Cleaning window screens isn't exactly a favorite chore to do around the house. In fact, people rarely give them the scrub down they need to keep bugs and grime away from your pristine windows. Though cleaning window screens might not seem like the kind of chore you need to worry about, popping it out of the frame and wiping the grime away is in your best interest.

Don't worry about the cleaning process too much! Getting the dirt out from your screens is much easier than you think and we're here to break down the simplest ways to get the job done.

How To Remove A Window Screen

a window screen sitting askew in the frame

Before you can get started you need to know how to get the darn screen out of the pane. There are different kinds of screens out there that may require different removal methods, but you should be able to do it yourself.

For the most part, you can follow these steps:

  • Gently push up on the screen frame and lift the tabs to remove it from the pane.
  • To reinstall it, slide the screen back into the groove and lift the screen tabs up while locking the top into place.

Depending on the windows you have at home, the removal process may vary. Not to mention you'll need to be wary of the screens that are harder to remove, taking care not to apply too much pressure or jiggle the screen too much that you cause damage to the window.

Either way, removing most window screens is actually really easy once you've learned how to do it and future cleanup will be a breeze. There are specific websites you can go to that teach you how to do it carefully and efficiently. You can also hunt around for YouTube videos!

How To Clean Window Screens

window mesh with a sunny background

Now that we have that out of the way, it's time to get into the cleaning methods. What you clean your screens with will really all depend on the level of dirt you're dealing with. However, these are the main methods you can try to get those screens spic and span.

Lint Brush

If you see some dust piling on but it doesn't look like anything too crazy, you can easily take a lint roller and gently roll it over the screen. You may need to go over the screen more than once, but it will help to lift any loose dirt.

Microfiber Cloth

Sometimes you'll be dealing with more than your casual buildup of dust, in which case you need to break out the soft cloth. A gentle cloth will help you scrub away the dirt as opposed to just lightly rolling over it. You should still take care not to press too hard lest you cause permanent damage to your screens.

Vacuum Cleaner

If your screens are looking a little worse for wear you can take cleaning up a notch with the vacuum. Make sure that you're using a brush attachment so you don't poke any holes in the screen. Go over the screen with the vacuum and it will surely pick up any accumulated grime.

a window screen overlooking a sunny day in the background

Ammonia and Water

A well-known cleaning technique is to make a homemade mixture of ammonia and water. The only thing you need to do is mix one cup of ammonia and three cups of water (or one part ammonia and three parts water if you want to change the amounts a bit) into a spray bottle and go to work. Spritz the mixture on the screen and take a soft bristle brush to it to get the hard-to-reach grime out of the screen.

Dish Soap and Water

Okay, so not everyone has ammonia just lying around the house. That's okay because you can just as easily swap it out for dish soap. All you need is about a tablespoon worth of dish soap and 4-5 cups of water. You can use a soft bristle brush to clean your screens with this mixture.

Garden Hose

One of the more traditional ways of cleaning your window screens is to just pop them out of the frame and use the gentlest pressure setting on your hose to clean out the debris. Just make sure the screens are thoroughly dry before replacing them.

a window screen up close

Tips To Prevent Buildup

  • The best thing you can do for your future self is to stop dirt in its tracks with regular cleaning. Be sure to give your window screens a good cleansing at least once a week and keep the task somewhere in the chore wheel so it's not overlooked.
  • An easy way to clean your window screens throughout the week is to take the vacuum to them. Make sure you're using the brush extension to remove any grime and this will help keep things looking their best. Using a lint roller also helps because you don't even need to remove the window screen to clean them with this tool. As we said before, just be careful you're not rolling too hard because you don't want any inadvertent rips.
  • A huge issue with screens is attracting pesky bugs. Whether they get caught in the mesh or fly in through tears, you can avoid unwanted guests by putting some clear nail polish over small rips to keep things sealed and bugs out.

Cleaning window screens isn't a fun job, but it doesn't need to take up a huge portion of your day either. Maintain the upkeep of your screens throughout the week to make the job much less tedious later on. Of course, grime happens anyway, and these simple tricks will help you keep those screens free of any yucky buildup so you can actually see out the window when you draw the curtains back!

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