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Home Improvement

How to Make Windows Slide Easier

3 min read

You might have noticed your windows don’t open and close as easily as they used to. This isn’t a massive problem, but it is a pretty big inconvenience, especially when it comes to keeping your windows clean and letting fresh air into your home. It can also pose a safety risk, as in an emergency, it’s important your windows open easily. This is a common problem for older double-hung windows in particular. If you find yourself with some sticky windows, there’s no need to immediately call a professional! Here are some ways to help your windows glide smoothly you’ll be able to accomplish with tools you may already have at home. 

Clean Your Windows

Before you try anything else, give your windows a good cleaning. Concentrate on the window tracks, as this is likely the offending element of a sticky window. Remove any dirt, dust or grime buildup with a clean cloth and then go over for a more thorough cleaning with a household cleaner like Endust for vinyl windows. 

Sand Down Window Tracks

If your windows have been painted in the past, dried paint in the window tracks could be the cause for a window that’s stubborn to slide. 

We do not endorse painting your windows, as a poor paint job can allow dried paint drips to make opening and closing your windows difficult. Additionally, dried paint could peel and fall into the window track, adding to difficulties. To clear dried paint on older windows, use sandpaper or wood sanding blocks to carefully clear the tracks. 

The advantage to Window World’s windows is that they never need to be painted! The vinyl comes with color pre-treated and made to last. 

Clear Paint from Trim

If you live in an older home, you may not have noticed whether your windows have been painted shut. If this is the case, you’re likely not able to move your windows up or down in any way. Breaking this paint seal by trying to pull the window up forcefully could potentially damage the window frame, so be careful and take the extra steps necessary to break this seal properly. 

You can clear painted-shut windows using a utility knife or a paint zipper. Either of these tools should give your window movement again. Alternatively, you could simply replace your old windows with quality vinyl windows. 

Lubricate Windows for Smooth Sliding

If you’ve cleaned and cleared your windows, paying special attention to the tracks, and your windows are still sticking when sliding up or down, it’s time to turn to a lubricating substance. There are a couple of good options here: wax or silicone-based lubricant. Additionally, while you can use WD-40 for a sticking window, there’s a chance it could stick in the track, making the original problem worse. Check out our recommendations:


Even regular candle wax will do, but make sure it’s unscented. Beeswax or specialized glass wax will also work well. Use a very light coating of wax on the tracks, as you don’t want to clog it by accident! 

Once you’ve applied the wax, open and close the window several times to distribute the wax and make sure all surfaces are well-coated. You should notice a difference in how easily the window slides right away. Cleaning and waxing your windows on an annual basis should help keep your windows sliding smoothly. 

Silicone-Based Lubricant

Apply the lubricant to a dry cloth and run along the track carefully, making sure it does not come in contact with the glass of the window. Lubricant should not be applied directly to the track, as this could spread to the window and leave a permanent mark! Open and close the window several times to make sure it’s spread well along the track. Keep opening and closing until the window runs smoothly. 

Quality Windows for Your Home

Sometimes old windows simply need to be replaced entirely. If you’re ready to spring for new windows for your home, Window World of Muscle Shoals has the high-quality replacement windows you’re looking for! Our beautiful double-hung windows come with a lifetime warranty so you can rest assured your windows will hold up for the years to come. Contact us today to learn more about how to increase your home’s curb appeal!