Best Way To Clean Screens On A Budget

I’d really like to get one of those screen cleaners that WCR carries but it’s just not in the budget right now.

So until I can get one what is the most efficient way to get clean them?

Also do you clean all the screens at once or just do one room at a time? I can see how all at once would save time but on a bigger house I find it’s hard to keep track on what screens go back where.

Thanks for taking the time to read and give your advice

Use a mop and a soap solution that has a lot of soap. Mop the screens and use the soap as a guide - fill in all the screen holes with soap. Then you can lightly tap the screen to remove most of the water and a microfiber towel to get the frame and the rest of the soap.

While my screen washer can handle screen doors, I prefer NOT to take them off (because every one of them here seems to have broken wheels and/or cannot go back in without a million adjustments) and this is how I do doors.

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Then rinse with a hose, then tap and wipe dry.
I just don’t like to leave soap residue on screens to soil the windows faster and turn them hydrophobic.


This is so simple:

  1. Buy a Sharpie pen
  2. Mark the top of each screen where it came from
    i.e: Left to right UP FRT 1, UP FRT 2…LOW FRT 1, LOW FRT 2…LEFT 1, RGT 1, BACK 1, BACK 2, etc.
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It also works to tap excess off and use a large towel to wipe down. Leaves no discernible residue.

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If you apply soap and do not rinse with clean water you will have soap residue that will attract dirt and rapidly increase dirty windows.

If you feel you need soap, use low or better yet no foaming soap. This will significantly make the process more efficient.

I prefer, bed 1, bed 2, bath 1, living1 etc ( tbh most screens I clean have this already written on them by the installer, so I just copied it)


I have tried many different ways of cleaning the screens over the years and I use 3 different methods that are the most efficient and effective aside from a screen cleaner.

I use both depending on how dirty they are and the type of screen.

For Solar screens I use a pressure washer. It does a great job even in the dirtiest screens and it’s pretty quick. I stack them in the driveway or patio area that has a large enough flat surface. Lay then flat and wash both sides and set then aside to dry while I clean the windows.

With regular screens if they are too dirty I will just dry brush them and get off any cobwebs and light dust and wipe the frames as needed. This way I can clean the screens while on the ladder and put then back on the window after cleaning the window all without coming diwn the ladder.

If the screens are excessively dirty, dusty, or full of cobwebs I go around the house and collect the screens in order so I can easily remember where they go. I keep then seperatrd into 4 stacks. Up stairs front, downstairs front, upstairs back, and downstairs back. This way if for sone reason the order gets mixed up its pretty easy to tell which windows they go on.

I stack the screens near a first floor window that has a faucet near by. I get a hose and spray nozzle, a bucket of water with dawn mixed in, and a handheld 14 inch synthetic brush. I clean one stack at a time using the window as an easel so I don’t have to bend over. I spray the stack down so the screens are wet. Then I set a screen in the window with one side up against the window opening and I hold the other side steady with the bottom testing on the sill and I scrub both sides with the soapy brush. After scrubbing I set it on the other side on the ground leaning up against the house or something else. I don’t rinse it yet. I scrub down the whole stack and then rinse it all at once. If it’s in the summer I might spray the scrubbed stack a few times to keep it wet until I rinse them. This saves time by not having to switch from scrubbing to rinsing over and over. Once I scrub and rinse one stack I set it aside to dry and clean the next stack. After the screens are clean leave the set aside to dry. No sense in wasting time tapping them when they can dry on there own. Just make sure you have them a thurough rinse.

This method is probably the closest method to using a screen cleaner and it’s not really that much slower either and it yields better results because you are scrubbing with soap. It goes really quick. Once the windows are clean they should be dry and ready to go back on.

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I built my own stand. Took about 150.00 in material and has worked great. It looks like Frankenstein’s monster but it saves a lot of money.


Thank you so much, this is very helpful. I think this will help me get by just fine until I can afford a screen washer.

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Wow that’s quite a bit of savings. I’m gonna look into building one.

I was gonna message you to ask you if you could share details if you have time. I can see the basics but I’m wondering if you had to do any welding or soldering and where you were able to find the brushes. Does water spray from both sides or just the left side where I see the copper pipe?

Sure I can detail out what I did and get you some detail pictures.

The water comes from one side. I had to solder the the copper pipe everything else is done with self tapping screws. The brushes I got from homedepot in the concrete tools. They are concrete finish brushes. I had to cut the handles down to make them fit inside the channels. I used shelving runners as the main structure and L brackets. I had to put a heavy duty L-bracket at the bottoms of the verticals. Get me your email address and I can send some detail pictures.



Very helpful Chad. That would be great. My email is fireforlunch @

Thanks so much

Uses a hose .
Wipe frames with a rag …done !!!

I have 2 screen cleaning machines , an this is the way I do most of my screens
Easiest way by far period.


I have limited experience cleaning screens.

The few times I’ve cleaned them and used only a hose there was some stuff that didn’t get removed and required a brush. But I couldn’t tell that while they were wet. It was only after I had given them time to dry and was ready to put them back that I realized they needed additional cleaning.

There’s never a one size fits all in this business. I have a brush , a screen cleaning machine, a power washer, a hose … Whatever it takes. Sometimes all it takes is a brush other times a hose.

Screen cleaning machines weren’t around years ago. All we used was hoses an brushes back in the day.

Just like WFP weren’t around , we used ladders :scream:

Lol i still throw a 40 footer on jobs. :sunglasses:


I had to break out 2 pieces yesterday wasn’t happy. Lol!!!

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To clarify your saying the fastest way is a hose or the screen cleaner?

I ask because I have considered gett8ng a screen cleaner but after thunkijng about it I’m not sure if it would be significant time sav8ngs over using a hose and brush.

All too often I have to drag my extension ladder indoors because of crazy designed foyers or staircase windows with removable fragile wood mullions. ARGGHH