How to clean aluminum on sliding doors

Written by april dowling
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How to clean aluminum on sliding doors
Clean aluminium on sliding doors adds aesthetic appeal to homes. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Sliding door tracks, handles and frames are composed of aluminium for strength and resiliency. Aluminium surfaces resist corrosion, allowing sliding doors to last longer than other materials. Exposure to dirt and debris, though, causes aluminium components on sliding doors to become dingy and discoloured over time. Aluminium gradually becomes grey from weathering and lack of maintenance. Failure to regularly maintain sliding doors allows abrasive grime particles to scratch aluminium. Clean and restore aluminium on sliding doors with basic solutions and supplies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 tsp mild liquid dish soap
  • Warm water
  • 2 plastic buckets
  • 2 soft cleaning rags
  • Nylon bristle brush
  • Clean paper towels

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  1. 1

    Allow the aluminium surfaces to cool if they are too hot to touch.

  2. 2

    Make a solution of 1 tsp mild liquid dish soap and 1 gallon warm water in a plastic bucket. Thoroughly mix the solution until the soap is dissolved.

  3. 3

    Fill another plastic bucket halfway with warm water only.

  4. 4

    Dampen a soft cleaning rag in the soapy water. Wipe the sliding door's handle, frame, track and other aluminium surfaces with the damp rag to remove loose dirt and debris. Scrub stubborn grime with a nylon bristle brush. Frequently rinse the rag and brush in warm water to prevent reapplying abrasive grime to the aluminium.

  5. 5

    Moisten another soft cleaning rag with fresh warm water. Wipe the aluminium surfaces with the moist rag to wash away the soapy solution. Periodically rinse the rag with fresh water.

  6. 6

    Wipe the aluminium surfaces with clean paper towels until completely dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Brighten discoloured aluminium with a solution of 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 qt. water.
  • Abrasive cleaning solutions and supplies can scratch aluminium sliding doors.
  • Baking soda and other alkaline products can discolour aluminium sliding doors.

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