How to Clean Sliding Door Screens

Kathy Mayse

Screen doors can be a hassle to clean. Dirt, mold and organic substances tend to get stuck in the mesh of the screen door, making the task of cleaning quite a chore. If you have ever tried to clean a screen door with a garden hose, you know all too well that, while easy, this type of cleaning is not efficient.

A quick periodic spray-down is ideal for removing dirt between cleanings, but more is needed. You should remove and clean your sliding door screen at least twice a year.

  1. Remove the screen door by loosening the screws and carefully lifting it out of the runner. Lay it on top of the tarp in an area where excess water will freely travel away from the working area.

  2. Brush the loose dirt and debris from the mesh of the screen door. Be sure to remove dirt from the rollers and door handle as well. Vacuum all loose dirt.

  3. Spray the screen door down with the water hose, and prepare a mixture of warm water and detergent. Scrub the screen mesh using a scrub brush and the cleaning mixture. Be sure to scrub the mesh well so that all debris and dirt is removed. Pay special attention to the grooves and cracks on the screen door as well.

  4. Rinse the screen door with the water hose, then wipe it down with dry, clean towels and allow it to air-dry for about an hour.

  5. Lubricate the runners or tracks thoroughly with WD-40 or similar lubricant. If there is a grimy buildup on the tracks, scrub them clean with steel wool before lubrication.

  6. Clean the rollers using a toothbrush or small cleaning brush soaked in a mixture of warm water and detergent. Allow them to dry thoroughly and apply lubricant.

  7. Wipe away all excess lubricant. Place the door back on its tracks and tighten all of the holding screws. Check to see if the door moves freely or if adjustments need to be made.


While the screen door is drying, take some time to clean and lubricate the tracks located on the door frame. Sweep up the dirt using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Clean the grooves with a toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry, and apply lubricant.