The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Clean Window Screens

On top of improving the external and internal appearance of your windows, learning how to clean window screens lets more light in. Dust and dirt quietly collect on the mesh of window screens. You may not entirely realize how much this impacts your view until you clean the screen. Built-up dust can gradually dim the daylight coming through the windows and affect your indoor air quality when you open your windows.

Different Methods for How to Clean Window Screens

Lint roller method:

  1. Buy a small lint roller that will be easy to use in small spaces.
  2. Open the window and gently start running the lint roller over the screen.
  3. Work from top to bottom in vertical swipes.
  4. Then go across the window screen in horizontal swipes.

Scrub in-place method:

  1. Buy an extra-strength Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  2. Open the window.
  3. Fill a small bucket with water.
  4. Wet the foam block.
  5. Gently scrub the eraser against the screen.
  6. Do not stretch or bend the window screen.
  7. Rinse the foam block as needed.
  8. Continue scrubbing until the entire screen is clean.

Vacuum method:

  1. Attach a soft bristle head to a vacuum hose.
  2. Open the window and gently move the attachment across the screen.
  3. Take care not to push or stretch the window screen material.
  4. If desired, you may remove the screens and vacuum them on the floor.

Soap and water method:

  1. For screens with heavy grime, wait for a warm sunny day before starting.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of dish soap or vinegar into a 1/2 gallon of water.
  3. Remove the soiled window screens and take them outside.
  4. Organize the screens with masking tape labels to help you remember which ones came from which rooms.
  5. Hold the screen upright and start sponging it with soapy water.
  6. Get the garden hose and rinse the window screens with a low-pressure spray.
  7. Prop the screens upright to dry in the sun.
  8. Reinstall the screens once they are dry.

Toothbrush method:

  1. You may not know how the grime got there, but, when it’s stuck on, a toothbrush will get the job done.
  2. After taking the window screens out for a soap and water washing, scrub stubborn areas with a toothbrush.
  3. Carefully work the small bristles into the mesh to dislodge debris.

Pressure washer method:

  1. Use this method when you cannot remove screens.
  2. Make sure the windows are shut.
  3. Adjust the pressure washer to its lowest setting.
  4. Spray the window screens from the outside.

Rusty screen cleaning method:

  1. Remove the screens and set them up outside on a sidewalk or driveway.
  2. Pour vinegar over the rusted screens. Do not pour vinegar over the lawn or other plants.
  3. Let the vinegar set on the window screens for two hours.
  4. Scrub the screens with a bristle brush to dislodge rust.
  5. Rinse with water.
  6. Dab some baking soda on any persistently rusty spots and scrub and rinse again.

Tools & Materials

  • Lint roller
  • Clean Magic Eraser
  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Sponge
  • Toothbrush
  • Bucket
  • Marker
  • Masking tape
  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Pressure washer
  • Bristle brush

Thinking About Installing New Windows?

Homeowners should follow the steps to clean their window screens at least once a year. While you’re cleaning your screens, you might notice problems with your windows. You might just realize that they are old and drafty. Window replacement services from PJ Fitzpatrick will renew your home’s exterior and improve energy efficiency. New windows come with new screens too. To learn about the many stylish windows that we install throughout the Delaware Valley, contact us today.

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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