How to Clean an Apartment – end of tenancy cleaning tips

If you have ever changed places or let out a property for rent, then you perfectly know that End of Tenancy can be hard enough. But to top it off, you might not get your deposit back if you leave the place in a messy condition for the next tenants.

It’s important to learn how to prepare for a End of Tenancy Cleaning inspection so that you can get your deposit back and walk away without damage fees. If you want to save your budget and avoid any problems, we recommend you to follow the steps we offer you here:

1 Consider using the services of a professional cleaning company.

This will reduce your stress a lot because the company’s cleaning teams will not only perform the the whole cleaning very efficiently and with a top-quality but also it will save your budget. By hiring a professional service, you will not only save your time, but also save your money because you won’t have to buy cleaning supplies such as chemical detergents or other stuff. The cleaning companies use professional and effective equipment and use only high-quality cleaning products to provide you with the best service.

2 Contact the utility companies and set the date to turn off the utilities in your name.

Make sure that you disconnected all of your services in your former home (I.e.: Water, electricity, internet service, etc.).

3 Create a shopping list.

You can really simplify your cleaning by just deciding the exact cleansers and tools you need for your cleaning routine. Before going to the local store

4 Try to break into chunks your cleaning procedure.

By doing your cleaning step by step, it will be easier for you to clomplete it. For instance you can seperate your cleaning by different rooms. Make a schedule for each day and assign a specific task for a specific room.

5 Start with the kitchen.

Because this is one of the hardest rooms to clean. Think about all the cooking appliances that collect grease and need special treatment. We recommend you for example to start with the oven because it’s one of the items that need special attention.

6 Remove all staples and nails you have stuck into the walls, ceilings, or doors of the apartment.

Using the magic eraser, go through each room and remove any scuff marks on the walls, floors, or doors. (Warning: Test the magic eraser first, as it can clean some paints right off the wall.)

 7 Cleaning the kitchen:

  • The sink- Fill the sink with warm water and add dish detergent to the water.Drain the water from the sink and clean the sink and wipe down the faucet. If the sink is stainless steel or porcelain, a powdered cleanser works great! An old toothbrush or other small brush can be very useful for scrubbing around the edges of fixtures and the sink.
  • The oven- One way would be to use one to two cans (depending on whether you EVER cleaned the oven while you lived in the apartment) of oven cleaner to get the oven really clean. Read the safety directions carefully, many oven cleaners require protective equipment (gloves & goggles) and strong ventilation. Do not ignore the directions on the can. Place newspaper in front of the oven, slightly underneath the door or drawer and extended out to protect your floor from dripping cleaner. Evenly apply both cans to the inside of the oven, the grates, the broiler sheets, etc. Throw the drip pans from the stove in there and coat them too. Let sit for 24 hours. Do not turn on oven! Using a sponge and paper towels, wipe down all surfaces. Rinse with clean water. Clean the vent above the stove and be certain that the light bulb in the overhead hood is in working condition. Alternatively, if you want to avoid the chemicals in oven cleaners, you can use a dilution of 100g baking soda in 1 liter (0.3 US gal) of water and spray onto the surfaces and leave for at least 1 hour. For a dirtier oven, increase the amount of baking soda so that the solution is more of a paste than a liquid. After one hour use an ice scraper to remove the burnt carbon, and spray any remaining in the oven. Repeat the process until the oven is completely clean.
  • The cabinets – Using a multi-purpose cleaner that is safe to use on your cabinets, wipe down the interior and the exterior of the cabinets.
  •   The light fixtures – You should then check to make sure the light fixtures are clean and do not have any dead insects in them. If there are glass fixture covers, give them a wipe. Think twice before throwing them into the dishwasher, because thermal stresses and harsh detergents may damage the glass.
  • The surfaces – Make sure you wipe down the exterior of the refrigerator, the stove range (including underneath the drip bowls), and all of the counter tops. Also, wipe down the exterior and interior of the dishwasher, microwave, and any other appliance provided by your apartment complex (including the surface of any washer or dryer).
  • The floor – Sweep and then mop the floor. To do a really good job, you should pull out the stove and refrigerator and clean that part of the floor too. Be extra careful when pulling these appliances as they can scratch wooden floors, damage linoleum or break tile. You will also find all kinds of gross stuff on the sides of the appliances and cabinets when you do that. Oh, and those little things that you have been looking for that you lost eight months ago that rolled underneath the stove or refrigerator.
  •  The refrigerator Remove all of the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and freezer and place them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand. Dip a sponge into the dishwater and wipe down the interior of the refrigerator and freezer, being certain to remove any food build-up. Don’t forget the little compartments where you kept the butter and eggs! Then wipe down all of the shelves, dry the shelves, and place them back in the refrigerator.

    8  Cleaning the bathrooms.

    • Thoroughly clean the sink, tub, toilet and shower. Make sure you have removed any buildup and wiped down the fixtures.
    • Clean the mirrors, medicine cabinet and any vents or light fixtures in the bathroom. Make sure you don’t use mirror cleaner with ammonia in it. Check to make sure the light fixtures are clean and that the light bulbs work. Again, throw those glass light fixture covers in the dishwasher.
    • Sweep and mop the bathroom floor. Be especially careful around the toilet.
    • Repeat for each bathroom.

     9 Cleaning the bedrooms.

    Wipe down any closet shelves provided and clean any mirrors. If you have carpet, you should treat any spots and then vacuum the carpet. If you do not have carpets, you should mop. If floors are wooden, use an oil soap. Repeat for each bedroom.

    10 Turn your attention to the living room, den, and dining room.

     Clean the windows and wash the blinds. Clean the blades of the ceiling fan and/or any light fixtures in the room. Replace all burnt out light bulbs, and if the place still looks dark and dingy, upgrade to brighter bulbs. Spot treat any spots on the carpet. Vacuum or mop the floors.

     11 Start at the top first and clean your way down the room. 

    For example start cleaning the ceiling and its corners, fans, smoke alarms, windows and continue down to the skirting boards and the floor. This is the most effective way to clean properly the rooms.

      12 Sweep and clean the exterior (including any balcony, patio, and doors) and remove any remaining garbage bags from the apartment.

    Be sure that outside lights are working. Put garbage cans on curb, if appropriate, for pickup.

    13 Get measurements and replace broken blinds.

     No one likes broken things in their property, so you should check if there are any broken items in the property.

    14 Take pictures of the apartment and keep for your records in case the apartment complex says you damaged the place.

    This may turn into a helpful evidence to you. Send the photos and a written description to the landlord or property manager and ask them to sign off on it. Send one to yourself at the same time and leave the package unopened. If the landlord or property manager won’t sign off, the postmark on the envelope may help prove the date of the cleanliness of the apartment upon leaving.

     15 Go to your move-out inspection.

    Be sure to get a copy of the move-out inspection for your records.

     16 Return your keys.

    Useful tips

  • It’s a good idea to get a list from your landlord or apartment complex stating what the estimated costs are for repairing certain items and use this as a guide to how strenuously you are going to clean your apartment.
  • Send your new address to the landlord, so they know where to mail your security deposit.
  • If viable, begin cleaning in the room farthest from the front door, working your way towards the door. This prevents you from cleaning yourself into a corner.
  • Make sure you have all the items you need before you begin cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll lose time stopping to go to the store.
  • Find out whether your landlord or apartment complex automatically cleans the carpet, without charge to you, when you move out or whether they require you to have stayed in the apartment a certain number of years before they will waive the carpet cleaning. Spot clean tough stains with a spray-on carpet cleaner first.
  • Bring a radio to listen to while you clean.

Hold on tight to the various records associated with your stay, such as:

  • apartment lease or rental agreement
  • rent receipts or checks
  • a copy of all agreements regarding damages between you and the landlord
  • a copy of the letter sent to your landlord with your forwarding address
  • Have family or friends help you with the cleaning in exchange for a free meal at your new place.
  • Some apartment complexes only require that the walls be primed upon your move-out, check with your apartment complex before buying paint to be sure.
  • Some apartments have “clean sweep option” where apartment will do clean up on your behalf for flat charge using professional cleaners. Usually apartment owners have good deals worked with professional cleaners and this may help you avoid all the effort of cleaning during stressful period of moving to new place. It may help to check with your apartment if they have this option and then decide if its worth to clean or pay the flat charge and move on.
  • Don’t forget to budget time to clean the oven.


  • Heed the safety warnings on your cleaning products and keep any nasty chemicals off your skin with a pair of rubber gloves.
  • Use products that are safe for the type of material you are cleaning.
  • If possible, you should clean your apartment after all of your items are out of the apartment and on a day other than your move-out day or move-out inspection day.
  • If you need to patch holes in the carpet or flooring, either leave the holes or consider having a professional do it rather than possibly making the problem worse.

 Things You’ll Need:

  • paper towels
  • rubber gloves
  • dish detergent
  • light bulbs
  • scrubbing brush (old toothbrush)
  • sponges
  • powdered cleanser
  • bathroom cleanser
  • oil soap for wood floors
  • 2 cans of oven cleaner
  • Glue
  • sandpaper
  • bathroom cleaner
  • kitchen surface cleaner
  • window cleaner
  • floor cleaner
  • mop and bucket
  • broom
  • vacuum
  • magic eraser for the walls and doors
  • spot remover for the carpet
  • bucket (to wipe down the cabinets and appliances)
  • duster (for the blinds)
  • toilet brush
  • toilet cleaner
  • garbage bags
  • curtains
  • washcloths
  • shower curtains
  • soap
  • iron
  • ironing board

If you need professional cleaning services, call us or book a quote!

How to Clean an Apartment – end of tenancy cleaning tips
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