How To Clean Window Tracks [7 Steps]

Window tracks are known to get dirty very easily. It doesn't matter the season or the location of the window. The truth is that their frequent exposure to outside air makes them susceptible to large amounts of dust and debris. So what are the best ways to clean window tracks? And how often should they be cleaned? We've done a bit of digging on this subject. In this post, we will discuss the answer to these questions for you.

Here are the steps to give your window tracks a deep cleaning:

  1. Vacuum the window tracks and corners
  2. Clean the filthy areas using baking soda/vinegar solution
  3. Brush loosed dirt from tracks using a toothbrush
  4. Apply soapy water
  5. Scrub the suds with a stiff-bristle brush
  6. Wipe tracks and sill with a damp towel
  7. Towel dry the window tracks

Depending on how many windows you have in your home, cleaning them can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over 45 minutes, so it's best to make sure that you have all of your tools and equipment that you will need before starting the task. Continue reading to learn more about the steps to clean your window tracks.

A woman cleaning the white window frame of her house, How To Clean Window Tracks [7 Steps]

Steps To Clean Window Tracks

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A woman cleaning the window frames of a house

Things you'll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Microfiber cloths
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Dry towels
  • Disposable toothbrush
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild dish soap
  • Scrubbing brush

1. Vacuum The Window

Start by using the attachment hose on your vacuum to suck up any loose pieces of dirt or debris on the window seal. Run the hose from one side of the window to the other. Pay special attention to the corners and the edges of the window sill. Take your dry towel and wipe away any spider webs that the vacuum may have missed. This is also a good time to use your disposable toothbrush to chip away any caked up dirt that may be stuck in the corners of the window sill and suck it up.

2. Clean the Tough Spots

Next, inspect the window and look for any especially dirty areas. You can use a baking soda and vinegar solution to help get rid of the dirt for these areas. You may need to take off the screen and clean it separately at this time.

Start by sprinkling baking soda along the track of the window sill. Next, pour about 1/4 cup of vinegar on tracks on top of the baking soda. Allow the baking soda and vinegar to fizzle for one to two minutes before using your towel to wipe up the solution.

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3. Brush Tracks Using A Toothbrush

If the tracks are filthy, you may need to use a toothbrush to scrub away some of the debris that should now be loosened. Be sure to place a few paper towels around the window tracks to avoid spillage onto the wall. If necessary, pour a couple more tablespoons of baking soda onto the tracks and then 1/4 cup of vinegar over them again and allow it to fizzle for a few minutes.

Next, take your disposable toothbrush and work your way from the left side to the right side of the window track, scrubbing each section to remove the dirt. If you can't reach the corners of the track with your toothbrush, you may need to use a dull kitchen knife to scrape out any caked-up debris that's lodged in the corners.

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4. Apply Soapy Water

Sometimes the window tracks may need a deeper cleaning to remove dirt that has been on them for a long time. In which case, wash with warm soapy water. Take your two-gallon bucket and fill it with hot or warm water. Next, add a few drops of mild dish soap (such as Dawn, Palmolive, or Castille soap) to the water. Use your hand to swish around the dish soap and create a few suds.

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5. Scrub The Suds With A Brush

Next, take your scrub brush and dip it in the soapy water. Allow most of the water to drip off with a brush before applying it to the tracks. Run the brush along the tracks in a sweeping motion to loosen any dirt between the sill and each window track.

It's best to use a stiff-bristle brush for this task, especially if there are layers of dirt and grime on the windows. Pay special attention to the corners to ensure that all of the dirt is washed away. You may need to use your dull kitchen knife to help scrape some of it away.

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6. Wipe Tracks and Sill With a Damp Towel

Next, take one of your towels and dip it in the soapy water. Be sure to squeeze out any excess water so that it does not pool on the tracks and run down the sides of the window. Wipe down the window tracks, and be sure also to wipe down the top of the window sill to remove any loosened dirt and debris.

Pay special attention to the crevices between the track and the wall as well as the grooves along the track. If you need to, take your toothbrush and run it along each groove to be sure that the dirt is removed. After you have thoroughly cleaned the tracks be sure to wipe them down with a damp, dry towel.

7. Towel Dry The Window Tracks

Next, take a microfiber cloth and dry the tracks and the window sill. Inspect the entire area around the window to check for any wet spots or water drips along the track. Next, run the towel along the grooves of the track and along the sides of the window frame to make sure that it is dry. The last thing you want is for mold to develop in the area that you just cleaned. It's also a good idea to leave your windows open for about 10 to 15 minutes after cleaning them just so they can air out and dry completely.

Quick tips for cleaning window tracks:

  • If you don't have a disposable toothbrush, you can also use Q-tips to clean the crevices in small corners of the window track.
  • A paintbrush can also be used to get in between those hard-to-reach places on the side of the window sill.
  • Sometimes the dirt will need to soak before being removed. In which case, it's best to use the vinegar/baking soda solution and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.
  • If you don't have a dull kitchen knife, you can also use plastic scrub pads or a straw brush to clean the window's grooves.
  • Cleaning your windows and tracks more often will result in less dirt that you have to remove the next time you clean--which means an easier job.
  • It's best to try to clean your window tracks at least two to three times a year to prevent excessive buildup of dirt and debris.
  • Always clean the bottom and vertical tracks, as these are the most common areas that collect layers of dirt.
  • You can also use disposable wipes to give your window tracks a quick wipe down every two to three months; this will help prevent debris buildup.

How Often Should You Clean Window Tracks?

The more often you clean your window tracks, the easier each cleaning job will be. Ideally, it's best to clean the windows and window tracks in your home about every five to six months. This can mean simply wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe or a damp microfiber cloth. The main goal is to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris layers, which can be prevented with frequent cleaning.

What Is The Best Window Cleaner?

Natural cleanser, vinegar, and baking soda

Whether you're looking for a commercial, homemade, or all-natural cleaner-- we've got you covered! Here are a few of the best window cleaner options to consider:

Windex Original Glass Cleaner 

Windex has been one of the most renowned glass cleaners since its introduction to the market in 1933. Its ability to quickly dissolve grime and grim before you even wipe them away is absolutely unmatched. Windex's reviews on multiple retail sites such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot speak for themselves. Not only does Windex provide a blast and shine, but it also leaves your windows streak-free. This affordable solution ranges from $3 to $4 per spray bottle and can be found in larger, refill sizes as well as wipes.

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Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Cleaner

Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Cleaner is a mainstay glass cleaner in many homes around the world. This all-natural solution is free of harsh chemicals and is one of the best natural window cleaning solutions you can purchase. Some of its main ingredients include rosemary oil, vinegar, lavender oil, and orange oil. If you are looking for a tried-and-true window cleaner that leaves a streak-free shine, this one is definitely worth keeping in your arsenal.

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Homemade Window Cleaner

You can also make your own homemade window cleaning solution with just a few ingredients. To do this, combine two cups of tap water with two cups of distilled vinegar and pour them into a spray bottle. If your windows are especially dirty, take a towel soaked and soapy water and wipe it along the winter to help loosen up the dirt. Next, spray your homemade solution on your windows and allow it to sit for a minute or two, then use a newspaper or microfiber cloth to wipe it off.

What Kills Mold On Window Sills?

There are a couple of solutions that you can create right at home to quickly remove the mold on your window sills; have a look at the recipes below.

Detergent-Based Solution

You'll be surprised to know that many dish detergents effectively remove mold from hard surfaces such as metal and glass. This makes them a prime solution for removing mold from window sills and tracks. To create your mold-removing solution, mix four to five drops of dish detergent (anti-microbial detergents are best) with four cups of hot water.

Next, pour in two tablespoons of vinegar. Use a rag or a microfiber cloth to saturate the window sill and remove any mold or mildew. You may need to let the solution sit for one to two minutes. It also may be a good idea to have a toothbrush or scrub brush handy for excessive mold or hard-to-reach areas.

Bleach-based Solution

Bleach is probably the most popular go-to product when it comes to mold removal on non-porous surfaces. The chemical agents in bleach quickly react to break up the mold spores, leaving the area mold-free within a matter of minutes. You will simply need to add 1/2 cup of bleach to a gallon of water for this solution. Use a microfiber cloth to apply the solution to the window. If there is an excessive amount of mold on the window, you may need to let the solution sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

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Wrapping Things Up

Dirty windows and window tracks can make your home look unappealing and spoil even the best outdoor views. Cleaning your window tracks at least two to three times a year can help prevent excessive amounts of dirt and debris from caking up around your window sills.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Should Window And Door Casing Match?

How To Get Mold Out Of Cloth Laundry Basket

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