How to Clean Porch Screens

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery brush attachment and crevice tool

  • Step stool or stepladder (optional)

  • Garden hose

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Bucket of warm water

  • Mild dish soap


Give the screens a thorough cleaning once or twice a year; vacuum or wipe them down with a damp cloth as desired in between the thorough cleanings.

If you can't use a hose from inside the porch area, wet and rinse the screens with a rag dipped into a bucket of water.

Working from the top down results in a more thorough cleaning, because debris knocked loose travels down.


If you're allergic or sensitive to pollen, enlist someone without allergies to clean the screens, or wear a dust mask while working to avoid breathing in allergens.

To stop slightly soapy or dirty water from getting on plants surrounding the porch area, cover them with a lightweight plastic tarp or plastic tablecloth before rinsing the screens with the hose. Remove the tarp afterward.

Screens act as a filter for your enclosed porch, keeping out much of the dirt, debris and pollutants that might otherwise cover everything. This same filtering action results in an abundance of pollen and fine particles trapped on and in the screen itself. Vacuum to remove many of the fine particles, and then follow up with wet cleaning to remove even more dirt. Clean the screens whenever it's time for a thorough porch cleaning, such as at the beginning of spring and end of autumn, to group the cleaning days into one block of time rather than having to handle the tasks several days or weekends in a row.

Step 1

Move items such as furniture away from the screens, pushing them toward the center of the porch. Move portable items that are outside around the porch at least 5 feet away to keep them out of your cleaning path.

Step 2

Vacuum the outside of the porch screens on a dry day, if you can access the area immediately surrounding the porch. Work from the top down, vacuuming with an upholstery brush attachment to loosen fine particles. If you can't reach the highest areas, stand on a step stool or stepladder while working. Vacuum the screens from inside the porch if you're unable to access the area outside easily and safely.

Step 3

Swap the brush attachment for a crevice tool, and vacuum the corners and edges of the screens from inside the porch.

Step 4

Hose the screens off from inside the porch, spraying outward. Start from the top, going across and working your way down each screen panel.

Step 5

Dip a soft-bristled brush into a bucket of warm water. Gently scrub each screen from inside the porch, working from the highest areas downward. Add a squirt of mild dish soap to the water before scrubbing if the screens are quite dirty.

Step 6

Rinse the screens off with the garden hose, again spraying from the inside out and working from the top down.

references & resources

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.

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