Cleaning your windows is probably not on your weekly cleaning list, amiright? But like so many things, clean windows are something you feel rather than see. Like dusting the baseboards. But that’s another post.
Here’s something you should add to your monthly (?) cleaning checklist: cleaning your window tracks. Unlike wiping the glass clean, this isn’t exactly a one-step job.
First, open your windows as much as you can, wiping away any falling debris. (If you haven’t done this in a while—or ever—you might need to battle a few spider webs or other insects stuck between the window and the screen.) Now vacuum them using the long, skinny vacuum attachment. If you can take the screen out, now’s the time to do it. Put them aside, as you’ll want to give them a good hosing down later.
Then, instead of going straight in with a cleaning solution, which may just puddle in the window tracks, sprinkle a bit of baking soda along the tracks. (This should be safe for just about any window.) Then, combine equal parts white vinegar and All-Purpose Cleaner into a bottle, and generously spritz it onto the baking soda—this should create a little foamy, fizzing paste. Here’s where you’ll want to put on some rubber gloves.
As the baking soda fizzes, spray the vertical window tracks along the sides of your window with more of the vinegar-APC mix. Scrub from the top of the vertical track down to the bottom with a cleaning cloth or an old Konjac sponge, which should be thin enough to fit inside the tracks. It might be easier to reach the corners with an old pot brush—just know that you’ll have to reincarnate it as a “cleaning brush” from here on out. Once the sides are set, use the pot brush or Konjac sponge to get much of the dirt loose. Then, using a back-and-forth motion, wipe the bottom tracks clean with an old towel (or, if they’re truly disgusting, a disposable paper towel). Continue this until the tracks are completely free of dirt, spraying more APC should you need it.
I recommend trying to keep up with them by cleaning them once a month, or more often if you live in a stormy or windy area where debris can easily make its way off the ground. Just remember to put your screens back in after you’re done hosing them off.
Once you get the tracks clean and reinstalled, you might as well give them a once over with Glass Cleaner...just sayin.
Now, go forth and open your windows wide. Clearly brilliant.