How to Clean Moldy Window Screens
Having mold anywhere in your home can be a hazardous experience; mold carries allergens that can lead to allergic reactions or illnesses among members of the household.
Mold grows when there is an excessive amount of moisture in the air; this can occur often in an area of your house that is exposed to the outside air, such as window screens. Killing mold on these screens is fairly easy, and doing so can help to keep you and your family healthy.
Remove the screens from the windows. Take them to a well-ventilated area with good drainage--preferably outdoors--when conducting a large scale cleaning of mold. If you don’t have an area outdoors, a garage will do nicely.
Lay your tarp or drop cloth across the ground. Place the screens on top. If you are outside, be sure that your work area is away from rocks and sticks that can damage the screens. You should also do this away from healthy plants or grass. Some of the chemicals used to kill mold will also kill plants.
Vacuum the screens to remove the initial layer of dust and grime. The soft brush attachment is best for vacuuming the screens; you can also use a regular feather duster or other dusting product to remove buildup.
Mix your cleaning solution into the spray bottle. This solution can include a number of ingredients that are effective for killing mold. For instance, bleach is an extremely effective mold killer; mix one part bleach into four parts water for best results. Vinegar will also kill mold effectively; do not mix with water. Just pour it directly into the spray bottle.
Spray both sides of your window screens with your cleaning solution. Allow the solution to set on the screens for about an hour; the chemicals will work to break down the mold. Use a scrub brush or towel to be sure the solution has covered the whole screen. Doing so will help scrub away any remaining mold.
Rinse away any remaining mold and cleaning solution; this is easiest done with a garden hose. If necessary, reapply cleaner and scrub again to remove any remaining mold. Allow screens to air dry.
Things You Will Need
- Vacuum cleaner and extensions
- Scrub brush
- Tarp or drop cloth
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning solution
Be sure to keep track of which screens belong in which windows; this will ease the process of putting the screens back into place after cleaning. Regular maintenance to your window screens will slow or prevent the growth of mold. Dust the screens as part of your regular cleaning routine to avoid large-scale cleanings.
Bleach will stain clothing, and it's harmful if ingested.
Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.