How to Clean Window Tracks to be Squeaky Clean

Window tracks are rarely clean. No matter the season, these hard-working parts of our homes do a lot for very little attention. They fill with grime and debris and stay that way for a long time if there’s no care taken for their cleaning. Here is a fast and easy way to clean window tracks that’s so efficient, you’ll find yourself cleaning window tracks regularly from here on out.

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Step 1: Notice that the window tracks need cleaning. I’m not kidding, this is the first thing to do. Because if you don’t notice the tracks are in a bad way, nothing is going to change them for the better.

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Step 2: Grab some basic supplies. You’ll need a strong vacuum with a narrow nozzle hose attachment, a cleaning brush such as a toothbrush, paper towels, and an all-purpose cleaner. Gloves are optional but recommended.

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Step 3: Begin by vacuuming out the window track. Get as much loose junk out of there as possible.

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Step 4: Use a DRY toothbrush, gently scrub the window track. Your goal here is to loosen up any residual grime without impacting it. Many people want to move right onto the cleaner after vacuuming, but this is a mistake because it just makes a sort of mud that gets packed down into the very cracks and crevices you’re trying to clean. Stay with a dry brush at first. Think of this as the “sweeping” step before the “mopping.”

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Use the end of your brush (or a toothpick or q-tip, if the toothbrush is too big) in corners to loosen up any packed-down debris, such as dirt and leaves and mud.

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Step 5: Vacuum up all brush-loosened dirt and gunk.

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Step 6: Pull out your cleaner and spray a bit into the window track. One spray should do it; a little goes a long way in this tiny horizontal strip.

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Step 7: Use your recently rinsed cleaning toothbrush to clean all the nooks and crannies of the window track.

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Step 8: Use a paper towel, wadded creatively when needed, to (a) dry the cleaner left behind by the toothbrush, and (b) reach into cracks that even the toothbrush can’t reach.

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Fold small corners of the paper towel to fit whatever grooves your window track has to offer, and slide the paper towel from one end to the other.

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Wipe along the main parts of the window track as well with a fresh paper towel (or an unused corner of the paper towel you’re already, if you’re trying to be environmentally conscious).

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There may be some stains still present, but the bulk of the grime and mud are definitely gone.

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Your window tracks will work better for your sliding windows when they are clean. Also, plan on cleaning them every couple of weeks at the most to keep them in tip-top sparkle shape.