How to Properly Maintain Your Sliding Glass Patio Door

Installing a sliding glass patio door is an excellent investment if you want an unobstructed view of your backyard. They are also helpful if you run in and out of the house quite often. If saving space is something you want from a door, these are perfect. There are different types of doors for your patio; sliding glass doors tend to check a lot off lists. 

There are pros and cons to almost every type of door, but for sliding doors, there are a few good and bad. The downside to sliding glass doors to some could be their maintenance. To keep them sliding smoothly and staying clean, you will have to invest some care into them to help save time and money for a total glass replacement. Here are a few maintenance tips from the experts:

Clean sliding glass patio door in a backyard.

Clean sliding glass patio door in a backyard.


Keep the track clean! The best way to make sure the track is clean is by washing your windows and the track a minimum of every six months. Thoroughly clean the bottom track with soapy water and scrub it with a brush or sponge. Take a dry rag or paper towel to dry and further remove the dirt and grime from the track. Repeat if needed. This can make a significant difference in how well the door slides.

With the door fully open or closed, there will still be a few inches at the very center of the track that won’t be exposed. This makes it difficult to clean that area. If you have an extra set of hands, have them lift or tilt the sliding panel to allow better access to clean that portion of the track. Taking an old toothbrush and vacuuming that area will help remove as much dirt, dust, and grime as possible. 


A big sliding glass patio door with a great view.

A big sliding glass patio door with a great view.


Keeping your tracks lubricated will also help your sliding glass patio doors continue to slide smoothly. Use silicone or graphite spray lubricant lightly on the top and bottom tracks. Do not use WD-40 or other oil-based lubricants, as they tend to collect dust and become gummy with time. WD-40 tends to attract dust rather than keep it clean. It does ok lubricating, but you may want to keep it away for most jobs.

To lubricate the rollers will require an extra set of hands. Have another person tilt the sliding panel to expose the rollers while you lightly spray the center of each roller using your silicone or graphite-based lubricant mentioned above. Keeping the tracks and rollers lubricated will help keep the slide smooth and prevent them from getting damaged. This helps extend their life and usage. 

Tracks are well cleaned on a glass patio door.

Tracks are well cleaned on a glass patio door.

Other potential problems

So we talked about cleaning and lubricating your sliding glass doors, but other problems can arise with these doors. Here are some of those problems and what you can do if they occur. 

Worn Out Rollers 

Even with proper maintenance, door rollers have a lifespan and will typically need to be replaced at least once or twice during the door’s life. Replacing them when you see severe damage or a heavy amount of rust will help your sliding glass door out significantly. Finding a local sliding glass door shop can help you replace or find suitable replacements. 

Sagging Header 

After years of living in the house, the top track (or header) will settle with the house, which may squeeze the sliding panel. If this is a severe problem or left untreated, you could possibly end up having to replace the door completely. 

Humped or Dipped Sill 

 The door’s bottom track (sill) has a hump or dip in it, causing the sliding panel to drag. (may require a new door) Keep a look out for humps or dips in the bottom track (or the sill) of the door. This will cause the sliding panel to drag and could make it hard to open and close. If left untreated and with the right amount of force, you could break the door more. 

If any of the last three problems arise, you can always check with your local door experts and have them check the severity level for you. Always check on your hardware as well and get those replaced when needed. These tips will help your sliding glass door stay smooth and brand new for longer. If a crack in the glass is getting in your way, reaching out to your neighborhood glass shop is always a great idea. They may be able to just simply replace the glass for you or repair it. 

French sliding glass patio doors in a cute backyard.

French sliding glass patio doors in a cute backyard.

Calling Experts You Can Trust

 Maybe you don’t even have a sliding glass door, but now you’re curious. The Glass Guru can help you figure out what patio door is the right fit for you. The Glass Guru has you covered on any of your sliding glass patio door problems. From replacement parts, door handle fixes, and glass repair, it’s the one-stop shop for all your glass, window and door needs.