How to Clean Window Screens without Removing Them – DIY and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

You may never see a window in any house without a screen. A window screen is basically a meshed surface that is the size of your window. The mesh is often made with metal, plastic, or fiberglass and covers the surface of the window. Window screens play a vital role in cross-ventilation; however, their cleaning can be quite a task. You might want to slide or open up your glass window for a cool and fresh breeze of air to flow across your house. Your windows also allow more oxygen to circulate through your house.

Here comes the main role of window screens. Opening a window without a screen means giving an open invitation to insects, birds, dust, and whatnot. Window screens are installed either on the inside or the outside of your house. It makes a barrier and does not allow insects and dust from coming into the house while keeping it ventilated.

How To Clean Window Screens Without Removing Them

Over time, the window screen gets really nasty as it traps dust and other solid particles, which might cause a lot of problems. Firstly, the first window screen might restrict the airflow, which can be discomforting. It also causes breathing issues as the dust is thrust inside the house when the wind is strong. It can be quite a hassle to clean the window screen every once in a while. In this article, we have discussed in detail how to clean window screens without removing them.

Step 1

First of all, remember the surface below the window is going to be very messy with dust. To spare yourself from that kind of inconvenience you need to cover the floor and the windowpane with old cloth sheets or towels. In this way, the dust, dirty water, and a glass cleaning solution will fall on the cloth sheets instead of the floor. This step will cut a lot of cleaning time.

Step 2

The first thing you need to do is remove or knock off the loose dust with the help of a piece of cloth. You need to put on a mask and gloves to prevent any allergies due to dust. After that, slowly knock on the window screen. This step will get rid of most of the dust sticking to the window screen. Repeat this step several times to rid the window of most of the dust particles.

Step 3

The next step is to remove the lint that might get stuck in the mesh. You might not notice, but a lot of fabrics shed lint, also called textile fiber. It might be hard for you to knock off the lint from the meshed window screens as it is the accumulation of lint strands of fiber. For that matter, you will need a lint roller to slightly roll it on the whole surface of the screen to get rid of the textile fiber.

Step 4

At this step, either take a vacuum or an air blower to rid the window screen of all the remaining dust. With vacuuming or blowing air in the outward direction, even the most stubborn particle will also be removed. You can also skip this step as most of the dust is removed with dusting or knocking the window screen, but if you are a clean freak, you can carry this step out.

Step 5

Now take two grout cleaning brushes, one narrower and the other one should be a bit bigger in size. Take two buckets of clean water, some old but clean rags, and some cleaning solution. You can also make a cleaning solution at your home; we will write the recipe down below. Now, soak a piece of rag in the bucket in which you have mixed the cleaning solution and run it all over the window screen.

After that, take the bigger brush and start scrubbing the whole meshed area. With the smaller brush, you can scrub the nooks and corners and the sides of the screens, which hides most of the dirt. Repeat the process a few times and stop when you are sure all of the dirt has loosened up. After that, take a clean rag and dip it in the clean water and start wiping off all that dirt from the screen. You can also use pressure water, but that will make a lot of liquid mess around the areas of the window. Repeat the process of wiping several times until the first dirt is completely wiped. Let the window screen dry completely. You can use vacuum drying or hot air to dry it.

DIY Cleaning Solution

Take clean water in a bucket and add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid. The water should feel soapy once you have stirred it. If your window screen needs deep cleaning due to a lot of dirt, then you should add some extra ingredients to the water. Take about 4 gallons of water in a large bucket, add some dishwashing liquid soap, borax powder about 3 tablespoons, and ½ cup ammonia.

This makes an excellent homemade cleaning solution; however, precaution must be taken while handling chemicals. If you have chemical allergies, you need to stay away from them. In addition to that, if you are dealing with a rusted window screen, then you need to carry out an extra step. That is, pour some vinegar over the rusted areas of the screen and leave it for an hour. After that, gently scrub the area with a grout cleaner to remove the rust. The only drawback of these steps is the bad smell which you can easily get rid of through air ventilation and air freshener.


What is the easiest way of cleaning the window screen?

The easiest and most effective way of cleaning the window screen is cleaning it regularly. Leaving your window screens dirty for a long time will only make them more difficult to clean. Regular cleaning means dealing with less mess. You can regularly use an air blower or pressure water to get rid of all the dirt stuck in the mesh of the window screen.

Can you vacuum the window screens?

Yes, you can most definitely vacuum clean the window screens, but for that, you need to remove the screen. Vacuuming without removing it will only draw in dust and dirt from the surroundings. It is therefore advised to first remove the screen and vacuum it using the brush with soft bristles.

Can you use a magic eraser for the screen?

Yes, you can use magic erasers for cleaning the window screen, and they are more effective than using rags. A magic eraser can also loosen up dirt particles which an old rag can’t. The only issue, which is quite negligible, is that you need to use a new magic eraser for every round, which means you need to have a lot of them.

What is the best cleaner to clean window screens?

You can make a good window screen cleaner at your home by following these simple steps (see also home cleaning checklist). Add a dish soap in a bucket of water to make it soapy, and clean the screen with this soapy water for fantastic results. If your window screen is very dirty, you can add some borax powder and ammonia into a bucket full of 5 gallons of water for optimum results. To get rid of the rust from the window screen, put some vinegar and leave it there for an hour and then clean it with a grout cleaner.

How do you dry window screens after washing?

Drying the window screen after washing is as easy as it can get. You just need to let it air dry. If you want quick drying, you can use an air blower that will get rid of all the excess water and dry it quickly.

Related Cleaning Guides: How to clean discolored vinyl flooring | How to clean flooded car carpet

Final Note

Window screens allow for so much ventilation but let just not forget how much dust it traps over time. You need to regularly clean it by carrying out a few steps. Regular dusting with a duster or rags will allow for more ventilation. If the meshed surface gets clogged by the dust particles, then it will block the airflow. Not only that, but it might also cause breathing issues to some. Therefore by following the steps mentioned above, you can easily clean it without removing it.

Leave a Comment