Are moldy window tracks your dirty little secret? Here's how to eradicate and prevent this icky problem.
While opening the windows to let the summer breeze in, I recently noticed that the window
tracks in my children's bedroom were disgusting. All those housekeeping shortcuts and running the winter humidifier had finally caught up with us. The result? A disgusting buildup of mold.
on the window track is just a sign of bad housekeeping and not indicative of mold in the wall
or any greater issues with the home.
Mold grows when moisture comes into contact with organic material. Dust is full of nasty food sources
for mold (especially in the bedroom!). The mold in my son's room developed when moisture from the humidifier hit the dusty window track
. If the track had been clean, the moisture wouldn't have caused a problem; nor would a dusty track without moisture. It's a combination of the two that's toxic (literally).
While seriously embarrassing, getting rid of the mold and preventing it from coming back is quite simple.
1. Vacuum the window track.
Use the brush attachment to suck up any dust, hair or other debris from the window track.
2. Mix a cleaning solution
by adding dish soap to one part hot water.
3. Wash the window
track with a cloth.
4. Use a cotton swab
(Q-tip) for hard to reach places.
5. Dry the window track.
6. Using a cotton swab, apply a coat of rubbing alcohol
as a final sterilization.
7. Add "clean window track" to your weekly to-do list.
All it needs is a quick wipe to ward off moisture and dirt.
To prevent mold from developing, you'll need to eliminate either the food source or the water source.
The food source is easier to control, with regular dusting
. The water source can be a bit more complicated, as it doesn't necessarily come from a single point. In our case, I suspect it was from the humidifier, but it's also common in homes with newer windows, particularly energy efficient ones designed to keep the air in -- thus trapping moisture. Other places to watch for mold include the bathroom and laundry room.
So, now that I've shared my dirty little secret, please share yours in the comments below. Maybe I can help you clean it!