When people think of cleaning their windows, generally speaking, their sole focus tends to be the glass. While this is certainly understandable, ignoring other parts of a window during their cleaning is nothing short of folly. Window frames and sills should also be cleaned in order to keep recently cleaned windows free of debris. Perhaps more importantly it is window screens that require more TLC than any other part of a window.
Window screens act as a filter and first line of defense for your home. As such they tend to be magnets for not only dirt and moisture but pests, both alive and dead, as well as a great deal of bacteria and mold. Left unattended during a window cleaning, filthy screens will quickly sully clean windows and negate all of the work you’ve just completed. Some people avoid cleaning screens for a variety of reasons and others simply pay them no mind. The following tips however, will help anyone who might be out to clean their screens.
In order to properly clean window screens you will first need to remove them from their windows. You might have seen some people spraying screens with a hose or attempting to wipe them down while they sit in place but both actions do far more harm than good so avoid these measures at all costs. Instead gently remove your screens and then tag them with tape for easy re-installation. Screens should be set on soft dry towels while they await their cleaning in order to avoid damaging both their mesh and their frames.
Vacuuming Your Screens
While your screens are lying flat on a soft dry cloth use a handheld vacuum or an attachment on a household unit to remove loose debris from your screens. It is important to note that gentle strokes should be used during this step lest you tear your screen mesh. The suction will remove not only dust and dirt but spider webs and pollen as well. When one side has been cleaned flip your screens over and repeat the process.
Time For Scrubbing
With your screens freed of loose sitting debris it is time to get your hands dirty…and your screens truly clean. You will need the following:
- A bucket
- 1/4 cup of all purpose cleaner (dish soap works well)
- 1/2 gallon of water
- A soft sponge or microfiber cloth
With the aforementioned at the ready mix your cleaning solution in your bucket and then sit your screens in an upright position. Dip your sponge or cleaning cloth in your cleaning solution and apply suds liberally to both sides of your screens. Again, restraint is important here as you don’t want to scrub your screens to aggressively or apply too much pressure. After a thorough scrubbing you can move onto the next step.
Soap tends to dry on screens rather quickly and this problem is only exacerbated by the sun and warm weather. Therefore, it is important to begin rinsing your screens just as soon as they have been scrubbed. Turn on your hose and use either it’s natural stream or a low pressure nozzle for rinsing. More powerful streams can weaken screens and cause tears in their fabric so again, exercise some discretion here. Be sure to rinse both sides of your screens and go from top to bottom as well.
Time To Dry
In order to properly and safely dry your screens you will want to utilize a soft dry cloth. In fact, it never hurts to have multiple cloths on hand when you’re cleaning multiple screens. Drying screens requires them to be once again be laid flat on a dry towel. Using your other dry cloth, pat your screens down to absorb excess liquid and stand them up to air dry.
Calling A Professional
Unbeknownst to many a person, professional window cleaners also include window screen cleaning in their services as both need to be cleaned in order to produce satisfactory results. Professional window/screen cleaning services are also surprisingly affordable and can work wonder for both residences and commercial buildings.
Screens can be difficult to remove and reinstall which dissuades many individuals from even trying to clean them. Others simply don’t want to spend the extra time cleaning them. There are then those people who hit a snag in their work and simply give up frustrated. Should you ever find yourself in any of these scenarios a professional is just a phone call away. Professionals use industrial grade tools and solutions in their work and will complete the work in a fraction of the time it will take you to do the same thing.