Clean windows and screens help to maintain a great view and visibility from inside your home, looking out. Dirty or dusty screens can look unappealing from the outside of your home as well and hurt its “curb appeal”. There are two basic methods to use when cleaning screens; one involves the removal of the screens and one involves cleaning the screens while they remain in place, or, in other words, without going through the hassle of removing them. Here’s how to clean window screens without removing them:
1. Dust the Window Screens
The first thing you want to do is dust the screens. This will help remove any excess and buildup and make further cleaning much easier. You will want to open the windows as wide as possible in order to access as much of the screen as possible. You may need to reach behind the window sash to dust the entire area.
Start by lowering the upper window sash and dust the top half of the screen first so any loose dust or debris will fall down to the un-dusted areas and be picked up when you dust the bottom portion of the screen. The most effective way to dust the screens is by using a lint duster or microfiber rag that will attract and hold the majority of loose dust and debris.
You can also use a vacuum hose attachment, but be sure to avoid using a plastic end. If you choose to use a vacuum, attach a soft brush to the hose so no damage to the screens occurs.
2. Protect the Walls and Floors
Once you are done dusting/vacuuming the screens, you will want to quickly vacuum the floor area under the window and lay down a protective cover on the floor. Since you will be using liquid to clean the screens, you want to make sure your painted walls and carpet or hardwood floors are protected from any potential drips or spills.
A large towel or an old blanket is usually sufficient for this. If you have a painters drop cloth available, this can be an ideal way to cover a wider area, such as would be needed for large bay or bow windows.
3. Prepare Buckets for Cleaning and Rinsing
You will need to prepare two buckets; one for the cleaning process and one for a rinse. The bucket used for cleaning should have a mild cleaning agent added to it. A mild dish detergent works great for this, but be sure you do not add too much detergent. You do not want to apply a heavy lather of soap onto the screen that will require excessive rinsing so a small amount of soap will do the job just fine. Your rinse bucket will just contain warm water.
4. Use a Lint-Free Rag to Clean Window Screens
Wet a soft, clean, and lint-free rag or microfiber cloth in the cleaning bucket and wring most of the water out of the rag to avoid dripping. Use the wet rag to gently wipe the screen, giving extra attention to any spots of excessive dirt or debris. You may need to rinse out your rag in your cleaning solution a few times and re-wipe the screens depending on how dirty they are.
5. Use a Clean Rag and Clean Water to Wipe Down Screens
Once the screen is completely wiped down, use a clean rag from the rinse bucket and wipe off any leftover soap. If your rinse bucket begins to get dirty, dump it out and fill it with fresh clean water. Depending on how dirty your screens are, it can be a good idea to refresh your rinse bucket between each window screen. If you see that any dirty spots remain, go back to step 4 and repeat the process.
6. Allow the Window Screens to Air Dry
Once the screens are cleaned and rinsed, allow them to air dry. The screens will dry quickly, but there may be some excess water in and around the sill of the window. You can use a dry rag to soak most of this up, but leaving your windows open to aid the natural flow of air will help to quickly dry the screens.
7. Inspect the area
Before you clean up, inspect the area to make sure there isn’t any water on the floors, especially if you have natural wood flooring in your home. Likewise, be sure there aren’t any dirty water marks or moisture on the surrounding walls that can discolor the paint in the interior of your house. Clean the area as needed and then relax!.
Leaving your screens in and cleaning them is a quick and simple process that is well worth the time. You will love the results and your home will look and feel cleaner! If your windows are giving you issues or still don’t look right, no matter how clean they are, you may need to consider replacement windows. Call us at 717-399-4708 to talk about your current windows, see if you need to replace them, and also to get a free quote for new windows!