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How to Clean your Aluminum Commercial Door in 5 Easy Steps

Commercial Overhead Doors Door Maintenance

May 2024

Get rid of stains and residue from your garage door with these easy cleaning tips.

Winter weather can leave unsightly stains, chalky residue, and all kinds of grime on your commercial garage door. Luckily, this seasonal mess can be cleaned using mild detergents that you already have on hand, like dish soap. You’ll want to give your door a good scrub once or twice a year. And, if your business is located in a coastal environment you’ll want to up the ante on annual cleanings as the salt and humidity will lead to rust and corrosion. 


Can you pressure wash your commercial garage door? 

While a pressure washer might seem like the best tool for the job, it’s not. Its powerful spray can chip away at the factory-applied finish on your aluminum door and make its way through water seals, damaging important electrical components responsible for its proper operation and safety. 

How to Clean a Dirty, Chalky or Oxidized Garage Door

If you have dish detergent or car wash soap on hand, this method can work to clean off the chalky or oxidized residue off of your commercial door. This method works for aluminum and steel garage doors. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Clean dry cloth (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Garden hose
  • Ladder
  • Soft scrubbing sponge or pad, small brush or broom
  • Sponge or microfiber cloth

Step 1: Wipe the Door Down

Using a soft cloth, broom or a small brush, remove loose debris from your door. 

Step 2: Pre-Rinse 

Grab your garden hose and spray down the door to remove any remaining cobwebs or dirt. 

Step 3: Scrub and Rinse

Add a small amount of mild detergent to your bucket and fill it with water. Using a sponge or cloth, gently wipe down your door one panel at a time, gently scrubbing to remove chalk and oxidation. Try to spray the door as you go so the soap isn’t sitting on the door, which could leave spots. 

Tip: To deal with stubborn stains, use a soft scrubbing pad or sponge. However, be gentle to prevent scratching or damaging the finish.

For acrylic or polycarbonate windows: These windows CAN ONLY be washed using a clean soft sponge or cloth with a mild dish soap and lukewarm water.  Dry with a soft cloth or chamois to prevent spotting. DO NOT brush, scrub or scrape these windows. 

Step 4: Rinse Your Door

After you’ve removed all surface stains, give the door a good rinse with the hose. You can use your cloth, sponge, or brush to remove any remaining residue from detergent or leftover dirt. 

Step 5: Dry 

Either let your door air dry, or use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down your door to prevent water spots and streaking. 

How to Clean Glass Garage Doors

For glass garage doors, you can use the same method as above. However, you’ll want to use a glass cleaner instead of detergent. For the aluminum frame, warm soapy water will do the trick. 

Extra Maintenance

Since you’re already in a cleaning mood, take advantage of the opportunity to perform additional maintenance tasks. Use a dry cloth to wipe away dirt, dust, leaves, and debris from your door tracks and away from your photo eyes and safety sensors. When cleaning your photo eyes and safety sensors, be careful to not knock them out of alignment. 

Cleaning your door might make you start thinking about annual maintenance. Take a look at these commercial door maintenance tips to keep your door in great shape all year long!

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