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Cleaning Window Screens

Cleaning window screens can be a frustrating job at times. Here is an easy three step process that will help.

Tools You Will Need

  • 3 gallon pail
  • Water
  • Medium soft brush
  • Dish Soap
  • Lint Free Hand Towels

Window Screen Layout

Most houses have different sized windows and screens throughout the house. If this is the case, you don't want to mix up the screens because, it will become a jigsaw puzzle when it's time to put them all back.

You can start the window screen cleaning process by pulling them all off. If the screens come off from the inside, just set each one next to the doorway of that room. If they come off from the outside, set each one next to the window that it came from.

You can then gather a few screens at a time to clean. After each small batch is cleaned, put them back on the same way they were taken off.

Tip: The best place for cleaning window screens is out in the front lawn on a nice warm day.

Screen Cleaning Procedures

Step 1 Fill your bucket with warm water. Mix in a few drops of dishwashing soap. Starting with your first batch of screens, dip the brush into the soapy water, and lightly scrub each side of the screen.

Step 2 Hold the screen up with one hand and gently whip the back side until all the water comes off. To tell which side is the back, look for the rubber cord located around the edge. This cord is what holds the screen in the frame. Whipping or tapping the opposite side could push out the screen.

Step 3 After all the water has been gently whipped/tapped out of the screen, wipe the frame. You are now ready to put the screen back into place.

Extra Dusty Window Screens

When it comes to cleaning window screens, the method above will work most of the time. There may be a few exceptions for screens that are super dusty. What I find works best is it to pre-dust each side. You can do this by using either a vacuum with an upholstery nozzle, or dust them with a dry rag. You may have to dust each side twice. After most of the dust is off, follow the steps above.

Stained or Faded Screens

Certain outdoor screens that are made of vinyl may still look dirty even after they have been pre-dusted and washed. This could be because the dirt has stained the surface of the vinyl. Sometimes screens will become faded from being exposed to the sun. For the most part, stained or light fading should not affect the performance of keeping bugs out. If this is a concern, see the link below on screen repair.
Tip: Do not place outdoor cooking grills next to windows. Caked-on grease is hard to remove from the glass and extremely hard to clean out of window screens. If this has already happened to you, a degreaser added to your cleaning soap will help.

Vinyl V.S. Metal Screens

You will find that most modern homes are equipped with vinyl screens. This is mostly because vinyl is less expensive than metal.

  • Vinyl screens are lighter in weight and are usually easier to clean than metal screens.

  • Metal window screens are more durable and will last longer than vinyl. They also will not fade in the sun.

  • The down side to metal frames is that they are not as easy to repair, and the repair job will more than likely be more expensive than a vinyl screen repair job.

  • However, if keeping your pets in is a concern, cats and small dogs will be less likely to claw or chew through metal screens.

    Window Screen Repair

    How to Clean Windows

    Cleaning Window Screens

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