Whether you are just moving in or fulfilling your lease agreement as you move out, cleaning a vacant apartment is not as easy as you think. Even though the apartment is usually cleaned before a new tenant move in, you would probably feel more at home if you tackle the job yourself. When cleaning a vacant apartment in the process of moving out, your former landlord should give you a comprehensive list of things to clean, which you should strictly follow.
Consider starting your cleaning process in the kitchen or the bathroom since this is where the bulk of work will probably be, and you will need to use these rooms on the first day of your move. If you are cleaning a vacant apartment as required when you move out, your landlord will likely have provided you a list of areas and items he/she expects to be cleaned.
Cleaning a vacant apartment can be difficult when you are not sure where to start or what to clean. Here is a guide on how to clean a vacant apartment, whether you are moving in or out.
1. A cleaning schedule to stay organized
Before you kick things off, consider coming up with a cleaning schedule that will help guide you on which areas will your attention first, as well as help you approximate the amount of time you will spend cleaning each part of the apartment. A cleaning schedule doesn’t have to be complicated- it could be a simple handwritten list where you cross out the tasks you complete.
2. Have your cleaning supplies handy
You should always gather your cleaning supplies before you start cleaning so that you don’t have to constantly disrupt your process once you begin. Grab a vacuum, multi-surface cleaning spray, paper towels, washcloth, sponge, broom, mop, disinfectant, garbage bags, and any other cleaning supplies you might need. Remember to store everything in a central place once you are done so that it is easier to locate them the next time you have to clean.
3. Cleaning the various rooms
- The kitchen – The kitchen is unsurprisingly one of the grimiest spots of an apartment, whether occupied or vacant.
Start by wiping down the cabinets with a damp washcloth to eliminate accumulated dust on the inside, outside, and sides of the cabinet. Once you are done, spray the interior with disinfectant spray to get rid of any lurking germs.
Wipe down the counters with a clean washcloth dipped in warm soapy water before using disinfectant wipes to get to the nooks and crannies.
Scrub the sink basin with a scouring pad to remove any accumulated grime. To kill bacteria, fill the sink with water and add bleach before letting it sit for a while. Drain the sink and then rinse it thoroughly.
If there are any appliances in the kitchen, clean and disinfect them as well. To finish things off in the kitchen, sweep the floor before mopping it.
- The bathroom – Start by cleaning the bathtub, sink, and shower with a multi-purpose cleaner. Remember to disinfect them with bleach for your peace of mind once they are clean.
Scrub inside the toilet bowl and the outside, back, and handles. Wipe down the mirror, and use a damp washcloth to clean inside the medicine cabinets and closets that may be attached to the bathroom. Sweep and mop the floor to finish up.
- The bedroom – Wash the bedding that may be provided, and if the items are too big, opt to take them to dry cleaners. Once everything is clean, don’t forget to disinfect them before use. Freshen the mattress using a baking soda solution before spraying it with disinfectant.
Move on to the nightstand, dresser, and desk. These hard surfaces tend to gather dust quickly, so a good wipe down with a damp washcloth should do. Wipe down shelves and inside drawers, and then wrap up by vacuuming or mopping under the bed and behind furniture.
- The living room – Use a hand-held vacuum to remove dust and debris from the couches and chairs in the living room. Dab the fabrics with a white sponge soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove stains. Wipe down coffee tables, end tables, and bookcases if they are present.
Don’t overlook cleaning the electronics provided as well. The remote controls for various electronic devices are breeding grounds for germs, so ensure you disinfect them. Wipe down the electronics, including the top of the TV, stereo, and DVD player. Finish off by vacuuming the carpets and rugs or mopping the floor.
4. Areas that you might miss
Areas that you should clean in all the rooms of the apartment are as follows:
- Wipe down the light fixtures to remove the gunk that might have accumulated in the corners and around the edges.
- Disinfect all the doorknobs and handles. These areas are often neglected, yet they are constantly touched. Clean them with multi-purpose cleaner before using disinfectant wipes to sanitize them.
- Dust the ceiling, corners, light fixtures, vents, and fans. You can use a telescoping pole or a vacuum cleaner extension attachment to reach high ceilings and corners.
- Clean the window areas in all the rooms, including the window sills and coverings.
- Put the trash in garbage bags and dispose of them when you are done.
- How long does it take to clean an empty apartment? The amount of time it will take you to clean an empty apartment depends on the unit’s square footage, as well as how clean it initially is when you move in/out.
- How much do cleaning companies charge per hour? Professional house cleaning services in the U.S charge an average hourly rate that ranges anywhere from $25 to $45. To ensure that you get the best deal, inquire about several companies before settling on one.