It's time to clean your screens.

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

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 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. Cleaning pollen off of screened doors can be quite the allergy-inducing challenge if you’re not properly equipped with the right process. First determine whether your screens are removable or not. Then 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.

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 door.

How To Clean Pollen Off a Screened Door Without Removing

  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 screen to air dry.

WATCH: 5 DIY Projects That Will Make Your Porch the Envy of the Neighborhood

The trick to making these big cleaning projects worth their effort is maintaining 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.