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Sliding Screen Doors

How frustrating is it when your sliding screen door just won’t budge?

This drives me nutty and we don’t even use our screen door that much.

My wife hates how cobwebs and bugs seem to like congregating between the sliding screen door and the sliding patio doors. Every night when we sit down for dinner the spiders and all their tiny legged buddies stare back at us from their living quarters.

Have you ever wondered how to remove your sliding patio screen door?

It’s not hard and takes less time than brushing your teeth (which should be 2 minutes, lol). This tutorial also shares how to clean and tune the door so that it will run smoothly.

Here are the supplies you’ll need

  • Screwdriver ($5.98)
  • Lubricant ($4.27)
  • Steel brush ($2.47)
  • Broom ($9.97)

The total cost of this project if you have to buy everything is $22.66. 

I’m going to be bold here and assume most everyone reading this post has a broom and screwdriver. If that’s the case then the total cost is closer to $6.74.

In the end you’ll have a screen door that will be clean and glide a lot better. This post has a video showing you how to do everything but I also include a step-by-step guide.

Let’s get started.


How to Remove Your Sliding Screen Door-Step 1

There’s a cartridge within your screen door that contains two wheels. These wheels are what allow the screen door to move along a track.

This cartridge can move up and down inside the screen door and is held in place by two screws.

If you unloosen the screws the cartridge can be adjusted up or down. And this will also allow your screen door to be moved up or down and disengaged from the track it runs on.

Loosen the 2 screws on top of the sliding screen door

The video below will walk you through the entire process of removing, cleaning, and lubricating your sliding screen door. I say “smooth” too many times in this video, but that one idea is really the whole point of this post.

Lubricating and Clean Sliding Screen Door Parts-Step 2 

There are a total of 4 tiny wheels on your sliding screen door.

Two wheels are on the top of the door and two wheels are on the bottom. Both sets of wheels rest on top of a track. The track looks like a metal tab.

It’s important to clean and lubricate all four wheels so they operate efficiently.

I used a wire brush to clean the wheels and Blaster silicone spray to lubricate them.

Clean all 4 wheels on the sliding screen door

In a prior post on squeaky doors some fans asked why I prefer Blaster silicone spray over WD-40.

WD-40 is a great product and I use it all the time. The Blaster garage door lubricant is silicone based and adds the extra promise that dirt won’t buildup on the surface it’s sprayed on. So that’s one big reason I use it.

Lubricate all 4 wheels on the sliding screen door

Remove Debris from Screen Door Track-Step 3

You can use the same wire brush in Step 2 to remove debris and dirt buildup from the sliding screen door’s track. Our track was chalked full of gunk and the wire brush cut right through it.

Use a wire brush to clean the screen door track

Sweep the loose dirt from the track with a broom.

Sweep the loose dirt from the sliding screen door track with a broom

Putting the Sliding Screen Door Back in Place-Step 4

Insert the sliding screen door onto the top track at an angle. Ensure the two wheels will rest on the metal track tab.

Push up on the door and allow the bottom two wheels to rest on the bottom track tab.

Ensure the bottom 2 wheels of the sliding screen door rest on the bottom track tab

The door should be securely in place. The last step is to tighten the two screws on the top of the door that were loosened in Step 1.

Tighten the screws on top of the sliding screen door

The end!!

Just kidding.

Make sure the sliding screen door moves smoothly (LOL) across the track. If it doesn’t you make need to adjust the height of the cartridge that encases the wheels.

What’s Next

Our tutorial showing how to install custom window screens in old window frames is also very helpful.

It’s not hard and you can certainly do this type of project over the weekend if not after dinner on a weekday.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.



Sliding Screen Doors

  1. Linda S. in NE says:

    Hi Jeff, A great post on today’s project. I think this is the first time I have watched one of your videos. You do a great job, and seem so relaxed. One other idea I might suggest. While you have that bad boy out of it’s track, why not lay it on a couple of sawhorses in the driveway, and give it a good cleaning with some warm soapy water, a good soft brush, and then rinse with a garden hose. After reading your post, I went right out to our kitchen to see what kind of movable shape our screen door was in. Not too bad, really. I am wondering if I could get by with a good sweeping of the threshold/ridge the wheels ride on, and then spraying a coat of silicone right on the track? Our home is 15 years old, and this threshold and ridge look like it is made from a strong plastic material. I don’t know how friendly silicone and plastics are, so I wanted to check before taking the leap. Thanks so much for all your help and guidance. Linda p.s. Our basement sliding screen door is almost imobile, so I will be following your directions to a “T”.

    1. Jeff says:

      Thanks Linda for the great suggestion.

      You could certainly clean the threshold of the screen door and spray the track with silicone. I’m sure some of the silicone will make it on the surface of the screen door wheels. If this works then you probably don’t need to do anything more. If you’re concerned about the silicone or any other lubricant ruining the plastic you should call the manufacturer of the spray.

      I do this a lot with many products since there are technical support people for every product.

      I’m really happy I could help you with your basement sliding door. Let me know how it works out 🙂

  2. Leida R says:

    This will sure help me. THANKS!!!

    1. Jeff says:

      You’re super welcome Leida 🙂

  3. Ems says:

    Jeff, This is really helpful. Thank you for sharing this. I assume this is the same, but I wanted to ask before doing this – does the same instructions apply to the sliding glass door itself (vs the sliding screen door which is much lighter)? I’d like to remove the sliding glass door, clean the wheels etc.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks for your great question. The same principle applies in that you’ll have two screws to unscrew and then you can lift and remove the sliding glass door. There are some great videos on YouTube that show you how to do this. Here’s one of them Let me know if this helps 🙂

  4. Jill H. says:

    Hi Jeff, What about how to replace the track? Mine is hard plastic and the rail has split away from the lower part on either side and has become warped, causing the screen door to stick. It doesn’t appear to be screwed in place. Do you know how to do this?

    1. Jill, would you be able to email a few pictures?

      Send them to [email protected].

      That way I’ll be able to give you a better answer 🙂

  5. Greg says:


    Great video, but my screen door is between two glass doors- i’m in Canada, so I assume it’s to insulate from the cold. I have the two left wheels out of the track, but I can’t get to the other two. Any thoughts?



    1. Hey Greg,

      Thanks for your question. It sounds like the wheels of the screen door are sandwiched between the two glass doors and hard to reach. You could remove the glass door on the inside of your house. There might be a hole on the glass door frame where you slide a
      screwdriver in and then lower the wheels to help remove the door. What do you think?


  6. john says:

    I have a patio screen door that does not have the exposed roller adjustment screws. I have tried to pick up and pull. This thing is seems to be completely enclosed. The roller track is on the inside top of the frame. I am pretty sure the screen door is made by the same company as the sliding glass door. The sliding glass door is made by Ador out of California. I have looked on internet for some kind of instruction with no luck….This is at my elderly parents house and I am trying to make it easier to open and close…Other than the obvious does anyone have any ideas?

    1. Hi John, many times the roller adjustment screws are on the bottom and have little plastic plugs hiding the opening. Check the top of the door for these same plastic plugs. You’ll have to remove them using the edge of a steak knife or pocket knife. If the plugs aren’t at the top of the door then check the bottom. I’m not familiar with Ador but you could also call them directly and I bet they’d help you over the phone. Hope this helps.

  7. Larry says:

    My plastic track is warped and won’t allow the screen to slide freely. Can I replace it?

    1. Depends Larry, is the track held in place with screws or does it look more permanent?

  8. Maryanne says:

    Hi I’m wondering if my screen goes on the inside or outside there’s a rubber strip running from top to bottom of screen my door is about 20 yrs old. Does age of door make a difference. Thanks new home owner & like to learn how to DIY. Thanks

    Vancouver BC

    1. Congrats Maryanne. That’s great news on your home purchase.

      Typically I like to have the spline (rubber strip) on the inside so that you can’t see on when you’re facing the house from the street.

      Your door isn’t that old and you should be able to replace the screen using the methods in my video. But please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help 🙂

  9. Vicki in Hilo says:

    Thank you for your post Jeff. I tried this yesterday and can’t get th sliding door to come out. Mine has top screws that are parallel to the screen, and even when they are almost out the door won’t come out. Any suggestions… top roller is staying up……and the door is mostly stuck. Ideas anyone.

  10. Amee says:

    Jeff…… like Larry my track is warped. It is hard plastic and it’s not screwed in. I was able to literally pull it out. I have purchased a new track but am unsure how to secure it in place (no screws or holes). Any suggestions?


  11. Amber says:

    My screen door is brand new but rubber spine keeps falling out. I can’t seem to keep it in the frame. Is there something I can do? I’ve tried hammering it in, pinching in frame just enough to hold it in and still nothing works, please help.

    1. You can do this Amber, take a sample of the spline to the store and buy a roller. Try rolling the spline back in place and if that doesn’t work then you can replace the spline.

  12. Chris Barker says:

    Thank you for this info on lubing the sliding screen door. You got me there (the end lol). Very clear and to the point.

  13. Charlotte McKinley says:

    What can you get if the wheels are rusted to get the rust off?

    1. BambiB says:

      Naval jelly. Muriatic acid (but be careful not to spill it on yourself or inhale the fumes) or phosphoric acid (much safer, and the active ingredient in Naval Jelly) will work.
      If you’re talking about rust STAINS, CLR will do the job.
      In most cases you’re probably better off just replacing the wheels. Most any hardware store will carry them for a few bucks.

  14. Rita says:

    Hi Jeff,
    My sliding screen door doesn’t seem to have any adjustment screws. It has new rollers and it is dragging when trying to open and shut. Any suggestions on how to adjust the fit.

  15. BambiB says:

    I don’t really believe the silicone lube people when they say their product won’t hold dirt. I prefer a dry lube. Haven’t tried graphite, but have used teflon lube to good effect. You can get it in a squeeze bottle or a spray can.

  16. Robert G Logan says:

    my sliding screen door does not have adjustment screws on the face of the door.
    It does have screws on the ends should I unscrew them?

  17. Clayton Halverson says:

    My screen door provides about 1/8 inch for bugs to get in. The space is between the screen and the sliding glass door. The screen does not keep the bugs out.


  18. Lori says:

    Jeff, I believe I have this type of screen door as it has the adjustment screws top and bottom. One of the wheels broke off at the bottom meaning I need to replace the strip, I presume. I don’t know how to research it (what the strip would be called) to find and replace it. Would you be able to help?

  19. Ed says:

    Bought a nice screen door yesterday. The upper wheels fit nicely on the upper track tab. The bottom track tab however was wider than the top one and the wheels just sat on top of the lower tab track. Bottom kept falling off the track. Suggestions?

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