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How to Clean Window Tracks Like a Pro In No Time Flat

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There is nothing more annoying than cleaning window tracks in my opinion. Do you agree? Not only is it tedious, but it is also rather gross if you put it off like I do. And mine are yucky! My apologies there. No worries, however, because I’ve figured out a trick that gets it done quick and with little effort on your part. It is amazing how quickly window tracks can get gunky. Dirt, dust, pet hair, food, and who knows what else!

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If you’ve got a few minutes, you can get your window tracks nice and sparkly clean.

Here’s how to clean your window tracks like a pro!

clean window tracks simple

Before you get started, be sure to click HERE to pin this in Pinterest so you can find it again!

You will need:

  • old toothbrush
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • paper towel
  • rag
  • butter knife
  1. First sprinkle a little baking soda on the worst parts, usually in the corners.clean-window-tracks
  2. Cover baking soda with a little bit of the vinegar. It will start to bubble, which is good.
  3. Leave it for 5-10 minutes to work its magic.
  4. Come back and start working all that gunk towards the center with your toothbrush.clean-window-tracks-easy
  5. Stick all the gunk on a paper towel and throw it away. I spared you the photo of this part.
  6. Wet your rag and start cleaning up the tracks with what is left, scrubbing if needed.
  7. Use the butter knife covered with the rag to get it better in the corners.clean-windows
  8. Give the track one last wipe down.
  9. Admire your handiwork that looks as though you spent a half hour or more!cleaning-window-tracks

Sometimes a q-tip could be helpful, but they just hold such a small amount I don’t find them to be very cost or time efficient. Cleaning window tracks is one of those things that doesn’t have to be done all that often but when they do, this tip will make it way better!

Pin this post HERE so you have it when you need it!

Watch this video below to see how to clean window tracks step by step – and a few other cleaning challenges that most don’t know how to tackle!

Wondering how to use this same principle with your sliders? Read how to clean your slider tracks HERE.

Click on any of the links below to read about more cleaning tips and tricks

You will not want to miss how you clean your blinds, and the best secret weapon ever!

See how this same trick can save you time cleaning your shower!


Check out these 30 spring cleaning projects you can tackle in 30 minutes or less!

Did you see my simple trick for cleaning your dryer’s lint trap?!

clean window tracks easy
clean window tracks easy


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  1. it also works well to do this job after it has been dry weather for a while and the tracks are not wet. use the tooth on the dry track and 75% of the gunk will come loose. vacuum, then spray with oxyclean dissolved in hot water and get the last bits of dirt with the blade of a dull knife and a microfiber cloth. much less messy.

        1. You can buy vinegar in any grocery store, CVS or Walgreens. I purchased it for a $1.99/gallon.

    1. I use a tooth brush and an old bottle of Dawn dish soap, with a dot of dish soap as the cleaner. I squeeze the soapy water right into the corners and it gets a lot of the dirt and leaves you cannot reach!

    1. It is so easy! I’m so glad that others are finding it to be useful. I’ve been doing this for years!

  2. That looks awesome! I have been putting this task off for quite some time, just because they’re so horrible and it’s my least favorite chore,but that looks so great and easy, I think I’ll try it this week!!

  3. I also use a turkey baster to squirt water with Oxy Clean in it in the corner to loosen dirt where the toothbrush won’t reach.

    1. Great tip. Oxy Clean is so useful in so many ways. It is the biggest trick I have in my toolbox for dealing with laundry issues of all kinds! But, it tackles so much more than laundry!

  4. A clean paint brush also makes cleaning the hard to reach corners and crevices a breeze, and it permits you to push the mixture forward to wipe up. Great tip Jennifer!

    1. Awesome tip. Gene! I love it! I cannot wait to try your paintbrush trick. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Love it Jennifer!! The only thing better than that is having you come do it!!
    Very easy and it is spotless now THANK you!! πŸ™‚

  6. In Florida it’s likely the tracks aren’t going to be totally dry, but I vacuum first. Then I soak in soapy bleach water before using a brush. Wrapping a paper towel folded in half or a rag around the edge of a knife (I use a disposable but diverse is washable) will get in crevices. Soaking really is the key.

  7. Wiping the mess up takes longer than the actual cleaning. I have a Bissel Little Green Spot Carpet machine (spot carpet cleaning machine) that comes in handy for pet accidents. I clean the sill by using a little spray cleaner and a toothbrush for the sill, then use the little carpet cleaner to suck up the mess. I use it to spray a little clean water in to rinse, then suck it up with the carpet cleaner and wipe with a clean cloth. Takes less than two minutes, no soapy residue to attract dirt and I don’t waste thirty papertowels, or spend 10 minuets rinsing a rag.

  8. Oh my goodness….don’t take this the wrong way but I think I love you!!! LOL! No seriously…you clean like I do and I need all the help I can get! I’m a clean freak and I’m STUCK on your page! Thank you for all the incredible tips! Who knew!

  9. Found your site today and I am truly excited! I’m recently retired and am ready to tackle EVERY drawer, cabinets and closets. Yours is the best one I have seen. Looking forward to our relationship. Do you live near Conway, Arkansas? !!

  10. An Airman I was stationed with in Iceland had a similar process. He also used baking soda and vinegar, but he would cut dried sponges into rectangles that fit the widths between the tracks. After the solution had finished it’s job, he would give a quick scrub with a toothbrush.

    Then, he would put the cut sponges (still dry) into the tracks at the end where the windows were. He would push down on them to start the “soak-up” process and then slowly pull the window from the closed position, to the fully open position.

    The sponges would fully soak up the solution by the end of their travel and then would fold upward in half. He would then grab the folded sponges with his fingers and give them a downward thrust before making a pinching motion to pick up any loose hair, bugs, or other such debris that did not dissolve in the solution.

    He would go back later and use a vacuum, if there was any debris remaining that he could not pinch up with the sponges. Evidently, he was a good pincher, because he usually finished the jod without any vacuuming!

    The sponges then got a good rinsing and squeezing and left out to dry (sometimes with the help of the squadron’s oven) and then tossed into his sock drawer for use again later.

    1. What a slick idea! That took some ingenuity, but how nice that most of the work got done with minimal effort!

  11. I just moved 2 Tennessee, built a new home. Want 2 keep it clean as easily as possible, so I can spend my time on Dale Hollow Lake.

  12. A thin film of lubricant such as WD-40 or Silicon spray applied with a lightly sprayed sponge or cloth which conforms to the window track facilitates the sliding action of the window and also creates a barrier against things “sticking” to the track between cleanups. Things usually wipe away quite easily with the lubricant barrier between the metal of the frame/track and any dust or debris which settles in over time. Occasional vacuuming helps reduce the amount needing to be wiped up or cleaned with solutions unless of course you’re in highly humid areas– I was stationed for a time in LA, but am now residing in dusty Arizona so I am familiar with the range of extremes. I love preventative maintenance which eases up the size of the task when it comes time to perform a full-on cleaning versus the light occasional dusting. Arizona just has tons of fast, re-accumulating dust throughout the year. Houses out here are never perfectly built to guard against the outside elements so a good degree of material manipulation and application is required to create better-sealed barriers in an attempt to reduce the dust buildup and thermal exchanges between indoors and out.

  13. Just want to let you know that if you remove the window. Then take a small flat screwdriver you can pull up the entire track clean, it wax…as well as clean underneath it and reinstall it. Also if your Windows have little vents on the outside, these are drainage holes. Take a compressor and find the related hole on the inside ( sometimes under the track) and blow them out. Small bugs and spiders love to get in there.

    1. Gross! I don’t need any extra bugs and spiders! I looked at mine, and they do have that hole. I can’t wait to try that!

  14. The cleaning tip is great cant wait to try it on my double hung windows that dont tilt in.
    My companion is a retired home contractor who uses aerosol furniture polish on the window/door tracks when they don’t slide easily.

    1. Actually if you use wax paper and rub back and forth on the metal track area the window will slide great without using a spray of some kind to gunk up. I also use wax paper on my metal clothes rods in my closet and my clothes slide great and don’t get bunched up.

      1. Wow, that is great. I am all about being proactive to make the job easier for later. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try it!

  15. We moved into an older home and I don’t think the tracks were ever cleaned! This is a fantastic way to clean the tracks. Thanks

    1. Wow, sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I’m so glad that my tips can help! It will all be worth it I’m sure! Blessings!

  16. I cleaned my windows, screens and sills last year. I took me forever. I could only clean one or two a day. They need cleaning now and I have been putting it off. The sills are the worst. I am motivated now after reading your post and will try your tips. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That is so smart. Anything to make the gross and gunky part easier, I say! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Bi carb and vinegar are very corrosive. Unless you totally clean them out then it will eat into the metal track and then it will be hard to slide..want to know how corrosive it is, put a penny into the solution and leave for a few days and see what happens.

  18. Most newer style vinyl Windows have a removable track, like this one. Push the slider portion of the window open past the top block, lift the window up and out. Pull on the center of the window track or use a blade to pop the track out of place. This will save you a lot of time in cleaning and you’ll get all the gunk that you don’t see underneath the track!

    1. now that would be nice! I will have to look for that when we build again! Thanks for the tip!

  19. Good tips but better than a butter knife for edges and corners is a long bamboo skewer. They are found in bundles at Walmart and other stores. I use them all the time for cleaning tight spaces.

    1. I save your chop sticks from take out. they work great for this job and stirring paint or other things.

  20. Hydrogen peroxide works much better than baking soda and vinegar for this job. It will kill any mold and it’s faster–no waiting around for it to work. Plus it disinfects while being non-toxic. Using baking soda and vinegar means you now have a yucky paste to clean up in addition to what was already in your window track. Give it a try! ?

    1. What a great tip! I use hydrogen peroxide all the time to get blood out of my husband’s clothes (he’s a paramedic). I will have to try this! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome! It was my extreme dislike for cleaning them that led me to find a solution that made it not so bad!

  21. I like using a flat head screw driver…it is much easier to get in corners and tight spaces. I also found in making this part of my regular cleaning each week, means less gunk and build up of bugs and spiders. So, each week I open the window an wipe down the track with a damp cloth. My Windows stay clean all year long with very little work by just maintaing them. During the real cold months (Dec thru Feb) I do not open the windows to clean them, but in the spring they are still very good and you may be able to vacuum and wipe down again! I have found this saves allot of time and very little cleaning each year.

    1. I applaud you for doing this every week! That is amazing, and you are so right. Maintenance is always easier than damage control! Thanks for sharing!

    2. WOW . . . every week?!?!? So wish I had your energy . . . just cleaned mine for company coming to visit for the holidays, and truth be told, probably won’t do it again until April! I used Clorox Clean-up this time AND never AGAIN. Yes, it did the job, but I’ve had a headache ever since. Usually use a ‘less toxic’ way . . . but I was given short notice and desperate. Can’t wait to try the Hydrogen Peroxide method.

  22. A Denture Brush works a little better than a tooth brush, it has been a staple in my cleaning satchel for years. A 5 in 1 tool also works great. You can find them in tools, but be advised the point will go through a cloth.

  23. I find that using an old paint brush or a cheap one from the dollar store is more flexible and gets into all the nooks and corners. Dip it in a soapy solution and brush as if you are painting and rinse brush and reapply as needed. Dry with cloth or paper towel

  24. If the house was built before 1978, you will more than likely have lead dust in the trough. The EPA has some good information on how to safely handle the cleaning. The key to controlling the dust is keep it wet.

  25. I have an old paint brush that I use along with a tooth brush for my window sills. I also use a plant watering can to rinse all the guk out of the sill after cleaning.

  26. Thank you, this is a great post. I clean houses and I use baking soda and vinegar all the time, for tons of cleaning chores. One tip I want to pass along and maybe it’s already been posted, is I buy cheap paint brushes in different sizes at the Dollar Tree and use them for a variety of cleaning jobs. They are great for cleaning baseboards, window screens, blinds, lamp shades, chair rails, bottom of kitchen chair legs, and many many others things, you can’t believe how quick and easy the job gets done and it super clean.

    1. I was thinking the way to solve this is they need to be cleaned more often just like dusting then it’s not such a messy big job. Try a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

  27. I just ran across this looking to clean windows … It finally quit raining and the fuzzys from the trees are done yea! OK now to clean windows .. Booo! While I am going to use the baking soda and vinegar, I found what works great is a steamer with the nozzle attachments. It steams all that gunk away just make sure you use a rag on the outside of the window to catch any black gunk that trickles down the outside of the house, otherwise you’ll have another job to do πŸ˜€

  28. Hi Jennifer,

    Just wondered why you call yourself “The International Mom”?
    Have your traveled widely or just have an international/global outlook?



    1. Hi Dennis, the name of my site is actually The Intentional Mom because I am all about being intentional πŸ˜‰

  29. Great post! I thought changing tracks was the only way to have clean tracks. But after reading the post, it is now very simple for me to clean window tracks. Thank you for sharing.

  30. tampons are teh best for cleaning the tracks and getting the gunk out after you’ve used the baking soda and vineger

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