Window tracks are notorious for getting filthy quickly. It doesn’t matter what season it is or where the window is located. Their susceptible contact with outside air exposes them to enormous levels of dust and particles.
Whether you leave your windows open or closed, you’ll find dust, bug corpses, and mold accumulate in the tracks. Regular upkeep is essential, but window tracks can be challenging to clean with your typical set of tools.
The question is, what is the best way to clean window sills and the tracks sitting inside them. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be as hard as you think. So, using this guide, you can learn all you need about how to clean window sills.
By the end, you’ll be well-armed with information about the best ways to get into tight spots and to clean your window tracks using the least amount of effort. (Read What Is Double Hung Window Mean)
How Often Should You Clean Window Tracks?
Here are the steps to deep clean your window tracks and the duration of carrying this out on your home.
Window cleaning overview that makes cleaning easier:
- Brush loose dirt from your tracks with a toothbrush
- Vacuum the corners of your window tracks
- Clean the dirty areas using a vinegar and baking soda solution
- Apply soapy water
- Scrub using a stiff-bristle brush
- Start cleaning windows sills and window tracks using a damp towel
- Towel dry your window tracks
Depending on the number of windows you have, it can take quite a while cleaning window sills and tracks, so do it right, and you won’t need to do it again for quite a while. Make sure you have all the tools and equipment ready before starting the task.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Distilled vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Mild dish soap and warm water
- Vacuum with hose attachment
- Microfiber cloths
- Dry towels
- Old toothbrush
- Scrubbing brush
- Rubber gloves
How To Clean Window Tracks
Your window should be as wide as possible, and you should be able to do this with your window screen in place. It is a great idea to do it without, so remove your screen and tap off any dust.
Using a small vacuum nozzle attachment hose, vacuum all the loose dirt and dead bugs from your window tracks. A brush attachment is optional, but while it can dislodge caked-on grime, the brush can get dirty and makes life harder with extra cleaning.
Sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda into your window tracks. Try to ensure there are no lumps or piles of the powder.
In a spray bottle, combine equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spritz the baking soda into the window tracks until it is soaked.
The powder bubbles and fizzes as it reacts with the vinegar. Let it sit for 5- to 10-minutes or until it stops fizzing.
Hydrogen peroxide works and can be a fantastic substitute for vinegar if you don’t like the smell.
Use your spray bottle and spray the vertical window tracks around the sides of your window with more of the vinegar-water solution while the little baking soda fizzes. Put on rubber gloves and scrub the vertical track with an old toothbrush from top to bottom. Make sure to go into the window tracks’ corners. (Learn How To Stop A Bird From Flying Into Your Window)
Now, focus on the bottom of your window. Brush from the one end of the track while scrubbing the corners and grooves thoroughly to clean window tracks. Do the same on the other side.
Insert a piece of paper towel into the vertical track. Wipe downward to pick up all the gunk and pull it to the bottom.
Repeat with the bottom track and a fresh paper towel, wiping from one end to the middle. If either track is still dirty, spray extra vinegar and water wipe it down again with a damp cloth or paper towel.
Wrap a clean, dry rag around the blade of a butter knife or flat head screwdriver and work it into the corners of your window tracks. Adjust your rag each time it gets accumulated with dirt.
How often should you clean window tracks is best made at intervals of five to six months. At these times, you can wipe them down using disinfectant wipes or microfiber cloth damp with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
The primary goal is to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris layers in between your deep cleans.
If your windows are dirty, take a towel soaked and soapy water and wipe it to loosen dirt. Next, spray your homemade solution on your windows and let it sit for a minute or two, then use a microfiber cloth and wipe it off.
How Do You Clean Mold Off Window Tracks?
Dirty window tracks can ruin clean windows. Whether you leave your windows open or closed, dust, bug corpses, and mold collect in the tracks. If you haven’t already done so, clean your windows before cleaning the tracks; otherwise, you risk introducing extra filth to the window tracks as you wash the glass.
Cleaning Supplies You Will Need
- Rubber gloves
- Face mask
- Warm Water
- Liquid detergent
- tooth brush
- Spray bottle
- Paper towels or cloths
Mold will return to your window tracks unless you can stop the moisture from accumulating. It can be the same in the bottom of door tracks where cold air reaches the indoor warmth. Caulking or weatherstripping can reduce moisture issues.
Warning: In these cleaning tips, make sure you don’t mix any cleaning compound with bleach.
Mold thrives in warm, humid environments, such as those found in windows. Condensation or even rain drips down into the tracks as it settles on the windowpane and mixes with loose debris.
Mold can quickly grow and thrive in this confined area if the moisture is warmed by the sun. Mold, a fungus, will grow and reproduce in the window tracks, disseminating microscopic spores into the air.
Rubber gloves will keep your hands safe, and wear a face mask while handling the bleach if the space is limited and protect you from spores as you remove loose debris using your paint brush that is moldy.
Use the vacuum for removing loose debris and dirt using the vacuum cleaner attachment hose and suck out all the loose debris in hard-to-reach corners of the metal track of loose dirt, dead insects, dust, and more.
Add a few squirts of liquid detergent to a container of boiling water. Using a sponge dipped in the solution, scrub the actual window frame and the window tracks quickly while the water is hot.
Use a Q-Tip to pull all the muck from all the corners
Rinse the sponge and repeat using your Q-Tips in tight areas until the bottom, and vertical tracks are clean of debris. Use the sponge or your shop vac to clean as much debris as possible to absorb extra water.
Add 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water and fill a spray bottle with this solution. Spray the tracks with a few drops of your cleaning spray and let the bleach solution sit on the tracks for a few minutes to kill any remaining mold spores. (Learn How To Clean Mold Off Walls)
A steam cleaner is a good option for cleaning window tracks as these can kill mold and shift all the muck with minimal effort. All you need is a good shop vac if you have excess water rather than dry debris.
A top cleaning tip is to use a vinegar and baking soda mixture to clean and sterilize your tracks near the end of your cleaning.
Use cotton swabs to clean out tight areas like the corners of any caked-on dirt.
Rinse the area with clear water using the sponge. Soak up as much water as you can with the sponge once you have rinsed the tracks. Dry the tracks with paper or cloth towels.
If you use vinegar, leave the window open to let in some fresh air until the vinegar smell goes from your window track.