How To Clean Pollen Off a Screen Door With a Vacuum and All-Purpose Cleaner

It's time to clean your screens.

We love our screen doors down South. When the weather is right, there's nothing like letting in loads of fresh air without allowing your home to become a bug and critter free-for-all. And you just know that neighborhood cat has been waiting to mosey on in and make himself at home if given the opportunity. One uninvited guest that we thoroughly wish we could keep out, though, still manages to make its way in, leaving a trail of yellow dust in its wake. We're talking about the clouds of pollen, and it's a sneezy, golden mess from late February through June in most parts. While our screen doors don't keep out the yellow haze completely, they do manage to trap quite a few particles—the evidence of which is left behind on those once tidy screens. Besides dirtying up your view, those allergens will find their way inside with every breeze and every slam of the screen door.

How Often to Clean Screens

The trick to making these big cleaning projects worth their effort is following a maintenance schedule so you don't have to put in quite as much elbow grease the next time around. It's best to clean your screen door as frequently as weekly if you're in a high-pollen area, though once a season could be sufficient in lower pollen climates. If you aren't excited about tackling this job over and over again, give screens a quick dusting with a soft cloth or vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. Once the worst of the pollen season has passed, use our instructions below for a deep clean of your screens.

Considerations Before Getting Started

Cleaning pollen off of screened doors can be quite the allergy-inducing challenge if you're not properly equipped. If you're susceptible to allergies, don a dust mask before tacking this project. Then, depending on whether your screens are removable or not, follow one of our processes below for a clean screen door that'll provide unobstructed views of the neighborhood goings-on—we all know people watching is the best part of porch sitting.

Natural Backyard Design Screened Porch with Double Doors
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lydia Pursell

What You Need

  • Towels
  • Vacuum and attachments
  • Bucket
  • Waterproof gloves
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Garden hose
  • Optional: dust mask

How To Clean Pollen Off of a Door with Removable Screens

  1. Remove screens from the door and place on a towel—preferably in your yard or driveway. We do not suggest bringing the pollen-powdered screens inside.
  2. Fix the brush tool attachment onto your handheld vacuum tube and suck up the first layer of dust, pollen, and dirt.
  3. Make a cleaning solution of ¼ cup of all-purpose cleaner, plus a half-gallon of warm water. Wipe the screen down on both sides using a lint-free cloth—the last thing you need is fibers from a towel getting stuck all over your screen.
  4. Stand the screen up and spray it down with your garden hose. The water pressure should be relatively light to avoid damage or stretching.
  5. Let the screens air dry completely before reinstalling on your doors.

How To Clean Pollen Off a Screened Door Without Removing Screens

  1. Place towels under or around the screen door to make cleanup a bit easier. Things might get messy here.
  2. Use a dry cloth or soft brush to gently wipe away any loose pollen or dust. Repeat the process on the interior side of the screen also.
  3. Fix the brush tool attachment onto your vacuum and suck up the more stubborn or stuck-on particles.
  4. Make a cleaning solution of ¼ cup of all-purpose cleaner, plus a half-gallon of warm water. Wipe the screen down on both sides using a lint-free cloth.
  5. Using a clean bucket of warm water, wipe the screen clean, removing any remaining cleaning solution on either side.
  6. Allow the screen to air dry.

Tips to Keep Your Screened Door Clean Longer

The more often you clean your screens, the easier it will be to keep them that way. Dust them regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth or a vacuum cleaner to prevent the build-up of dust and pollen.

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