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How to Clean Fly Screens?

When is it ever a good time to clean your fly screens? A long, grimy, time-consuming job like that? The answer most people would give is never. But we’ve decided that if we teach you HOW to clean fly screens easily and effectively, we might just be able to change your mind.

Scrub the fly screens with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush.
Scrub the fly screens with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush.

There are only five simple steps to follow on how to clean fly screens:

  1. Prop them up against a vertical surface or lay them on a clean, dry surface.
  2. Rinse gently with the garden hose.
  3. Scrub the fly screens with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush.
  4. Both sides.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with garden hose.

And that’s pretty much it. But of course, you might want to know things about timing when finding out how to clean fly screens. And you’d be right, there IS more to it than simply a how to.

You may be surprised to know that fly screens can be your first line of defence, not only against flies and bugs but against other pollutants that will enter your home in the air. They act as an air filter that allows air to flow freely and as it does traps airborne contaminants onto the screen. If you don’t clean your fly screens regularly you may be only getting a small benefit from your open window. Dirty screens become inefficient and begin to block the airflow into the room.

Dirt and salt are particular problems if left too long on your fly screens. They can crystalise on the screen and immediately begin to attack the powder coating on the screen. Cleaning your screens regularly whether on doors or windows will keep your screens looking and functioning their very best.

 How often should you clean your fly screens?

It depends on where you live. The environment you live in will have a direct impact on the timing of your cleans. Different climates and conditions have differing levels of dirt, grime and other pollutants that will accumulate on your fly screens. If you live in a rural area away from the coast you will need to clean your screens far less than someone who lives in an urban area or close to industrial activity.

Well, the answer isn’t actually that simple but we’re going to try and break it down for you here.

If you do live urban, as most of us tend to, the air will carry more pollutants with it and you will need to clean more often. But we have important news for those of us who live in harsh environments such as within 15 km of the ocean or in the tropics or close to a factory, you will need to be far more diligent to have your screens looking and functioning at their best for years to come.

Location of Screens (Environmental) How often you need to clean
More than 10 km from a saltwater coastline 3 to 6 monthly
Between 5 & 10 km from a saltwater coastline 2 to 3 monthly
Between 1 & 5 km from a saltwater coastline Between 2 & 4 weeks
Between 500m & 1km from a saltwater coastline Between 1 & 2 weeks
Under 500m from a Saltwater coastline or up to 2km when the property is elevated, and the ocean borne wind will carry salt air up through the landscape.  Areas close to heavy industrial areas and in iron-rich, red dirt landscapes. Weekly
Please note: Not all screens might follow the same guidelines. Always check your manufacturer’s warranty terms and conditions.

Don’t forget that bat and bird droppings are very acidic and just as you would want to wash them off your car almost immediately you should follow the same process with your screens. The powder coating on your screens is made from the same materials as the paint on your car and can be easily damaged in this way.

How to Clean Fly Screens

Now that we’ve loaded you up with information on how often you should clean your fly screens, we’re now going to go into a little more detail on how to clean them. Here are the tips and tricks we didn’t tell you before, so well done on getting this far!

1. Prop them up against a vertical surface or lay them on a clean, dry surface.

Obviously, this step will only work if you are able to remove your fly screens. In most cases you will be able to remove them and when you do find a clean, clear space outdoors and prop your screens up against a vertical surface such as a handy wall or fence. If you’re not able to do that find a clean, dry surface and lay them flat.

2. Rinse gently with the garden hose.

Now here’s one of those tips we mentioned earlier. Be sure to use MAINS water. NOT tank water and definitely not bore water. (We’ll tell you why soon.) Make sure you get both sides of the screen thoroughly rinsed.

3. Scrub the fly screens with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush.

We can give you two simple tips for this step. The first is be careful what type of soap you use. Regular car wash is a good option as is normal dishwashing liquid. The other tip is be careful of your brush – if the bristles are too hard you may find other problems occurring.

4. Both sides.

Don’t forget to flip the screens over and wash both sides.

5. Rinse thoroughly with garden hose.

This step is just as it says. Make sure you remove all suds and any leftover dust as you’re rinsing. Leave to dry in the breeze or if you need to help it along a little, use a soft towel.

6. Now’s the time to clean the tracks and windowsills.

You can use the vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle attachment or for heavier cleaning a toothbrush with water and detergent in a spray bottle could be helpful.

Cleaning Fly Screen

If you’re dealing with fixed fly screens you will need to try a different method. 

1. First, prepare the space by arranging towels under the windowsill and on the floor around the window or door.

2. Then, using the soft bristled brush or a soft cloth and a bucket of water begin on the outside of the fly screen and gently clean as before rinsing when you’re done.

3. Once the outside is done so the same thing on the inside being careful to use as little water as possible to protect the surrounding furniture and paint. After washing wipe clean with a damp cloth or using a spray bottle with water in it and leave to dry.

4. You could also look into hiring a portable air compressor. You may be able to get dirt and grit off simply by doing this.

Cleaning your fly screens isn’t the most wonderful way to spend an afternoon but if you clean them regularly it shouldn’t be too unpleasant. Vacuuming your screens carefully with a soft brush attachment every so often should also help cut down on the difficulty when you do a deep clean.

 Here are a couple of Do’s and Don’ts on How to Clean Fly Screens.


  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Warranties can be voided easily if you don’t know what you’re doing is not right for the particular product. Most manufacturers are specific in their cleaning and maintenance instructions.
  • Register your warranty when your screens are installed


  • Use anything acidic (such as lemon or vinegar) or harsh chemicals for cleaning (such as cream cleansers), it may damage the powder coating
  • Use any harsh brush (including hard vacuum brushes) as they may scratch the finish or remove paint protectors
  • Any water other than mains water can leave contaminants on your fly screens. Bore water typically has high iron levels and may result in brown staining.

We’ve done our best to give you everything you might need when it comes to cleaning your fly screens but if this How to Clean Your Fly Screens tutorial just wasn’t enough, come see us at Bosetti. We’d love to help you.

Contact Bosetti Blinds, Shutters and Awnings
on 1300 997 409 today.

One Co. Foundation Partnership | Homes of Hope
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