How To Clean Between Sliding Glass Doors

Does your home have sliding glass doors that collect dirt and dust in the tracks in between the panes? All that grime can be a paint to clean out, and once it starts to build up, it's very unsightly. If you want to learn how to keep your sliding glass doors looking pristine with ease, you've come to the right place. We've done the research to put together this handy guide, giving you all the answers in one place. 

To clean between the glass on your sliding doors, you will need to remove either the interior pane of glass or the metal frame around the door, depending on what type of glass you have.

There are two types of glass used in sliding glass doors, and they will need to be cleaned using slightly different approaches. To learn how to tell what kind of glass is in your door, and to discover more tips and tricks on keeping your sliding doors in shape, keep reading.

 kid opening the sliding door on rooftop patio area at home, How To Clean Between Sliding Glass Doors

Cleaning Different Types of Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors can be built in two different ways, by using sealed double pane glass or by using glass inserts that allow the interior glass to be removed. Sealed insulated glass is built by pressing heavy gasses between two panes of glass and then sealing it around the edges.

According to Pella, a top window and door manufacturer and designer, the seal on this type of glass has been known to give out over time, allowing foreign material and air into the space between the glass, which creates a cloudy appearance. 

How do You Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Sliding Glass Door with Removable Glass?

Sliding glass doors that have removable glass have obvious clips on the interior face of each door panel. These doors are a cinch to clean. Just pop the interior glass panel off, wipe both sides down, and put it all back together. While these doors are easy to clean, they also happen to be the least common version.

Can You Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Sliding Glass Door with Sealed Glass?

Sealed glass is the most common kind of sliding glass door, and although it is extremely effective for insulating your home, it is not made to have the space between panes cleaned. If your door shows signs of the seal giving out, the best way to fix it is to replace the doors.

You can try cleaning it, but it's not recommended, and at this point, the door has begun to lose some of its insulation value. If you decide to attempt cleaning it, you also take the risk of breaking the glass, making the doors completely unusable.

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How do You Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Sliding Glass Door with Sealed Glass?

Cleaning between the glass on this type of door involves some work and can become dangerous if the glass ends up broken. If you've decided to attempt prolonging the life of your current doors, here's what you will need to do:

  1. Remove the door from its track by lifting on the slab until the bottom comes out of the track, then tilt the bottom towards you and lower it until the door is free.
  2. Get the door set up in a clean, isolated work area, laid horizontally.
  3. Remove the PVC or aluminum edges from one side and the bottom until you locate the screws that hold the stiles in place. 
  4. Remove the screws holding the stiles in place so you can see the edge of the glass.
  5. Use a small drill to cut a hole into the edge of the glass where the gap is on both the side and the bottom.
  6. Prop the door up vertically and secure it in place.
  7. Use a small, high-pressured sprayer filled with a cleaning solution to wash the inside of the glass. The water should drain out the hole on the bottom.
  8. Once the door is clean and completely dry, cover the holes you drilled with a piece of screen tape or a screen patch.
  9. Reassemble the door and insert it back into its track. 

Nicefeel Water Flosser

This water flosser would work great to spray rubbing alcohol between the glass of a sliding glass door.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

What Should You Use to Clean Between Panes of Glass With a Broken Seal?

The best cleaning solution to use for this type of project is rubbing alcohol. Since it evaporates quickly, it will help to prevent condensation from building up inside the door again. It also works as a degreaser and disinfectant, making it effective for sanitizing and removing buildup.

Closeup of the sliding glass door with the lichen and mold stains of the old shower enclosure

How do You Fix a Cloudy Glass Sliding Door?

According to Kelly Window and Door, the best way to fix a sliding glass door that has become cloudy is to replace it. If you want to get more use out of your existing doors, cleaning using the method described previously is the best method. Be cautious because it can be dangerous, time-consuming, and you take the risk of doing further damage to the door. 

What is the Best Way to Clean Sliding Glass Doors?

Performing a standard cleaning of your sliding glass door isn't nearly as complex as trying to clean between the glass. It is a quick and easy process that usually takes about half an hour to complete. You need everyday household cleaning products and tools.

  1. Prepare a solution of warm, mildly soapy water.
  2. Use a washcloth dipped in the soapy water solution to wipe the rails and stiles of the door, the frame, the handles, and the casing.
  3. Dry the washed areas to prevent dripping.
  4. Use the soapy washcloth to wipe the glass inside and out, then dry it with a dry washcloth or paper towels.
  5. Get your soapy washcloth back out and wipe down the glass thoroughly.
  6. Quickly use a squeegee to remove the water while the glass is still wet for a streak-free finish.

This squeegee is perfect for home use on windows, doors, and even showers. Click here to see it on Amazon.

How do You Remove Rust From Sliding Door Tracks?

Dirt or water left to accumulate in the track can cause rust to build up. Once rust beings to set in on the track, the doors can become difficult to operate. If you have rust on your sliding door track, follow these steps to remove it:

  1. Start by scrubbing any rusted areas with steel wool and a few drops of kerosene.
  2. For tough spots, allow the kerosene to soak for a few minutes.
  3. Once you have scrubbed off all the rust, wipe the area well with a dry cloth or paper towels to remove any leftover kerosene.
  4. Consider using a lubricant on the tracks and reapplying twice a year to keep the track rust-free.

Red Devil Steel Wool

This steel wool is a great cleaning utensil to keep around the house, and it will help remove rust stains.

Click here to take a look at it on Amazon.

How To Clean Sliding Glass Door Track?

The best way to prevent your sliding door track from rusting is to keep it clean. Try to clean the track at least twice a year, such as in the fall and spring. Do your best to prevent water from getting into the track, and if you notice moisture, dry it right away. 

  1. Use a vacuum to suck out what you can.
  2. Use soapy water and a scrub brush to deep clean all the cracks and crevices.
  3.  Finish up by drying with paper towels or a washcloth. 

Sliding to the Finish

 kid opening the sliding door on rooftop patio area at home, How To Clean Between Sliding Glass Doors

Now that you know how to maintain your sliding glass door most efficiently, you're ready to tackle your next project. Whether you decide to replace your doors or try to clean them will ultimately be your choice, but new doors will ensure that your home retains its insulation value. Good luck, and don't forget to use safety gear when using power tools or to work with glass. 

For more information on interior doors, you should take a look at our article "Should Interior Doors Be The Same Color As The Walls?"

To read more about exterior doors and how they should be configured, check out our article "Should The Doorbell Be On The Left Or Right?"

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