Make sliding patio doors open smoothly with this easy to follow guide. It is frustrating when you can’t open your patio door, especially if it leads to a patio area where you would like to go to relax. With repeated use and exposure to weather, sliding doors take a lot of abuse. There are a variety of reasons why the door might not slide open easily. But with a little time and the proper tools and materials, you’ll be able to fix some problems on your own.
Check the track at the bottom of the door for foreign objects. Look closely along the inner section of the track, along the edges, and in the corners. Make sure nothing is stuck along any part of the track where it rolls on the rollers. Remove all foreign objects.
Vacuum all debris out of the track, along the edges and in the corners.
Wipe the track clean with a damp cloth. Rinse the cloth in a bucket of clear water and repeat. Move the door back and forth on the track and listen to see if you can detect any grating sounds that would indicate sand you can't see. Keep wiping the track area until you have removed all grit and sand.
Wipe the track clean with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1/8 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. This will remove mildew, which if long-standing can create pits in the track. Rinse with clear water. Dry the track with a towel.
Sprinkle powdered graphite into the rollers. Move the door back and forth on the track to work the graphite in and around the rollers.
Spray the rollers with a penetrating oil to loosen them. Spray silicone lubricant on the rollers to keep the rollers lubricated.
Apply a layer of paraffin wax to the track by rubbing a paraffin stick along the track. Slide the door back and forth in the track to spread the paraffin onto sections of the track you can't reach.