If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re getting ready to move out of your rental and you’re worried about getting your security deposit back.
It’s true, there are some horror stories out there about landlords withholding deposits over stains and holes in the walls.
We understand it can be stressful worrying about getting your apartment clean ready to move out. So, we’ve created this easy-to-follow cleaning checklist to make sure you get your deposit back without hassle.
If you’re getting ready to start packing ready to move, make sure to check out our guide with 15 moving tips you probably haven’t thought of.
Room-by-Room Apartment Cleaning Checklists
Let’s take a look at some of the specific cleaning tasks you need to do in each room before you move.
The kitchen is one of the hardest rooms to deep clean. It’s where you cook and hang out so it’s a hotspot for grease, stains, and dust. Here are some tips for getting your kitchen squeaky clean so you don’t compromise your deposit.
1. Clear out cabinets and pantries
Start by taking everything out of your kitchen cupboards and pantry – food, pans, utensils – the lot. Wipe down everything as you go and start putting anything into boxes that you don’t need daily.
Once all your cabinets are empty, give them all a thorough wipe with a damp cloth. You can also use a vacuum to quickly get rid of crumbs and loose food bits.
2. Wipe down fridge
Again, with the fridge, take everything out and throw away anything expired or unused. Pack your food in a cooler while you clean and wipe out the entire fridge with a damp cloth. Drawers and doors usually slide out for easier access.
3. Clean the oven
Mix together water and bicarbonate of soda to form a runny paste and smother it all over the oven. Leave it for 15 minutes while you get on with other cleaning tasks and then come back to wipe it off.
Most of the grime and grease will wipe off easily. If any is left, spraying on some white vinegar will cut through the rest.
4. Sanitize the sink, drain, and disposal
The drain is the main source of odor in a kitchen, so deep cleaning will help banish that musty smell.
Add bicarbonate of soda to your sink and then pour in vinegar until it bubbles. Cover the sink and leave for 15 minutes before running the tap to flush away the mixture.
Then, just wipe down your sink and faucet with a little dish soap and it’s good to go.
5. Clean the dishwasher
Dishwashers get clogged with build-up when they’re not cleaned well enough. Run a hot wash with a dishwasher cleaner to make it look like new without the need to scrub it.
6. Sanitize countertops
Grab some microfiber cloths and soapy water and give the countertops a wipe down to finish your kitchen cleaning checklist.
Your bathroom is another area of the house that can be difficult to deep clean. The best option is to pack away as much of your stuff as you can first so you have less clutter to deal with.
1. Polish mirrors
A bathroom mirror covered in streaks and marks is a clear indicator that your apartment isn’t clean. Get yourself a glass cleaner and give it a good wipe to make it streak-free and sparkly.
2. Sanitize the vanity
An all-purpose cleaner or solution of dish soap, white vinegar, and water is all you need to make the vanity look new.
Spray it all over and give it a wipe down. An old toothbrush will come in useful to get the hard-to-reach places around the faucet and plug. And don’t forget to wipe the sides of the vanity where water may have spilled.
3. Disinfect the toilet
Dump some toilet bowl cleaner down the toilet and give it a scrub with a toilet scrubbing brush. Rings and stains in the toilet are easy things for landlords to point out as an issue. Limescale and soap scum will lift away though, it just takes some scrubbing.
4. Scrub the shower or bath
A solution of white vinegar, dish soap, and water is great for cleaning the shower and bath. Spray it all over, give it a scrub, and then rinse away with the showerhead.
If there is a mold build-up on the seals, you might need to pull this up and reseal with fresh silicone.
5. Dust the vent
Bathroom fans get clogged with dust very quickly. Using a step ladder, clear away any dust or build-up from the vent. If you can remove the cover, you’ll be able to get a more thorough clean inside.
6. Mop the floor
Once you’re done, give the floor a mop with hot water and dish soap to remove any remaining stains and marks.
Bedroom & living room
The bedroom and living room are easier rooms to clean with more general checklists. Here are some ideas to make each room move-out-ready.
1. Declutter: Go through your belongings and have a declutter. The less you have to clean, the easier it is to pack and move out.
2. Vacuum the ceiling: can you spot any cobwebs? Get them down with a quick vacuum.
3. Dust blinds: Stick a damp sock over your hand and wipe down blinds to get them dust-free with less effort.
4. Wash the windows: the cleaner the windows, the more light they let in, and the cleaner the entire room looks.
5. Patch holes: take pictures down and patch up holes – landlords will easily take your deposit money to do this themselves.
6. Check light fixtures: replace lightbulbs and dust the fixtures to make lights look like new.
7. Clean the walls and baseboards: If you have a pet, running a squeegee down the walls will quickly remove pet hair. Wash the baseboards with a mop to remove all dust.
8. Carpet cleaning: if you can rent a carpet cleaner, that will work wonders to remove pet odors. But spot cleaning stains with a cloth and dish soap is all you need if not.
If your rental has outdoor space, there are just a couple of chores to get done in the garden.
1. Clean the sliding door: These get filthy with the weather and general wear and tear. Use a brush to sweep away debris, and then a glass cleaner to give the doors a wash.
2. Sweep: if the grass is covered in leaves, sweep or rake them up.
3. Cut the grass: If your lawn is like a jungle, cut it back to make it look neat and tidy.
What to Do Next
And that’s about it! If you follow our steps, you should have a sparkling clean rental ready to hand back to your landlord. Not to mention, a lot of your belongings will already be packed away ready for your move.
Now you have your apartment cleaned and ready to move out, it’s time to move on to the next steps of the moving process.
Head to our guide on how to transfer your utilities to your new home to make that process stress-free.