Two Ways to Clean Window Screens

Clean your window screens at least once a year to remove trapped dust, dirt, and pollen. 

Because they are also somewhat fragile, cleaning them can be a pain. You’ll need to clean them carefully so that you don’t stretch the screen. Remember, once a screen is stretched, it’s there to stay. 

Here are two ways you can get those screens looking shiny new!

Simple Solution: Cleaning Window Screens in a Child’s Pool

Cleaning Window Screens with Soap and Water

The best way to clean window screens is to completely submerge them in soapy water. A child’s pool will work for smaller screens

  • Fill a child’s swimming pool with water and add dishwashing detergent.
  • Place the screen in the pool and let it soak for a minute or two.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub both sides of the screen and remove the dirt.
  • Once the screen is clean, take it out of the pool, rinse it with a hose, and allow to dry.

Watch the video above to see it done!

For larger screens, you can build your own pool.

  • Nail four two-by-fours together – each about six feet long, on a flat, level surface to create a square. 
  • Over the square, drape a piece of plastic that overlaps each edge by about a foot.
  • Add some water and detergent, and you have a window screen bathtub. 
  • Let the screens soak for a while before you scrub them with a soft bristled brush or a broom.
  • Follow that with a good rinse, and your screens are ready to go.

Cleaning Window Screens With a Vacuum

A much faster way to clean window screens is to use a standard household vacuum or a wet-dry vacuum. 

Just attach an upholstery brush and run it over the screen. Almost all vacuums come with such an accessory. 

In just a few seconds you’ll have cleaned the screen, and because the bristles are nice and soft, there’s no chance of damaging it. 

If you do this every year, the screens will stay nice and clean. Give the screens a more thorough cleaning every four to five years using a garden hose and spray attachment. Watch the video at the top of the page to find out more.

Further Reading


  1. your link said I was going to learn how to clean screens AND TRACKS. You completely ignore the tracks and that’s what I wanted to know. What do you lubricate the tracks with – you advise garage door tracks too – Use the same thing? What is it? machine oil? grease? what?

    • DJ, you can use a spray silicone to clean and lubricate the window tracks. Spray it onto a cloth and wipe the tracks to clean. B’laster makes a multipurpose lubricant you can use for the garage door tracks.

  2. I use -furniture polish- like Endust on the tracks and window -sill. Around the home it repels dust, and spiders won’t cross it.

  3. I prefer to remove my screens and give them a quick clean with a spray bottle containing a mixture of water, vinegar and dish soap. Using a very soft brush I brush and rinse with a hose. Screens dry quickly with some paper towel help. They come out squeaky clean.


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