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Restoring White Doors

If you happen to live in an older home then you may want to learn the secret of restoring white doors. By learning how to restore the white colored doors that you have in your home, you can often save huge amounts of money by avoiding repainting or replacing the doors themselves. The first step in doing this though lies in learning why the doors may become discolored over time.

There are actually a few reasons why a door that has been painted white would turn yellow over time. The first reason is usually due to some kind of smoke damage. It could be from a fireplace, wood stove, or even wood furnace which didn't have a flue open all the way. Another form of smoke damage is from tobacco smoke. Even if you (or those in your family) rarely smoke inside, the paint on the doors seem to attract the smoke like a magnet. Another reason that your doors could become discolored over time is due to sprays that you used inside. Such sprays could include things like air fresheners, furniture polish, hair spray, and so forth. Lastly, your door could have been painted with some kind of defective paint. Luckily, all of these methods, except for the last, can be cleaned by using a simple cleaner that you can make at home. If it is the last reason, and you usually won't know until you have tried to clean the doors, you will have to repaint the door.

Cleaner recipe

  • 1/3 cup of gentle liquid dish soap (such as Dawn or Palmolive)
  • 1 cup of ordinary 40 below automotive window wash
  • 1/3 cup of a liquid cleaner (such as Mr. Clean, Pine-Sol, etc.)
  • 1 shot glass of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of glass cleaner (such as Windex)
  • 1/2 gallon of water

Restoration process

  1. Mix the ingredients. Using the ingredient list above, mix the cleaner together in a large mixing bowl. Once everything has been completely mixed together pour it into a spray bottle. Store the unused portion of the cleaner for later use if necessary.
  2. Test the cleaner. Spray a small amount of the cleaner to a soft, lint free cloth. The cloth should only be damp, not soaking wet. Rub the cleaner onto an inconspicuous location of your door to see if there is any adverse reaction.
  3. Apply the cleaner. Before you begin to apply the cleaner, be sure that you have a bucket of warm, clean water handy so that you can rinse the cloth or sponge out periodically. Spray the cleaner onto your sponge or lint free cloth, and then start to wash the door completely.
  4. Wash the door. Completely wash the door, preferably starting from the top of the door, working your way down. This will help prevent any streaks of dirt getting into an area that you have already cleaned. Periodically rinse out the cloth or sponge, and then wring it dry. Apply some new cleaner and repeat.
  5. Rinse the door. After you have washed the door completely, repeat the process, but this time only using some warm clean water. This will help rinse any remaining cleaner from the door.
  6. Dry the door. Dry the door before you allow it to be used regularly. When drying the door use a clean, dry, lint free cloth.

Related Tips:

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Comments for this tip:

Christine    29 Oct 2014, 13:58
My interior white painted doors have a yellow brown dirty film on them that I clean often, no one smokes I don't have a wood fireplace or burn candles. It looks like the film from cigarette smoke. I Don't notice on the other millwork but my doors are effected, when I wash them down they are bright white again. Please help, I'm concerned about the air quality in my home.

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