Learn the best way to clean window screens and keep your home looking its best. Window screens (also known as bug screens, fly wires, window nets, and insect screens) are used in windows to keep insects out of the home or building. They keep our homes and offices clean whilst also allowing fresh air to circulate, however, they themselves can get very dirty indeed. Dirt, sun damage, watermarks, debris, and insects all build up on the mesh surface of these window screens over time, and this can cause them to look less than attractive.
What Are Window Screens Made From?
There are two main types of window screens: vinyl and metal.
Vinyl screens are more common because they are cheaper and easier to install, but they do not last as long as metal ones.
Metal window screens are much stronger and will hold up better against the elements. However, they are more expensive to buy and require some skill to install.
Metal window screens come in different shapes and sizes.
The most common shape is the diamond-shaped one, which has a grid pattern that runs across the top and bottom of the screen.
These are usually the best choice for those who want to block out light and heat, although there are other options available.
There are also square and round window screens, which are great for blocking out wind and rain.
Vinyl window screens are typically made from polyester or nylon material. This means that they are lightweight and easy to hang.
They also tend to be fairly inexpensive. However, they are not as durable as metal window screens and may tear easily.
How Often Should I Wash My Window Screens?
You should wash your window screens at least twice a year. If you live in an area with high humidity, then you might need to wash them even more frequently.
It is recommended that you wash them when you first put them up, and again after about 6 months. After washing, let them dry completely before reusing.
It is always a good idea to wash your window screens after a storm.
There will have been a greater build up of debris, grit, and dirt in the air during strong winds, and these will inevitably lodge in the mesh of your screens.
Removable And Fixed Window Screens
Removable window screens are relatively simple to clean. Simply pull the screws holding the screen in place, and then lift the screen off the frame.
Once you have removed the screen, you can relocate the screens to a suitable cleaning space and begin cleaning.
Simply use warm soapy water to remove any built-up grime and dust. You can also use a soft brush to gently scrub away any stubborn stains.
If you have a fixed window screen, you will not be able to take it out of the window frame before cleaning.
Instead, you will need to use more controlled methods to clean these screens without causing damage to your windows or home interiors.
If you have a large number of screens to clean, you could consider hiring a professional window cleaner.
This way, you won't have to worry about damaging your screens, and you'll get your home looking its best.
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How To Clean Removable Window Screens
- Begin by clearing a suitable large space in your backyard where you can clean your screens without causing disruption to your own household or to your neighbors.
- Next, remove the screens from the window frames and line them up in your designated area. A great idea is to lean your screens against a fence or wall.
- Use a microfiber cloth or lint roller to lift loose dirt off the surface of the mesh. A microfiber cloth will be able to pick up even small grit and particles.
- If you have a vacuum cleaner, it is also a great idea to vacuum the mesh to remove fine particles from between the mesh.
- When cleaning your window screens, use warm water and a mild cleaning solution. Be sure to use clean water, and that you refresh it regularly to avoid spreading dirt between the screens.
- Use a soft bristle brush or sponge to gently scrub away any dirt. Move the soft bristle attachment in circular motions to loosen stains on dirty screens. We advise that you wear rubber gloves to avoid getting dirt all over your hands.
- If you are using a squeegee, make sure that you only use it to wipe off the outside of the screen. Do not use it to clean the inside of the mesh. Doing so could leave streaks on the screen.
- If you are using a hose, make sure that you use the lowest pressure setting to avoid ripping or tearing through the mesh. Allow excess water to run off and away from the screens, and try to avoid letting it pool at the base.
- Turn it on its side and aim it towards the ground. This way, you won't spray any water onto the screen itself.
- Once you've cleaned your screens, allow them to dry fully before hanging them back up.
How To Clean Fixed Window Screens
- To clean fixed window screens, we recommend filling a spray bottle with some warm water and white vinegar.
- You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up loose dirt from the surface of the screens by using the extended nozzle attachment and vacuuming from indoors.
- After you have done this, spray some of the cleaning solution onto the mesh and use a damp microfiber cloth to clean the screens by using circular scrubbing motions.
- Again, we recommend the use of rubber gloves throughout this process.
- Leave the windows wide open to allow them to fully dry.
Window Screen Cleaning Tips
It's always good to follow a few simple steps when cleaning your window screens.
- Make sure that you have all the tools needed.
- Ensure that you have enough space to work.
- Don't use harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia.
- Wear gloves when working around the house.
- Keep your windows open while cleaning
- Make sure that you hang your window screens correctly.
- If you're worried about the weather, consider installing storm shutters instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Believe it or not, the best liquid you can use to clean your screens is simply distilled water.
In general, you should always try to remove smudges first, before you move onto any type of chemical cleaner, as this will help preserve the screen and any special coatings.
Pressure-washing screens is best used when they are not detachable, and only take this on if your pressure washer has a low intensity setting.
If it doesn't, try washing your screens down with a hose.
A nozzle attachment with multiple settings will go a long way erasing grime
Lay your window screen on a flat surface with a towel underneath.
Gently use your vacuum's soft brush attachment to remove any loose debris like dust, spider webs or pollen.
Flip the screen over and clean the other side.
In a spray bottle, combine a ¼ cup white vinegar with a ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
Dilute the solution with two cups of water, then shake the bottle vigorously to mix the components.
If you happen not to have white vinegar on hand, note that you can substitute lemon juice.
Having clean window screens will improve the overall appearance of your property, and will also improve visibility when looking out from inside.
Avoid letting your window screens get too dirty by conducting regular cleaning, and keep the cleaning process simple to prevent it taking too much time. Enjoy the view!