What should I clean before moving out of my rental unit?

Moving can be stressful and exhausting but cleaning doesn’t have to be. Allow ample time to pack up, move out, and clean afterwards in order to recover your deposit.  Your apartment should be clean before the end of your lease so it’s very important that you leave your old unit in the same condition as when you first rented it.

The Ultimate Cleaning Checklist

Many areas may have been overlooked or unreachable when your rental unit was fully furnished. Moving out is the perfect time to sanitize all of those difficult to reach places. When beginning the cleaning process, it is ideal to prepare a checklist to keep track of the areas where cleaning will be done.


Download this printable checklist and make your cleaning more orderly.

Make Your Rental Brand New by Completing These Tasks

Keep these areas spotless when your lease is up.

Remove Dust From Ceiling Fans

The best time to clean the ceiling fans is after removing furniture and before cleaning the floors. With the help of a vacuum, clean each blade carefully and do it as many times as you think necessary until you eliminate all the dust that has accumulated.

Take Into Account Walls and Ceilings

Vacuum and get rid of the cobwebs and dust that covers the walls and ceilings. Afterwards, use a damp towel to clean the light switches.

Remove Nails and Repair Holes

A simple way to eliminate holes that formed when removing nails from drywall is by applying putty or sealing paint along the hole. Even out the putty or sealing paint with your wet finger in order to properly cover holes.

move-out-cleaning
move-out-cleaning

Clean Windows and Sills

Once you remove the curtains, blinds, and any other objects you have near the windows, be sure to clean windows and sills. In order to do so, use white vinegar and hot water. Next, add a few drops of lemon to subtract the smell of vinegar, Finally, dip a clean cloth in the mixture and clean every window in your apartment. You can also use absorbent paper towels.

Vacuum the Carpets

Once you have finished removing the dust from the walls and ceilings, it is time to vacuum the carpets in order to remove any accumulated dust.

move-out-cleaning

Clean Switch Doors and Plates

The most forgotten spots are doors, door knobs, and light switch covers! Use paper towels and a multi-purpose cleaner to remove marks or fingerprints from doors, doorknobs, switch plugs, and outlet covers.

Sanitize Bathrooms

Bathroom cleaning is as much about disinfecting as it is about spotless surfaces. Perform a deep cleaning by wiping mirrors, sinks, countertops, and showers. For mirrors, you can use the same mixture of one part white vinegar with three parts of hot water. Simply use a cloth that won’t leave any residue.

Clean Kitchen Surfaces, Floors, Appliances, and Cabinets

Cleanliness can save you money. For kitchen countertops, sinks, and appliances use special products for cleaning. Do not forget to clean the refrigerator and microwave to eliminate the smell of old food. For cabinets, take a paper towel and a disinfectant to remove any dust or unpleasant odors that may have accumulated inside and outside the cabinets. It is important to perform this cleaning in each space where there are cabinets.

Wash Bedroom Sheets and Curtains

Make your drapes last longer and reduce dust levels. Wash sheets, window curtains,and any other bedding before moving into your new home. Do not wait to do this until after the move because you might not have enough time to do so when you arrive at your new home.

move-out-cleaning

Polish All of the Floors

Finally, it is extremely important to remove any dry dust before mopping floors. By not removing dry dust first and proceeding directly to wet mopping, the dry dust gets damp and sticks on the floor. Polish floors after sweeping so that the next owners can receive clean and bright floors.

Make Moving Out a Breeze

Now you know all the techniques necessary to effectively clean your rental unit. Make a positive impression on your landlord and the next owner while recovering your entire security deposit. Do you have any other move out cleaning tips? If so, leave them in the comments section below.