Sparkly windows improve the curbside appeal of any property. However, you can never get your windows in that state if you neglect your window screens. Unfortunately, even if they hold an important job of keeping bugs and pests out, window screens are overlooked.
Do not waste your time and effort cleaning your home’s windows, only for them to look dusty and dirty because you have gunk stuck on your window screens. Make sure these fixtures are never an afterthought in your home. Instead, ensure they are a priority so you can let the warm summer breeze in.
Unfortunately, many people still do not know how to truly clean and sanitize their window screens. Many people use a common shortcut by cleaning the screens with a vacuum cleaner. However, this is ineffective because it only cleans the dirt resting on the surface. Instead, you must learn to clean your window screens properly and do them consistently to make sure your home is truly squeaky clean.
Reasons For Cleaning Window Screens
You must make cleaning your window screens a part of your home maintenance routine. It is not vanity but a necessity because it means you ascertain good indoor air quality. Here is why:
Assure Clean Air
When you open your windows for the first time after a long winter, the breeze will come in. But if you have dirty screen, particles other than fresh air will permeate your home.
Prevent Gunk From Infiltrating
During the winter season, it is not only moisture from the atmosphere that gathers in your windows. Anything moist encourages the growth of molds and mildew. On top of that, you could also have germs, bacteria, and other debris settling on your screens if you do not bother to clean them regularly.
Avoid Health Issues
If you ignore these problems, they can cause health issues with your family. They can result in allergies, asthma, infections, and other respiratory problems. In addition, people with pre-existing conditions may get complications, especially if they inhale mold spores.
Minimize Smells and Stains
Besides, mold and mildew result in a musty odor that does not smell pleasant at all. They can also leave stains on your windowsills. And when it rains, the water can drip to your wall and cause a stain there too.
When you clean your window screens, you make them look nice and fresh. But, more importantly, doing so means you kill off any unwanted particles that have settled into the screen. Otherwise, these would drift into your home, contaminating the air and premises.
Step-By-Step Guide on Window Screen Cleaning
If you are a window screen cleaning newbie, you must learn the proper steps to get it right. Before beginning your project, ascertain that your screens are free from damage. Otherwise, get them repaired first before you commence with cleaning.
You can buy a repair patch in the hardware store and do it yourself. It is a fairly quick fix that even a beginner can do. However, if the problem is bad, you may need to call someone more experienced to fix your screen problems. Broken screens will let bugs, pests, and debris into your home, so beware.
Remember, like any item you purchase, screens have a lifespan. If yours are too old and beyond repair, then you are better off replacing them. Otherwise, you will waste your money fixing something that is way past its shelf life.
Now, let’s dive in to see how you can deep clean your window screens. Take note of the following steps:
Step 1: Detach the Screen From the Frame
If it has been a long time since you cleaned your window screens, you are better off detaching them from the frame. Then, when you remove the frame from the window, you can properly clean and disinfect the material.
With this, you can properly clean all parts of the windows without glitches. Go ahead and clean the screen, windowsill, and frame. Take out all the dirt, gunk, and debris that may be accumulating there.
Step 2: Prepare a Cleaning Solution
You will find many different cleaning solutions on the market for your windows. You can even pick a scent if you prefer. Notably, professionals typically use a specialized industrial cleaning product to get their work done.
However, since you will be doing it yourself, you may use a less toxic cleaner. Professional materials may need proper protective gear and handling. Instead, make your own organic cleaner by mixing:
- ¼ dish soap
- ½ gallon of water
- A squeeze of lemon OR
- A drop or two of your favorite essential oil
Step 3: Roll Up Sleeves and Get Ready to Scrub
Make sure you have a large enough brush with soft bristles. You need something a bit larger to cover more surface area, so you do not exert too much effort. Then, ensure the bristles are soft, so you do not damage the screens.
Alternatively, you can buy a special window brush that is meant for cleaning screens. Now, dip your brush into your cleaning solution and gently scrub away the direct particles on your screen. Do not forget to give both sides of the window screen a good scrub.
It would be prudent to wear a mask to prevent respiratory issues. You can also wear protective gloves. Finally, do not forget to do this outside your home to prevent dirtying up the place.
Step 4: Rinse The Screens Properly
Lay the screen you are working on flat on the ground and rinse it with warm water. The suds may look a bit gray or murky brown due to all the dirt you have scrubbed off. Keep on rinsing until the water runs clear.
Notably, do not forget to regulate the water pressure of your hose. Anything too excessive may cause your screens to tear. For best results, keep the faucet on low pressure.
Step 5: Dry Well Before Putting Back on the Frame
When you finish rinsing, you can wipe the screens gently with a soft cloth to remove the excess water. Wiping will also facilitate faster drying. However, you still need to air dry your screens because there will be residual moisture if you dry them.
It would be best to let them air dry for half an hour or more. The screens need to be completely dry to avoid mold and mildew growth. Once the screens are completely dry, you can place them back on the window frame.
Repeat this process for all the screens in your house. This project may take quite a while, especially if you have a lot of windows. But the rewarding feeling you get after you finish is satisfying.
Cleaning Window Screens Without Removal
Some apartments have no place to clean screens, so cleaning them without removing them from the frame is the only choice. Similarly, you can opt for this easier method if you have already deep cleaned your screens recently.
You can clean your window screens without detaching them from the frame. This is better than not bothering to clean them at all. When your circumstances fall under the above categories, you need to prepare the following to clean your window screens:
- Soft vacuum
- Lint roller
- Magic eraser
- Spray bottle
- Vinegar solution
First, open the windows behind the screen you intend to work on, this ensures the dirty solution does not drip down onto the glass. Then, you must vacuum on the lowest pressure to remove the surface dirt, so you do not destroy the screen with excessive force. You may also use the lint roller to grab more gunk.
Next, put equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Finally, spritz your screen from the inside of your home, so the water veers outside. This protects your home’s interior from the dirt.
Let the screen get saturated with your homemade mixing solution. After it soaks for a few minutes, get your toothbrush, and gently scrub the deeper gunk off. You may take your magic eraser to take out the stubborn spots.
You may need to repeat the spray, scrub, and eraser process several times. Finally, take a clean cloth to dry the screen when you are satisfied. Leave the windows open to let the material air dry.
When you do this, you deter mold and mildew formation. If you do the screen cleaning process diligently, dirt will not accumulate, and be so hard to deal with your window screens.
How Often Should Homeowners Clean Window Screens
You are not finished with your work even if you finally master the art of cleaning your screen. It is a great skill, but it will be wasted if you do not know how often to clean them. This is indeed a great skill to have, but it will be wasted if you don’t know how often to clean the screens. There is no standard rule for this since it depends on several factors:
- Wind exposure
If you live in a high-traffic area with tons of dirt blowing into your screens, then you need to clean it more often. Being in a busy location means you clean your screens at least twice a month, or you will be dealing with a major mess each time. Meanwhile, if you live in a quiet neighborhood with less traffic or wind, you do not need to be as vigilant. You can probably get by only cleaning your screen once a month.
Noteworthy, you should deep clean your windows and screens when you open them for the first time after the winter months to get rid of the molds and dirt built up. You may also want to regularly clean them to get rid of trapped pollen particles during the spring.
Most homeowners go with this rule of thumb: clean your screens when you clean your windows. But, unfortunately, cleaning your windows and not touching your screens is counterproductive. Why? Because the gunk and grime on your screens will likely mess up your newly cleaned windows, rendering your efforts fruitless.
Why Pay So Much Attention to Screens
Windows help improve curb appeal and ensure your home looks presentable. However, people rarely talk about screens and acknowledge the value they provide. Window screens are essential because they proffer the following:
Window screens protect your home somehow because they serve as a primary barrier between your home’s interior and exterior. They are mandatory home fixtures if you like letting fresh air in your home. They can keep a baseball from flying into your home, destroying stuff in its path.
Moreover, screens are also another obstacle that burglars must deal with to enter your house. Besides, even if they only offer a flimsy barrier, they collect debris and dust that could have otherwise settled on your furniture and appliances.
You can open your windows any time of day without worries when you have screens. They prevent particles from entering and settling in your home. More importantly, they improve air circulation in your house, preventing it from becoming too stuffy.
Besides, they can accord financial savings because you will not need to turn on your HVAC. As a result, you will not end up consuming excess energy, lowering your utility bills.
Assures Effective Pest Control
The most important job of window screens is to protect your home from pests. First, it will deter unwanted animals from entering your house. Second, it will keep mosquitoes, flies, rodents, bees, etc., from infiltrating your house.
Finally, you can invite the cool breeze into your home without worrying about sharing your space with creepy crawlies and other critters. Moreover, it will also keep your pets like your dogs and cats safely in your house.
Always Work with Reputable Providers
As you can see, your screens do an important job for your home, so it is vital to keep them clean. Doing so promotes longevity, allowing you to enjoy your screens for longer. Consider repairs or an upgrade if you think your home’s screens look worse for wear.
Remember, only work with a professional company that fully vets its team because you will be inviting strangers into your home. Most of all, you want a supplier with high-quality materials.
Do not worry because replacing your screens is so much cheaper than a total window replacement. This change can still improve the visual appeal of your home without breaking the bank. If you need professional input, call our experts at North Shore Window Inc. Speak to a product specialist so we can discuss our offers.