How to Clean Window Tracks

If you've been neglecting to clean your window tracks, you're not alone. Luckily, you can clean them (and the sills) like a pro, in no time.

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Next Project


No special equipment is needed for this task, but a specialty brush, similar to the one shown here does come in handy.

Tools Required

  • Cotton swabs
  • Disposable wipes or paper towels
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Narrow putty knife butter knife or chop stick
  • Spray Bottle
  • Toothbrush or specialty brush
  • Vacuum with crevice tool

Materials Required

  • All-purpose spray cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent
  • White vinegar

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Vacuum the Window Tracks


Window tracks are the raceways in which the window slides up and down.

Clean the window tracks first (because the windowsills will get dirty while you’re working on the tracks). Vacuum the tracks, using a crevice tool to get into the narrow areas. You’ll find dirt, dead bugs and dried leaves in there. Cleaning your windowsills and tracks should be part of your annual spring cleaning.

Step 2

Wipe the Surfaces

Use disposable cleaning wipes or paper towels dampened with cleaning spray (fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of dish detergent) to clean the surfaces of the tracks. You can use cloth rags, but plan to toss them when you’re finished (the gunk in the tracks can be impossible to wash out of cleaning cloths).

Step 3

Use Something Pointy for Narrow Areas

chopsticksSergey Pozdyaev/Shutterstock

Wrap a disposable wipe or slightly damp paper towel or thin cloth around a narrow putty, butter knife or chopstick for use in corners, crevices, nooks and crannies. (A disposable wipe is less likely to shred than a damp paper towel.) If dirt is really stuck on, spritz with vinegar and then sprinkle with baking soda. Let this sit for a few minutes, then scrub. An old toothbrush and/or cotton swabs may also be helpful in loosening and removing dirt from tight areas. Use cotton swabs to clean your computer keyboard, too!

Step 4

Dry Tracks


Use a microfiber cloth to dry the tracks.

Here are 6 of the best uses for microfiber cloths.

Step 5

Clean the Windowsills, While You’re At It

Family Handyman

A windowsill is the area on which the window rests when it’s closed. If there is loose dirt and debris on the sill, suck it up with a vacuum. Then, fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of dish detergent. Lightly spritz the solution onto a clean microfiber cloth, then wipe the windowsills. Don’t be surprised if they are really dirty!

Note: The window trim that sticks out into the room, like a little shelf, is called the stool. Many people mistakenly call the stool the windowsill. The piece of trim underneath the stool is called the apron. Ever wonder if you could replace a window yourself? The answer is, yes! Here’s how.

Step 6

Dry the Windowsills


Take a clean, dry microfiber cloth and wipe the windowsills one more time to remove any remaining moisture. Check out these window-cleaning tips from a pro.