Packing up all your stuff and moving out is pretty stressful, right? If you’re moving out of an apartment and want a good chunk of your security deposit returned, I’m guessing your move will also include a thorough clean of your apartment. Of course you can hire someone to clean or you can choose to just not clean; but both options come with some expense.
If you’re like me and most people I know you probably don’t want to leave your place an utter mess (have a little pride, c’mon). You also don’t want to spend more time than absolutely necessary cleaning. I got your back on this one. I spent 2 summers cleaning apartments as a side job and picked up a few tricks I’m happy to share with you.
First, lets go over the list of items you need, which isn’t very long
- Shop-vac with a crevice tool and round brush accessory – you could get away with the hose attachment on your vacuum, but if you have a Shop-vac available to you, use it!
- Magic Erasers – Once you go Magic eraser, you’ll never go back to anything else.
- Soft Scrub – Just get the basic cream version. I’ve found gels and sprays to be less effective.
- General Purpose Multi-surface Liquid Cleaner (Mr. Clean)
- Multi-surface cleaner spray (Windex Multi Surface)
- Disposable Toilet bowl cleaner – I recommend the Scrubbing Bubbles system because once you are done scrubbing the toilet bowl, you just release the brush part and it can be flushed down the toilet.
- Oven Cleaner – I’m not a huge fan of single purpose items, but you will be glad you got this one.
- Pack of disposable rubber gloves – the more the merrier I always say.
- Rags & paper towels – Don’t go cheap on the paper towels. Get a real brand, higher quality will make things easier, I promise.
- Bucket – for liquid cleaner and hot water
That’s about it.
Now here is what you’ve been waiting for… 10 cleaning tips that will change your life!
- Shop-Vac EVERYTHING first – You can & will thank me later. Seriously, use the shop-vac for counters, inside cabinets & drawers, in & out of fridge/freezer, microwave, oven, stove top, window sills, tub/shower, toilets and anywhere that has crumbs or dust. By sucking up the majority of the dust and crumbs, when you get around to actually wiping things down, it makes the job so much easier. BONUS TIP: Use the round brush attachment on mini blinds, baseboards, door panels and air vents (Scientifically proven to be 1 million times easier than a wet rag).
- When all else has failed, use Magic Eraser + Soft Scrub – After spending many hours unsuccessfully scrubbing grey-stained shower floors I came across this solution. Grab your magic eraser, get it just a little wet, then add some soft scrub to it (you will need to continue to add more soft scrub as you go). I’m not sure sure what kind of chemical reaction is going on but this combination is AMAZING. It cuts through tough grease & grime like butter. I use this combination on shower floors & walls, wire shelving, faucets, on and under the oven hood, on cabinet fronts, on greasy stove tops and even on top of greasy ceiling fan blades. Basically anywhere that is really grimy or greasy, this combination works great.
- Wipe windows with wet rag – If this is the first time you’ve cleaned your windows in the last year, this tip will be a lifesaver. Using the rag allows you to get pretty much all of the dirt and grime off the windows. Then just use a little window cleaner & paper towel to remove any streaks.
- Remove glass/plastic parts of light fixtures before cleaning – Cleaning light fixtures is a pain, especially if you leave the glass/plastic covers on the fixture. Generally one of the first things I do when preparing for a deep clean is to remove all those parts then wash them by hand in the sink. I do have to caution you to be very careful when removing these items.
- Remove fridge and freezer shelves / drawers before cleaning – I find it difficult to throroughly clean the inside of a fridge unless I remove all the pieces first. Most pieces in the fridge can be removed and washed in the sink. Just be careful not to break anything when you remove the pieces. If you give it a little pull and it won’t come out,maybe just leave that piece in.
- Ceiling fans made easy – Like the shower floor, the ceiling fan took a lot of trial and error. Here’s my tried and true method. If ceiling fan has a light kit, I will remove the glass first. Then I take my shop-vac with the round brush accessory and run it along both sides of the blades and motor. If the blades are very greasy, use the magic eraser + soft scrub combo. If they’re not very greasy but still quite dusty, you might wipe down the blades with a wet rag. Finally, spray the blades and motor with a multi-surface spray and wipe off with a paper towel.
- Gross oven ain’t so bad – Pizza toppings that have been cooking at the bottom of your oven the last year are not so easy to remove if you use the wrong product. Soap and water will just not cut it. You really need an oven cleaner. Follow the directions precisely and make sure you remove the oven racks before spraying the oven cleaner. Don’t forget to thoroughly wipe out the oven cleaner. I’ve see many people just spray the oven cleaner in the oven; you do have to come back later and wipe it out.
- Good ol’ Mr. Clean is the workhorse – Many of the items discussed above are very helpful to clean very dirty areas. Most spots in your home will likely not be super dirty. I’ve found that adding a little bit of a product like Mr. Clean to a bucket of hot water is my primary cleaning product. It’s great for wiping down the ins and outs of cabinets, counters, appliances, doors, electrical cover plates and many other hard surfaces.
- Multi-surface cleaner spray is a great finishing touch – Products like soft scrub and even liquid multi-use soaps will leave surfaces streaky. You can easily combat the streaks by using a product like Windex multi-surface then wiping it off with a dry rag. I use this on pretty much all surfaces – counters, non-stainless steel appliances, sinks & faucets, toilets, showers/tubs, windows, mirrors, etc. This final step gives the place a really nice shiny finished look.
- Play music & have cold beverages on hand – You know what I’m talking about.
Now go out and clean! Please comment below if you have any other tips or comments about my tips.