How to Clean Window Sills

Have you taken a good look at your window sills and tracks lately? This commonly overlooked area is notorious for collecting dust, dirt, dead insects, and other unsightly grime. Window sills can be a difficult area to clean due to the many cracks and crevices, but with a few tools and a little patience, you can keep them looking good as new.

What you’ll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with a crevice attachment
  • Stiff-bristled cleaning brush (a toothbrush will do just fine in a pinch)
  • Sponge or damp cloth
  • Dry cloth
  • Detergent (see below to determine what type of detergent is appropriate for the material)
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cotton swabs

Step 1: Assess your sills

First of all, you should determine what type of material you’re working with. Window sills and tracks can be made from a variety of different materials, including stained wood, painted wood, PVC, and aluminum. Make sure you’re aware of the type of material your window sills are crafted from so that you can be sure to use the proper detergent and avoid causing damage.

For most window sills, a drop of dish soap mixed with water will be fine. However, be careful not to use too much water on wooden window sills, whether they are painted or stained.

For stained wood, an oil-based cleanser is best, as it will keep the wood from drying out and help maintain its shine. PVC window sills that have stubborn scuffs and stains require a cream cleanser.

Step 2: Start with suction!

No matter what type of material your window sills are made from, you can always start with your vacuum cleaner. Using the crevice tool, suck out as much of the grime as you can, paying special attention to the seams between the tracks, where it will be hard to reach with a brush, sponge, or cloth.

If your crevice tool has a brush attachment, that will be even more effective at dislodging the dirt.

Step 3: Scrub it up

Once you’ve removed as much dirt as you can with the vacuum cleaner, it’s time to scrub. Using the appropriate detergent as determined in Step 1, mix a blend of water and detergent in your spray bottle.

Spray the mixture on the window sill and tracks, and let it sit for several minutes. Keep in mind that for wooden sills, you’ll want to limit the amount of water you use and how long you let it sit, as moisture can damage the wood.

After a few minutes, use your damp cloth or sponge to remove the dirt on the easy-to-reach areas. For cracks and crevices, switch to the brush. Finally, for the hard-to-reach corners, use a cotton swab to collect the remaining grime.

Use a dry cloth to soak up any excess liquid, and if the weather is nice, leave your windows open to allow any remaining moisture to evaporate.

Now that your window sills are refreshed, keep them looking like new by incorporating this process into your seasonal cleaning routine and you’ll never have to be embarrassed by dirt and grime in your window sills!

 

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