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How to Clean the Apartment Before Moving Out
by Ruby Bayan

Clean apartment Most apartment complexes require a security deposit-the funds that they return to you when you move out. However, these funds may not find their way back to you if the apartment unit that you vacate requires repairs and serious cleaning. You may have been careful not to cause any damage, but if you leave the apartment dirty, the leasing office will deduct the cleaning service cost from your security deposit. Here are tips on how to make sure you get your security deposit back.

What you'll need:

Vacuum cleaner
Paper towels and cleaning rags
Grease-cutting cleaner
Dishwashing detergent
Glass cleaner
Tile and grout cleaner
Toilet brush
Scrub brush or pad
Broom and mop
Trash bags

What to do:

1. Clean only after you've removed all your belongings. Cleaning after you've removed all your stuff makes it easier and faster.

2. Start with the bathrooms. Bathrooms are usually the hardest to clean and the most common reason for deductions on the security deposit. Apply tile and grout cleaner on the shower walls and bathtub and let it stand for a few minutes. When you go back to scrub the tile and tub, the task will be easier. In the meantime, scrub the toilet bowl, vanity and fixtures; clean the mirrors; then wipe the countertops and the area under the sink. Scrub and rinse the shower walls and bathtub. Wipe down the toilet closet and bowl. Finally, sweep and mop the bathroom floor.

3. Clean out the kitchen. Open all the kitchen closets and wipe down all the shelves (this would be a good time to check if you left anything behind). Use a grease-cutting cleaner to wipe down the range hood, stove, backsplash and countertops. Use a mild dishwashing detergent solution to wipe down the outsides of the microwave, oven and dishwasher. Scrub the kitchen sink and fixtures and wipe down the area under the sink. Sweep and mop the entire kitchen floor.

4. Don't forget the refrigerator. Take everything out and wipe down the shelves, drawers and walls. Use a mild dishwashing detergent to wipe down the exterior (remember to clean the top of the unit, which tends to be dusty and grimy).

5. Clean the bedrooms and living areas. These areas would normally be carpeted and require just a good vacuuming. If there are ugly spots, consider spot cleaning with carpet cleaning solutions. For a really good carpet cleaning, consider renting a steam cleaner from the supermarket or home improvement store.

6. Take out all the trash and cleaning paraphernalia. If you succeed in making the apartment look as clean as it was the day you moved in, then there would be no reason for the leasing office to deduct anything from your security deposit.

Helpful Tips:

Remember to dust the vanity lights in the bathroom and replace burned out bulbs.

If your unit is equipped with ceiling fans, wipe them down also.

If children left artwork on the walls, or stains become obvious on some areas, use a mild dishwashing detergent solution or the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean out the drawings and stains.

Don't forget to dust window blinds and wipe down glass sliding doors.


RentLaw.com: Normal Wear and Tear
RealtyTimes: Lease May Not Require Clean Sweep

Contributed to eHow.com by Ruby Bayan, Home & Garden Topic Expert 2007-2010

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