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How to Deep Clean Your Doors


on February 1, 2022

Exterior home front door and blue siding

Deep cleaning your home is a constant battle of what and when. No matter which way you cut it, one of the most commonly overlooked areas in the deep cleaning rotation is the door. Deep cleaning your doors might sound silly, but these liminal spaces are some of the most highly trafficked and touched in our homes. Knowing how and when to deep clean them is as important as that dishwasher maximization plan you swear by. 

Why Deep Cleaning Your Doors Matters

Deep cleaning your doors might feel like a frivolous project. Doors aren’t as obvious a dirt magnet as the surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom, for example. Yet your door frames, the hardware on your doors, and the full door surface accumulate dust and debris over time. 

Deep cleaning your doors can elevate the look of your home, but more importantly, it can keep viruses and infections at bay. Deep cleaning involves a more thorough cleaning process with a focus on sanitation, which keeps your whole home a safer and healthier place. 

How to Deep Clean Doors

Choosing the best method for cleaning your door starts with the door’s material

Deep Cleaning Wood Doors

First, shake loose any surface dust and debris by using a dry microfiber cloth. Doing this will minimize the likelihood of streaks when you move on to liquid cleaners, conditioners, or other cleaning products. 

Once the dust and debris has been removed with a dry cloth, a mixture of mild soap and water will do the trick for your main wash and scrub. Pay special attention to any carved or molded areas of the door that may create little shelves, nooks, or crannies for dirt to settle in. You may also choose to include a dash of Murphy’s oil in your cleaning mixture to help make the polishing process easier. 

After you’ve scrubbed down your door, run a dry towel over the surface to absorb any leftover moisture. While wood doors are built to withstand exposure to moisture, toweling off a freshly-deep cleaned door makes the polishing process quicker and easier. 

The final step in a wood door deep cleaning is to spray liquid wood furniture polish on a clean rag and gently rub the polish in the same direction as your door’s natural wood grain to bring out that gorgeous natural shine. 

Cleaning Painted Doors

When deep cleaning painted wood doors, maintaining the integrity of the paint is the highest priority. 

As with any deep clean, the first step is to remove surface dust and debris with a dry microfiber cloth or duster. 

Then, start with a gallon bucket of warm water. Add an ounce or so (half a shot glass) of mild dish soap to the bucket and mix well until the soap starts creating bubbles. Dip a clean rag in the mixture and thoroughly wring it out before tackling the deep scrub down of the door. 

The key to a painted door deep clean is to be gentle. Only apply significant elbow grease when the situation calls for it. Unless you see any major stains on the door, a thorough wipe down should do the trick. Harsh cleaners and scrubbing bristles run the risk of dulling or even removing some of the paint, so keep it gentle and your painted door will thank you.

How to Clean Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors are extremely popular due to their energy efficiency and relative ease of maintenance. Thankfully, this ease holds true even when you’re deep cleaning. 

After wiping dust and debris away with a clean cloth, add one cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water and use a washcloth or soft sponge to scrub. A soft bristled brush will also work if you encounter a particularly tough-to-remove spot. 

Once you’ve given your fiberglass door a good scrub with the vinegar mixture, follow up with a rinse of plain water or use a spray bottle with water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to eliminate any lingering vinegar scent. 

Steel Door Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning a steel door is a pretty straightforward process. Steel doors are incredibly durable and require very little maintenance. The only thing to beware of when deep cleaning your steel door is any chunkier debris that may pose a scratch risk. The initial dusting should be quick and gentle to eliminate potential scratch risks. All-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle and a trusty cleaning cloth will work well. Apply more cleaner to tougher spots. 

Setting a Deep Clean Schedule for Your Doors

Here’s the great thing about deep cleaning - it doesn’t need to happen that often. The luxury of time is on your side, but this luxury can be both a blessing and a curse. Your life is busy, and there are a hundred things asking for your immediate attention at any given moment. So remembering to deep clean your doors is often the largest hurdle. 

The frequency for door deep cleaning is up to you, but once you evaluate the foot traffic in your home, add a recurring appointment to your calendars and stick to it. Not sure what the best frequency is for you? Try more often and scale back as needed. For starters, you could plan to deep clean your doors once a month. If you find that’s too frequent, pull back to once a quarter or even just twice a year. The schedule is adjustable to meet your family’s needs. The important part is writing it down. Schedule a reminder in your phone’s calendar, write it on the whiteboard in the dining room, or add it to any shared family calendars you might have. 

Set your door deep cleaning schedule and stick to it to reap the rewards of a clean, beautiful door. And if you find your door not only needs a deep clean, but a complete facelift, schedule a consultation with a Pella expert today to choose a door that makes deep cleaning feel a little less cumbersome.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.