What To Clean When Moving Out Of An Apartment?

It is essential to leave your former apartment in the best possible condition as you prepare to say goodbye. In addition to fulfilling your lease obligations, cleaning your apartment thoroughly before returning the keys leaves a favorable impression on your landlord or property manager. So, what to clean when moving out of an apartment?

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of apartment-moving cleaning tasks. We’ll cover each area of your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom, and offer valuable suggestions to help you make your move-out process as smooth and hassle-free as possible. 

What To Clean When Moving Out Of An Apartment?

When moving out of an apartment, it’s important to thoroughly clean the space to ensure you get your security deposit back and leave the apartment in good condition for the next tenant. Here’s a comprehensive cleaning checklist to help guide you:


  • Appliances: Start by thoroughly cleansing the refrigerator. Remove all food objects from cabinets and shelves. Wipe down all surfaces, including the door seals and interior walls. For persistent stains and odors, use a baking soda and water solution. Allow it to rest for some time before removing it. Similarly, thoroughly sanitize the oven, including the oven racks. Utilize an oven cleanser if needed. Clean the interior & exterior of the microwave, paying special attention to any splatters on the interior walls.
  • Cabinets and Drawers: Wipe down the exterior of each cabinet and drawer in the kitchen. Use the appropriate cleanser for the surface type. Inside, remove any remaining items and sanitize the interior surfaces. Check corners for crumbs or spillage.
  • Countertops: Use a suitable cleaner or a mixture of warm water and moderate dish soap to scrub the countertops. If they have been in contact with undercooked meat or other contaminants, disinfect them. Consider the backsplash and any grout lines.
  • Sink: Clean and disinfect the sink, the faucet, and the receptacle. Use a sink disinfectant or a vinegar-and-baking-soda mixture to eliminate mineral deposits and stains. Check for and, if necessary, fix any leaks under the sink.
  • Floor: The kitchen floor should be swept to remove dust and detritus. Then, clear the floor with an appropriate floor cleaner for the flooring material. Pay special attention to the areas surrounding the stove and basin, as they are prone to spills.


  • Toilet: Cleaning the toilet basin with a toilet brush and cleaner is the initial step. Consider the presence of traces and mineral deposits. Clean the toilet seat, lid, exterior surfaces, and discharge handle. Decontaminate the entire commode.
  • Shower and Tub: Remove soap residue, mold, and mildew from the shower and bathtub tiles and grout. Utilize a bathroom cleaner or a mixture of vinegar & water in equal portions. Scrub the showerhead and faucet to eliminate mineral accumulation.
  • Sink and Vanity: Wipe down the faucet and sink. Utilize a suitable cleanser to eliminate toothpaste stains and detergent residue. The mirror should be cleaned with a glass cleanser. Empty and sanitize the interior surfaces of any cabinets or drawers.
  • Medicine Cabinet: Empty the medicine cabinet, sanitize the shelves and interior, and search for any items that may have been overlooked.
  • Floor: Sweep and mop the floor of the restroom. Focus on corners and the area around the commode base.

Living Areas:

  • Walls and Baseboards: Examine the walls for scratches, dents, and stains. Remove them with a mild cleaner, taking care not to harm the paint. Clean baseboards and moldings.
  • Windows and Window Sills: Clean the windows inside and out if possible. Remove any dust and debris that has accumulated. Remember to clean the window sills and tracks.
  • Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures: Clean ceiling fans, light fixtures, and all other fixtures. Replace any bulbs that have burned out.
  • Closets: Remove any remaining items from closets. Dust and sanitize the shelves and rods of the closet. Ensure that no forgotten goods have been stashed.
  • Carpets or Flooring: Thoroughly vacuum carpets, focusing on high-traffic areas. Consider carpet cleaning by a professional if there are discernible stains or odors. Sweep and mop hard flooring to remove grime and dust.


  • Dust: Dust all surfaces, including bookcases, shelving, blinds, and decorative objects. Dust can accumulate in less obvious locations; therefore, you must be thorough.
  • Doors: Wipe both interior and exterior doors, including doorknobs and door handles, with a damp cloth. Check for any blemishes that require repair.
  • Electrical Outlets and Switches: Clean and disinfect all electrical receptacles and switches. Utilize a rag or a small brush to remove grime and dirt.
  • Air Vents: Clean air vents using a vacuum cleaner attachment or a specialized vent cleaning instrument to remove dust and debris.
  • Trash and Recycling: Ensure that all garbage and recycling receptacles are empty, clean, and odor-free. Following local disposal guidelines, dispose of any remaining items appropriately.
  • Final Inspection: Walk through the apartment one last time to make sure you haven’t missed any cleaning duties or items. This is your chance to ensure that the apartment is in pristine condition.
  • Repairs: During your tenancy, if you’ve caused any harm, such as holes in the wall from hanging pictures, you must either make the necessary repairs or consult with your landlord to determine the best course of action.

Remember to follow any specific cleaning requirements outlined in your lease agreement. Taking the time to clean your apartment thoroughly before moving out not only helps you get your security deposit back but also leaves a positive impression on the next tenant.

Read more: What Is A Self Guided Apartment Tour?

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