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Window tracks refer to the space behind the window sill that holds the window in position and serves as an insulator. I was made aware of this nugget of information when my neighbor quizzically asked why my window tracks were black when the frame was white, and I blushed beetroot.
Often neglected during cleaning ( I know how annoying it can be), these crevices soon accumulate atmospheric dirt and dust and come to resemble grimy railroads.
However, there is a way around this. All you will need are a few common household items, and voila, your window tracks will be sparkling clean in a jiffy!
Method 1: Cleaning Using White Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Old toothbrush/ thick paintbrush
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Toothpick/ q tip
- Wet washcloth
How to do?
Step 1: Take a spoonful of baking soda and slather it onto the tracks. You might even add a little extra to the corners, that is where the dirt is most stubborn.
Step 2: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar (measure according to the area that needs to be covered) in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray this over the baking soda.
Step 3: When the mixture starts bubbling, start scrubbing with the toothbrush. The vinegar and baking soda react effectively to the accumulated dirt.nBrush with small, aggressive strokes for maximum effect.
Step 4: Use a wet rag to wipe the remains of the baking soda solution.
Step 5: Use a toothpick or a q-tip to get rid of the debris that clings to the corners.
This is how you can go about cleaning your window tracks, in five simple steps.
[Alternative: In the absence of vinegar, you can also use a couple teaspoons of ammonia and add it to warm water.]
Method 2: Using Handy Clothes Steamer
Another easy method is to use your handy clothes steamer.
- Clothes steamer
- Vacuum cleaner
How to do?
Step 1: Use the vacuum cleaner to get rid of as much loose debris as possible.
Step 2: When the water in the steamer is adequately hot, use it for the disintegration of the remnant gunk.
Step 3: Use the washcloth to wipe down the surfaces.
This particular method comes with a few disadvantages, the primary being that it cannot be implemented in cold countries. The temperature difference between the chilly glass and the vapor from the steamer would almost certainly cause cracking.
It is also inadvisable to use this method for wooden window frames and tracks, as the steam could cause lasting damage to the wood. (The surface of food usually swells up, assuming a flaccid appearance.)
If your window tracks require perfunctory cleaning, you could just use your regular window cleaning liquid with a few drops of lemon juice. The lemon juice functions as a natural bleach and is sufficient for getting the minor stains out.
Method 3 (For Heavy Duty Cleaning): Using Bleach
For heavy-duty cleaning (think mold), a DIY trick is to use bleach. Measure it out depending on the requirement ( 1 cup of bleach for 1 gallon of water) and get scrubbing. For larger areas, however, it is advisable to hire a professional cleaning service.
As easy as it is to get those tracks clean, regular maintenance allows you to enjoy sublime views out your windows without cringing every time you notice the dirty tracks.
Here are a few simple tips you can implement to ensure your tracks stay clean.
Keeping the tracks lubricated prevents dust from accumulating. Use a silicone spray once a week. Not only will it keep the tracks clean, it also ensures smooth movement of the window.
2. Protective Coating
Using a gel-based coating helps in establishing good window health.
3. Keep your sills free from clutter
Overcrowded sills are the primary reasons your window tracks seem to be covered in dirt all the time. Try not to place your planters on the sills. Earthen pots are also a big mistake, as they often leak to give rise to sedimentary run-off.
As an alternative, using hanging planters/ fake plants to add a touch of nature to your windows.
4. Keep the windows shut
As appealing as the idea of gazing out the window in monsoon is, you might want to keep them shut once in a while. Inclement weather can cause your window tracks to go from clean to not in seconds.
As a last resort for the lazy, invest in a stylish sponge runner for your tracks. They prevent flooding and effectively save the conscience from worrying about cleaning.
Window track cleaning is not the most enjoyable of tasks, granted, but is surprisingly easy to do if you know how to. With the aid of a few commonly procured household windows, you could get your window tracks to look clean in no time at all, and rest easy.