Using Armor All to clean screens

Does anyone else use Armor All for cleaning residential bug screens and shade screens? After trying a more expensive product marketed specifically for cleaning screens, I literally thought to myself, “This stuff is just like Armor All.” So I decided to give it a try, and it works great. I can get it from Walmart for a little over $12 for half a gallon, or less than $25 a gallon, which is not only cheaper than the other product, it’s cheaper than buying an actual gallon of Armor All on ebay, Amazon, etc. When my local store runs out, I can get free 2-day shipping right to my door.

I have wondered the same thing, I haven’t tried it yet .This past summer I had good luck with Murphy oil soap on screens, it really seemed to brighten them up some what.

Does brighten them, has there been any residue left on window after a rain goes thru screen onto window?

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I haven’t noticed much of a difference from spring cleaning to this past fall. I did gave a bit of a disclaimer if anyone noticed issues I would come back.
I felt it worked well with extremely dirty screens.

We used to call it “Screen Magic” a few years ago.

And yes it does leave a nasty residue on the glass after the rain. Don’t use it.

Besides, it kills the mesh too.

Ever use “back to black” or black trim restorer on your trucks mirrors?

How do they look after a few years?

Same thing with the screens.

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We have some unique geographical/weather characteristics here in the desert which help a lot. One, we only get 3” of rain a year, so that’s a non-issue. With our dry climate, the Armor All dries quickly so as not to leave a residue. And it puts a nice matte shine on dark solar screens. All in all, our overall experience with Armor All has been very positive.

Which desert area?

Yuma, AZ

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There was another guy that wad from Yuma on here not too long ago, was that you?


Yeah but in the desert that stuff attracts dust like nothing else. I’ve had very bad luck with screen spray products since we get sand storms here. They look good when you apply it but when I go back, the windows are super hydrophobic and the screens look nasty.

It takes a lot of soap to fix the windows.

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yup along with our desert temps we get wind wind wind and more wind. so it will get much more dirty

This topic is one that really gets me, sorry if this is long.

Funny things I noticed years ago after I used a bottle of screen cleaner that is locally made and very expensive. First was that it makes windows very hard to clean if rain goes through the screen onto the glass. I always wondered what the filmy stuff was and turns out this was it. The windows become greasy and then attract desert dirt like it was made to do that.
Second thing was that it had a very familiar smell to it. I couldn’t place it at first but then got into a friend’s car one day after he detailed it and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Exact smell, it was crazy. I asked what he used and he showed me a bottle of turtle wax detailing spray. The bottle makes almost verbatim claims as to repelling dirt and all. I experimented with some old windows and screens after having my windows upgraded. (I wouldn’t use the stuff on my screens if you paid me) Turns out that if you dilute the detailing spray about ten to one with water or so, depending on how pure the water is, I couldn’t tell which was which. Turtle wax detail spray costs about $3 to mix up a gallon and the other stuff is I think $150 to make 5 gallons. It was so similar in every way that it makes me wonder how they made their screen stuff.

Anyway, if I think screens were cleaned using any type of spray I usually pass on the job. It makes for a hassle and often the customer isn’t happy once they see the window with sun hitting it. It’s not easy to get it off the glass unless you want to steel wool all day. It’s much easier and cheaper if you just pressure wash shade screen fabric. If the screen won’t hold up through a pressure washing then it will is time it was replaced anyway. Replacing screen is simple and a great add on too.

Using chemicals on screens is not good nor do manufacturers recommend doing it. It’s kinda the lazy way out in my opinion and I think mostly is done by guys who only plan on doing that one cleaning anyway, so they don’t care what it does to the window.


Yeah, I had the same experiences but you don’t need rain to force the stuff on the glass. Just presence will get on the glass. I was doing a house and the windows were taking a little more time than usual and then I hit the attached (and covered) patio and all my soap just disappeared. I don’t use much soap on residential, but when it disappeared I knew exactly what happened. So I added more soap to the squirt bottle and started treating it like a CCU… you know how the new windows are and how they seem to eat soap?

When I went to wash the screens I asked the customer if the last guy sprayed the screens. And they asked me how I knew and then they told me the story - they were NOT happy with the result. They fired their last guy because he was sloppy on the windows (I noticed BIG turn marks on the windows) and he was sloppy in their house (dripping all over the floors and furniture).

A lot of clients will ask me what I use to clean screens . Because the last guy used armor all and messed up the windows . I tell them I just use soap and water