Before cleaning your porch screens, move any furniture and other items off the porch, to protect them from dust and water. Then, dust the screens with a microfiber cloth, working from the top to the bottom. Follow this by vacuuming the screens with a vacuum equipped with a brush attachment. Once you’ve removed the loose debris, use an antifungal mixture of soap, water, and tea tree oil to scrub the screens. This will kill any mold growing on the screens. Finally, hose the screens to remove any remaining soap and residue. Use a sprayer attachment and spray from the inside of the porch to the outside.
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5 Steps to Clean Permanent Porch Screens
Porch screens create a beautiful, usable outdoor space. However, permanent screens on porches can collect dirt, debris, and even mold and algae. Luckily, cleaning porch screens can be done quickly and simply with these steps:
Clear Out the Porch
Begin by removing anything from the porch that you do not want to get wet. Future steps will require using a hose to wash down your porch screens. So, it’s a good idea to move patio furniture, cushions, light fixtures, and other items into your home before you begin cleaning. This will make it easy to clean and work in the porch space.
Dust from the Top Down
Begin cleaning your screens by dusting them with a microfiber dust cloth. Start at the top of the screen and work downward, dusting from side to side as you go. This will knock off loose debris. It’s also a great idea to begin by dusting the frames above the screens, if your porch has them. Dusting will make the vacuuming step easier and more effective.
Vacuum Your Screens
Equip your vacuum with a brush attachment to vacuum dirt and dust from your porch screens. Although it’s best to use a shop vacuum—due to its increased suction power—you can use any household vacuum that has a brush attachment. Start at the top of the screen and work downward. Make sure to move the brush gently across the screen, to avoid damaging your porch screens.
Scrub Screens With Our Mold-Busting Solution
Add a few teaspoons of soap, and 3 ounces of this tea tree oil to a bucket. Then, fill the bucket with warm water, mixing to combine the ingredients. Once you have prepared this mixture, use it as a cleaning solution. With a soft-bristled brush or soft broom, dip the brush into the water, then gently scrub the screen, both inside and out. This solution cleans off dirt, while tea tree oil will kill mold and algae more effectively than vinegar.
Hose Down Your Screens
Attach a hose-end sprayer to your garden hose for the next cleaning step. Then, use the spray to clean off the screens. If you don’t want the porch to get wet, it’s best to use the hose while standing inside the porch. Spray water outward toward the screens and the outdoors. This minimizes the amount of water your porch is exposed to, and does a great job cleaning off soapy water residue.
Can You Pressure Wash Porch Screens?
It is not a good idea to pressure wash your porch screens. Pressure washers can tear or destroy screens, depending on what setting the pressure washer is on. Most importantly, a pressure washer is overkill for cleaning porch screens. In most cases, a hose with a sprayer attachment will remove as much dirt from a screen as a pressure washer.
- Do not pressure wash your porch screens—the screens may be torn or damaged.
- A hose with a sprayer attachment is usually just as effective as a pressure washer for cleaning screens.
- Use antifungal or anti-algal cleaners to remove mold and algae from screens.
In order to kill mold and algae on your screen, it’s better to use a mixture designed to kill these organisms. Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal that kills mold on screens and prevents it from coming back. There are similar products that can be used to destroy algae on your screens better than a pressure washer can.
How Do You Get Green Algae Off Your Porch Screens?
The same soap, water, and tea tree oil mixture that will kill mold growing on your porch screens will also kill green algae. If you would like to increase the killing power to destroy more algae, use this mixture:
- 2 teaspoons dish soap.
- 3 ounces tea tree oil.
- 3 cups white vinegar.
- 3 cups warm water.
Mix these ingredients to combine them. Then, scrub the algae growth with a soft-bristled brush dipped in the mixture. Because tea tree oil has been shown to destroy algae growth, it’s a great choice. With this homemade mixture, you’ll kill the algae on your porch screens.
How Do You Clean a Non-Removable Porch Screen?
In order to clean your permanent porch screens, just follow these steps:
- Move furniture, cushions, and any other items you want to keep dry off your porch.
- Dust the porch screens from top to bottom with a microfiber cloth.
- Vacuum your porch screens with a vacuum equipped with a brush attachment.
- Scrub your porch screens with a mixture of mild dish soap, warm water, and tea tree oil to lift dirt and kill mold.
- Hose off your porch screens, spraying from the inside toward the outside.
This simple process will return your screened-in porch to a like-new appearance. The combination of gentle cleansers, antifungals, and anti-algals, will stop unwanted growth from returning. So, you can enjoy your outdoor space in peace.