How to Clean Window Frames and Runners in 4 Steps

A dirty window runner.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15
What You'll Need
White Vinegar
Liquid Soap
Clean Cloth
Vacuum Cleaner
Old toothbrush

Besides the glare of grime that has built up since your last window wash, it’s likely that the tracks of your windows and sliding glass doors have become encrusted with dirt, debris, and even mold. But don’t avoid them. Begin fresh with these easy steps to clean your window and sliding glass door frames.

Step 1 - Vacuum

If you’ve accumulated everything in your window tracks from pet hair to Christmas tree pine needles, an easy way to start the cleaning process is by vacuuming out any loose debris in the track. The slotted wand tool is handy for getting into the grooves. Don’t worry about spending too much time on this step since even the crevice tool often doesn’t do a great job of sucking the gunk out of those tight spaces.

Step 2 - Initial Clean

With the larger particles out of the way, it’s time to dig into the dirt. Use your favorite multi-purpose cleaner to spray the area. Allow a few minutes for it to work the debris loose while you vacuum out the next window frame. Then, use a cloth to wipe away the residue. This is just a quick wipe down to take off the top layer.

Step 3 - Secret Ingredient

A window runner with bubbles.

To further release the buildup in your window frame runner, try this handy cleaning secret. First, sprinkle the area with baking soda. A light layer is all you need. Next, dribble white vinegar over the baking soda. You could also apply the vinegar using a spray bottle. You will notice the mixture begin to bubble as it deep cleans. Avoid using a large amount of soda and vinegar so that you have less to clean up. Only a small amount is needed. Allow the mixture to sit for five or more minutes. After all, the more work it does, the less you have to do. Once the bubbles die down, you are ready for the next step.

Step 4 - Final Wipe Down

A clean window runner.

Grab an old toothbrush and scrub out the corners. It’s amazing how much filth hides out where you couldn’t even see it! Finally, use a rag to once again to wipe out the runner. Because there are so many small areas that can gather dirt and debris, use a sharp tool such as a knife, pencil, or screwdriver to guide the cloth across the dirt. This helps pick up grime from all the surfaces. Just make sure that your cloth is absorbent so that you are not just pushing the muck around. Cotton swabs or Q-tips are great for getting into nooks and crannies, too. They are small and do not absorb very much though, so save them for the really detailed work. Paper towels are an absorbent and disposable choice as well.

Enjoy the Results

While cleaning windows is a typical part of seasonal cleaning, letting the light shine through might just make your gunky window frames even more obvious. Even though it only takes a few minutes, cleaning the tracks of your windows and doors has a huge impact on the general feeling of cleanliness in your room. Plus, it pushes away the dread and gives you a little boost each time you open the window to let in the fresh spring air. As a bonus, taking the time to clean your window and door tracks makes them work more efficiently, too!