Weekend Projects

Here’s How You Trick Yourself Into Spotless Windows This Weekend

published Jul 9, 2021
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Opened kitchen window
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

Cleaning window tracks, in my opinion, has to be one of the most thankless cleaning jobs there is. Unlike vacuuming, tidying up, or even toilet cleaning or folding laundry, cleaning the window tracks has no lasting visible reward once you’re done with the chore. Unless you’re in one of those fairy tale seasons or fairy tale places where you’re able to keep your windows open most of the day, window tracks are often hidden by the bottom of your window.

But window tracks get so dirty. I have yet to figure out how and why they can collect so much black grime when they’re covered by the window! Whether I understand it or not, though, not only do my window tracks get caked in dirt, but they also have played casket to some dead frogs, lizards, and bugs. (If you wondered what lush tropical landscape I live in, it’s Florida.)

This weekend, you’re going to look this loathsome task in the eye. Don’t worry, though, you’re going to do just one. Since sometimes the mental toughness of a task is what keeps you from starting on it, this weekend’s project is just about overcoming that first and biggest obstacle.

Credit: Sarah Crowley
The sponge trick might work for you (or maybe not), but there are many ways to clean a window.

This Weekend: Clean one window track.

My current favorite way to clean window tracks is with Mr. Clean spray and paper towels. Spray the tracks liberally with undiluted Mr. Clean and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen stubborn dirt. Then wad your paper towel into the tracks and wipe clean. The paper towels work so well because you can squish them into the tight spaces of the track and they’re absorbent. If you have reusable sponge cloths or bamboo towels at home, those would work as paper towel alternative here.

Once you have one window track done, a funny but wonderful thing might happen: You might just decide to do another. You’re high on accomplishment from the one you just finished and you already have what you need in your hand. Might as well!

Whether you stop at one track or allow the one to snowball into another one or more, this weekend’s task will get you started on a household chore that’s probably long overdue.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.