How to Clean Screens on Porch (4 Effective Ways)

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.

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We’ve scoured the internet and have found the best four ways to clean your porch screens:

  1. Soapy water and a brush
  2. Spray with a hose
  3. Vacuum up loose dust
  4. Use a spray-on cleaner

These methods each have positive and negative aspects. But don’t worry—we’ll walk you through the best option 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!

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Interior of a porch with screen walls

1. Soapy water and a brush

You should deep-clean your porch screens at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and autumn. Otherwise, plan on spot cleaning whenever necessary.

The most effective method to clean porch screens is to use soapy water and a brush. While this approach is time-consuming, it’s ideal for extremely dirty screens.

For areas that remain dirty after using water spray or a vacuum, simply spot clean with this method.

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. 

Empty porch with screen doors looking out the backyard

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 the power of your hose and nozzle, 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 starting with the “cone” or “flat” pattern, which gives 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 clean a screened-in porch with a power washer, but be cautious to avoid tearing the screen by using excessive pressure or placing the nozzle too close.

Pressure washers are effective at removing dust, dirt, and pollen from screens.

If your washer has an adjustable nozzle, 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 dust and grime are 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 brush head 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. 

How to clean removable screens?

Removable screens are convenient because they can be taken down during the winter, saving on costly repairs. To clean them, use one of the methods described above. 

An incredibly gorgeous porch with screen walls

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 you notice a fuzzy green substance on your porch screens, it’s likely mold. Mold often forms in damp areas that don’t receive sunlight, and different cleaning methods are required to effectively remove it.

A gentle, safe way to eliminate 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. 

Luxurious porch interior with screen walls and doors


To quickly remove extensive mold from porch screens, consider using diluted bleach—mix six parts water with one part chlorine bleach. Always wear gloves while scrubbing, as bleach can be harsh 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 that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” then here is a method you can use to prevent pollen from sticking to the screens in the first place.

Luxurious porch looking out the road

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.

For more great reasons to hang outdoor curtains on your porch, check out this article!

In Closing

Interior of a porch with screen walls

The four best ways to clean your porch screens are soapy water, spraying them with water, vacuuming them, or using 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!

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