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External doors are made from uPVC, aluminium or wood, and due to the weather conditions, the surfaces are usually treated to help improve their longevity and to reduce maintenance. However, this isn’t necessarily the case for internal doors. Most internal doors are made from wood and are usually plain, painted or varnished. Depending on the colour of the door and the foot traffic throughout the opening, some internal doors need a little more TLC than others.

We’ve provided this step-by-step guide on how to clean doors in-house, where we share some of our tricks and best tips to prolong the longevity of your internal doors.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Internal Doors?

Internal doors need to be cleaned with care to ensure they don’t get damaged by harsh chemicals. However, the cleaning process is fairly simple.

Image: Before & after! ✨ via Hillary Laine Cleaning Services on Instagram

Before and after cleaning internal doors

What to clean wooden doors with: a shopping list

Before we get started on how to clean your internal doors, you may want to make sure you’ve got everything that you need first. Cleaning your internal doors is incredibly simple, you need the following:

  • Duster
  • Damp cloth
  • Multi-purpose spray or warm soapy water
  • Towel (for multi-purpose spray) or sponge (for warm soapy water)
  • Dry towel
  • Varnish (extra)
  1. Your first step to cleaning your internal doors is to remove any dust. Grab your duster and give the door a thorough de-dusting.
  2. Make sure all dust is removed from the handles, grooves, and the inside of the door where you’ll find the hinges, as well as the very top of the door that meets the door frame. The edges of the doors are where dust will settle the most, so pay extra attention to these areas.
  3. Once you’ve dusted the door, give the entire door a wipe with a clean damp cloth. This is to ensure that all dust has been picked up and removed off the door.
  4. For your next step, you have two choices; you can either spray the entire door with multi-purpose spray and wipe with a clean towel or you can use warm soapy water and a sponge. Both methods have the same pay-off so what to use to clean your doors is entirely up to you.
  5. Your last step is to dry off the door with a clean dry towel. Make sure you dry every area of the door thoroughly to stop any water sinking in the wood.
Cleaning an internal door with a damp cloth

If you need to treat your wooden door, you need to purchase a varnish, wood oil, stain or wax. Make sure the treatment that you choose will work for the wood-type of your door and apply it to the surface of your door by following the manufacturer’s directions. We recommend applying your treatment in small stages to ensure you aren’t left with any drip marks and to do a patch test first so you can see how the treatment reacts with your door.

It’s a common misconception that varnishes are bad for wooden doors. This is not the case. Solid wood doors will varnish well. Even if you have a composite or veneer door, the thickness of the wood used is usually no less than 1 millimetre in thickness. Because of this thickness, if you use a stain, varnish, wax or oil, it won’t penetrate through the wood and into the glue.

If you have some stubborn stains that won’t budge from a simple clean, try adding a small amount of paint thinner to your damp cloth. If you work the damp cloth into the stain in circular motions, the stain should begin to lift.

How do you Clean White Painted Wood?

Cleaning a white painted wooden door is pretty similar to cleaning and unpainted door however you need to be a little more careful about the products that you use.

Stick to cleaning the door with warm soapy water and a soft sponge. After this step, wipe over the door with clean non-soapy water and a microfibre cloth. The microfibre cloth will remove any dirt without scratching the paint on your door. Dry the door with a clean dry towel.

Stay away from products that may cause the paint to bubble, flake off or rub away. Items that contain harsh chemicals such as bleach will strip the paint from the wood.

Cleaning a white wooden door with a microfibre cloth

How do you Clean Dirty Varnished Doors?

To clean a varnished door, you must wipe away any dust as mentioned above, and use a damp cloth to remove any excess dirt. For varnished doors, you must dry the door immediately after using a damp cloth. Varnish isn’t waterproof and will absorb the water if not dried immediately.

Once your door is dry and clean, you can restore the shine in your varnished door by using a solvent-based furniture polish on a dry soft cloth.

Internal doors, although not exposed to harsh weather, can be some of the dirtiest parts of our homes. Due to foot traffic, our internal doors can become quite mucky with dirty hands and shoes touching the surface. To improve the longevity and overall cleanliness of your door, it’s important to carry out needed maintenance to all of your internal doors. With our guide, we hope you’re able to clean your internal doors carefully and thoroughly.

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