Whether your home has vinyl or wooden windows, one thing is certain: window sills and tracks get bombarded with dirt and dust from inside and out. Learning how to clean window sills, tracks, and glass the right way not only keeps your windows looking beautiful, it also helps them function properly.

Dirt, dust, and debris get into the window sill and tracks and can cause a window to bind or not shut properly—and can make your windows look dull and dingy. If you want to get your windows back in shape, read on to learn how to clean window tracks, sills, and more.

Regardless of what kind of window you’re cleaning, cleaning the glass is always the first step. After you clean the glass, open the window all the way and remove the screen to clean later with a garden hose. Use your vacuum’s narrow wand attachment and vacuum up debris, dirt, and bugs from the window sill.

Now you can start cleaning the window sill!

How To Clean a Wooden Window Sill

Wooden window sills add a warm touch to homes, but they take a little more maintenance and care than vinyl. Consistent exposure to sun, cold, rain, and dirt can leave a wooden window sill dull-looking; over time, this exposure can even lead to damage.

Protect your home and your windows by learning how to clean window tracks and sills on wooden windows:

Cleaning a Painted Wooden Window Sill

  • If the paint is peeling, use a soft bristle brush to remove paint flakes and debris before cleaning.
  • Use a soft scouring pad, water, and dish liquid to scrub the dirt from the window sill.
  • For stains, add some baking soda to the mix and scrub lightly.
  • Use a toothbrush dipped in soapy water for cleaning window tracks.
  • Rinse with warm water and either let it drain out the weep holes or dry the window sill with a towel.

Cleaning Stained or Varnished Window Sills

  • Use a soft bristle brush and soapy water to scrub the window sill and tracks.
  • Rinse the window tracks and sill and remove excess water quickly so it doesn’t soak into the wood.
  • If you find watermarks or stains, use fine-grade sandpaper to remove a thin layer of the finish.
  • Once the window sill is completely dry, apply a coat of fresh varnish or stain to repair the finish.

How To Clean a Plastic Window Sill

Weep holes in plastic and vinyl windows are designed to keep wind and rain water out while also allowing water from other sources to escape. This makes cleaning window sills on plastic and vinyl windows easy. Because the weep holes provide an outlet for water, you can really get in there and soak those tracks and sills to get them clean. Periodically check weep holes to make sure the openings are not clogged, and if they are, use a toothbrush to clear them.

If your weep holes are ready to go, here’s how to clean window sills on vinyl windows:

  • Sprinkle an even layer of fine baking soda into the window sill and tracks.
  • Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. 
  • Soak the baking soda and let the concoction sit for 10 minutes. 
  • While you’re waiting, spray the vertical window tracks with your vinegar spray.
  • Use an old toothbrush to brush dirt and grime out of the tracks, working from the top down.
  • When the sill has soaked for 10 minutes, use the toothbrush to scrub from one end of the sill to the other. Be sure to get into the corners. 
  • For tight spots and crevices, wrap a microfiber cloth around a butter knife and use it to get into the hard-to-reach spots. 
  • Pour warm water into the tracks and sill and let it drain out of the weep holes, and repeat as needed to remove dirt and residue. 
  • When your window sill and tracks are rinsed thoroughly, dry the window sill and tracks with a dry cloth. 

How To Remove Mold From a Window Sill

Distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaner, antifungal, and can kill most mold species. Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and saturate areas where you see mold. Leave the vinegar to its work for an hour and then just wipe away the residue.

Hydrogen peroxide is also a natural antifungal that can kill mold and mildew. Pour the peroxide into a spray bottle and soak the moldy areas, as well as any stubborn stains. The hydrogen peroxide will get rid of the mold; because it’s a bleaching agent, it will make stains less noticeable.

Baking soda is another natural product with bleaching and antifungal properties. Pour a layer of baking soda over mold and mildew, then spritz it with enough water to make it damp. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes, then scrub away the mold. Because baking soda is also a mild abrasive, you can use the same paste to scrub stains.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the mold in your window sill, rinse it with warm water and either wipe up excess water or let it escape through the weep holes. The last step is to dry the window sill with a towel to get rid of excess moisture that could lead to another breakout of mold.

Now that you know how to keep those window sills looking good, check out some of our other handy housekeeping guides so you can enjoy a cleaner home more often. Need help getting the rest of your windows clean? Our residential window cleaning service can take over where you left off to get your windows sparkling clean inside and out. Get your free estimate from The Maids and learn more about affordable home cleaning services.

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