Home Life 9 min read

How to clean an apartment simply and effectively

Your cozy apartment is the small cozy home where you, your partner, and perhaps your small family would return to after a day of hard work. The last thing you want is for the trash and filth to build up in that confined space. You want the space to be vacant, clean, and healthy for […]

Published 21 Jun 2022
Clean your apartment properly for a better place to live
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Your cozy apartment is the small cozy home where you, your partner, and perhaps your small family would return to after a day of hard work. The last thing you want is for the trash and filth to build up in that confined space. You want the space to be vacant, clean, and healthy for yourself and for the sake of your loved ones.

Nonetheless, people generally get intimidated and procrastinate on cleaning their apartments. Being small as it is, an apartment is a home, and cleaning a home entails a lot of work. But rest assured the job can be quite simple if you know the way. In this article, we will provide you with all the tips you need on how to clean an apartment simply and effectively.

How to clean an apartment: Regular cleaning

Part of the reason why cleaning an apartment can be particularly demoralizing is that you have so have so so many small messes and problem areas around the home to take care of. The works seem virtually endless and, easily, one cleaning task could create a problem for the next cleaning task if you are not particularly mindful at planning your cleaning session.

By following this guide with 7 major steps, where the previous steps support and catalyze the subsequent steps, you would be able to work through the cleaning in a very industrial and efficient way and finish cleaning the apartment quickly without having to unwantedly repeat any of tasks.

Here are the 7 steps on how you can clean an apartment quickly and effectively:

Step 1: Pick up the trash

Pick up trash around the house
Pick up trash around the house.

Prepare one/some big garbage bags. Bring that bag with you, and take a round through all the rooms in your apartment to pick up all the trash around the house. Pick up all the pieces of trash that you see on the way; including the empty cans of soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc. in your bathroom, and bedroom. If you filled up a bag before you finish a full tour around the house, tie up and put away that bag, get a new bag and resume the tour where you left.

Check the corners and obscure areas to make sure you don’t miss anything. For the empty shampoo bottles, once having gathered all of them, empty the leftover content in your kitchen/bathroom sink. Once having finished the round, bring the filled garbage bag outside of the house to dispose of.

Step 2: Pick up the dirty clothes

Do another tour around the house, but this time, instead of garbage, pick up all the dirty clothes. In the process, also pick up dirty towels in the bathrooms. Bring all the dirty clothes to the laundry room, and put a load on to wash. You do this immediately because when you do so, by the time you finish with the rest of the steps, the load of laundry will finish and be ready to dry and put away. 

Pick up clothes around the house
Pick up clothes around the house.

If your household doesn’t have a washing machine at home and uses a laundry mat instead, stuff the collected clothes into a laundry bag/basket and set it aside so you can bring them to the laundry mat the next day.

Step 3: Pick up dirty dishes and utensils

Pick up dirty dishes around the house.
Pick up dirty dishes around the house.

Take another tour to pick up all the dirty dishes and utensils from all the rooms of the apartment. Bring the dirty dishes/utensils to your kitchen sink and wash them there.

Step 4: Dusting

Dust the furniture.
Dust the furniture.

After having cleared the apartment of all the trash and unused items that may get in the way of the job, your apartment is ready for dusting. For this job, you will need 2 rags, 1 is lightly spray-dampened to dust wooden items, and another is casually dampened to wipe everything else. 

Dust wipe all the items and surfaces in the apartment that may collect dust. During the process, make sure to swap the wood rag with a new one or rewash the ordinary rag if they get too dirty from the dust.

Step 5: Clean the fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom

Clean the toilet, sinks, faucets, bathtubs, fixtures, ovens, microwave, countertops, etc. The cleaning process would generally involve spraying the items with a suitable cleaner (that cleans the stains, grime, and bacteria on the items without corroding the items themselves) and scrubbing them.

Detailed cleaning guides for any of these items, such as the bathtub, the microwave, etc. can also be found on our website https://www.sparklingandbeyond.com/. Be sure to check them out if you have a difficult time cleaning your kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

Related article: Clean A Toilet Bowl Properly – A Comprehensive Guide 

Step 6: Clean the floor

Vacuum all the floors in the house. Spend more time going back and forth more times with the vacuum in areas with heavy traffic. After having done vacuuming, you can also give the floor a mopping session.

Clean the apartment's floor.
Clean the apartment’s floor.

For different types of floors, the cleaning process might be slightly different. Be sure to check our guides on how to clean carpets, laminated floors, hardwood floors, and tile floors.

Step 7: Declutter the apartment

Declutter the apartment.
Declutter the apartment.

Take another tour around the house and put away any misplaced items, reposition misplaced chairs and put any other scattered items back to their designated position.

How to clean an apartment before moving out

Unlike daily cleaning, which mostly involves only trash cleaning and small maintenances, move-out cleaning is a big operation where you take care of all the problems in the apartment major and minor, and return the apartment to a decent condition, so you can get your deposit back from your landlord, or simply as a warm welcome to the new owner. So the point of the cleaning is to check all the rooms, to fix every issue and not miss anything. And our checklist on what should be cleaned in move-out cleaning:

1. Clean the kitchen

For the move-out clean of your apartment’s kitchen, you should complete the following checklist:

  • Clean the oven: racks, interior, exterior. Use an oven cleaner or baking soda.
  • Clean the stove: grates, drip pans, surfaces, and the back of the stove. Use a cast-iron-safe oven cleaner for the job.
  • Clean the dishwashers (if any): Drain, racks, disinfect the whole machine using vinegar and baking soda 
  • Clean the windows
  • Empty the fridge of leftover food. Defrost the fridge and disinfect it.
  • Clean leftover dishes and the kitchen sink. 
  • Mop the kitchen floor.
  • Take out the trash.

2. Clean the bathroom

To get your apartment’s bathroom ready before the moveout, here’s your checklist:

  • Clean the walls, counter and ceiling 
  • Clean the bathtub, bathtub curtain, and/or shower box (if any)
  • Clean the drawers, mirrors, and windows
  • Clean the toilet
  • Clean the sink
  • Mop the floor
  • Take out the trash
Clean the bathroom.
Clean the bathroom.

3. Clean the living room and bedrooms

For the move-out cleaning of the living room and bedrooms, here’s the checklist:

  • Dust the wall and ceiling, and remove any cobwebs.
  • Dust the furniture (if you plan to leave behind any).
  • Clean the windows 
  • Remove nails, screws, and stacks from the wall
  • Clean all light bulbs, fixtures, and outlets
  • Clean the apartment’s windows 
  • Dust inside drawers
  • Clean the cat litter box
  • Vacuum the drapes and blinds
  • Vacuum and wipe the flooring
  • Take out the trash
Clean the living room.
Clean the living room.

4. Clean the exterior 

Exterior Cleaning and Pressure Washing.
Exterior Cleaning and Pressure Washing.

So after you have finished cleaning all the departments inside your apartment, the next step is to take care of the outside if you have a yard, a perch, a balcony, or anything of sorts. So here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove any decorations and accessories you have outside the apartment.
  • Mow overgrown grass, pull out the weeds, and clean fallen leaves in the yard.
  • Clean the porch or balcony. Sweep all the loose garbage, then brush the porch/balcony with a cleaner to remove any type of stains or mold.
  • Clean up all leftover items and trash in the garage. Mop the floor with a cleaner with degreasing properties.
  • Dispose of the trash

By completing these checklists, you will have your apartment fully cleaned for the move-out. It will help you get your deposit back from the landlord, and put a smile on the face of the future residents.

Frequently Asked Question:

Do I have to clean my rented apartment before returning it? 

You certainly have to. Landlords would only return your deposit if the apartment is restored to a proper state. So you should clean your apartment, and in fact, requesting a professional cleaning service for the task might also be worth the price.

How can I clean my apartment’s dusty windows?

Windows scratch very easily, so for the job, you will have to use a non-scratch scrubber, such as a sponge or a microfiber cloth. Dish soap is an excellent cleaner for glass, and vinegar helps break down tough grimes. Wipe the window with a microfiber cloth and a cleaner mixture of vinegar, dish soap, and cold water.

How can I clean my cat’s litter box

For daily cleaning, you can simply scoop out the droppings and clumps into a trash bash, dispose of the bag and wash the tool used for the job with soap, and wipe out the edges of the litter box with soap and water.

For deep cleaning, on weekly basis or before you move out, follow these steps:

Step 1: Empty the content of the box into a garbage bag and dispose of the bag.

Step 2: Rinse the box with warm water to remove any loose debris.

Step 3: Spray the litter box with a mixture of 1 part vinegar, and 1 part dish soap. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then brush to remove stubborn stains and grimes.

Step 4: For extra disinfection, put the litter box in the bathtub, and fill the bathtub with boiling water until the box is submerged 2-4 inches deep.

More cleaning tips and professional cleaning services from Sparkling and Beyond

Satisfy with the results? Sparkling and Beyond have even more DIY cleaning tips and guides for you in our library. If all of these feel like too much work, you can always turn to our cleaning services: Sparkling and Beyond provide professional, affordable cleaning services for any other part of the house, for any degree of need, including move-in and move-out cleaning. We are proud to be of service in keeping your home sparkling clean and healthy.


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