Forget self cleaning ovens. How about self cleaning screen doors?

After lockdown I decided I would trash another few good hours of my life by cleaning the front screen door. We may as well have sparkling clean prison cages if we’re going to be stuck here for awhile. In hindsight, I should have done it weeks ago.


In actual fact, I really just wanted to paint the timber frame around the recently painted front door. But one look at the screen told me otherwise. Shortcuts usually end badly. So off to the laundry I went for a bucket of hot soapy water and a sponge. No sponge. Where did my over sized sponge go? I resorted to a standard cheapy and unhappily went back to the job at hand.


Now if you've ever cleaned one of these "classic diamond grill" screen doors, let me tell you, there's nothing "bling" about them. They would have been more aptly called "intricate shape that you can't get your hand in and will spend four hours trying to wash it so maybe just don't bother". Hence the need for that over sized sponge that went walkabout.


I thought I would approach this systematically. By washing in rows. Horizontal rows. Slowly but surely, my eyes seemed to glaze over as my hand moved across them. So I thought I'd try a diagonal line. Somehow my eyes liked that direction better. But it was a bit like reading the daily news when your mind starts to wander first paragraph in, and you find yourself reading the same line over and over and over.


Fifteen minutes in, I scrapped any type of system and just pushed that small sponge into all of the diamond spaces, in the hope some would come up clean. You know, sometimes we have to look at things from a different perspective. And who would have thought that cleaning the screen from the INSIDE would be easier! It was but it made little difference ... back outside and the dust was still happily sitting there.


At this point, the lawnmower man came up and suggested I use a hose directed from the inside out. Visions of a flooded lounge area came to mind, as I picked up that bucket and sponge and laboured on.


Yep, a few good hours later, I had a clean looking Classic Diamond Grill screen door.

All I know is, I wish my eyes could see the road signs as well as I can see dirt and dust.

Oh, and I did end up painting the frame around the screen. So now I might consider painting the screen to match. Watch this space :) It will either be a glorious triumph or a disaster.

Front screen door looking sparkling clean at Fifth Ave Katoomba Retreat
Looking very clean actually so maybe it was all worth it. Ignore the leaves on the mat!


By the way, has anyone ever fallen for the old "self cleaning oven" marketing? They got me once, but you know what they say, Once bitten, Twice shy. The only thing that cleans your oven is your own two hands!!

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