An interior door is an important addition to any room. It adds that finishing touch, helps create privacy, assists in keeping the space warm and so much more.
White doors offer a stunning, contemporary vibe that can help a room appear larger. Unfortunately, they can also show dirt very easily. This is especially true when compared to darker doors.
That’s why it’s important that you keep white doors clean so that they retain their fresh and flawless appearance.
In this post, we’re going to provide a hassle-free cleaning solution for multiple internal door types and discuss what you should and shouldn’t be using to clean your internal doors.
If you want to go straight to your specific white door for cleaning instructions, just click on the right link below to jump there:
- How to clean wooden doors
- How to clean painted doors
- How to clean white gloss doors
- How to clean doors with glass panels
- How to clean doorknobs and handles
- How to clean door frames
If you want all the information, keep reading.
How often should I clean my interior doors?
There’s no official statistic that recommends you clean your interior door, say, every week. Perhaps this is because different doors have different traffic. You’re likely to use your bedroom door less often than your bathroom door, for example.
With that said, we recommend you keep an eye on your doors and give them a clean every now and then. A dirty door can undo all the hard work of cleaning your home so, whether you clean it every other week or monthly, that’s up to you.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to your doorknobs and handles. Because these are touched the most, bacteria and grime can accumulate. So it’s recommended that you clean these every two weeks at a minimum.
Why do my white doors turn yellow?
You may have noticed that over time your stunning clinically white door has turned yellow. This can be caused by:
- Excessive moisture – mostly in high-humidity rooms like bathrooms.
- Tobacco smoke – yes, if you smoke in your home you may see stubborn stains on your doors and walls.
- Being too close to a heat source – Like a radiator or stove.
- Lack of direct sunlight – An odd, but true fact.
How can I make my door white again?
If you catch it early enough you can use the following method to restore your yellowing doors:
- Mix 1/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. A paste should form.
- Use a damp sponge or soft toothbrush to rub the paste onto the yellow parts of the door and leave to work for five minutes.
- Use another damp cloth to wipe the paste off the door and then dry it.
If the yellowing has gone too far, you may need to repaint the door to restore it to its dazzling white glory. We’ve written a guide on how to do this.
How do you get fingerprints off painted doors?
If you touch the door while opening it, such as a sliding or bi-fold internal door, you may notice fingerprint marks on areas other than the doorknob or handle. Luckily, this little annoyance is easy to resolve by diluting one tablespoon of mild washing up liquid with one gallon of water. Simply wipe on and wipe off for an effective clean.
How to clean white doors
Now onto the good stuff, here’s a general guide on how to clean your doors to maintain that white sparkle. (Get the sunglasses ready!)
A diluted solution of gentle liquid dish soap and water is suitable for cleaning most surfaces, including your painted white doors. Follow these steps for easy cleaning:
- Begin by dusting the door to remove as much loose dirt and debris as possible.
- Next, test the door cleaner solution you’ve made on a very small inconspicuous location that is not clearly visible. This is to make sure that the solution won’t react with the finish, leaving you with hideous marks. If it does, you want to make sure it’s in a place that is not immediately obvious and look for alternative cleaning methods.
- Lay some newspaper under the door to catch any drips once you start cleaning.
- If the solution appears safe to use, then you can begin by wiping the door down. Use a spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution, then mop it up with a sponge or a squeegee.
- Dry the door with a heavy-duty paper towel or dry, clean cloth to prevent drip marks.
How to clean wooden doors
White wooden doors are very popular, and they are as easy to clean as any other door. Here’s what you do:
1) Mix mild dish soap with warm water.
2) Use a soft sponge to apply the warm soapy water and lightly scrub the door including the sides.
3) When clean, wash off any excess dish soap and dry your door with a microfibre cloth.
If you’re planning on using something else to clean your interior wooden door, please bear in mind that they require special care compared to uPVC doors, or single doors with aluminium frames. You will need to choose the right door cleaner solution based on whether the door is stained, varnished, or painted with oil-based paint or latex-based paint. If you’re unsure which cleaning process is right for your door, get in touch with the manufacturer. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to clean painted doors
Speaking of paint, you can keep these doors nice and clean too using the same mix of warm water and dishwashing liquid or use an all-purpose cleaner to remove stains.
As always, test any cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous part before using them on the entire door.
Some people swear by cleaning paintwork with vinegar, but vinegar can be too acidic so be sure to do a patch test as mentioned earlier if you’re going to try this.
How to clean white gloss doors
If your white internal door is varnished or stained, you can follow the general advice given higher up in this post. You do have one more step to follow, though:
Once dry, polish it or use a suitable wax on the entire door to give it a beautiful, rich glow.
How to clean doors with glass panels
It’s a rare breed of person that enjoys cleaning glass, but everyone loves the results when it’s done well. If you don’t know the ‘little tricks’ then you may find that your door windows end up a mess of streaks and stains, which is hardly fun to deal with. These tips will help you to get great results.
1) Use distilled water
If you have hard water, then mixing up a cleaning solution using tap water could leave you with unsightly marks on your glass from the minerals in the water. Distilled water is inexpensive to buy, and is perfect for diluting your cleaning solution, leaving you with clean, streak-free windows.
2) Save money by using vinegar instead of detergent
Instead of using glass cleaner or soap, use a solution of one part water to one part vinegar. It produces great results even on windows that are a little grimy, and it will give you a streak-free finish while lifting most dirt off the glass surface with ease. Vinegar does have a strong smell to it, but it will dissipate quite quickly if you open your windows and doors while you clean.
3) Use newspaper instead of paper towels
Use newspaper to wipe your glass surface clean, instead of using paper towels. The problem with paper towels is that they have a tendency to leave lint traces behind. Squeegees, microfiber cloths and newspapers are all much better options than paper towels (and less wasteful too).
4) Buff the glass with a chamois
Once you’ve finished washing the glass in the door, buff them clean with a chamois or a microfiber cloth – or any other form of lint-free, non-abrasive fabric. This will give you a nice clean, sparkling finish.
5) Pay careful attention to where the panes meet the frame
This is where dust tends to accumulate. You may want to use a cotton bud or Q-tip to remove dust from these areas.
6) Clean your glass doors and panels regularly.
It takes just a few minutes to wipe down a glass surface if it’s relatively clean. Wiping large amounts of grime off takes much longer, and getting the panes sparkling clean might take more than one pass. As usual, little and often is the best way to go.
How to clean frosted glass doors
Frosted glass has been popular in restaurants and offices for many years, and is now starting to become a common sight in modern homes as well. Frosted glass panes add privacy, and they can also set the tone and ambience of the room by reducing glare and softening the light that comes through them.
You can buy frosted glass with a number of different textures and levels of translucency. Some simply ‘soften’ the light coming through, others are much more opaque. The glass itself is quite easy to take care of, and can simply be wiped clean.
For general day-to-day cleaning, a simple soap solution and some newspaper will do the job even on frosted glass. If you need to remove metal marks or heavy stains, then you should use an abrasive sponge and an ammonia-based glass cleaner. When you have treated the stain and carefully scrubbed the glass, wipe it down with a lint-free cloth to bring the glass to a clean finish.
Don’t forget your doorknobs and handles
What’s the point in cleaning your doors if you’re going to forget the handles and door frame? (More on frames later.)
You’re door handles and doorknobs arguably get the brunt of use every day, so you’re going to want to stay on top of it, especially to reduce the spread of bacteria.
Regular cleaning will prevent dirt build-up and can be done at the same time as washing the rest of your door using the exact same concoction.
As an additional step, once dry, we recommend applying a light coat of wax to get it to really glisten and shine.
How do I remove scratches and scuff marks?
If a varnished or stained door has scratches or scuff marks, then you can get rid of these with an appropriate shade of furniture polish or wax. Sometimes, buffing painted doors will remove mild scuff marks too, but that is not always the case.
If the scuff or scratch is very deep then you may need to repaint that patch. Sand around it to give an even finish, and spot restore carefully with a small paintbrush. Make sure that the paint you use is an exact match. You may want to test the new paint in an unobtrusive area to ensure that it does match well and that you don’t get clear ‘edges’ where the old paint meets the new paint.
Can you clean with white vinegar?
Vinegar is wonderful for cleaning any glazing but mild dish soap is generally a safer choice for cleaning your doors. If there are stubborn patches of dirt, then you can try cleaning them up with distilled vinegar. This has a strong odour, but it will go away with time and vinegar is a cheap and effective cleaning solution. Don’t forget to do a patch test first, though!
Do not use strong detergents on painted doors, because they can damage the paintwork.
How do you clean painted door frames?
Last in our collection of cleaning tips is something that is often overlooked – the doorframe.
The best way to clean this is by following these instructions:
1) Wipe away any dust that’s accumulated since the last wash. You can do this either with a lint-free cloth or using a vacuum.
Mix up warm water and soap (or use the same mix that you did for the rest of your door and handles) and wash the frame using a soft sponge. Scrub away smudges, fingerprints and anything else that has caused a stain.
Use a different cloth to dry the frame.
And there you have it. You can now clean all of the surfaces attached to your interior white door.