Cleaning and Lubricating Sticky Sliding Windows

If you’re dealing with sliding windows that have become tough to open or sticky, there’s a decent chance this is due to a buildup of various bits of dirt, dust and pollen over time. While there could be other causes at play here, these simple buildups will only require some prudent cleaning and lubrication to remedy – but it’s important to follow the right steps here so as to not damage the window.

At Peach Building Products, we’re proud to offer a variety of solutions when it comes to residential windows, from window replacement to window shades, interior shutters and numerous other products. We’re also happy to offer expertise on common window situations like the one described above – here are some general tips on cleaning and lubricating sticky windows, plus some situations where a window replacement might be necessary.

cleaning lubricating sticky windows

Supplies Needed

For starters, gather the basic supplies you’ll need for this cleaning job. This includes a few microfiber cloths and towels, plus a bucket of hot water and some vinegar or baby shampoo for your cleaning solution.

In addition, locate your vacuum and make sure the brush attachment is working properly. Finally, ensure you have a silicone-based lubricant that’s meant for use on windows and other home components.

Window Track Cleaning

Once you have your supplies, follow these basic cleaning steps:

  • Open the window as far as you can, exposing as much of the tracks as possible for you to view and work on.
  • Wipe down the tracks and the window frame with a dry cloth to remove loose dust.
  • Vacuum any debris or dust that’s left over using your brush attachment.
  • Mix half a teaspoon of baby shampoo (or three-quarters cup of vinegar) in with half a gallon of hot water in your bucket.
  • Dip your cloth in this solution and use it for any caked-on buildups, mold or mildew.
  • Rinse the cloth with clean water and wipe down the window tracks, then use a separate dry towel to dry the window.


It’s also important to lubricate the window once you’re done cleaning it. Spray your lubricant onto a dry cloth and wipe it along the tracks, jamb liner and weatherstripping of the window. Once this is done, open and close the window multiple times to spread the lubricant out evenly. If needed, apply more. As we noted above, only use proper silicone-based lubricant – do not use WD-40, which could make the sticking issue even worse.

When Window Replacement is Necessary

In certain cases, the cause of your sticky window will actually be an alignment issue with your sash, where it no longer sits perfectly square on the frame. In this situation, either repair or window replacement will be necessary instead of simple cleaning – call our team and ask about the best solution for your alignment issue.

For more on how to clean and lubricate sticking windows, or to learn about any of our window or door replacement services, speak to the staff at Peach Building Products today.