How To Clean Porch Screens: A Safe and Quick Guide


Keeping your clean porch screens is essential to making it a relaxing space. A clean and well-groomed patio will give off the impression of being a neat home and help prevent bugs from lurking underneath the furniture. If you have scented or patterned outdoor fabric or louvred screens on your porch, these can sometimes be even harder to keep clean. Fortunately, cleaning your patio is not as difficult as you may think. Here’s everything you need to know about removing dirt and dust on your porch screen without harming them.

What Makes Porch Screens Dirtier?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning your porch screen, let’s discuss what makes porch screens more susceptible to dirt and dust. The fabric your porch screen is made of can become dirty and grimy due to many factors, including weather. The weather may affect the way your porch screen looks and feels. When sunny and warm, your porch screen will be much shinier and brighter than when it is rainy and more relaxed. That can cause your porch to very quickly become dirty from all the outside dust and dirt that is getting through the screen. – Plants. Depending on the type of plants on your porch, their leaves and flowers may leave a significant amount of dirt and dust. That is particularly true for herbs and small plants. – People. While people are not generally essential in making your porch screen dirtier, they tend to track in more dirt and dust than clean, soft fabric.

What Causes a Screen to Be Sticky or Smelly?

If you’ve ever smelled a stinky or sticky screen, it was caused by old, dried-out glue. Porch screen glue usually has a shelf life of one to two years. Once the glue on your screen has dried out, the screen will start to get sticky or smell unpleasant. The smell is usually caused by the screen becoming too hot and the glue drying out. That can be caused by but is not limited to: – Pushing an outdoor screen through a hot door or gate. This common mistake causes your porch screen to get sticky or smell. – Over-cleaning or scrubbing your screen with too much pressure. That can cause the glue to push off and get stuck to the screen. – High heat from the sun. If your porch screen is frequently pushed through a hot door, it will quickly dry out and get sticky.

How to Clean Porch Screens

Now that you understand why your porch screen tends to get dirtier let’s take a closer look at how to clean porch screens. Porch screen cleaning is relatively easy, as long as you follow these steps: – Find the Right Cleaning Solution. Many manufacturers recommend a specific type of porch cleaning solution when cleaning their screens. Look for these brands. – Clean with a Brush. If your porch screen is made of woven or netting fabric, you can clean it with a soft-bristle or nylon brush designed for outdoor cleaning. If your screen is louvred or made of other types of screen material, you will need to clean it with a nylon or steel brush. Clean your screen with a brush that is designed for cleaning exterior materials. – Rinse. After cleaning your screen with the brush, rinse it thoroughly under clean water. Outdoor screen cleaners are designed to leave residue behind and should be avoided. – Dry. If your screen is made of fabric that is not water-resistant, you will need to dry your screen entirely before storing it.

Safety First: Tips for Porch Screen Care

While porch cleaning is a relatively easy chore, we recommend taking some precautions to ensure your screens are as safe as possible from getting harmed. Here are a few things you can do to keep your screens safe from getting damaged during cleaning: – Make Sure Your Tools Are Clean. Whether using a brush or an outdoor hose, remember to clean it with a disinfectant before using it on your screen. That is to make sure your screen is not contaminated by any harmful bacteria that could be present on your tool. – Wear Gloves. You do not want to touch your screen with your bare hands. That can cause your fingers to acquire germs and dirt that will be difficult to wash off. Instead, use an outdoor sponge or cloth that has been disinfected. – Store Your Clean Screen Indoors. If you clean your screen outside, ensure it is scorched before storing it indoors.

Wrapped in Weave or Netting: Easiest Screens to Care For

The majority of porch screens in the US are made of woven or netting material. These are the most accessible screens to care for, as they do not have louvres or other parts that may become dirty or damaged. All you need to do to keep these types of screens clean is give them a quick wipe-down with a soft cloth or sponge. You can also use a mild detergent or outdoor screen cleaner to clean them better. Netting is also very easy to clean and care for that. You need to be careful with this type of screen, as it is more susceptible to dirt and dust, but it is not difficult to keep clean. Wipe it down with a cloth or sponge as needed.

Louvred Screens: More Difficult to Clean

That is where things get a little bit more challenging. Many louvred screens are made of aluminium or stainless steel. These types of nets are harder to clean, as there is potential for them to become rusty or marred. Rust can be difficult to remove, as it is ingrained into the metal. The best way to clean a louvred screen is to get a stainless-steel brush. These are designed for outdoor cleaning and will have small holes and grooves that will allow you to scrub the screen without damaging it.


Hopefully, by now, you feel a little more confident in getting rid of dirt and dust on your porch screen and what needs to be done. We suggest using a mild, powdered-based outdoor screen cleaner. In addition, you can use an outdoor sponge or soft cloth to wipe down your screen when it is dirty or when it has been exposed to direct sunlight. If your screen is made of woven or netting fabric, you can give it a quick wipe-down with a soft cloth or sponge. If your screen is louvred or made of other material, you will need to get a stainless-steel brush to clean it.

Dan Mack
Dan Mack
I come from a family of home builders and designers and I inherited the love for it! I write to share my home décor ideas and projects with everyone who needs some inspiration.