Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
An aluminum screen door can look dull due to accumulated dirt and dust. The good news for you is that the cleaning process is simple. We looked for the best ways to clean an aluminum screen door to bring back its original shine.
One thing to remember when cleaning your aluminum screen door is that it should be done from top to bottom to avoid frustrations while doing the following:
- Uninstall the aluminum screen door
- Remove the dust using a vacuum cleaner
- Wash the entire screen door with warm water
- Rinse, dry, and reinstall the aluminum screen door
The only challenging parts of bringing back the original shine of aluminum screen doors are the removal and re-installation. But worry not because this post will guide you through the steps.
What are the steps in cleaning an aluminum screen door?
Here's how to proceed when cleaning either a new or old screen door:
1. Uninstall the aluminum screen door
The first challenge you will encounter during the process is the removal of the aluminum screen door. While it’s okay to remove only the screen, it’s better to unhinge the whole screen door from the door frame to avoid doubling your cleaning time. Here are the steps you should follow in uninstalling the door:
- Put your protective gloves and masks on to avoid skin and eye irritation.
- Completely open the inside or main entry door.
- Disconnect any door springs to keep the door ajar.
- Unhinge from top to bottom the screws one at a time. When you’re on the last two screws, have someone support the door in place to prevent the door from falling. Then place the aluminum door in your designated cleaning area.
2. Remove the dust using a vacuum cleaner
Using a soft brush hand vacuum cleaner, gradually remove the accumulated elements and loose dirt on both sides of the door and the screen. Do not use your regular-sized vacuum cleaner as this will damage the screen door.
We do not recommend using a brush or feather duster when dusting off the screen as this scatters the dust so much in the air and cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritations.
If the aluminum screen door has glass behind it, some dust can settle down on it. Fortunately, most modern aluminum screen doors use spring-loaded clips already, so you can easily remove the screen after vacuuming it.
To remove the screen, locate the screen clip from all the corners of the door. Switch each of the clips from the channel, and the screen will come out. Also, you can remove the glass by either sliding it out from the aluminum door frame or twisting the plastic brackets that pin it to the aluminum door frame using a screw then sliding the glass out.
3. Wash the aluminum screen door with warm water
Add 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent to a bucket of water to create your cleaning solution. Soak either a microfiber cloth, sponge, or soft bristle brush in the warm water. After that, gently scrub or wipe the screen to remove the loose dirt the vacuum left out on both sides of the door.
For hardened stains on the screen, which are probably dead flies or bugs, switch to the soft bristle brush. Do not use a knife or any hard materials to remove such stains to avoid damaging the integrity and beauty of the door.
Proceed to clean the different corners of the aluminum screen door. For this one, we specifically recommend wiping the door using a microfiber cloth. Constantly dip the cloth after two wipes for a better clean. Keep in mind, avoid wetting the lock to prevent rust formation in the future.
As for the glass insert, you can splash a bucket of soapy cleaning solution all over each side for a quick wash.
4. Rinse, dry, and reinstall the screen door
Don’t wait for the suds to dry after scrubbing and cleaning all the parts, and immediately use a high-pressure water hose to wash off the soap.
After rinsing, let the aluminum door and glass stand on a wall to dry for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Use a towel or kitchen napkin to remove the excess water on areas that might have accumulated water, such as the lock.
Once dry, reinstall the glass and screen to the aluminum door by reversing the glass and screen removal method used in step 2. After which, you can now hinge the aluminum screen door back to the door frame.
How do you clean a screen door without removing it?
The method above, which necessitates removing the whole screen door, is the most advisable cleaning method. However, some screen doors are not retractable, so one needs to clean while the screen is attached to the door frame.
The set of steps to follow are almost the same as the above steps but not as complicated as you can see below:
1. Dust the screens immediately
Gear yourself properly first with a face mask, brush duster, protective gloves, and even goggles to reduce the risks of any skin and eye irritation.
Open the screen door and remove the attached spring. Starting from the topmost part of the door, dust off every area of the door using a brush or lint-free microfiber cloth to make sure a good portion of the dust gets absorbed.
It’s also okay to use a handheld vacuum, provided that you attach a soft brush to the hose to avoid damage to the screen.
2. Cover the floor with rags
We recommend you put enough rags in the door entryway after removing the loose dust on the floor. An ideal fabric to use will be a large towel or blanket as they absorb more water than other types of cloth. This way, you can prevent unwanted accidents in your home.
3. Prepare your cleaning solution
Prepare 2 buckets of water: one to use for creating your cleaning solution and one for rinsing off suds after. Remember that the cleaning solution must be warm and has a small amount of dishwashing detergent. We do not recommend making the water too foamy as it will require too much rinsing that can be detrimental to the integrity of the aluminum.
4. Wipe the screen clean
Using a different set of lint-free rags soaked in the cleaning solution, gently wipe the screen, especially areas with excessive loose dirt and dust. Do not forget to wash the cloth after every 2 to 3 wiping rounds.
Wash off the suds using a different microfiber cloth and the second bucket of water. Repeat the step until all the screen is free of suds.
5. Let the screen dry
Let the screen air dry for a few minutes. Ensure to check the bottom part of the door for excess water, which you can let evaporate using a hairdryer.
What is the best cleaner for aluminum screen doors?
As you might have noticed, we only recommend using dishwashing detergents to create a cleaning solution. And that is because it is the most suitable cleaner for aluminum. This cleaner is alkaline that does not damage the composition of the door, which is why kitchen utensils don’t form rust even with repeated exposure.
How do you remove oxidation from aluminum screen doors?
Yet dishwashing detergent soap isn’t efficient enough to clean an old aluminum screen door that has already accumulated rust. For this case, you need harsher cleaners to get rid of persistent rust. Here are two hacks to remove oxidation from aluminum screen doors.
Use Baking Soda
In a small bowl, pour in enough amount of baking powder and add water. Stir well until it exhibits a paste consistency. Apply and leave the baking soda paste on the rusted areas of the screen for 30 minutes.
Once enough time has elapsed, brush the paste off and rinse with water. And just like that, the rust will slowly wash off.
Use Lemon Juice and Salt
For this method, you need to apply each ingredient on the rusted door screen individually. First, slightly wet a bowl of salt with water, and then spread it to the rusted areas of the screen. After which, make enough lemon juice to fill a small bowl. Absorb the lime with a sponge, then scrub the salted areas until the rust comes off.
Restoring the shine of aluminum screen doors can be pesky and tiring. But this is a necessary maintenance task you should carry out. While frequent cleaning is not imperative, you still need to conduct 2 to 4 cleaning sessions annually for the door to last longer. The methods in this post will help to remove the hassle of figuring out where to start.