Have you ever put up with something that wasn't working well just because you were used to the situation? If so, you aren't alone! Our sliding glass door was a bear to move, but we were so used to it that the more stubborn it became, the harder we pushed to move it. Come to think of it, this could apply to people, as well! Anyway, when the younger kids could no longer open the door and I was tired of nearly throwing my back out whenever I let the fur boys outside, I decided it was time to fix this sliding glass door.
There's a lot of advice on this topic online, and some people suggest removing the entire door. I really wanted to avoid this because our door is super heavy, and I wanted to see if cleaning the track would help. I'll spare you the before pictures because the buildup of dog hair and gunk was not pretty.
I try to use natural cleaners whenever possible, so I grabbed my trusty spray bottle of white vinegar and saturated the entire track with vinegar. I was so surprised when the vinegar did the trick, and the gunk came off easily with some Q-Tips and paper towels. I used the Q-Tips to reach as far under the door as possible.
After I got most of the gunk out of the track, I vacuumed the track and the area around the door. Some people recommend vacuuming the door whenever you vacuum your floors, but our floor is all tile, so I normally don't vacuum here. This is what the track looked like after it was cleaned.
This worked for a while, and it was no nice to open and close the door without a major workout! But, it wasn't long before the door began to get stubborn again, so I knew I would have to apply some sort of grease to it. I did some research, and most sites recommended a dry lubricant. So, I went to Lowe's, but after reading the myriad warnings on the different lubricants, I was really hesitant to buy any.
I did find this white lithium grease called Ultra Lube. It's plant based and non-toxic, and after determining that I could probably use this without passing out, breaking out in a horrible rash or mutating, I decided to try this.
I applied the lubricant along the entire track with a paper towel. The directions didn't specify how much to apply, so I applied a thin coat and then tried the door. It was still a little bit stiff, so I applied a little more, and the door moved like a dream. Seriously, I can open the door with one hand, and even the little kids can open it!
You can see the rugs on either side of the door, and although I should have moved them, you can see the grass and hair that gathers around the door. This is what gets trapped inside the track, so you can imagine how the track looked before!
If the door sticks again, I'll keep cleaning and applying more of the grease as long as I can before it's time to remove the doors. I'll let you know how this plays out. In the meantime, I guess I need to find a new upper body workout!
I was not given this product or compensated in any way. I just wanted to let you all know how easy it is to fix a sliding glass door using natural, non-toxic products.
Have a great day!