Easy Ways to Clean a Window Screen

One of the benefits of window screens is that they are easy to clean. Let’s consider why, when, and how you should clean your screens.

Why You Need to Clean Screens

Each and every window screen in your home provides a safe way to enjoy fresh air. But the dirt and debris that builds up on each screen will also cut off that fresh air, block the view, and can result in odors staying inside your home.

The grime that builds up on your home window screen is made up of all sorts of things. Pollen and other allergens are likely caught in the mesh, along with dirt, bugs and even salt from the road overspray. Leaving these things on your screen will result in the problems listed above as well as shortening the life of your screens.

Cleaning home window screens is a necessary household task that is easy to do and will give you a brighter view, fresher smells, and healthier air.

When to Clean Screens

Plan to clean your window screens twice each year. In most climates you can schedule those cleanings for the spring and the fall – just after the winter season has ended and then again before it begins.

This cleaning task can be done outside or in, depending on where you have the most room. If it’s too cold to wash the screens outside, use the laundry room utility sink or the bathtub. You need a source of running water or at least a tub large enough to soak the screen frames.

Essential Tools Required

In order to easily clean a window screen (or all the screens in your home), you will need the following tools:

  • Scrub brush with flexible bristles
  • General household cleaner  (Or make your own with 3 parts water and 1 part ammonia)
  • Bucket for diluting the cleaner and rinsing the scrub brush
  • Source of rinse water such as a hose or kitchen sprayer

Easy Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Detach the screens and collect them near the washing sink.

2. Pour household cleaner into the bucket and dilute with warm water.

3. Lightly wet down the screens with the sprayer or hose.

4. Using the scrub brush and the diluted household cleaner, gently rub the screens in a circular motion. Scrub down both sides of the screen.

5. Lightly wet down the screens with the sprayer or hose.

6. Rinse thoroughly with the sprayer/hose.

7. Lay out to dry, preferably standing up to allow air to flow through.

If you don’t have time to air dry the screens use a hairdryer on a low, cool setting to dry them quickly. Towels will also work, but you will need more than one. Screens hold a lot more water than they appear to. And you will then have to wash the towels.

Cleaning Options

You can also clean your window screens in an environmentally friendly way by using water and vinegar. This solution will effectively loosen the dirt build up and freshen up the screens, while avoiding the use of chemicals that may be harmful to the planet.

Another option, for deep cleaning, is to use a steamer. You just wrap the steamer head in a cloth and wipe down the screens. It may even be possible to leave the screens in place while you steam them.

Cleaning window screens takes relatively little effort and can improve your view. It may also increase the lifespan of your screening and help to create better air quality in your home. All in all, this is one necessary household task that is worth the effort.


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