Outside Tracks and Sills

Question is: what is the best way to clean the outside track and sill without making a mess and creating dust around?

Background: I live in Arizona where the dust gets even in your B crack so there is plenty of it in the track and sill at all time. So far I’ve been using painters brush to get the dust from the outside track but it has just been creating clouds of dust. Other method I used was hosing the window down, it doesn’t work on patio windows (I don’t want to hose the whole patio afterwards) and the hose is just wet and it sucks. So that leaves me with sucking the dust in, Corded vacs are just pain on the B and non corded (rigid) are expensive. For inside tracks i use a shop vac, lucky me every window has a outlet near it, too bad outside windows don’t have one.

Own conclusion: So this means either i need to pay a lot for cordless vac or pick other method, the other methods suck that i know of so either way I’m screwed.

I brush and vac (Ridgid cordless WD2450) exterior screen tracks at the same time I do the interior (I clean interior panes first as a rule.)

Before cleaning exterior panes with traditional methods, I typically utilize a 2-gallon bucket and a few heavy-duty sponges. I “pre-wash” the bottom of the exterior panes to remove any debris/dust that remains.

WFP if you have one. Leaves the sills nice and clean.

Sounds like a backpack sprayer may be useful. Less volume and better control than a hose.

I thought about backpack sprayer and I don’t think I want to carry that around
its just seems all the ways are a pain, vacuum would be the easiest, hose most effective
but there is just nothing easy and effective at the same time,
i saw coiled up hoses at target. skinny and long so small volume and thats all its needed
plus adjustable nozzle and i think that would be better than a bulky hard to controll garden hose I’m going to try it out tomorrow if it doesn’t work i’ll just take the hose back


A WFP will clean the outside glass, frame, and those tracks all in one shot. AND faster then doing them by hand.

true that, but i just don’t have $3000 to spend on WFP right now

I fully understand that one. Been there.

Let us know what you come up with.

We don’t have the mother nature dust problem here, however I have been doing post construction cleaning and those tracks are loaded with dust and debris. I too clean and vacuum as much of the exterior tracks as I can, while doing the interior. I have found after I do a quick vacuum to pull up loose and large pieces of debris, I then use a dry rag to loosen up what is caked on, it usually leaves the tracks pretty clean, I then just wipe down with a damp rag. When moving to the exterior, I first use a dry rag to loosen and pick up dirt and dust, which usually leaves it clean enough to then wipe down with a damp rag.

Joie ~ N. CA

I agree with you on this one Shawn, that a WFP is the hot ticket, but don’t you offer financing? It’s actually pretty nice to have an asset pay it’s own rent, I’d imagine.

so what happen was i bought easily manageable coil hose from target for windows that can be hosed off and a small car washing attachment so i can spray the track and brush it at the same time, i tried it out and it worked pretty good, i also bought dewalt cordless vacuum, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of suction but i think it has enough , total around $150 , i haven’t bought batteries yet, i imagine another $100

I can’t say about a cordless vac. I owned a DeWalt and it never held a charge. I don’t have time to play around at a home. So I got a corded one. It sucks, but I know it will work and not lose power mid-day. I don’t use a vac on the outside of the home. I start inside the home and try to get a pretty good clean out on the outside frames, tracks, sills etc from inside. If I notice a lot of dust coming back into the home. I stop and then spray the area down. Wetting any dust should be enough to keep it on the surface which is what you want. If it’s on a frame, track, sill etc you can clean it with a rag. I will end up cleaning the window/glass last. Then go outside. The entire frame and all get sprayed with a bottle on the mist setting then wiped down. I use a lot of solution on the outside of a home and go through a lot of refills. I’m constantly cleaning up the spray. Spray and wipe, spray and wipe. I think I am going to go Larrys route and take a bucket with me and a sponge. Anyway as far as the dust is concerned. Spray it down to where it’s almost muddy. Wipe the frame down, then use the brush and work downward. Anything left in the corners and cracks, turn the sprayer to stream and blast everything out. Wipe down again, inspect. If all looks spotless, clean the glass.

I bought the super battery for dewalt it suppose to be 40% more capacity than the regular one, but this dewalt works awesome for inside,
what i do from now on for the outside is i dust the frame if its sligtly dusty but if its bad i hose it off.
I bought the “shark” small steam cleaner to try it out on the tracks and that thing is a whole bunch of fun to play around with, its just fun to blow off some steam. :smiley:
some my clients are particular about the tracks and i couldn’t get in the corners too good but the shark blows pressured steam in the corners and leaves them pretty clean, but downside of it is that its a pain because you need to wait for the water to boil and then runs out and then you have to fill it again , but its fun.