How To Clean Window Screens Without Removing Them

Dirty window screens may not seem like the biggest problem that you can have as a homeowner. However, they can negatively impact the appearance of your house and possibly trigger allergic reactions. Believe it or not, you can clean your window screens without having to go through the cumbersome task of removing them.

Here are a few methods that you can use to clean your window screens without removing them:

  • Use a Vacuum
  • Use a Lint Roller
  • Use a Magic Eraser
  • Pressure Wash the Screens
  • Saturate the Screens in a Homemade Cleaning Solution
  • Use a Toothbrush
  • Spray with Vinegar 

As you can see, there are quite a few ways to clean the screens without having to take them out of the frame. Below we will go over the steps involved in each method to help you determine which one may work best for you.

light coming from the window with window screen, How To Clean Window Screens Without Removing Them

How To Clean Window Screens Without Removing Them

light coming from the window with screen window and metal grills

Use a Vacuum

If you're looking for the quickest way to clean your home's windows without having to remove them, pull your vacuum out from the closet and begin. The vacuum's suction power can work wonderfully to remove dirt, grime, and other debris that may be in the window screen. Depending on the type of hose attachments you have, you may also be able to reach into the corners of the window frame and remove any loose dirt at the bottom (which may collect during windy days).

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Use a Lint Roller

Sometimes window screens may only contain a light layer of dirt that can be removed pretty easily. If your window screens aren't super dirty, one item you can use to clean them is a lint roller. While a larger lint roller will be ideal for covering the window screens faster, a smaller roller can easily get into the corners of the window screens. So to say, purchasing both may be a good option.

You can use your lint roller to clean the screen from the outside or the inside, though the outside may be a better option. To clean the windows, You'll simply need to roll the roller over the window as many times as is necessary to remove the dirt. Be sure to have multiple refills on hand, as the tape roll will get dirty fairly quickly.

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Use a Magic Eraser

The Magic Eraser sponge by Mr. Clean is one of the best home cleaning inventions and can be another great option for cleaning your screens. Try using a lint roller first, to remove loose dust, hair, and debris. Then, a Magic Eraser will lift the remaining grime. To use it, wet the sponge with warm water and run it over the entire screen. This cleaning process will require a delicate touch, as you do not want to damage the screen by pressing on it too hard.

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Pressure Wash the Screens

If you have a pressure washer or a water hose, you can use either of these items to clean off your window screens. The water hose would be the easiest option, particularly if you have a spray nozzle. If you don't have a water hose, be sure that your pressure washer has a low enough setting so that it will not damage the screen.

You can also stand farther from the window to reduce the water pressure. Five to seven feet should be okay, depending on the brand and model that you have. You may want to do a test spray on one of the window screens first. For example, try a window screen located on a window in the back of the house, such as a basement window or even a window on the side of the house.

Always do a quick check to ensure that your windows are completely closed before using a pressure washer.

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Saturate The Screens In A Homemade Cleaning Solution

Sometimes, window screens will develop sections of caked-up grime that may seem almost impossible to remove. One way to get rid of this is to allow the dirt time to soak and soften before removing it. To create an effective soaking solution, take 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar and 1/4 cup of dish soap, and add them to a half-gallon of water.

Next, grab a rag, sponge, or a microfiber cloth (preferably a rougher one) and douce it in the solution. Make sure that the cloth is completely soaked with solution, then liberally apply it to the window. Ensure that the window is completely closed first, or you may end up with a wet floor on the interior of your home. Allow the solution to sit on the window for a couple of minutes, then take your sponge or cloth and wipe down the window.

If the dirt has not loosened, apply the solution again, and wait an additional two minutes. After you remove all of the dirt and debris from the window, be sure to rinse the solution off the window using cool water, to avoid any residue build-up. You can also use your water hose to rinse the screen.

Use a Toothbrush 

You'll be surprised by how many things you can clean in your home with a disposable toothbrush. Window screens are one of them. To clean your screen using a toothbrush, you'll first want to dip the toothbrush in a cleaning solution. The solution can be homemade or a commercial product such as Windex Outdoor Cleaner. The easiest way to begin this method is to pour the cleaner into a bucket and repeatedly dip your toothbrush in it to clean the windows.

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If you use a spray cleaner for this task, you may find that your hand grows sore form from squeezing the spray trigger multiple times (if you plan to do all of the screens of your home). Be sure to have another bucket that contains clean water so that you can immediately rinse the screens as you wash them. Use circular scrubbing motions with the toothbrush and make sure that you do not press too hard to damage the window screens during the cleaning.

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This particular cleaning process can be tedious, so be prepared to put in a bit of elbow grease and spend at least an hour on the entire project. Also, you may want to wear a pair of protective gloves to avoid having caked dirt in your fingernails.

Spray with Vinegar

You can also use vinegar to clean your window screens. Vinegar is one of the most popular homemade cleaners and stain removers that you can buy. To use it, pour vinegar in a spray bottle and mist the window screen, or you can pour it in a bowl and apply it with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Vinegar will also remove rust stains from your window screens. For rust removal, allow the vinegar to sit on the window screen for two hours before rinsing it off with a water hose or by dousing the window with water.

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If the rust problem is extensive, try creating a baking soda paste (by simply mixing water and baking soda to form a paste) and applying it to the rust-stained areas. Let the paste sit on the windows for about 30 minutes before using your toothbrush to scrub it away. Afterward, rinse the window screen with a water hose or wipe it down with a wet cloth to remove the paste.

How do I clean pollen off my screen?

light coming from the window with screen window and metal grills

To remove pollen from your screen, you can use a handheld vacuum, power washer, or an all-purpose cleaner. The all-purpose cleaner can be applied using a bristle brush, toothbrush, or a rag. The most important thing to remember when cleaning the pollen from the window screen is to avoid too much pressure on the screen.

Pollen can be difficult as pollen is a sticky substance. You may need to first soak the window screen and pollen before attempting to remove it. If using a power washer, be sure to stand at least five feet away from the window screen. If using a toothbrush or any stiff-bristled brush, be sure to avoid pressing on the screen too hard, which can stretch it or cause it to rip.

Can you power wash a screened in porch?

Yes, you can use a power washer to clean a screened porch. However, when doing so, be sure to first test the setting up a power washer on its lowest pressure setting to ensure that it will not break the screens. Also, be sure to stand at least five to seven feet away from the porch when using the power washer to decrease the water pressure's impact.

When should window screens be removed?

Window screens don't have"to be removed. However, some home experts recommend that window screens should and can be removed during the winter, particularly if you live in a cold climate with lots of snow. The main reason for this is to protect them from damage during winter ice storms.

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, there are a few ways to clean your windows screens without having to remove them. Cleaning your window screens using these methods can take as little as 30 minutes or over an hour to complete, depending on the method that you use.

Be sure to check out our other posts before you go:

How To Cover Porch Windows? 6 Awesome Ideas!

How To Brighten Up And Decorate A Room That Has No Windows

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