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How to Clean Your Apartment Before Moving Out

A tutorial on how to clean your apartment out when moving out to assure you get your security deposit back


How to Clean Your Apartment Before Moving Out

Moving out is exhausting. Not only do you need to pack all of your belongings, but you have to transport and unpack them at your new place. If the previous tenants left the place a mess, you’ll need to clean it before getting settled. The last thing you’ll want to do is return to your former apartment and start cleaning it, too. 
As you’re stowing away your things in cardboard boxes, make sure to leave out your array of cleaning supplies. You’ll need them for what comes next: preparing your apartment for the next tenant. Before the big day, get a head start on cleaning, and save yourself the work of doing it all later. 
Not many people look forward to cleaning, especially when their damage deposit is on the line. Put on your favorite tunes, roll up your sleeves, and assemble your supplies—we’re going to tell you how to do a top-tier job of cleaning your apartment:

Do a Deep Clean
If you want to get your security deposit back, we recommend doing a deep cleaning. Understanding the difference between disinfection vs sanitization helps you make the apartment both safe and spotless. When you sanitize a surface, you reduce the bacteria that are present; when you disinfect, you eliminate any viruses completely.
You can clean the oven, which takes a couple of hours if it has a self-cleaning cycle. If you use an oven cleaner product, make sure the room is well-ventilated. You can remove the burner elements from the stovetop and wash them with soap and hot water. If you have a glass stovetop, carefully use the edge of a knife to remove hardened food.
Any holes in the wall can be filled in with putty. You can ask your landlord if they have any paint that you can use to match the color.

Sure, you’re used to wiping your tables and the countertops. But when you’re moving out, you need to dust the areas that you notice less often. A few areas you can dust include:
●    Ceiling fan blades
●    Vents
●    Baseboards
●    Tops of the door frames
You can use a duster with a handle to clean these hard-to-reach places. If you don’t have one, you can use a dry microfiber cloth and attach it to the end of a stick.

Wipe the Windows
While you can’t clean the outside of the windows, you can apply glass cleaner to the inside. If they’re especially dirty, you might need to use a lot of paper towels. You should wipe down any mirrors in the bathroom or bedroom.

Clean Stainless Steel Surfaces
The fridge, laundry machines, or dishwasher might be speckled with water spots and stains from regular use. You’ll need to use a cleaner that’s designed for stainless steel, or else it may be ineffective.

Scrub the Toilet
This step is particularly important—no tenant wants to see evidence that someone else used the toilet before them. To remove any water rings, you can use a toilet bowl cleaner. Apply the product and allow it to soak for several minutes. Then, you can use a brush to scrub away the stains.
For the seat and tank, use a disinfecting spray that contains bleach. This will make the white porcelain sparkle.

Don’t Forget about the Drawers!
As you pack up your things, you’ll leave behind stray hairs and crumbs in the drawers. Be sure to wipe them down as you go. Make a mental note to clean out the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom drawers.

Sanitize the Fridge
When you open your fridge, do you smell last week’s leftovers? The next resident is sure to notice. Using paper towels and glass cleaner, wipe down each of the shelves and the sides of your fridge. Take care to remove any food stains, and use more product on areas where the odor is stronger.

Sweep & Mop the Floors
The last step on your list should be to remove all hair, dust, and dirt from the floors. You'll need to do more than a quick sweep. Before you start mopping, make sure all pieces of dirt are gone, as they could damage your floors. Otherwise, you’ll end up spreading them around with the damp mop.

If you aren’t sure what your landlord expects when you move out, it’s worth giving them a call to find out. They might request things that you wouldn’t have known otherwise, like scheduling a carpet cleaning service or washing the walls.
The cleanliness of your suite will directly impact how much of your security deposit you get back. If you leave it until the last minute, you might be tempted to do a half-hearted job. However, thoroughness and diligence will pay off when it comes to cleaning your former apartment.

Author’s Bio
Catherine Holland is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and home improvement for a variety of businesses. Some of her favorite pieces can be found on the Globe Property Management's website.

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