Window sills are like a magnet for dust and bugs. Whether you frequently open your windows or keep them closed, the combination of drafts, sun, and weather can cause moisture and temperature fluctuations that attract all manner of residue to your window frames.
A quick wiping down of dirty window sills can refresh their appearance, but to really clean them, you’ll need to open the window and scrub away at the track. Proper maintenance of the windows is also important for a complete seal that will keep bugs and moisture from collecting between the screen and the glass.
In this article, we will share how to clean window sills and tracks like the pros. If you could use some additional, professional help keeping your house clean, our expert housekeeping service is only a phone call away!
Window Sill Cleaning Tools
All you really need to clean a windowsill is:
- Liquid cleaning solution
- Clean cloth rag
- Rubber gloves
- Small brush
The cleaning solution you use will depend on your need (i.e., quick sprucing, deep cleaning, or combatting mold). You probably have everything you will need already in your home and are ready to learn how to keep window sills clean.
Products to Clean Your Window Sills
Before rolling up your sleeves and getting started, you’ll want to be sure you have the supplies you need to get in those pesky nooks and crannies of your window sills. Here’s what you’ll need for cleaning window sills.
A mixture of bleach water in a spray bottle is perfect for killing germs, mold spores, and other organic residues that tend to collect in gateways like windows. For basic cleaning, a mild concoction with plenty of water should suffice. For troublesome mold or more severe sanitation needs, a moderately strong combination may be prudent.
White Vinegar & Water
White vinegar is a natural anti-fungal and all-purpose cleaner. Using it as a spray or diluting it with clean water for scrubbing surfaces are both effective cleaning strategies.
A microfiber cloth is ideal for squeezing into the narrow crevices of a dirty window sill to scoop off the trapped dust, dirt, and spiderwebs. Be prepared to go through multiple or frequently wash what you have.
For the finer details, a toothbrush is good at fitting in tiny spaces, plus the handle affords you some extra reach. Feel free to use an old toothbrush or buy a new one for this sole purpose.
Dish Soap or Baking Soda
These two agents are relatively harmless and safe to use on most surfaces, individually or as a combo. Soapy water is good at grabbing loose debris while baking soda helps break down stuck-on grime without too much elbow grease.
Removing Mold from Window Sills
Harmless mold and mildew specs can be scrubbed away with a mild dish soap and warm water solution. For persistent or worrisome mold gatherings, consider a moderately strong bleach and hot water mix to sanitize the area.
How to Keep Mold Away
Once you have removed any mold to limit the potential for spreading spores, it is critical to reduce moisture in the area to prevent future outbreaks. This means weather sealing the window to keep rain, fog, and dew out. You can also be mindful of opening the window for a dry breeze and the curtains to let microbe-killing sunlight flood the area.
How to Clean Window Sills (aka Windowsills)
Once you have your supplies ready, all that is left to do is get in there and start scrubbing that stubborn grime away. Start by dry-dusting the area (including your blinds) with your dry microfiber cloth or a paper towel to remove any excess debris, then apply your cleaning solution.
Whether it be a store-bought all-purpose cleaner or a homemade solution, thoroughly cover the area and wait a few moments for the chemicals to start breaking up any filth. Then, apply pressure with your damp microfiber cloth, and the dirt should come right up.
Best Way to Clean Window Tracks
For cleaning out window tracks, all you need to do is apply cleaner and wipe over them with your damp cloth, just like you did with the sill. It may be prudent to have another dry cloth ready since the tracks can be much dirtier than the sill itself. Once wiped clean, grab your cleaning toothbrush to scrub inside those tight spaces and loosen up any stuck-on grime. Wipe one more time with a damp cloth to lift what you broke free, and everything should look like new!
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
While you can save some money by cleaning your window sills on your own, this task may be more demanding than you anticipate depending on the number of windows in your home and how long they have been neglected. Even taking on the job yourself, there will be some expense by way of cleaning supplies and, of course, your time. But now that you know how to clean window sills, you’re ready to take on the challenge!
If you want someone else to handle cleaning window sills for you, or at least tackle the initial deep clean to set you up for easier future maintenance, the expert cleaners from Upstairs Downstairs are ready to assist. Contact us today for a free estimate on windows or an entire house cleaning!
Can you use vinegar to clean window sills?
Yes! Vinegar is a commonly used household cleaner that is safe for most applications. In fact, vinegar is a recommended method for keeping plastic window sills clean, as certain other cleaning agents may be too harsh.
What’s the black stuff around my window sill?
While a black substance around your window sill could be something innocuous like dirt, dust, or even dead bugs, you should be cautious as it could be a sign of black mold. A window sill that is not adequately sealed might let in excess moisture or even rain, creating an ideal environment for mold to thrive.
Do more research and take precautions before handling or breathing in what is potentially mold on window sills. You don’t want to distribute spores around your home.
How do you clean a dirty ledge window?
Ledge windows can be tricky to clean depending on their shape and location. Exterior sills may be hard to reach, and you should be cautious of where you put your weight. In some cases, it may be most efficient to clean from inside and outside to reach target areas easily.
What do professional window cleaners use to clean windows?
Most professional cleaners use specifically formulated cleaning solutions along with a professional grade squeegee and microfiber cloth to make quick work of cleaning windows.
How Often Should You Clean Your Window Sills?
The frequency with which you clean your window sills depends on various factors, such as the amount of dust or debris in the air, the presence of pets or smokers in the home, and the amount of foot traffic near your windows.
Generally, it is a good idea to clean your window sills at least once every few months to prevent the buildup of dirt or grime that can detract from the appearance of your home and potentially cause health issues.
However, if you notice visible dirt or debris on your window sills, or if you have allergies or respiratory issues, you may need to clean them more frequently, such as once a month or every few weeks.