Window screens can accumulate dust, dirt, and tree litter over time that can impact their appearance. Plan on taking them down twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall, and cleaning them thoroughly. This is also a great time to clean the outside of all of your exterior windows, as well as check for things that may need repair.

Step 1: Remove the screens from the windows. Each screen will have a different method of removal, consult the manufacturer of the windows and screens if necessary. After you remove each screen, use a grease pencil to write the exact location of that particular screen on the screen frame.

TIP: Look for rotted window sills or frames or any other area that may need repair. Check the caulk around the window frame to make sure it is still firmly attached. Make any necessary repairs as you go.

Step 2: Using an attachment with soft bristles, use your vacuum to carefully remove any dust or other debris from the screens.

TIP: Now that the window screen is somewhat clean, examine each screen for any damage. Patch small holes in the screen, or replace the screen in the frame as necessary. If you must completely replace the screen, you can set aside that particular screen and install it without further cleaning.

Step 3: Wash the screens using a sponge and a mixture of warm water and dishwashing soap. Work carefully to avoid stretching the screens, but do not scrub so lightly that any dirt or grime is not thoroughly removed.

Step 4: Wash the frame of each screen carefully, avoiding the area where you labeled each screen with a grease pencil.

Step 5: Rinse the frames with a garden hose fitted with a spray attachment.

Step 6: Lean the screens against a vertical surface to dry in the sun.

Step 7: Replace each screen, using the grease pencil notations to help you. Before placing the screen back into place, remove the grease pencil with a bit of all-purpose cleaner on a paper towel.

TIP: Clean the outside of the window glass with glass cleaner and newspaper or paper towels to show off your newly cleaned screens to their greatest advantage.

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