2-10 Blog

Window Screens: Cleaning, Replacing, and Repairing

Cat waits behind the window screen


Window screens require occasional cleaning, repairing, and replacing. Here’s how you can do these simple tasks yourself!

1. Cleaning window screens

A man washing a window screen with soap and brush

Image from Family Handyman

For a deep window-screen clean, you’ll need a few items.

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Hose

First, remove your screens from the window.

Then, dip your brush in a mixture of dish soap and water.

Next, gently scrub your screen on both with with the soapy brush.

After cleaning both sides, take screen out and rinse with a hose to clean off any extra soap.

Lay screens out to dry before putting the back in your windows.

For a weekly screen cleaning, use a vacuum cleaner by running the hose up and down very lightly. Be careful not to push too hard, which can cause stretching or damage.

2. Replacing window screens

Siamese cat is destroying the mosquito net at the window.

You can replace window screens with a few tools and a couple hours. Here’s what you’ll need, which you can purchase at any hardware store.

  • A roll of screen
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Spline roller
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Spline

First, remove the screen frame from the window.

Next, use your flathead screwdriver at the corner of the frame to gently dig out the old spline. (The spline is usually rubbery, but it may be dried out if its old). Discard the old spline and screen.

Then, roll your roll of screen over the frame. Give yourself a few extra inches of screen on each side of the frame. You’ll cut it down to size later.

Next, take your new piece of spline and place it over the screen and the grooves of the window frame.

Gently press down on the spline with the spline roller until the mesh sets into the grooves firmly. Repeat on all sides.

Then, use your scissors or utility knife to cut any overhanging mesh down to size.

Finally, replace the frame in the window.

Replacing or repairing the screen is a pretty simple process. The Home Depot includes a guide with pictures here. And if you’d rather see a video of how it’s done, check out this video for how to replace a window screen.

The thing to remember is that repairing your screen is more of a short-term fix. Patching a screen is often more noticeable than replacing the entire screen mesh itself.

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