How to Clean a Pre-Finished Steel Door

Steel Doors Marietta Garage Door RepairIf you have a steel garage door that could use a good cleaning, you are going to want to make sure you do things correctly. You don’t want to cause any damage to the door, of course, and you want to do a thorough job. The purpose of cleaning the door might be to simply remove grime and make it look nicer. Or you might want to clean the door because you are preparing to paint it, and you want everything to be smooth. Regardless of your reason for cleaning the door, there are some tips you might want to consider!

There are do’s and don’ts that our mobile garage door service has put together for readers. It is our hope that if you are looking for information on how to clean a pre-finished steel door, you will find this article to be valuable. We always encourage calling an experienced garage door company for services such as repair, maintenance and installation. But now, we will provide some basic details on cleaning!

If you have a pre-finished steel door, you are going to want to use a mild detergent solution for cleaning. This might consist of a cup of detergent that is dissolved into approximately five gallons of water. Using warm water is recommended and using detergent with less than .5 percent phosphate is encouraged. This solution should help with the removal of dirt and build up.

Next, be sure to look in crevices and corners, such as behind weather-strips. Be sure to clean these on the top of the garage door and along the sides. You should also wipe the surface of the door and make sure any particles are removed. You can do this using a cloth or even a sponge.

These are just some of the basics involved with cleaning a pre-finished steel garage door. But are there any things you should avoid? The short answer is yes – there are certainly things you should not do when cleaning this type of door. You might assume that you can pressure wash the door, but we recommend not doing this. Do not pressure wash your pre-finished steel door. Another thing you should avoid is using detergents with more than .5 percent phosphate. Bleach is a common cleaning product, but this is not something you will want to use on this type of garage door. So avoid mixing detergents or cleaners with bleach. Do not use a solution of bleach mixed with water. It is best to avoid bleach altogether. Cloths that are too rough can end up scratching the garage door, so we recommend avoiding using rough or hard cloths. We also want to point out that it is important to avoid cleaning solutions for windows, gritty cloths and any solvent-based cleaners.


If in doubt, you can always contact the manufacturer of your garage door, or you can reach out to an experienced garage door service.

If you are cleaning your pre-finished steel door because you are getting ready to paint it, make sure that surface scratches are removed during the cleaning process. You can do this through light buffing or even sanding the surface. It is important to avoid over-buffing or sanding the garage door, though, because if the door is too smooth, then the paint will not adhere to the door. Does your steel door have a finish representing stucco or even wood grain? In this case, you might want to avoid removing scratches and instead consider painting over them using a primer.

Pre-finished steel doors are popular. They are installed at homes and other buildings due to their durability and the fact that they are relatively lightweight. Over time, however, they can begin to build up layers of grime and dust, or even pollen. They can start to look dirty. Simply doing a wipe down with soap and water can do the trick, or even turning to a cleaner commonly used throughout the house (such as vinegar) can help. Of course, we have provided details on other steps you can try in an effort to properly and thoroughly clean your re-finished steel door.

If your garage door has become very dirty, you might want to try vacuuming it before using any sort of solution on it. This can be a good way to remove cobwebs without getting your bare hands dirty. You can then try using some dish soap and warm water to clean the door. Dip a sponge into the soapy water and make sure to wring it out so it does not soak the door. Perhaps you don’t even need soapy water but instead just need a microfiber cloth. This is certainly something to try. But if these steps do not prove effective, you can reference the beginning of this article for more detailed cleaning instructions.

Just remember – do not try to pressure wash the garage door. You don’t want to do this and have it cause damage to the material or to the garage door in any way. Do wipe down the garage door – we recommend wiping the door from top to bottom. If you start at the bottom, you might find water or cleaning solution ends up dripping down to the parts you have already cleaned, which can be frustrating and it can create even more work. Going from top to bottom can be useful.

We are a mobile garage door company that is proficient in maintenance, cleaning, repairs, installation and other services for pre-finished steel garage doors.

Steel garage doors are great to have. They are durable. They are protective and sturdy. If you have a pre-finished steel door and you are wondering how to clean it, whether the purpose of cleaning it is just to make it look nicer or even to prep it for painting, then we hope you have found this information to be useful.