Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

Category Miscellaneous
To keep your door opening and closing smoothly it helps to keep the track clean. This is a page about cleaning a sliding door track.


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January 26, 2010

To clean and lubricate the track for sliding doors or windows. First vacuum well, and spray with WD40. Remove grime with brush or cloth. Vacuum again if necessary.

Source: Window installer

By Elizabeth from Indianapolis

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I use a toothbrush, Dow Foaming Bathroom cleaner, a spray bottle of plain water and a shop vac with the small auto detail attachment that narrows the opening down to about the size of your fingertip.

I spray Dow Foaming Bathroom cleaner into the track and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I scrub the track with a toothbrush to loosen all dirt. Then I turn on the shop vac and start spraying water from a spray bottle into the track (to rinse) the cleaner, and vacuum it up at the same time.

I've cleaned a lot of houses and this is the easiest way I've found. I actually bought a small 1.5 shop vac specifically for windows and doors. If you don't have the auto detail attachment to reduce the size of your hose, they are just a few dollars at a hardware store. I use the vac for a lot of other quick pick up cleanups. And the detail attachments makes it easy to really get in to vacuum those small places in your car or home. Well worth the money.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What is the best way to clean grimy window sills and tracks? I have some sliding windows and the tracks are very dirty. They are very hard to clean because of all the crevices. Is there a trick to cleaning this part of the window?


By StellaBell from Manchester, WA


August 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I also use the Q tips for cleaning them and I use a paint brush too because sometimes the dust is very fine in the crevices and unless it is stuck there, a paint brush easily brushes out the dirt.

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May 26, 2011

What is the easiest and fastest way to clean the tracks of sliding glass doors and windows?

By Kathie L.


May 26, 20110 found this helpful

I use the swiffer wet pads, without the handle attachment. The fabric-type pattern picks up stuff out of that annoying track, so you don't have to drag out the vacuum and hose attachments.


And the fact that they are already wet with cleaner makes the tracks extra nice looking when you are done! =)

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May 28, 20111 found this helpful

I use distilled vinegar and water with a rag.

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January 26, 20141 found this helpful

The two previous ways specified will work well at picking up dirt. Sometimes you will find a NYLON (not metal or wire) brush is best at dislodging hard dirt deposits and a vacuum is still the best option for getting that out. Remember the wheels are lubricated for a lifetime of opening and closing. The lubricant slows deposits into the tracks. So be sure to wipe away wetness if using solvents like vinegar so it doesn't interfere with the lubrication. It is recommended to relubricate, or general maintenance, annually.

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February 27, 2006

I have heavy old fashioned shower doors in my bathroom. It is getting harder and harder to open them. Anyone know how I can get them to move freely again?


PJ from WI


By ronsan (Guest Post)
February 28, 20060 found this helpful

First, make sure you don't have a calcium build-up in the running track from hard water deposits or a small sliver of soap or a hair clog stuck in there. If that is clear, then try some WD-40 sprayed right in the track. Work the door back and forth several times and see if that makes any difference. Also, one other thing to check is to make sure the shower door is seated in the track correctly.

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By Faith (Guest Post)
March 1, 20060 found this helpful

You can try rubbing either a bar of soap or an old candle on the track. I used a candle on the track of a stubborn sliding door and it works great!

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By J Walker (Guest Post)
March 1, 20061 found this helpful

Clean the doors and runners with vinegar to remove calsium and minral deposits. Then either run parafin wax along the runners both top and bottom several times or use a clean bar of soap.


Either should get them moving again. You will need to open and close the doors several times to lubricate the wheels but it should be done at least once a month to keep them working.

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January 28, 2014

I have patio door tracks that support glass doors with movement to open and shut by gliding on aluminum tracks for entry and view. They have gotten weather beaten and pitted. Is there any cleanser to get them looking better? Thanks.

By Julie C.

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January 26, 2010

I am trying to find the best and easiest way to clean the track on our patio door. Any help will be appreciated.

Christy from Atwood, IL



Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

I clean my sliding door tracks every 25 years whether they need it or not, so I am no expert. However, the lazy woman's way is this:

Put isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in a spray bottle. Label the bottle. Spray the track with the alcohol, wipe up the dirt with flour sack cloths or cloth diapers. Then put silicone on the track for smooth sliding.

I use the alcohol spray for window woodwork, door moldings, and any wood, plastic or metal trim around the house. For unpainted wood, I follow up with Orange Glo.


By Carrie

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

i just read you can clean the shower door tracks easily with WD40. i just found out it is non-toxic (made from fish oil), will remove almost any stain, and lubricate the tracks as well. cheap too! might be worth a try. it was also suggested for cleaning glass cooktops, stops fire ant pain, applied externally, it helps arthritis joint pain, keeps bathroom mirror from fogging, attracts fish...spray on bait and hooks, (03/29/2007)

By Debbie in sc

Editor's Note:WD-40 is made from petroleum products and is considered toxic. The manufacturer recommends that rubber gloves should be worn. The fish oil story is an urban legend.

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

I'm not sure if you want to clean dirt off of it or make it slide more easily. The tracks (at least in my door) usually have holes in them and spaces in the track so that they can drain if water gets in there or so that the dirt can be removed from the track. If the holes seem full of dirt, loosen the dirt with a nail until you can get water to flow through them.

What I used to do with mine (I have a different door now) was sweep it with a whisk broom until I got all of the loose dirt off. Then I would spray it with an all purpose cleaner and scrub it with a brush until the dirt was loose and rinse it with clear water. A houseplant watering pitcher works well for this (the kind with a long skinny spout.

Then, dry it with rags or paper towels. When it was clean, I'd take a bar of soap and run it over the tracks. It would then slide easily until the next time. A piece of wax or old candle also works for this.

By Susan from ThriftyFun

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

I have 2 sliding doors, the only thing that I have found to really work is-any spray cleaning solution and an old toothbrush. The little brushes that are used to clean automatic coffee pots work as well. To keep from having to do this job after it gets out of hand, I use a regular Q tip about once a week along with anything like windex or any cleaning spray. (03/29/2007)

By Margeth

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

Use WD-40. Spray a good amount all along and open and shut the slider a few times. Then just wipe out the excess. It will get all the ick out of the tracks and keep them in good shape too. Good luck! (03/30/2007)

By Michele

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

I use a thick kid's/craft paint brush to loosen the dirt and suck it up at the same time with my vacuum's crevice tool. After, you can dip the brush in soapy water to get any stuck on dirt. Rinse the brush a couple of times to make sure you 'mop' up any soap residue. You can spray the track with WD-40 to keep it running smoothly, but I find that makes any dust or dirt stick even more. (03/30/2007)

By Catherine Bambrick

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

First use the vacuum to get loose items out, then simply spray the scrubbing bubbles on the track, let it sit a few minutes, then use an old toothbrush/q-tip/pipecleaner to get into the cracks. Be sure to allow tracks to dry before using again. (03/30/2007)

By Hoffmann House Network

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

My friend that used to clean says WD-40, I usually clean it first. I wrap a butter knife with cloth and pull up any grounded dirt. Use a cleaning solution, soap and water or kitchen spray. But let it dry. (03/13/2008)

By Cherie

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

I use butter.

By Chris

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

There's one thing that all these people didn't mention. After you get it good and clean and have sprayed it with whatever kind of lubricant you decide to use, make sure you get back down there and wipe it almost dry again! This is especially important if you have pets that go in and out that door, but even important if just people go through it. I mention this because the first time I did mine I didn't wipe it back out good enough and my dogs tracked dirt into the slide and then picked up the WD-40 and that mixed with the dirt and got tracked into my kitchen and then into the living room!

I learned my lesson real fast after finding greasy paw prints going across my floor and carpet! (08/23/2009)

By Cricket

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

Treswax furniture wax applied in the track of your sliding glass door after cleaning tracks in the method of your choice however, using chemicals to aluminum will damage the metal over time. Furniture wax will not damage any surface and when applied to faucets (wiped on - buffed off ) will create a protective barrior, and have a great shine. This tip came from an employee of True Value Hardware Store in Mt. view Ca (08/23/2009)

By lynda medina

Cleaning a Sliding Door Track

Once you are done cleaning the track, use candle wax on the rail that the door slides on. It will glide, last a long time and doesn't make a mess. Oils and such run off and make a mess but the candle wax stays where you put it. A little bit will fall off as you're applying it but vacuums up easily. Michael (08/23/2009)

By Michael Allison

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