Doors with large glass inlays can be beautiful, allowing you to enjoy a view of the outdoors and plenty of natural sunlight. However, since glass is not known to be the most durable material, caring for these doors properly takes a bit of finesse. Follow these tips to properly care for your glass doors without causing any damage.
Do: Vacuum the edges before wiping down the doors.
Before you begin cleaning the glass, take a vacuum with a wand attachment and run it along the edges of the door. Concentrate on the bottom of the door where the glass meets the frame material, as this is where dust tends to collect. This will prevent you from dragging excess dust across the glass and scratching it.
Don't: Use petroleum-based cleaners.
Only clean the glass with a cleaner that's sold specifically for use on glass. Some all-purpose cleaners contain petroleum products that may cause any coatings on the glass to break down and strip off. You should also be careful when choosing cleaning products to use on the door frame that surrounds the glass. Read the labels and avoid any that contain petroleum -- just in case a little gets on the glass while you're cleaning.
Do: Use newspaper -- as long as you check it for petroleum-based ink first.
Using newspaper to clean glass is a very popular "folk remedy" that has been passed down through generations. This strategy is safe to use on your glass door -- with one caveat. Some newspapers are printed with petroleum-based ink which, as mentioned above, will break down any coatings on your glass.
To tell whether your newspaper is printed with petroleum-based ink, hold a printed section of the paper between your thumb and finger for a couple of minutes. If your fingers are covered in ink when you pull them away, then the ink contains petroleum and you should not use the paper to clean your glass doors. If your fingers are clean, then go ahead and use the paper.
Don't: Ignore loose screws.
Whenever you clean the door, take a second to look at the screws that hold the door onto the hinges. If they are at all loose, take a second and use a screwdriver to tighten them. Having a door fall off the hinges is never good, but it's definitely worse when the door contains a lot of glass.
Do: Check the weatherstripping.
The weatherstripping is a piece of rubberized material that runs along the bottom of the door. It forms a tight seal when the door is closed, preventing air from blowing under the door. Each time you clean the door, take a look at this weatherstripping. Examine it closely for any tears or rips. If you notice it beginning to pull away from the door or develop tears, it's time to replace it.
Replacing weatherstripping is easy. Start by using your hands to peel away the old weatherstripping. Then, use an adhesive cleaner to remove any traces of glue left behind by the old weatherstripping. Purchase a new piece of peel-and-stick weatherstripping from your local hardware store, and use an exacto knife to cut it to the length of your door. Starting on one end, slowly peel the backing off of the weatherstripping while pressing it onto the base of the door. Peel a little at a time, sticking as you peel.
Lastly, make sure you examine your door for any signs of cracks or chips in the glass. Look along the edge of the glass to ensure it's still solidly anchored into the frame. If you do notice that the glass is loose or chipped, contact a glass repair service like Cheaper Window Glass INC sooner rather than later. Loose glass in doors can be hazardous as it may fall out and shatter if the door is slammed shut.