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Screened-in porches are a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors. They keep bugs and rain out while letting in the sunshine and breeze. To get the most out of your screened-in porch, it's important to keep the screens clean.
We've scoured the internet and have found the best four ways to clean your porch screens:
- Soapy water and a brush
- Spray with a hose
- Vacuum up loose dust
- Use a spray-on cleaner
These methods each offer their own positive and negative aspects. But don't worry, we'll walk you through the best way for your situation. Keep reading for a deeper explanation of each option, plus answers to other commonly asked questions about your screened-in porch.
Here we go!
1. Soapy water and a brush
You should deep-clean your porch screens at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and autumn. Other than that, plan on spot cleaning whenever necessary.
The most thorough way to clean the screens on your porch is to use soapy water and a brush. This is a time-consuming task but will work best for extremely dirty screens. This method can also be used on areas that didn't get clean enough with just the sprayed water or vacuum cleaner. Simply spot clean anything that didn't come off with those methods.
Fill a bucket or some other container with warm water and add a couple of squirts of dish soap. Mix it up to create suds.
Then, dip a soft-bristled brush into the soapy water and scrub the screens. Like with the vacuum cleaner, be sure not to put too much pressure on the screens.
2. Spray with a hose
One of the simplest ways to clean the screens on your porch is to spray them with water. As long as your screens are not moldy, stained, or excessively dirty, a hose should be enough to dislodge the grime.
Bring a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle (like the one pictured below), into the porch and spray outward.
Depending on how powerful your hose and nozzle are, you will need to adjust your distance from the screen. Start at least eight feet away from the screen and at the lowest pressure setting, then adjust as necessary.
The nozzle above has seven spray patterns. We recommend using the "cone" or "flat" pattern to start. These options give you more coverage than others. If this isn't powerful enough, try the "full" or "jet" setting.
Can you power wash a screened-in porch?
You can use a power washer to clean a screened-in porch, but you should be careful to not tear or punch holes in the screen. This can happen if you use too much pressure or put the nozzle too close to the screen. The good news is that pressure washers are powerful enough to dislodge all of the dust, dirt, and pollen from the screens.
If your washer has an adjustable nozzle (like the one below), turn it to the least-pressurized setting. Stand as far away from the screen as possible -- at least fifteen feet -- and pay attention to the spray.
If there are dust and grime on the window sills, you might need to use a wet rag or vacuum cleaner.
3. Vacuum up loose dust
Another simple solution is to vacuum the screens. This works well if you live in a dry, arid climate that produces lots of dust. Otherwise, you might need to use water to get the pollen and moisture off the screens.
Simply apply the brushhead attachment to your vacuum cleaner hose. Gently rub the attachment along the screen, being careful not to tear or pop the screen out by applying too much pressure. The vacuum cleaner is also a great way to clean up the excess dirt on the window sills.
4. Use a spray-on cleaner
If the dirt on your screens is more grimy than dusty, consider using a spray-on cleaner. Spray the solution on the screens and use a brush or sponge to wipe it away. The benefit of the brush is that the bristles can poke through the holes in the screen instead of staying on the surface.
A great cleaner for grime and grease is Krud Kutter, pictured below.
After using a cleaner like this, rinse it away after it's done its job so that the chemicals do not stay on the screen.
Want more shade to protect you from that vicious sun? Read this article for fifteen ways to add shade to your porch!
How to clean removable screens?
Removable screens are convenient because you can take them down during the winter, saving on costly repairs. To clean them, use one of the methods described above.
You might be tempted to take the screens down to clean them. Instead, leave them up to give them a good wash! Keeping them up means you don't have to find a clean space to lay them on the ground. They also dry more quickly if you use a water-based method. As with all screens, be careful not to push too hard.
How do you remove mold from porch screens?
If your porch screens have mold on them, you'll need to take different steps to get rid of it. If there is a fuzzy looking green substance on your screens, it's most likely mold. Mold on porch screens typically occurs in areas that don't dry completely, probably those spots that don't get sunlight.
A gentle, safe way to eliminate the mold is to mix white vinegar with water at a one to one ratio. If you have a spray bottle handy, spray this mixture on the screens. Or, put it in a bucket or bowl.
Then, use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to scrub the moldy section.
Alternatively, you can use bleach to get rid of the mold. Take this step if the mold is taking over the screens and you need a tried-and-true way to get rid of it quickly. Dilute chlorine bleach at a ratio of six parts water to one part bleach. We recommend wearing gloves when scrubbing the screens since bleach is hard on the skin.
Please be aware that bleach is known to change the color of aluminum. To avoid this, rinse the screen before the bleach can dry once you've scrubbed away the mold.
How to prevent pollen on my screened porch?
Pollen can be a major issue for your porch screens depending on where you live. If you believe the phrase that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," then here is a method you can use to prevent the pollen from sticking in the first place.
Essentially, the best way to keep the pollen off is to fashion a curtain to hang outside the screens. This lets you pull the curtains closed when you aren't using the porch and open them when you'd like to enjoy the great outdoors.
First, figure out a way to hang curtain rods along the frame of the porch. We recommend these steel rods that can screw into your frame.
Then, purchase a curtain of some sort. There are a couple of options here. If you'd like a durable, attractive solution, consider polyester outdoor curtains like the ones pictured below.
The beauty of these curtains is that they are machine-washable and are durable enough to stay outside during the entire summer. However, if you'd like a more budget-friendly option, consider hanging plastic shower curtain liners (like the one below) on the outside of the screens.
For more great reasons to hang outdoor curtains on your porch, check out this article!
The four best ways to clean your porch screens are to use soapy water, spray them with water, vacuum them, or use a spray-on cleaner. One of these methods is sure to get them squeaky clean.
Use diluted white vinegar or bleach to remove pesky mold, and consider hanging curtains to keep the pollen from sticking to the screens.
We hope this article has given you some great ways to help you enjoy your screened-in porch for years to come!