How to Clean Nasty Window Tracks Using One Simple Trick

Are you tired of looking at all the gunky nastiness in your window tracks? It is amazing how fast they can collect this ugly specimen of ickiness, isn’t it?

The window tracks I will be cleaning today are from the sliders that are in my dining room, which means they are exactly what I look down at when I’m eating. Maybe this is what makes me kind of crazy about them being at least somewhat clean.

Whether it is dust, pet hair, food, or dirt from the dirty rain that makes its way there, it doesn’t take long for window tracks to look this way, especially in my home. With 10 people and two cats to stir around all this dirt, dust, food, and pet hair, there is no shortage of opportunity for gunk to settle here – or anywhere else for that matter.

clean window tracks

When you’ve got some nasty window tracks, here’s the simple trick you need to know to make them shine!


Gather these basic supplies:

white vinegar
baking soda
paper towel
rag or cloth
old toothbrush
butter knife

Follow these steps:

1. Start with the baking soda

Sprinkle a little baking soda wherever the gunkiest places are, most likely in the corners. I find it easiest to use a spoon for this.


2. Grab your white vinegar

Pour a little of the white vinegar over the baking soda. It doesn’t take much. Once you’ve poured the vinegar over the baking soda, just leave it. This is how the magic happens!


3. Walk away

The magic can only happen if you walk away. So just leave it there and forget about it for 10 minutes or so. Just don’t leave it for too long or it will start to dry slightly.


4. Grab your toothbrush

Well, not your toothbrush (ew!) but the one you grabbed for this project. Start working all that gunk toward the center of the window track.


5. Remove all that collected gunk

All that nastiness that you just moved toward the center is now ready to be removed. Just put it in a paper towel and throw it away. I saved you from looking at that part.


6. Wipe up what’s left

Wet your rag and use it to just wipe out what little is left in the track, it shouldn’t be much.

7. Grab your butter knife

If needed, use the knife covered with your rag to finish up in the corners. Again, it should be minimal but it could be there.


8. One last wipe

Use your rag one last time to wipe out anything that might be left. The result should be nice and sparkly clean!

9. Admire your handiwork

Now is the time to sit back and admire your hard work. No one will know that you used an amazing trick to get them to sparkle like this.


Really, how easy was that?

When you know this one simple trick, you really can have clean window tracks year round with minimal effort!

Looking for more on cleaning?

Here’s how to clean your stove top

Here’s how to clean your shower

Here’s how to clean your dryer’s lint trap

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  1. Any tips on getting black off of wood windows?

    • I am so sorry, I do not. I have never lived in a home with wood windows

    • This depends on the condition of the wood. If it is painted already just use ammonia with water. It doesn’t take much. Magic erasers do an amazing job on a lot too. If they are not painted or the paint shows a lot of wear then painting them does the trick.

      Jennifer, Before cleaning the tracks like another Linda mentioned on here, It is best to clean the dirt out first. I use an umpire brush (yes the baseball umpire). They have hard bristles and it is small that fits into your hand easy. This allows you to get into the corners and dig out the dirt that has been there forever. Also one other trick is to pull from the edge to the middle . Its a bear to get gunk out of the corners once it is wet and pushed there.

      Window Cleaning Science

      Tony 26 + years of Washing Windows

      • thanks for the great tips, Tony!

        • Hi Jennifer I’m a mom, wife and a part time house cleaner .
          These are wonderful tips to take with me on the job – I also have a great tip for getting into the corners while cleaning tracks of any kind~ Q-tips are excellent in getting into those hard places and used dry it will pick up everything it touches too~Easy to carry and dollar stores carry them 🙂 happy cleaning everyone

  2. FarmGranny says:

    I use a shaker top bottle for the baking soda, a squeeze and squirt bottle like a small dawn soap bottle and a bamboo skewer sturdy point for cracks (easier to grab, control location and amount) just a suggestion😁

  3. I came across your pin on Pinterest and am so glad I clicked over to your blog. Do you think using your steps would also clean the dirty sliding glass door tracks?

  4. Also, it is helpful to first brush or vacuum out any dry dust or dirt particles. If this is not done, when the wet cleaning products are added, you will have mud to clean out of the window as well.

  5. I like how simple yet effective your cleaning tips are. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by little things like facing the gunk in our window tracks. But reading your blog tips and methods help simplify the process. It is therapeutic! Thank you.

  6. First, take that toothbrush and dry scrub the filth to loosen up as much as possible. Then vacuum it out. I often find that after doing this, I only need a quick wipe with a damp cloth.

  7. Another quick tip is to use a cobweb brush it makes quick work of all the loose stuff in the track , vacuum and then wet wash.

  8. White vinegar is AMAZING! There is so much you can do with it to help clean around the house.

  9. I love your tips on this nasty little job and I agree with some of the posters here on vacuuming the windows first to remove the larger bits of gunk. I also use a spray bottle for the vinegar to make a bit less of a mess, but never thought of FarmGranny’s shaker bottle for the baking soda. Great tip!

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