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10 Uses for Window Screens

Don't throw away those old window screens just yet. Here are 10 "a-ha!" ways to reuse them

Give Your Screen Another Go

Photo by Lisa Shin

If replacing yours this summer left you with extra fiberglass material, don't just scrap it. Instead, tailor it to these new purposes.

1. Protect Newly Seeded Grass

Photo by Rinelle/iStock

Stop hungry birds from devouring the seeds you planted in a bare spot of lawn by covering it with a patch of screen. Tack it in place with a few long nails; remove them once the blades sprout.

2. Prevent Drain Clogs

Photo by Mark Lohman

Wad up some screen scraps and tuck them into a utility sink's drain to keep debris from slipping through.

3. Scrub Your Skin Clean

Photo by Laura Moss

Gently rub a length of mesh over hands to scrape away dried-on paint.

4. Sift Unmixed Grout

Photo by Laura Moss

Use a piece of screen as a sieve to uncake powdered grout and remove any lumps before mixing with water.

5. Dry Herbs

Photo by Martin Poole/Getty Images

Staple mesh to a wood frame to make a platform for drying fresh sprigs. Place the frame wood-side down so air flows beneath the mesh.

6. Keep Critters Out

Photo by Scott Camazine&Sue Trainor/Getty Images

Think like an insect, then stuff strips of screen into narrow crevices in your home—like those around pipe entries under sinks—to foil pests.

7. Make Compost Tea

Photo by Martin Poole/Getty Images

Bundle a half pound of compost in a 1-foot square of mesh, and cinch with twine to make a tea bag. Soak the bag in a 5-gallon bucket of water for a week or so, stirring daily. Fertilize a veggie patch with the brew.

8. Give a Sponge Scour Power

Photo by Comstock Images/Getty Images

Cover a plain household sponge with a piece of screen, and tie with string at both ends to prep it for heavy scrubbing jobs.

9. Strain Old Paint

Photo by TongRo Images/Alamy

Pour paint through a piece of screening to filter out debris from an otherwise still-good batch.

10. Keep Soil Inside a Flowerpot

Photo by Laura Moss

Line the bottom with a patch of screen before filling it, to stop dirt from washing out through the drain hole.