Many homes have aluminium frames for doors and windows and they will last a long time if kept clean and maintained properly. One of the major benefits to using aluminium for sliding doors is the lightweight construction and the ability to use full-size panes of glass to allow light into a room, but if the glass is not kept clean and the frames are allowed to get dirty, your whole room will look dull too. Read on to learn How to Clean Aluminium Sliding Doors and freshen up your home today.
It is important to remember that below are all possible solutions, but in no way do we take responsibility for any damaged incurred and that if in doubt, professional services should be employed for your Aluminium Sliding Door Cleaning program.
Aluminium is a soft metal and can oxide if left to the elements. Houses near the sea that have constant saltwater from the spray will also begin to rust too, so it is important to regularly clean them.
Once rust begins to develop you will need professional care to repair the trouble spots and may even end up replacing the whole frame. So the phrase, “A stitch in time saves nine” could aptly be used here.
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Types of Coatings
Aluminium sliding doors will have either no coating, a thin lacquer coating or a powder coating over the metal. Many of the older versions of aluminium sliding doors will have had a thin lacquer that over time would have slowly started to peel away leaving the bare metal which quickly dulls if left alone.
If you still have the thin lacquer on the frame, bear in mind that it is very delicate and should not be cleaned with anything more than a soft cloth or sponge.
Frames that are powder coated may be clear or be coloured. This is a little thicker and more durable finish than the lacquer, but it should also be treated gently.
One important point to note with any finish is that if there is any break in the lacquer or powder coating down to the metal it should be repaired immediately. If not, water will begin to oxidise with the metal and the coating will begin to lift around the scratch or wear mark.
That is why keeping your aluminium sliding doors cleaned regularly will also allow you to inspect how the coating is and stop any serious damage before it worsens.
Cleaning Aluminium Sliding Door Frames
Begin with your vacuum cleaner.
I know, who thought, but one of the most common complaints about aluminium sliding doors is that they get stiff to open and close over time. That is because debris gets caught in the door sill at the bottom and starts to bind up the movement.
Start with the door closed and vacuum the outside runner to clear any debris from the track.
Next, open the door fully and clean the inside track and try to suck under the door itself to get any last bits of sand and leaves.
Use the brush attachment to go around the frame and clean any cobwebs and other surface dirt too.
Now close the door and get a hose pipe or bucket of clean water and hose the frame down to remove any last surface dirt. If you live near the sea, you should do this regularly with to remove salt from the frame.
Remember to check if it is coated and use one of the following methods.
Lacquer/Powder Coated Aluminium Sliding Frames
These require the least amount of effort and you will only need some light detergent, warm water and a soft sponge or soft cloth.
Begin at the top and work down so any remaining dirt falls to the floor.
You don’t need to buy any chemicals to keep this looking in tip-top condition, but you will need to wipe the dirt away. The reason for removing any abrasive dirt with the clean water at the start is so the coating isn’t scratched and damaged.
After wiping, rinse thoroughly with clean water again and finish with a soft microfibre cloth to bring up a lovely shiny surface.
Unlacquered Aluminium Sliding Frames
The easiest way to think of these frames is to think of your kitchen sink. That is aluminium too in most houses too.
After cleaning the frames with your clean water, use your warm soapy water to wipe down the frames.
If there are oxidation marks or dulling, you can progress with clean water and a soft green scourer to remove the marks.
A pro tip here is not to only work in one area but to blend in around the marked area too, otherwise, it will become so shiny the rest of the door will look dull.
For more stubborn marks, try using a baking soda and water paste, but make sure you rinse it off thoroughly with clean water.
The use of steel wool (like a metal scouring pad) and clean water can bring back that shine, but it is very abrasive. NOTE: Never do this on lacquer or Powder Coated Aluminium.
Once you are satisfied with the look, remember to rinse with clean water until it runs from the frame clear and then using a microfibre cloth wipe down for a shine.
The Added Bonus Tips
Cleaning Aluminium Sliding Door Frames will benefit from these additional tips:
- If you are finding hard to reach places difficult to clean, use a toothbrush to get into those areas.
- Once the frame is clean and dried with your microfibre cloth, coat the whole frame with a little car wax which will protect the aluminium from the weather and keep it shining a little longer.
- When the windows and frame have been cleaned, use a little silicone spray on the runner to allow it to run smoothly in its tracks and prolong the life of your aluminium sliding door.
- Never use chlorine, hydrocarbons, ketones, bleach or esters on your aluminium sliding door frame. It will leave it marked.
- Use of an ink rubber can be very useful in removing marks from frames – use it gently and if it doesn’t come off easily, leave it. Continuing to rub the frame will damage it.
Cleaning the Glass
As with all glass, a good glass cleaner from your local supermarket will work just fine. If you wish to make your own solution, then 1 part warm water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle will also cut through any dirt and is an easy solution to make at home.
Clean your windows with a soft cloth to clean all the existing dirt off, then polish with old newspaper for the crystal clear finish. It will look amazing.
Aluminium Sliding doors can look amazing and when kept and maintained properly really add to a home. Their ability to allow light in and reflect that light from clean frames is a major bonus. They are easy to keep clean too and without too much effort can be sparkling with an easy wipe over. Knowing How to Clean Aluminium Sliding Doors will save you plenty of time when regularly done, and they will last long into the future. Remember to keep those rails running smoothly and they will continue to provide a great way to connect the outdoors with indoors.