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How To Keep Exterior Doors Beautiful Year After Year

A brick home with columns and an exterior door features decorative glass

6 simple entry door maintenance tips.

You’ve heard it before. Your entry door is your home’s first impression, and it says a lot about you before visitors even come inside.

The front door gets more undivided attention than anywhere else in the house. After all, it’s the place where people wait to be allowed in, leaving them nothing to do but stare until someone answers a knock or a doorbell. We can’t think of another spot in or around your home that gets such a thorough inspection by visitors.

For this reason, and many others, it’s important to keep your main entry door clean and inviting. As homeowners, we often enter the house from other points — a side door, a kitchen door, or through a garage entry. It’s easy to forget your front door while you check off your home cleaning list. But regular cleaning and periodic maintenance can extend the life of your door and make a beautiful statement.

Fiberglass entry doors are wonderfully energy-efficient, durable, and resist extreme weather conditions. They don’t rot, warp, or twist like solid wood doors, and they don’t dent or rust like steel doors. They’re also much easier to maintain than wood or steel. That said, even fiberglass doors deserve some TLC to keep them looking good and performing properly.

Here are six simple tips to keep your front door ready for a grand opening.

1) Wash its face with soap and water

A person cleaning an exterior door

While your entry door is making a style statement, it’s also protecting your home from wind, rain, snow, humidity, and intruders. No wonder it can get a very dirty face after a while. Even doors on covered porches acquire dirt, pollen, and spider webs. Give it a regular cleaning with mild dish soap and water. This simple step is often neglected but makes a big difference.

2) Everything hinges on hinges

A person unscrewing the hinges of an exterior door

Take a moment to examine your hinges. They may need tightening to prevent or correct misalignment. If you notice any squeaking, sticking, or a less-than-fluid swing, oil them or apply a quick spray of WD-40®. If you see damage or wear, it might be a good investment to replace your hinges or hardware. 

3) Keep your door windows squeaky clean

A person cleaning the glass of an exterior door

If your door has glass inserts or sidelites, make them shine! Put a mixture of one cup white vinegar and one cup water in a spray bottle. Spritz and clean using a lint-free cloth. Remember to clean both sides of the window. You might be amazed at how much dulling dirt accumulates inside.

4) Protect your door from the elements in a colorful way

A woman adding curb appeal by painting her exterior door blue

Your door is always exposed to the elements, including everyday sunshine. Protect it with a new coat of paint or stain. If you’re in the mood for a new look, this can be the perfect excuse to change the color. A new door color is an easy update but will make a big impression. Fiberglass doors come in woodgrain textures that lend themselves to stain. If you decide to change from a painted surface to a stain, you should strip the paint before applying any stain.

5) Inspect your lock and deadbolt

The deadbolt lock of an exterior door

Make sure your lockset and deadbolt are functioning smoothly. It can be very frustrating to find a stuck lock when you insert the key. This is another case where WD-40® can come to the rescue with its Smart Straw applicator. Or you might consider changing out your key lock for a keyless entry system.

6) Maintain or replace weatherstripping

Two men adding weatherstripping to an exterior door

Examine the weatherstripping closely. Run your hand around the perimeter of the door when closed to feel for drafts or look for signs of sunlight. If the stripping is in good condition, clean it thoroughly and apply a light coat of furniture wax for extra protection. A door sweep installed at the bottom of your door will help keep drafts and insects out of your home. If you don’t have a sweep, or if yours is worn, it may be time to install or replace it.


There you have it. With a few simple steps, your door can make a great first impression while keeping your home efficient at the same time. If you’re considering replacing your entry door or adding a storm door for further protection, talk to your friends at Window World. They can help you with any exterior remodeling ideas through a free in-home or virtual consultation. Find a store near you.

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