Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Clean Window Screens

how to clean window screens custom graphic

Window screens do a fantastic job at keeping creepy crawlies out of your house while also ensuring that young children and pets don’t accidentally fall out the window. Surprisingly, in spite of the important role they play, many homeowners pay little attention to cleaning their window screens until they become caked with dirt!

The thing about dirty window screens is that, for starters, they trap dust and debris which end up getting blown into your home and polluting your indoor air; secondly, visibility (through the screen) is significantly reduced due to the mesh getting clogged with dirt. With that in mind, you wouldn’t want your window screens to reach such a terrible condition, but the good news is, you don’t have to! 

With a few of MaidForYou’s routine cleaning tips to maintain window screens, it will be long before you need to deep clean them again. Of course, if you do have extremely dirty or greasy window screens that need a thorough clean, we’ve got that covered too! Read on to learn more.

5 Cleaning Tips for Keeping Window Screens Clean

flyscreens placed on a wall adjacent to wooden floors with a dish soap bottle next to them

The great thing about these cleaning methods is that they are quick and effective in maintaining clean window screens. You can choose one or more of these ways to clean window screens every week or bi-weekly to help keep dust and dirt at bay. Take a look below.

#1 Vacuum

For a super quick, routine clean, vacuuming window screens is highly recommended. It does a great job at removing dust and fine debris, however, it is important to use a soft brush attachment to prevent damaging the mesh material. Start at the top of the screen and vacuum in horizontal lines until you get to the bottom. If possible, it is advisable to vacuum the exterior side of the screen as a lot of debris gets trapped in the screen from the outside which isn’t always easy to remove from the inside.

#2 Lint Roller

If you are dealing with a little bit of dust or dirt and you don’t want to pull out your vacuum cleaner, a lint roller is very helpful in cleaning the surface of a window screen. This method only takes a minute to complete; just a few rolls over the screen should do the trick. For a thorough clean, work in straight lines (either vertically or horizontally), and be sure to overlap a small portion of the previous line as you move on to the next one. 

#3 Soft Cleaning Brush

The last thing you want to do is damage the window screen by using the wrong cleaning tool or cleaning too harshly. Since the material can be stretched out if snagged, it is important to use soft cleaning tools and gentle pressure when cleaning your window screens. To do this with a brush, choose one with very soft bristles and glide it back and forth over the screen to dislodge dirt. Avoid dampening the bristles as this may cause the dirt to clump up upon being moistened. 

#4 Microfibre Dust Cloth

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is go back to basics and simply dust the window screen with a microfibre cloth. To help pick up dirt more efficiently, you can dampen the cloth (just slightly) and wipe over the screen from top to bottom. Make sure that the dust cloth doesn’t have any rips or frayed edges that might get entangled in the mesh and damage it. 

#5 Melamine Foam Scrubber

Another great tool for regular cleaning of your window screen is a melamine foam scrubber. It should be noted, however, that since mesh is a rather rough material, the foam is likely to peel off with constant friction. Therefore, we advise purchasing extra strong melamine foam scrubbers as they are intended for harder, rougher surfaces. To use the scrubber to clean your window screen, simply wet the cleaning tool and gently wipe the mesh until all the dirt is removed. 

How to Deep Clean Window Screens

Person wiping down dirty fly screens with white microfibre cloths

While the quick tips above are intended for basic or regular cleaning, there are times when your window screens become so dirty and grimy that the only way to clean them is to take them down and wash them up! 

Don’t worry, though, it’s a lot easier than you think. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  • Remove the window screens and take them outside. Lay them on a tarp or surface that you don’t mind getting wet and soapy. You can also do this in the bathroom if you live in an apartment.
  • If you have a large tub to soak the window screens in warm soapy water, we advise doing so for at least 20 minutes to loosen up the grime. 1-2 squirts of regular liquid dish soap will suffice to make the soapy water. If you don’t have a tub or basin large enough to accommodate the screens, skip to the next step.
  • In a bucket, add half a gallon of warm water and mix in 4-5 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. As a natural alternative, you can use the same amount of white distilled vinegar. Stir the water vigorously to mix in the cleaning agent.
  • Dip a sponge or soft scrubber in the water and gently scrub the window screen while holding it in an upright position. Be sure to scrub both sides of the screen thoroughly, and pay attention to corners and edges where debris tends to collect. 
  • Rinse the screen immediately after soaping it up using a water hose with a low pressure. Alternatively, you can hold the screen under running water or the shower to rinse off the soap.
  • Lean the window screens against a wall or railing to dry completely. 
  • Once dry, check for any trapped debris or dirt that may have evaded the scrub down and spot clean the area using any of the routine cleaning tips mentioned earlier. If everything looks good, put the window screens back in place.

Whether it’s a deep clean or routine upkeep, it really is very simple to learn all there is to know about cleaning window screens. The best advice we can give you is to stick to regular cleaning to prevent major buildup of dirt and grime that calls for a deeper clean. Of course, even if/when it comes to that, you know just what to do!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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