How To Clean Sliding Glass Door Tracks [Without Removing Door]

Few things are as annoying as a dirty sliding glass door track. Dirt and debris stuck in your sliding glass door track could not only be affecting how freely your door is opening and closing, but it could also be causing damage to your door over time. 

The easiest way to clean your sliding glass door track is to vacuum the track to remove any large debris. Then, using a wire brush and a natural, pre-mixed cleaning solution such as vinegar and water or a store-bought concentrated solution, scrub the tracks down to remove any grime and particles. Finally, wipe down with a damp rag to remove any traces of dirt. Read on to learn more tips and tricks to cleaning your sliding glass door track and ways to maintain it for years to come. 

The Easy Way To Clean Sliding Glass Door Tracks 

Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your sliding glass door tracks the easy way. You’ll need a few items from around your home, including: 

  • Handheld vacuum or one with attachment
  • Wire Brush (a toothbrush will work too)
  • Natural cleaning solution
  • Bowl or spray bottle
  • Rag
  • Butter knife (if necessary)

Sliding doors tend to be in high-traffic areas in your home where children and pets congregate. It’s best to choose a natural cleaning solution that is safe for the whole family and gets the job done. 

Step 1: Vacuum Your Sliding Door Tracks

Open the sliding glass door, vacuum the track using a handheld vacuum, or use one with an easy to maneuver long attachment. Take care to reach into any corners and hard-to-reach crevices. Clear away any larger pieces of debris with your hands. 

Step 2: Scrub Down

Next, scrub down the track using a wire brush and a natural, non-abrasive cleaning solution such as this biodegradable cleaner from Dr. Bronner’s. Another cleaning option is non-toxic dish soap that is free of any additives. 

A toothbrush will also work if you don’t have a wire brush handy. Ensure not to use any harsh chemicals, as this could cause damage to your door tracks.  

To clean, use a bowl to dilute a couple of drops of solution into the water and use the brush’s friction to break down any caked-on dirt on your tracks. 

Vinegar and Baking Soda

If you have stubborn dirt or grime, yet another option is a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and water. Use a spray bottle to mix a 1:1 solution consisting of vinegar and water. You will then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the tracks, making sure to cover all the dirt. Follow this by spraying the vinegar solution over the baking soda.

It should do a good amount of fizzing. Allow the solution to sit for 5-10 minutes while it breaks up the dirt and grime, working its magic. Finally, follow up by scrubbing the area with your brush. Here is a simple video illustrating the process. 

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

If you don’t have vinegar on hand or don’t like the smell, hydrogen peroxide is yet another safe and natural solution that you can use to clean your sliding glass door tracks. Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t need to be diluted in water beforehand. After distributing the baking soda along the tracks, simply pour the hydrogen peroxide over the baking soda, wait 5 minutes, then scrub. 

Step 3: Wipe Down Tracks

Dampen a rag with the cleansing solution, vinegar spray, or water and wipe away any dirt traces and particles. 

Step 4: Repeat On The Opposite Side

Once dry, slide the door over entirely and repeat the cleaning process on the opposite side. 

Deep Cleaning

If your sliding glass doors have never been cleaned or if dirt has accumulated over a long period, you may need to do a deep clean. A deep clean is recommended every other month at least. 

To adequately deep clean, you will want to remove the doors to your sliding door. Unless you’re experienced at this, you will most likely need to consult the manufacturer’s website for instructions on the best way to remove the doors or consult YouTube expert channels. 

Once the doors are removed, follow the instructions outlined above. Use the vinegar, baking soda, and water solution to remove stubborn dirt and grime. Ensure that you clean the bottom of the detached doors and scrub the rollers to clear away any dirt. Once replaced on the track, this will help make sure they run smoothly.  

Compact dirt may also be in the corners and door jamb. Use a butter knife wrapped in a cloth to dig in and release the hard to remove buildup without damaging your frame. 

The Importance of Cleaning and Maintenance Of Your Sliding Glass Door Tracks

Other than avoiding the frustration of watching your kids and spouse repeatedly (and forcefully) yanking the sliding door off the track due to trapped dirt, there are many reasons why keeping your sliding glass door tracks clean is so important. 

Too much dirt in your sliding glass door track could cause damage to the hardware, door frame, and weatherstripping over time. Unfortunately, excess dirt along your door tracks could allow moisture into your home, causing water damage. In addition, debris along your tracks can let cold air in, sending your energy bills through the roof. The bottom line is that regular cleaning and maintenance could prevent unnecessary costs in the future.  

To avoid going down this road, door experts suggest routine maintenance of your glass door track. Weekly cleaning is best, but if that’s not a possibility, try to do regular cleaning at least once a month. Deep cleaning should be done every other month or quarterly. 

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Sliding Glass Door Tracks 

Spray-On Lubrication 

It’s a good idea to use a spray-on lubricant for your tracks as well. A lubricant will keep your door gliding smoothly and could extend the life of both your door and tracks. It’s recommended to lubricate your door tracks every two months. 

Before using a spray-on lubricant, check your owner’s manual to see if there is a specific type you should or shouldn’t be using on your sliding door tracks. If kids and pets are present, consider an eco-friendly silicone lubricant such as Nexus Green. Many spray-on lubricants are silicon-based, and most are generally safe, but to be on the safer side, make sure your children and furry friends aren’t around when you apply. 

Apply the lubricant by spraying directly onto the tracks and wipe down using a rag, making sure to absorb all excess. Then open and close the door repeatedly a few times to distribute the lubricant along the tracks. 

Check Your Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is an essential piece of your sliding glass door since it creates a seal, keeping dirt and debris from getting on the tracks. It also helps keep cold and moisture out. 

It’s important not to neglect your weatherstripping during your routine cleaning and regularly check to see any wear on your weatherstripping. If it starts to look tattered or worn, it might be time to think about replacing it. 

Check Door For Damage

It’s a good idea to look over your door for any overall damage periodically. Checking for damage is especially important if you feel any drafts coming through your door. 

Look over the frame, and that caulking and sealants are still intact. It’s a simple fix if caulking comes loose as you can trim and replace it with new caulk. 

Tips to Keep Your Sliding Glass Door Area Clean

To keep your sliding glass door tracks from getting grimy so quickly, here are a few tips to keep the dust and dirt at bay. 

Keep Surrounding Indoor/Outdoor Areas Clean

Make sure to keep the indoor area around your sliding glass door clean by sweeping and mopping any dirt, dust, or food that has the potential to get swept up in the tracks. Additionally, make sure to sweep or blow outdoor areas regularly as well. 

Use A Door Mat

Place a sturdy doormat outside the sliding door entrance so family members walking in and out can remove some of the dirt from their feet before entering your home. 

Remove Shoes

Better yet, require family members to remove shoes before entering the house by the sliding glass door. Removing shoes is a proven way to keep the rest of your home clean and can help keep everyone healthy by lessening the amount of dust and allergens flying in the air. 

Replacing Your Glass Door

If your sliding glass doors are older and have damaged frames or glass, it might be time to start thinking about replacing them. In recent years manufacturers have made sliding glass doors much more energy-efficient for your home.

New energy-efficient doors have high-quality glass that keeps the heat and cold out, and the frames and weatherstripping create a solid seal to protect your home from extreme temperatures, as well as dust and dirt. To learn more, check out Energy Star’s most efficient 2021 list sliding glass doors list. 

Final Thoughts

Preserving the life of your sliding glass door can be done with regular track cleanings. However, remember that if your sliding glass door track has never been cleaned (or you can’t remember the last time), a deep cleaning may be necessary. 

Once you are done cleaning, remember to follow the above tips for maintaining your glass door tracks and keeping the sliding door area dirt and dust-free. Regular maintenance and cleaning is the name of the game. 

Related Guides