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How to Clean Window Screens Like a Pro

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Become the toast of the neighborhood with your sparkling screens.  Not only do dirty screens obstruct your view, they can also affect the air quality that's filtered throughout your house. Window screens allow cool, fresh air to come in while keeping bugs out . . . but of course, you also want to see out of them. 

There are lots of ways to clean screens depending on severity of the dirtiness, but just to stay on the safe side, it's important to deep clean all your window screens and door screens at least once a year— and there are some relatively easy methods to go about this unpleasant business. You can do a quick clean with a lint roller, or fill a good-size pail with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.  Then find a soft-bristled hand brush and some lint-free hand towels.

Note, for really tough dirt, give your screens a soapy bath and add a slightly harder bristle brush like a toothbrush to really scrape off grime. Try not to press too hard on the screen because you don't want to bend it out of shape. It may be tedious, but a toothbrush can break through any dirt stuck in those tiny holes, nooks, and crevices.

You can begin cleaning your screen with it either standing up or you can lay it down flat on a deck or in your lawn. If your screens are very dusty, you should first remove the dirt and dust using a shop vac, vacuum upholstery attachment, or dry rag. Then dip your brush in the soapy water, and gently scrub each side of the screen. To remove the soap residue, gently spray the screen with a hose before the soap film has time to dry.

Next, you will want to remove the water from the screen. To do this, it is important to first identify the front from the back of the screen. The back of the screen will have a rubber cord around the frame, which is there to hold the screen to the frame. While facing the back of the screen, you will want to GENTLY slap the screen with a clean lint-free towel, which will dislodge the water trapped in the mesh of the screen. Do NOT slap the screen on the front side, as this can cause the screen to pop out of the cord that is holding it to the frame. After the water is removed from the screen, wipe down the frame with your towel. Your screen is now ready to be put back into its place on your window.


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