How to Clean Window Tracks in 5 Easy Steps

how to clean window tracks closed window

Getty Images / Nickbeer

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-5

Your window tracks may not be first thing you think of when it comes to window cleaning. But clean window tracks are a detail that can take the cleanliness of your home to the next level, and clean window tracks will make your windows sparkle even more. Getting your window tracks back to good-as-new is an easy process. Here's everything you need to know about how to clean your window tracks.

How Often to Clean Window Tracks

Your window tracks get slowly exposed to outdoor dirt and dust over time, especially if your windows are open frequently. However, they're also relatively well protected from many of the elements, thanks to the window frames and glass that protect them. Because of this, your window tracks will probably only need to be cleaned annually.

But cleaning all your window tracks at once will take a long time, so consider cleaning only a few every month. This will help your keep all your windows clean over time without the hefty time commitment.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Mini vacuum or vacuum with a narrow hose attachment
  • Spray bottle
  • Old toothbrush
  • Old powder brush (optional)


  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels or microfiber cloths


How to Clean Window Tracks

  1. Vacuum Dirt Away

    First, slide your windows up as high as they can go, or, even better, see if they can be popped back (this typically involves holding down a lever or two on the top of the sliding window). If you have window screens, try to take them off as well. And while they're off, go ahead and clean them—all you'll need to do is shake them off, spray them with a soapy mixture, rinse them off with a hose, then let dry.

    Next, grab a mini vacuum or your regular vacuum with a narrow hose attachment. Run the vacuum from the top of the window tracks down to the bottom, sucking up any loose dirt and debris.

  2. Add Baking Soda

    Once you've vacuumed your window tracks, sprinkle baking soda onto them. You may need to gently toss it onto the tracks depending upon the angle and height of the window.

    The baking soda should be generously applied, but it should not be so generously applied that the baking soda sits in clumps or piles.

    If you're struggling to apply it without it clumping, consider using an old makeup powder brush.

  3. Spray Vinegar

    Next, combine one part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the water and vinegar mixture onto the baking soda-covered window tracks. The mixture will fizz. Let it sit for five to 15 minutes, depending on the dirtiness of the window tracks.

  4. Scrub the Tracks

    Using an old toothbrush, scrub the window tracks, paying special attention to any nooks and crannies within the tracks. Doing this will ensure that the baking soda and vinegar combo reaches every part of your window tracks.

    Make sure you work from top to bottom to ensure dirty baking soda doesn't end up on your freshly scrubbed window tracks.

  5. Wipe Clean

    Next, grab your paper towels or microfiber cloth. You may want to use paper towels rather than a microfiber cloth as you'll probably be repeating this step multiple times with a clean towel or cloth each time.

    Wipe the baking soda and vinegar mixture off the window tracks, again working from top to bottom. This may take multiple passes. If your tracks are still dirty, or the mixture has dried on, spray the tracks with vinegar again to get them extra-clean before wiping away with paper towels.

Tips to Keep Your Window Tracks Clean Longer

After you've gone to all that hard work to clean your window tracks, here's a few tips to keep them clean longer.

  • Ensure you're regularly cleaning the other parts of your window, like the frame, glass, and screen. This will prevent dirt from building up in the harder-to-clean tracks.
  • Try to keep your windows closed when it's an extra dusty, windy, or pollen-filled day outside. This helps to keep unnecessary dust, dirt and pollen from sneaking into your window tracks (and your home).
  • Give your window tracks a quick wipe down in fall to prevent all the dust and dirt that built up over summer from getting stuck on (and harder to clean) during winter.