Window and Door Screens - Clean 'em Up Window and Door Screens - Clean 'em Up

Write a number on each window or door frame and write the same number on its screen. Put any screws or bolts in a bag and write the same number on it. This makes it easy to put each clean screen back where it belongs. Take the screens out. Dust the mesh and frames with a vacuum cleaner or brush.

Washing Screens Outdoors - Our First Choice

Fill a large pail or washtub with hot soap or detergent suds. Attach a hose to a faucet, and turn the nozzle to give a fine spray of water. Lean the screen against a wall, railing, porch, or other handy support. Scrub both sides of the screen mesh with a stiff brush dipped into hot suds. Wash the frame all around with a sponge dipped into sudsy water. This will wash off dirt and "drip" from the metal screening. "Tension screens" (the soft ones which have no frames and are springy enough to roll up) can be opened flat and washed the same way. Use a brush and suds. Rinse all sides of the screen with a good hosing of clean water. Let the screen drip a little, then wipe it with a dry cloth, and stand it up to dry in a breeze.

Washing Screens Indoors - If you must

The best place is the basement floor near a drain. If you have such a place, do the washing exactly like outdoors. Wear rubbers or boots over your shoes. If you must use a bathtub, washtub, or kitchen sink to wash screens. First line the tub or sink with old towels or cloths so the screens won't scratch the finish. Also pile newspapers on the floor to catch splashes or drips or even better spread a big sheet of plastic and cover it with newspapers. Scrub each screen with sudsy water. Then rinse it by squeezing clean water out of a sponge. Or pour clean rinse water from a pan. A shampoo-type spray hose is also good for the rinse off.

Special Tip:

Before you put screens back, wash out the window or door grooves where the screens slide. Wind a strip of cloth around a ruler or screwdriver which will fit into the narrow slots. First dip this into suds then into clean water. Finish up by wiping with a dry cloth. Wash window and door frames and sills before putting in clean screens. If you want to store the clean screens for the winter, put them in a place that is clean and dry. Cover them with paper sacks or clean cloths. Or use a big sheet of plastic, like an old shower curtain or tablecloth.

This article has been contributed in part by Michigan State University Extension

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