Ever notice how window screens can go from spotless to “weird science experiment” in no time? Blame it on pollen, dust, dirt and tree fluff. Your screens trap the spores and seeds floating through the air—along with plenty of other organic particles. Add a little rain and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a mold-ridden swamp right on your windowsill.
Don’t worry: Cleaner window screens are just a few steps away.
Remove screens and take them outside or into the bathtub or shower if you’re in an apartment and have no other option. Either way, consider wearing a N95 respirator to avoid inhaling all that bio-matter.
Rinse screens with a hose or under the faucet. Use a rag to wipe down the frames, taking care to get into all the cracks and crevices.
Wash screens and frames with a solution of warm water and dish detergent. (A mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water will also do the trick.) With a soft-bristled brush, scrub both sides of the screen. Rinse screens again to remove soap film and any stubborn particles.
Wipe screens with a clean, dry rag. Then air-dry to make sure you’re not reintroducing extra moisture into the picture. Better yet, let them dry in the sun, which has natural disinfecting properties.
Place screens back in windows.
Repeat this process as often as you notice the botanical build-up. And if you have allergies, the more severe your symptoms, the more frequently you’ll want to get your screens squeaky clean.
Still not getting the relief you need? Try a pollen filter screen, which uses a fine mesh screen to block many plant allergens from entering your home. Then take your prevention one step further and keep windows closed during the following times and conditions: