How to Clean Your Garage Door & Preserve Its Finish

When it comes to your home’s exterior, proper care today means better curb appeal tomorrow. Beyond weather and sun exposure, regular use can contribute to wear on your door over time, especially when the garage is used as a primary entry point to your home. Cleaning and waxing your door is essential to keep it looking great and preserve the finish for as long as possible.

Any interior or exterior metal surfaces of your garage door should be cleaned and waxed at least twice a year. If you live in a harsh environment like a coastal region, or a region with high road salt during winter months, your door should be cleaned quarterly. This is essential for adhering to your garage door’s warranty requirements, so prevent the loss of your warranty coverage by keeping a regular cleaning schedule.

Benefits of Cleaning & Waxing Your Garage Door

Cleaning and waxing your door helps to prevent rust, which is caused by foreign matter or salt adhering to the door. It also helps restore the look of the factory-applied finish by removing dirt and chalking from materials like road salt.

How to Clean Your Clopay Garage Door

  1. Choose a cleaning implement. Options include a very wet cloth, sponge, or soft bristle brush with either of the following solutions:
    1. One cup of Simple Green® or other non-toxic biodegradable cleaner (less than 0.5% phosphate) into two gallons of warm water - OR –
    2. Household liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn®.
  2. Clean your door from top to bottom, making sure to clean behind the stop molding on the sides and top of the door.
  3. After you’ve washed your door, rinse clean water and allow to dry.


NOTE: DO NOT use scouring powders or solvents when cleaning the door. If you are painting your door and need preparation information, or would like more information on caring for your door, view your garage door’s Care & Maintenance manual.


Removing Mold and Mildew on Coachman Collection Overlays
Care & Maintenance Tip: Removing Mold and Mildew on Coachman Collection Overlays

How to Wax Your Garage Door

Waxing your garage door’s steel surfaces is a great way to preserve its finish and is a very important part of your quarterly maintenance routine if you live in a coastal or harsh environment. The following Clopay® garage door collections should be waxed as part of your regular cleaning routine:


Using a liquid wax (do not use paste), apply wax to the steel portion of the door following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to wax any surface that may be exposed to elements such as salt, including the interior of the bottom section of the door.

NOTE: Be careful not to get wax on decorative hardware as this may cause discoloration. 

How to Clean Clopay Garage Door Windows

For most Clopay garage door windows it is perfectly fine to clean the surface using a mild dishwashing soap and a soft cloth. Never use ammoniated, abrasive or solvent- based cleaners of any kind. Some doors have decorative inserts designed to snap-in and out of the window frame for easy cleaning. 

Remove the four tabs of the insert from under the edge of the window frame and pull the insert out of the window. There is one tab on each side and one on the top and bottom of the insert.

Replacing the insert is the reverse of the process for removal. The four tabs must be pressed under the lip in the window frame.


Clean Chalking from garage door window frames
Care & Maintenance Tip: Cleaning Paint Chalking from Garage Door Window Frames



How to Revitalize Garage Door Window Frames
Care & Maintenance Tip: Revitalizing Garage Door Window Frames

Cleaning Instructions for Special Types of Clopay Garage Door Windows

Cleaning Clopay Studio Series Windows

Use a quality grade automotive paste wax and buff with a soft cloth a minimum of once a year.

Cleaning Frosted Glass

How to Clean Frosted Glass
Care & Maintenance Tip: Cleaning Frosted Glass

Cleaning Clopay Impact-Resistant Windows made of Polycarbonate

Using a clean sponge or a soft cloth, wash the surface with a mild soap or detergent and lukewarm water. Rinse well with clean water, and dry thoroughly with a chamois or moist cellulose sponge to prevent water spots. Do not scrub or use brushes on this product.

To clean your Polycarbonate windows, consider one of these detergents:

  • Joy
  • Top Job
  • Palmolive Liquid

How to clean windows on your Clopay Garage Door

Minimizing Scratches in Your Polycarbonate Garage Door Windows

The appearance of hairline scratches and minor abrasions can be minimized by using a mild automobile polish such as:

  • Johnson Paste Wax
  • Novus Plastic Polish #1 & #2 (Novus, Inc., Minneapolis, MN)
  • Mirror Glaze Plastic Polish (M.G. M10) (Mirror Bright Polish Co., Pasadena, CA)

Follow the manufacturer's instructions and test a small area of the window with the product prior to use.
When cleaning polycarbonate doors, DO NOT do any of the following:

  • DO NOT use abrasive or highly alkaline cleaners
  • Never scrape Polycarbonate with squeegees, razor blades or other sharp instruments
  • Benzene, gasoline, acetone or carbon tetrachloride should never be used
  • DO NOT clean Polycarbonate in hot sun or at elevated temperatures