How to Clean Your Screen Doors

Sure, you've cleansed the glass, but what about the mesh that takes the brunt of the elements?

front porch with ceiling can and wicker furniture
Photo: Getty / David Natho

Cleaning your home's windows regularly can help brighten your interior spaces. After all, cleaner windows let in more light. But when we clean our windows, we so often neglect the screens that take the brunt of the elements, and accumulate dust and grime over time. Now, apply this logic to your front door, especially if yours has a mesh screen across the front. Are you thoroughly sudsing up the screen door after wiping away any smudges on the glass portion, or are you simply polishing knobs and calling it a day? If it's the latter, it's time to start a more thorough cleaning regimen. To help you on your way, we spoke with two cleaning professionals for their best tips on cleaning your door's screen.

First, remove debris.

A screen door is there to allow air to pass through a doorway, while preventing bugs, pests, and debris from entering your home. Over time, however, those materials build up on the screen's surface. As for the easiest way to remove them? Apply the soft brush fixture to your vacuum and run it over the mesh. However, suction isn't always enough to get the job done, says Elena Ledoux, the owner of Superb Maids and the chief financial officer of Boss Security Screens. "If, in addition to dust, there is also some level of oiliness or grease to which the dirt is clinging, we would follow up the vacuuming by detaching the screens and washing them gently with a mixture of dish soap and hot water," she explains.

Lay them out.

To clean your screen like a professional, you'll need some room: Find a large enough work space where you can place your door screen on the ground and easily navigate around it (just be sure your area is clean, to prevent further soiling the mesh). Brad Roberson, the president of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly company, suggests the driveway or backyard. "Since it's likely that your screen will be dirty, be sure to lay out a different set of towels (ones that you will no longer use, of course) or a tarp so that it has a place to dry once it is clean," he says. Bonus points if this spot is also sunny, which will expedite the drying process.

Start scrubbing.

Roberson suggests using a microfiber cloth and a soapy water mixture (using 1/4 cup of dish soap and a half-gallon of water) for the best results. Apply gentle, circular motions while cleaning to get rid of the grime. "Rinse the screens using your garden hose at a low pressure to remove any leftover soap residue and repeat if necessary," he says. "Be gentle during this whole process, as these screens are very delicate!" When you have finished, put the clean screens on a clean towel or tarp to air dry.

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