Your screen doors bring the fresh air and beautiful scenery of the outdoors into your home. To keep the air flowing and reduce allergens, it's best to clean them at the beginning and end of each season. Hosing them down will remove dust, but it won't remove built-up dirt, dead bugs, tree sap, fungus, mold or other outdoor debris.
Deep cleaning with ammonia can irritate your eyes, respiratory tract and skin. Dish soap may be a safer option, but it may not be strong enough to wash away the caked-on dirt and debris, plus it's harder to rinse away.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner easily removes built-up dirt and dust without harsh chemicals that can harm you and the environment. Instead of harmful ammonia fumes, the non-toxic and biodegradable cleaner leaves behind a light sassafras scent.
Use a screwdriver to remove the screens for the best clean. Be sure you don't twist or bend the frames. Put loose rollers or tension springs in a bowl or pan. Don't lose them!
- Prepare the surface. Lie the screens on a flat outdoor surface on top of towels, a tarp or a drop cloth.
- Vacuum. Use a soft brush vacuum cleaner attachment to remove loose dirt from both sides of the screens.
- Prepare your Simple Green solution. Mix ½ cup of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with ½ cup of water in an empty spray bottle.
- Wet. Wet the screens with a garden hose on very low pressure. Wetting the surface before cleaning allows the Simple Green to better penetrate soils.
- Spray cleaner on. Liberally spray the screens with your Simple Green solution and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
- Clean the tracks. If you're cleaning a sliding screen door, clean the track while the screens are soaking. Use a small dry scrub brush to loosen debris and vacuum up the loosened dirt. Spray a cloth with your Simple Green solution and wipe the track down to remove any remaining dirt. Allow the track to dry completely before applying a small amount of lubricant.
- Clean the parts. Mix the same Simple Green solution in a bowl or small container and soak the rollers and/or tension springs for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a lint-free cloth to dry them before air drying. Spray the pieces with silicone lubricant before replacing them.
- Scrub screens. After 10 minutes, scrub the screens with a cloth or sponge.
- Rinse. Rinse the screens with a garden hose on low pressure. Too high of pressure can loosen the screens from their splines and leave them saggy.
- Dry. Use a dry towel to absorb excess water and place the screens on clean towels to dry.