, you can effectively eliminate even the most stubborn stains. After cleaning, rinse and dry the door for a glimmering surface.

4. Address Stains and Marks

Some marks are persistent and won’t disappear with the average cleaning solution. So, you’ll need to take another approach to thoroughly cleanse the surface.

Steel and Aluminum

Steel and aluminum doors are durable and resistant to many kinds of stains. Apply a paste of baking soda and water directly onto the tough mark. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft sponge or towel.

Use a degreaser suitable for these materials on oily spots, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Always rinse thoroughly with water after treating the area.


Stains can be more challenging to tackle on wooden garage doors because they require a delicate approach. A mixture of vinegar and water can be effective for mild stains. Apply the solution with a soft cloth and rub gently with the grain.

You might consider using a wood cleaner for more persistent stains, but always ensure that it’s appropriate for the door’s finish. Afterward, rinse the area with a minimal amount of water and dry immediately.


Glass isn’t overly difficult to clean. However, some tougher spots like bird droppings or sap may require a mixture of vinegar and water. Apply it with a soft cloth and rub gently in circular motions.


Fiberglass doors require a mild, non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scratching the surface. For most marks, soapy water will suffice. You can use a fiberglass-specific stain remover if the mark persists.

Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth, never a scouring pad or abrasive brush. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.

5. Provide Ongoing Care

Continuous care makes all the difference! Here’s what you can do besides cleaning the door to improve your garage door’s function and appearance.

Steel and Aluminum

Apply a coat of automotive wax every 3-6 months to maintain the vibrancy and longevity of painted surfaces. This protective layer strengthens shine and serves as a barrier against environmental factors that may harm the finish.


We advise you to re-stain or reseal your wood garage door every two to three years to safeguard it from the harsh elements and maintain its natural beauty. This protective measure prevents moisture penetration, sun damage, warping, and rotting that compromises the wood’s integrity.


Don’t forget to inspect the weather stripping around the glass panels to prevent leaks and drafts. Maintaining cleanliness and weatherproofing will increase the glass garage door’s longevity.


Besides cleaning the door, pay attention to wiping down and greasing the hinges and handles. Doing so will maintain the door’s functionality and keep it looking great!

With this advice on how to clean your garage door without damaging it, you have a couple of options. Start by following the cleaning instructions and providing continuous care. We hope you will see the results you desire.

However, some homeowners have outdated, irreversible garage door imperfections. Perhaps it’s time for a garage door replacement if you see minimal results when following these steps.

The Door and Fence Store can help you through this challenging time! Our skilled technicians can guide you through the process of selecting an appropriate garage door material and style that complements your home’s exterior design. Visit our website or give our store a call to learn more about your options!

How To Clean a Garage Door Without Damaging It

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