The Easiest and Smartest Way to Clean Your Window Screens

updated Mar 26, 2020
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Woman opening a kitchen window
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Right about now, we’re all probably pretty ready to throw open our windows and let some fresh air into our homes. Fun fact: One of the origins of our cross-cultural practice of spring cleaning has to do with being able to open the windows once warmer weather arrives. Because homes in the 1800s were lit with whale oil or kerosene lamps and heated with coal or wood, they were plastered with a “layer of soot and grime in every room. So when the warmer weather hit and they didn’t need these heat sources, the could open the windows and reset their spaces.

Anyway: back to the windows. A big part of spring cleaning is getting our windows sparkling clean again. That includes the tracks, sills, curtains, glass panes, and screens. Today, we’re here to talk about the screens.

If you don’t have a big chunk of the day to devote to the task or you don’t want to take your screens off, there’s a super-easy cleaning hack that will get dust, pollen, spider webs, dirt, and whatever else off your screens: Use a lint roller.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

A Lint Roller Is the Easiest Way to Clean Your Window Screens

Using a lint roller to clean your window screens may seem self-explanatory, but here are a few tips to maximize the effectiveness of this helpful use-what-you-have hack:

  • You can use the lint roller from the inside with an open window, but we suggest working from the outside if you can. Not only will this method be more thorough (the mess comes from the outside, after all), but this way you can leave the window closed to help prevent pressing the screen too hard. Rolling from the outside also ensures that you don’t miss any corners or spaces that would be blocked if you rolled from the inside.
Credit: Sarah Crowley
  • Be prepared with refills. Your lint roller tape will get “full” quickly, so be ready with refills on hand. The job is super satisfying and we bet you’ll want to do every screen in your house in one go.
  • Slide your sticky roll onto a paint roller for easier rolling and to reach higher levels if need be.
  • Don’t forget your screened-in porch and screen doors!
  • If you’re committed to this hack, you may want to invest in these mega lint rollers or this lint roller with an extendable handle

Have you tried this easy cleaning method?