How To Clean Your Sliding Door Track

The dirt, gunk and grime that builds up in your sliding door’s track from foot traffic, pets and the elements can be downright gross. If the griminess is getting to you or the sludge is starting to make the door stick instead of slide, it’s time to clean it up. However, because of its grooves, crevices and location, the sliding door track is not the easiest thing in your home to scrub.

Fortunately, with just a few basic supplies and tools that you probably have on hand already, you can get the job done without much strain or strife. (Hint: these steps work beautifully on windowsills and other door tracks, as well.)

What You Will Need

Gathering all of the items you will use to clean the sliding door track before you begin will make the job quicker and easier to accomplish. Depending on the amount of grime built up, you may need to use some or all of the following:

  • A broom or stiff cleaning brush
  • A handheld vacuum cleaner or a traditional vacuum with cleaning attachments
  • Cleaning rags or paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar
  • A small brush, such as a denture brush or toothbrush
  • A butter knife or flathead screwdriver

You might wish to put on a pair of rubber gloves, as well.

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How To Clean The Track

Using the broom or stiff brush, sweep or brush the track to loosen some of the buildup. Vacuum up as much of the loose dirt, dust and debris as possible. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the entire track, paying extra attention to the especially grimy areas (tip: using a teaspoon can make it easier to get the soda into the corners and crevices).

Next, pour a little peroxide or vinegar (not both!) onto the track to cover the baking soda and allow it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The chemical reaction will help release and lift away more dirt. Then, grab a small brush such as an old toothbrush and start scrubbing, working the grime toward the center of the track.

Wipe away the dirt with a cleaning rag or paper towel. If you still see some muck stuck in the corners, wrap a butter knife or screwdriver in a cloth or paper towel and clear it out. Give the track a final swipe with the cloth, and you’re all done.

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If the door still feels like it is sticking, apply some lubricant to the track and wheels. A petroleum-based spray works well but can attract dirt. A silicone-based spray might need to be applied more frequently but won’t attract dirt.