How to Clean Window Screens

Man using a water hose with an adjustable nozzle fires water off screen.

We’ve all fallen victim to spending time cleaning windows, only for them to still look dirty because of dust and debris caught in the window screens. Window screens tend to be an overthought for most homeowners. Not only are they little details in a home, but the process of how to clean window screens can be foreign to most people. 

A common hack most people use for cleaning their window screens is simply vacuuming the dust off the surface, but this is only fixing the aesthetic of the screen. If you are looking forward to opening your windows to let in a nice summer breeze, you need to learn how to properly clean your window screens and how often to clean them. 

Why You Should Clean Your Window Screens 

Cleaning your window screens regularly is a good practice to maintain good air quality inside your house. When you open your windows for the first time of the year, there may be more particles flowing into your home other than fresh air. 

During the winter months, moisture and bacteria gather on your window screens and create unhealthy particles, even mold. Black mold can be found on window sills and screens if they are not regularly cleaned. This type of mold usually goes unnoticed, but it can cause or irritate infections, allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses once inside your house. People with preexisting respiratory issues may become sick due to mold particles in the air. Mold can also cause musty odors and leave stains on walls and furniture. 

Cleaning your window screens means you are killing off any unwanted bacteria and eliminating dust particles that would otherwise drift into your home and contaminate your air. 


How Often You Should Clean Your Screens

Learning how to clean window screens is a great skill to have, but it goes to waste if you don’t know how often you should clean your screens. 

The frequency at which you clean your screens depends on your location and climate. If you live in a windy environment where debris and dust are more susceptible to blowing against your windows, you will want to clean your screens more regularly, about 2-3 times a month. If you live in a drier location with less wind, you can get away with cleaning your screens once a month. 

You should deep clean your screens when you first open your windows after the winter season to get rid of mold and dirt that might have built up. In the spring season, you should clean your screens more regularly as pollen particles will get trapped. 

If you are unsure how often you should clean your screens, a good rule of thumb is to clean your window screens as often as you clean your windows. If you clean your windows and do not clean your screens, the dirt on the screens is more likely to muddy up your newly cleaned windows. 


How to Clean Window Screens 

If this is your first time cleaning, you need to know the proper steps on how to clean window screens. Before you start, you should make sure your window screens are free of any damages and not in need of repairs. If you have any old screens, it’s better to replace them once they’ve reached their expired shelf life. 

Start cleaning your window screens with these steps:

Step 1. Remove your window screen from the frame.

If you are cleaning your window screens for the first time of the year, you will want to remove them from the frame to properly clean and disinfect them. This allows you to clean the screen, the frame, and the window sill of all dirt and mold that might be growing. 

Step 2. Mix a cleaning solution.

There are plenty of cleaning solutions on the market for cleaning windows. Professionals may use a specialized cleaning product, but if you are cleaning your window screens yourself, mixing 1/4 cup of all-purpose dish soap with 1/2 gallon of water will do the trick. 

Step 3. Scrub the window screen with a brush and cleaning solution.

Using a brush with soft bristles will suffice for this step. However, it is recommended to use a specialty window screen cleaning brush. After mixing your cleaning solution, gently scrub away all dirt and particles from both sides of your screen using the brush and cleaning product. 

Step 4. Rinse the screen using warm water.

Lay the screen flat and rinse all dirt and suds off the screen and frame using warm water. Make sure the water pressure isn’t too high, so you don’t damage the screen. 

Step 5. Let the window screen dry and replace it in the frame. 

Once you’ve properly cleaned your window screen, lay it on a clean flat surface and allow it to completely dry. Once it is dry, replace it in the frame. 


How to Clean Window Screens Without Removing Them 

If you don’t have the space to take your window screens out of their frames, or you aren’t cleaning them for the first time of the year, there are ways you can clean your window screens without removing them. 

The best way to clean your window screens while keeping them in the frames is lightly cleaning the surface with a soft vacuum, lint roller, magic eraser, or toothbrush. You can also pressure wash the screens, spray them with vinegar, or saturate them with a cleaning solution. Just make sure to aim outside or keep your window closed to protect the interior of your house. 

Screenmobile professional creates a custom screen panel for a client, on location.

Repair or Replace Any Old Window Screens

Like anything in your house, window screens need to be properly maintained. Before you start cleaning your window screens, assess them for any damages or signs they are exceeding their shelf life. 

Broken screens can cause more harm than good, letting in pests and unwanted debris. Worn-down screens that need replacing or repairs should be handled appropriately by a screen professional.

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