Tips For Deep Cleaning Your Apartment Before Moving Out

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When you move out of your apartment, you can get so focused on getting everything into boxes, then getting them to your new home, that it can be difficult to focus on cleaning your old apartment before leaving. Apartment cleaning before moving out is an important part of the moving process and one you should not neglect.

Part of most lease agreements stipulate that you must leave the apartment in the same condition you found it in, or you could lose some or all of your security deposit. You really don’t want to lose your deposit, not only are you losing money but also if you ever need a reference from a landlord, they probably would not give you a good one if you did not leave your apartment clean enough to have the deposit back.

Most people are able to clean their apartments upon moving out on their own, but some people choose to hire an apartment cleaning service to make sure that the cleaning is done right and the deposit if fully returned. If you want to tackle your move-out cleaning yourself, we have made this list of some of the most helpful tips for your move-out apartment cleaning.

Get a Cleaning Checklist

Most building managers will have a checklist that they go over when they inspect your apartment for damage and cleanliness. Sometimes the building manager will give this list to you when you sign your lease, or you can ask them for a copy, or they might just be able to tell you what they want clean. Regardless of what they say, you need to make sure that your apartment is as clean as the landlord expects it to be, and maybe cleaner.

You need to make sure that you know what they are looking for so that you can clean the apartment the way that they want and you can get your whole deposit back. Some higher-end buildings might even tell you that a move-out cleaning was included in your rent, and then you can totally relax. Most apartments will expect you to leave the apartment spotless though, so it is best to know all that is expected of you.

If you do not have time to do a really deep cleaning, you can always hire a full apartment cleaning service and give them the list and ask them to clean it so that it will pass the inspection. Having a cleaning crew come can even be cheaper than what the building manager would take out of your deposit to clean the apartment for you. So it is good to know your options and get a quote for an apartment cleaning service.

Living Room

It is good to start after you move your furniture out of the house, then many people like to begin with the living room. You can wait until everything is out of the room because while moving the furniture you could spread dust around and have to clean twice. 

Always start with the ceiling, because the dust that you kick up will settle down, so you can start up top and work your way down too. Use a duster to get all cobwebs and dust off of the ceiling, especially look in the corners for cobwebs. You can also clean any fans or light fixtures that are in the ceiling. 

To clean a fan, stand on a tall enough ladder and then wipe all the dust from the motor of the fan, then get the dust off the blades. You will be surprised by how much dust can be up there! For the lights, you can carefully remove any glass from the fixture so that you can clean it in the sink. Then you can wipe away dust from the parts that stay on the ceiling.

You can also check the smoke detectors. If they are battery-operated, you can test to make sure the battery is still good by pressing the test button. Then you can wipe any dust off of the smoke detector to make sure that it can function properly.


The kitchen is one of the trickiest places to deep clean because usually you will be leaving all of the appliances and needing to clean them. 

You can start by deep cleaning the fridge. First, you want to pull all the drawers and shelves out of the refrigerator. You can wash them in the sink if they fit and then let them dry outside. Then you can wipe down the entire inside of the fridge with a disinfecting wipe. Make sure to look into all of the nooks and crannies and try to get everything out that you can.

Then you can clean the oven and stove. First, you want to remove all the burner coverts or unplug the burner themselves from an electric stove and clean them in the sink, then let them dry on a dish rack. Then you can take the drawers out of the oven and wash them too, allowing them time to dry as well. Now you can wipe all surfaces with disinfectant until there are no signs of grime. 

The dishwasher is a tricky one to clean also, a lot of people just think it cleans itself, but it needs a deep cleaning every year or so. You can start by pulling the drawers out and scrubbing them with some soapy water. Then you can take the filter out of the bottom of the dishwasher, it will probably be pretty gross, but you can just toss any gunk into the garbage and then scrub the filter clean. Next, you need to scrub the whole inside and then you can put it all back together and it will be good.

For the microwave, a great trick is to cook a cup of water in it for a minute, then the moisture will loosen any stuck-on food and you can just wipe the inside clean with a disinfecting towel. 

For the cabinets, you need to wipe them down and make sure that there is no dust or food inside. Pay attention to any designs on the cabinet, where dust can rest, as well as the tops of the drawers and doors. 

The last step is just to clean the floor with a good floor cleaner. Be sure to get under the cabinets where a lot of dirt and food can get trapped. Your landlord may or may not ask you to move the appliances and clean under and behind them.


The bedrooms are pretty easy to clean. Just make sure that you know if the landlord requires you to have the carpets professionally cleaned or if you can just vacuum them. 

Clean the blinds and any window sills, as lots of dust can get trapped there. You may or may not have to clean the inside and outside of the windows with a streak-free window cleaner.

You want to be sure to dust all the corners of closets, where spiders like to make webs. There could also be shelves to dust and you should dust the coat hanger bar. 


Be sure to clean the bathroom extra thoroughly so that the next person who lives there can use the bathroom while they are moving in. You might even want to take off the toilet seat and clean the hinges. You can also use a mix of vinegar and baking soda to clean the sink and the bathtub, it will take away soap and toothpaste stains. 

Hire A Cleaning Service

If all of this move-out apartment cleaning seems like a lot of work, you are right. The best way to make sure you get your apartment clean is to hire a professional apartment cleaning service. They will do the cleaning fast and efficiently. You can even just hire a one-time apartment cleaning.

Call us anytime for inquiries, free estimates, and booking appointments or you can always check us on Twitter!

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Omer Faruk Cevikol<br/><span id="position">Owner</span>
Omer Faruk Cevikol

Omer Faruk Cevikol is the owner of Next Day Cleaning. He aims to deliver the best cleaning services along with his dedicated team and the author of Next Day Cleaning blog. You can find Omer on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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