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How to Clean Japanese Window Screens (Amido)

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This article is originally posted by PINAY Housekeepgin Service in Japanese, translated and added some text by Japan Living Guide.

Japanese homes frequently have screens on their windows to keep out insects and mosquitoes and cleaning those screens can be perceived as a time-consuming task. While many people clean their rooms on a regular basis, they may only clean their screens once a year during in the end of the year. One reason people may find cleaning screens difficult is the belief that the screens must be removed from the window frame. However, cleaning screens without removing them or using any special equipment is actually quite simple.

In this article, we cover simple ways to clean your window screens as well as some useful pointers to remember. Give it a shot and enjoy a cleaner, more comfortable living environment!

How Often Should you Clean Window Screens?

Here's a guide on the recommended frequency and timing for cleaning your window screens, along with tips and precautions for maintenance.

Best Timing for Window Screen Cleaning

It is recommended to clean window screens on days when there is moderate humidity, and the wind is not too strong or excessively dry. The majority of dirt on window screens is dust. On windy days or during dry periods, the dust and dirt on the screens tend to become airborne more easily. Therefore, it is better to choose days with some humidity for cleaning.

Mornings or evenings on slightly cloudy days are ideal for window screen cleaning. Additionally, there are two key periods when it is advisable to prioritize window screen cleaning: May and September to October. May comes after the peak of pollen season. September to October follows the typhoon season, during which window screens tend to accumulate dirt.

In May, window screens often have pollen adhering to them. Leaving the screens dirty can result in pollen being brought indoors. Since there are also more opportunities to open windows during this period, keeping the screens clean is beneficial to prevent pollen from entering your home.

In September to October, the rain and wind from typhoons make the window screen dirt softer and easier to wipe off. The humidity is higher compared to winter, and dust is less likely to float around, making it an ideal time for cleaning.

Frequency of Window Screen Cleaning

If dirt accumulates on window screens, it becomes harder to remove, and in extreme cases, you may need to remove the screens from the frame for thorough cleaning.

To prevent this situation, it is recommended to clean your window screens at least once a month and thoroughly clean them every six months. Cleaning them once a month helps prevent dirt buildup and makes the cleaning process quicker and more efficient.

However, the frequency may vary depending on your location and surroundings. If you live near the sea where sea breeze hits or along major roads with heavy traffic and exhaust emissions, dirt tends to accumulate more quickly. In such cases, cleaning the screens every one to two weeks is advisable.

If possible, you can simply use a vacuum cleaner on the screens while doing regular indoor cleaning to maintain cleanliness. For those who find cleaning challenging, incorporating frequent "incidental cleaning" may be less burdensome.

While the recommended frequency for window screen cleaning is once a month, keep in mind that you may need to adjust it based on your living environment.

Does Window Screen Cleaning also Bring Good Luck?

Cleaning is believed to bring peace to the mind, and allow positive energy to flow in a feng shui context, potentially improving luck.

Cleaning not only provides a sense of refreshment and satisfaction but is also believed to enhance good fortune. Windows and window screens serve as a connection between the outside and the inside of your home. If you have diligently cleaned your living space but neglected to clean the window screens, you may not fully experience the benefits of your cleaning efforts. To enhance good fortune, it is essential to regularly clean your window screens and maintain a clean and fresh environment.

How to Clean Screen Windows (once a month)

The methods are divided into two categories: regular monthly cleaning and semi-annual or annual cleaning.

Cleaning window screens once a month requires minimal supplies.

What you need

・Broom / Dustpan
・Face Mask

Cleaning method

1. Use the brush to remove dirt downwards

Use a brush to remove any dirt accumulated on the inside and outside of the window screens. The key is to brush in a downward motion, sweeping the dirt away. Take your time and avoid creating dust in the air.

2. Clean the dirt that has fallen onto the window frames

Thoroughly clean any dust or dirt that has fallen onto the window frames. You can use a broom and dustpan or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean it up.

The broom and dustpan sets below are a very convenient cleaning tool for use inside the room. Click the image(s) to see details or purchase online.

How to Clean Screen Windows (once/twice a year)

This is an effective cleaning method and order for cleaning up, once-twice a year.

What you need

・Vacuum cleaner
・Vacuum cleaner brush attachment
・Cleaning wet sheets
・Detergent (preferably in a spray bottle)
・Melamine sponge
・Microfiber cloth

There are handy cleaning tools specially designed for window screens. Click the image(s) to see details or purchase online.  

Cleaning method

1. Vacuum off the dust from the window screens

Attach the brush-shaped attachment to the vacuum cleaner and suction off the dust from the window screens.


2. Wipe with wet cleaning sheets

Attach a cleaning sheet to a mop (clip wiper / joint type such as a quickle wiper) and wipe the entire surface of the window screens. It is recommended to hold the wiper with a shorter handle. Wipe from the inside to the outside of the window screens. For light dirt, you can proceed to step 4.


3. Use detergent or a melamine sponge to clean

For grease stains, spray detergent and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, use a melamine sponge to remove the dirt.

In general, neutral detergent is recommended. Alkaline detergent may cause discoloration or damage to the window frames and sashes depending on the materials. Alkaline detergent is recommended for stubborn grease stains, but it should be used in specific targeted areas.

There are various types of neutral detergents available, such as those for dishwashing or bathroom cleaning. The ones in spray bottles are suitable for window screen cleaning as they are easy to use. The main advantage of neutral detergent is undoubtedly its gentle effect on the skin.

Although there are various neutral detergents available, it is recommended to have one that can be used throughout the house, not specifically for windows or window screens. For example, "Utamaro Cleaner" is well-known. It can be used throughout the house. Having a versatile cleaner that can be used throughout the house will also help keep your storage space tidy.

Alternatively, baking soda is also recommended as a substitute for detergent. Baking soda is alkaline and comes in powdered form, allowing you to adjust the concentration according to the level of dirt. Dip a melamine sponge in a suitable amount of water-added baking soda and gently remove the dirt.


4. Dry wipe with a microfiber cloth

Dry wipe the window screens with a microfiber cloth without wetting it. Don't forget to thoroughly wipe the corners after finishing the entire surface for a clean and polished result. Microfiber cloths have fine fibers that effectively capture dirt, making them an essential tool for achieving a sparkling clean result. You can use the microfiber cloth by hand for wiping, or attach it to a mop used for floor cleaning, which is also recommended. In that case, shorten the handle of the mop for a comfortable grip and ease of use.


How to Clean Sashes

The sashes below window screens are another place where dirt tends to accumulate. Compared to window screens, sashes are more easily visible and look filthy when dirty. Due to their structure, it can be a bit of a hassle to remove dirt from the sashes on the outside. However, if you have the right tools, you can clean them easily.

What you need

・Vacuum cleaner
・Cleaning wet sheets
・Microfibre clothes


Cleaning method

1. Dust with a vacuum cleaner

First, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the sashes. To do this, it is recommended to attach a brush attachment for sashes to the vacuum cleaner.

2. Brush away dirt with a brush

Brush away any remaining dirt with a sash or crevice cleaning brush. Brushes are available at a 100 yen store, so it is a good idea to have one handy.

3. Pour water and rinse off

Pour water over the sashes to wash away any dust or dirt that has not been brushed away. Using a narrow-spouted water pitcher or similar tool is recommended as it makes pouring water onto sashes easier.

4. Wipe dry with a microfibre cloth

Wipe off any remaining dust and dirt together with a dry microfibre cloth.

Other Useful Tools for Window Screen Cleaning

Apart from those above, here are some additional useful tools for window screen cleaning.

・Old toothbrush
・Cotton swabs
・Nylon body towel
・Window screen cleaning sponge

Nylon body towels, stockings, and window screen cleaning sponges are handy for removing dirt and grime from the entire surface. An old toothbrush, cotton swabs, and a spatula are useful for cleaning in small and intricate areas. Additionally, newspaper can be used to protect the floor while cleaning.

Points to Note for Cleaning Window Screens

While cleaning window screens is quite easy to do, there are some precautions to take.

1.Do not wipe with water first

It is tempting to wipe with water first, but it is not suitable for cleaning screens. When water is used, the dirt (dust) on the window screens becomes heavier and can turn into mud stains, making it difficult to remove. When wiping with cleaning sheets or cloths, they become heavily soiled and you may end up using multiple sheets, which is not ideal. The basic principle of window screen cleaning is to first remove light dirt.

2. Avoid applying too much force when cleaning

Applying excessive force during cleaning can lead to damage to the window screens. While you may be eager to thoroughly clean the dirty window screens and find that the dirt is coming off quickly, it is important to avoid exerting too much force. Stretching or tearing the window screens can cause significant issues.

If you accidentally apply too much force and the window screens become loose, you can use a hairdryer to fix the problem.

Prepare a hairdryer. Hold the hairdryer about 20cm away from the loose area and direct warm air onto it. Finish by cooling the area with cool air. Repeating this process can help reduce minor sagging. However, please note that this method is effective for minor sagging only. Severe sagging or deterioration cannot be fixed.

3. Wear gloves and a face mask

When cleaning window screens, unseen dirt and dust particles can become airborne. Inhaling dust can cause allergies, and individuals with asthma may experience attacks. It's essential to wear a face mask during the cleaning process.

Additionally, wearing gloves is important to protect your skin from window screen dirt and cleaning agents. Opt for gloves that are impermeable to water, such as rubber gloves or vinyl gloves. Wearing gloves is recommended for both those prone to skin irritation and those who are not.

Window Screen Cleaning is Easy!

Window screen cleaning, often considered a tedious task, can actually be easily accomplished with common household tools. We have shared with you the simple methods using readily available tools. It is recommended to perform regular cleaning on a monthly basis. By regularly cleaning your window screens, you will find that the overall cleaning process becomes easier and less time-consuming.

While window screens may not appear dirty at first glance compared to windows, they can accumulate a significant amount of dirt. In this day and age, with concerns about pollen, yellow sand, PM2.5, and other air pollutants, maintaining clean window screens is essential. As the entry point for outdoor air, window screens play a vital role. Even if the interior of your home is clean, if the window screens are dirty, fresh and clean air cannot enter. To ensure proper ventilation in your home, it is important to keep your window screens clean. Why not give it a try and clean your home's window screens using everyday items?


PINAY Housekeeping Service is currently running a highly attractive campaign for the first 30 customers each month. Upon contracting regular services (using the service at least once a week), you will receive a complimentary 2-hour trial cleaning valued at ¥5,000. Additionally, you will be eligible to receive a monthly ¥10,000 Amazon gift card for the first 3 months!

Furthermore, we have prepared exclusive benefits unique to PLAZA HOMES! If you subscribe to a regular plan (using the service once a week or more), we have a special offer that you can receive another ¥5,000 Amazon gift card as a gift! To receive this gift card, make sure to enter the referral code "PLA010" in the "Referral Code" field of the application form.