How to Clean Sliding Door Tracks (AVOID Doing THis!)

Sliding doors allow precious sunlight into your indoor areas. They help you save up on lighting bills while taking up less space. However, they’re not maintenance-free.

If you’ve recently noticed your sliding doors jamming up, requiring extra force to open or close, or squeaking when you move them, it’s time to do a bit of cleaning. First, you have to focus on the door tracks where dirt accumulates and builds up.


In our article, we’ll walk you through how to clean sliding door tracks to keep your screen doors working smoothly.

Routine vs. Deep Cleaning

You should routinely clean your sliding doors with soapy water at least weekly. This should keep the dirt and debris at bay. Plus, it can prevent them from jamming the door tracks, thus prolonging their lifespan.

However, if you haven’t cleaned your sliding door tracks before, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned them last, they’re going to need a deep cleaning. This calls for something stronger than just soapy water.

You’re going to need potent cleaners like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. Repeat this deep cleaning every other month to ensure they remain clean and in perfect shape.

Routine Cleaning

Routine cleaning for your screen door tracks should be done weekly to remove accumulated dirt before it builds up and becomes harder to clean.

Here’s how you can clean the door tracks in six easy steps.

Step One: Prepare Your Equipment

You can regularly clean the tracks using items already available at your home. Here’s our list of equipment you’ll need while regularly cleaning your screen tracks.

-Hand vacuum or vacuum with a nozzle

-Denatured alcohol or dish soap

-A cup of water

-A Wire brush or an old toothbrush

-An old rag or a paper towel

Step Two: Vacuum the Sliding Door Tracks

First, remove any large dirt chunks by hand to keep them from blocking your vacuum. Next, vacuum the door tracks to remove fine dirt particles.

A hand vacuum would help get the most of the dirt from the tracks. However, if you don’t have one, attach the long nozzle, dusting brush, or crevice tool pieces to your regular vacuum to get the same effect.

Step Three: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

For regular cleaning, you need to prepare a mild solution. For example, a great recipe to try is mixing one cup of water with a few drops of rubbing alcohol or dish soap.

Step Four: Clean the Sliding Door Tracks

Dip a wire brush or toothbrush into the cleaning solution. Then, lightly brush your screen door tracks, starting at the farthest corner and working your way towards the sliding door.

Take care not to scrub too vigorously, or you risk damaging the integrity of the metal frame since tiny scratches can be a nidus for rust build-up.

Step Five: Wipe off the Cleaning Solution

Using an old rag or tissue paper, gently wipe the cleaning solution with the loosened dirt from the tracks.

Carefully inspect your door’s tracks for any scratches. If you find any, cover them up with a sealant to prevent rust from building up.

Deep Cleaning of sliding door tracks: Grease window tracts

If it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned your screen door tracks, you should expect to find a hefty amount of dirt build-up. Unfortunately, your regular cleaning techniques just won’t cut it this time.

Hence, along with your weekly regular cleaning schedule, you should add deep cleaning every other month to maintain the smooth function of your sliding doors.

Here’s how to deep clean sliding door tracks.

Step One: Prepare the Equipment

The equipment is similar to those you used for your regular cleaning with only a slight difference. Here’s our list:

-Hand vacuum or regular vacuum with a nozzle

-Hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and baking soda

-Wire brush or toothbrush

-An old rag or paper towel

-A flat-head screwdriver

Step Two: Remove the Screen Door

The first thing you have to do before you start deep cleaning your door tracks is to remove the screen door.

Use a flat-head screwdriver to lift the screen door rollers from the tracks. Once removed, carefully put the screen door on a foam sheet to protect it while cleaning the door tracks. Be careful that you don’t break the glass while doing this, wear protective goggles and gloves.

Step Three: Vacuum the Sliding Door Tracks

Use your hand vacuum or regular vacuum with its long nozzle attached to remove any visible dirt hidden within the tracks.

Take care to remove any large dust particles by hand first before vacuuming. Otherwise, you risk clogging the vacuum hose.

Step Four: Clean the Sliding Door Tracks

Thoroughly cover your panel door tracks with baking soda, and pour hydrogen peroxide or vinegar on the powder. This will create a non-toxic foamy mixture powerful enough to clean stubborn dirt stains and smears.

Allow the mixture to fizz for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step Five: Scrub the Sliding Door Tracks

Using your wire brush or toothbrush, gently scrub the tracks. Add a few drops of vinegar if the mixture dries up.

The good news is you don’t have to scrub that hard. Also, the fizzing mixture will have likely loosened up any dirt, making it easier to remove.

Step Six: Wipe off the Cleaning Mixture

Use an old rag or paper towel to wipe off the mixture and remove remnants of dirt and debris.

Step Seven: Lubricate the Sliding Door Tracks and Screws

To lubricate your sliding door, apply a silicone lubricant to your clean screen door tracks. Using the lubricant bottle nozzle, apply lubricant on the screws found at the base of the sliding door.

Now, slowly open and shut the sliding door several times to make sure the lubricant forms an even coating over the entire sliding door track area and screws.

Once you thoroughly spread the lubricant material, use an old rag or paper towel to wipe off any excess lubricant.

To Conclude

Now that you’ve gone through our step-by-step guide on how to clean sliding door tracks, it’s time for some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Remember to regularly clean and lubricate the tracks. This ensures smooth gliding and helps keep your sliding door spotless and fully functioning year-round.

We have discussed how to fix sliding doors here.