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External Bifold Doors

How to Clean External Bifold Doors

Introduction

External bifold doors can become dirty over time, and often require regular cleaning. Leaving mold and bird droppings uncleaned can cause corrosion of the seals and frame, so general bifold door maintenance is essential if you want to prolong the longevity of your external folding doors.

Smear free windows and door frames look brilliant. By keeping up with your care and maintenance for your external bifolding doors, not only will your external doors last longer, but they’ll look smarter, too.

 

Cleaning the Glass

Cleaning windows can be a tedious task. The repetition and arm ache is enough to make anyone give up eventually, but if you want your bifold doors to look the part, stand up to harsh weather conditions and last a great length of time, a good clean of your glass is essential.

Many of us focus on the inside, what with all the mucky fingerprints and dust, but the outside is just as important, if not, a little more important, and every-so-often requires a little TLC.

How do you clean bifold doors?

Cleaning the glass in your bifold door is pretty self explanatory; a simple glass cleaner and kitchen roll will do the trick on days when you need to get it done quickly.

If you have a little more time on your hands and want to give the glass a proper clean up, try cleaning the glass with vinegar. Mix rubbing alcohol with vinegar and warm water to create a window-friendly and streak-free solution. The amounts depend on the size of the glass, however for outdoor and bifold door glass, we’d suggest you go a little heavier with the vinegar. Especially if it’s your first time using this solution as it’ll help break through all the grime.

White distilled vinegar is a natural ingredient, and therefore is animal and child-friendly. It also has non-toxic and antibacterial properties making it the perfect solution for cleaning glass and frames. Luckily, the vinegar smell fades quickly but this shouldn’t be a problem on an external door, anyway!

What’s best for cleaning glass?

Using the method above, we’d suggest placing the mixture into an empty spray bottle. This is a great technique as you have more control over the amount you use, the placement and you won’t have to worry about your hands smelling like vinegar!

For wiping the glass, newspaper will work well although a lint-free microfibre towel would be best. If you don’t have a lint-free towel then using kitchen roll will do the job, you just need to ensure that fibres aren’t being left on the glass. Work the towel in circular motions and concentrate on any areas that have tough dirt or stains.

Use a microfibre cloth, in downward motions, to remove any moisture. To ensure a streak-free window, dry your glass as quickly as possible, as soon as you’ve finished cleaning it with the vinegar solution would be best.

Cleaning the Frames

The frames of your external bifold doors need a little attention, and, depending on the material used for your frames, will require certain products and certain methods to achieve a clean and well-cared for door frame. What works for one type of material won't necessarily work for another, so knowing which is the best solution for your external door frames is key.

Cleaning your door frame not only makes the external frames look nice, it also improves the longevity of your doors by removing any harmful bacteria and animal droppings which could corrode the frame if left uncleaned.

How to Clean Aluminium Doors

Aluminium is quite a sensitive material and so it’s best to use a soft sponge or cloth for cleaning the frames. At most, you can use a natural bristle brush but nothing harsher than this as you’ll start to scratch away at the aluminium and it's protective coating.

For dirt and grime, a hose pipe is a good way to encourage any residue to loosen without having to scrub at it. For cleaning solutions, we’d recommend a cream based solution or a cleaner solution created for aluminium frames. However, if your door isn’t particularly dirty, and just needs a wipe over, then a basic detergent solution should do the trick.

Make sure to avoid cleaners that have chlorine, ketones and hydrocarbons in and always do a patch test first if you’re using the cleaner for the first time.

How do you remove tarnish from aluminium?

Due to weather conditions, aluminium can start to become darker in colour over time, this is called tarnish.

To remove tarnish from aluminium, clean the area with hot soapy water and then create a solution of calcium carbonate, white vinegar and boiled water. Using a very fine brush, dip it into the solution (once cooled a little) and gently rub the tarnished area of the frame in circular motions until the tarnish has lifted.

If you have any stubborn areas, apply white vinegar to the area and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with hot water.

How to Clean Wooden Doors

What can I use to clean wooden doors?

Cleaning a wooden door is pretty easy and can be done with warm soapy water and a soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth, simply wiping over the frames and pat away any excess water with a microfibre cloth.

To finish, a polish using liquid furniture polish is great for protecting the wood and adding a lovely shine to the surface.

How do you remove grime from wood?

If you want a deeper clean for your external door, then you might want to consider using paint thinner for the areas where dirt and grime have built up.

Using a soft cloth, apply a few drops of paint thinner to it and gently rub the grain of the wood in circular motions. Once all the dirt has been removed, it’s important to wipe over the area with warm soapy water to ensure that chemicals aren’t left on the wood.

Once dried, use a furniture polish over the top to protect the treated wood.

How do you clean varnished wood doors?

Like wooden frames, varnished frames are also very easy to maintain.

With a damp cloth, wipe the frames until clean. For hard-to-clean areas, run the cloth under warm soapy water and use circular motions until the dirt has been removed. Dry the frames immediately to ensure that damage doesn’t occur to the varnished wood.

Once dry, use a varnished wood furniture polish and a soft dry cloth to put the shine back into the wooden frame.

How to Clean uPVC Doors

To clean uPVC door frames, a simple solution of fairy liquid and warm water will do the trick. Wipe your frames down with a soft cloth or sponge and dry with a clean and dry cloth or kitchen roll.

Avoid using cream cleaner solutions, and scouring pads and wire pads as they’ll remove the glossy finish on the uPVC.

Can you use bleach on uPVC?

Bleach should never be used on uPVC. Not only will the use of this chemical stain your white uPVC to brown, it’ll also remove the uPVC from the frame and you’ll be left with a very dull, matt surface. Once you’ve removed uPVC from your frame, whether through rigorous cleaning with harsh pads or chemical solutions, it cannot be undone. Always check the ingredients of your cleaning solutions before you use them.

 

Summary

Cleaning external bifold doors isn’t a regular, and time constraining, task, however it’s important that you give the glass and windows and good clean every so often so that they look great and last a long time.

When first installing your external doors, it’s a good idea to treat the frames, especially if they’re wood, to ensure they’re well protected from the elements.

It’s not only the outside that you need to consider though. The inside of your bifold doors also needs caring for and treating, so make sure you’ve given the inside just as much thought and care to ensure your bifold doors are around for many years to come!

 

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