When it finally comes time for you to move out of your rental, we know you want to make sure you get your security deposit back without any hassle. One of the most common reasons that landlords hold back part of a security deposit is because the tenant didn’t leave the rental clean enough. It’s often written into your lease that you need to leave your rental clean and in working condition. If you’re not a professional cleaner, however, you might miss a few things. That’s why we’re here with a few top move-out cleaning tips.

Hire a Cleaning Service If You Can

Remember what we said earlier about being a professional cleaner? Our best advice is really to hire a cleaning service. It’s the easiest and most failsafe way to make sure that you leave your rental as clean as it can possibly be. Some moving companies even offer them.

But maybe you’re determined to get the job done yourself. Kudos! We won’t leave you behind. In fact, we’ll applaud your effort with a selection of move-out cleaning tips people often forget. Let’s make sure even the smallest corners of your rental are spick and span.

Don’t Forget the Kitchen Appliances

This is one of our biggest move-out cleaning tips. You might not think often about what the insides of your kitchen appliances look like––you just use ’em and shut ’em off, right? Not so, my friend. Your landlord will want these appliances to be clean and function when it comes time for them to check the rental. You might be surprised about the number of crumbs you’ll find in even the most hidden places. Pull the plug and make sure everything’s shut off first, and then get to wiping down. Don’t forget the inside of your toaster, your dishwasher, and your fridge.

Wash Your Windows

Even if you can still see out of them, you’ll still want to give your windows a scrub. Fingerprints and smudges are easy to miss until you look up close. By using some window cleaner or glass cleaner, you’ll get the job done easily. Remember, though, your windows aren’t just the glass! Be sure to dust the blinds and wipe the dust out of the tracks, if you have them.

Check Your Lights

Another move out cleaning tip: You’ll want to make sure that all of your lights are in working order. Flip all of them on and off before you go. If one of them isn’t working, it might be as simple as changing out the bulb. If you’ve changed the bulb and the light still isn’t working, something might be wrong with it. Make sure to let your landlord know that it wasn’t your fault and that the light needs to be repaired.

Clean the Washer/Dryer

Just because your washer washes doesn’t mean it’s clean! Yes, you’ll have to clean out your washer and dryer too. Fortunately, this process is pretty easy: Just set your washer to the longest, hottest setting possible and add some vinegar and baking soda. Scrub the inside of the drum with a sponge and let dry. The inside of the dryer is pretty simple, too. Make sure to clean out the lint trap and wipe out any residue stuck on the door. Using a vent cleaning brush should work for the vents, the hose attachment, and inside the drum itself. Wipe it all down with a cloth to make sure it looks polished.

Scrub Kitchen Tiles (Make Sure to Get the Grout!)

Hopefully you’ve been cleaning your kitchen tiles pretty regularly since you moved in. It’s possible that they’re stained, and maybe they have been since your tenancy began. Hopefully you took pictures at the beginning of the move-in process to document this. However, if you didn’t, it would be a good point to discuss with your landlord to make sure that you’re not penalized for any normal wear-and-tear discoloration.

When you give your kitchen tiles a good scrub-down right before you leave, be sure to get deep into the grout of the tiles. This isn’t always something people do when they’re just giving their kitchen its regular cleaning, so it’s important to do it this time. Crumbs and other debris can easily build up in the grout, so you want to make sure to scrub it away.

Polish Your Mirrors

Yes, even your mirrors need a little love. It’s a similar case to your windows––you won’t notice how smudgy they are until you get up close and personal. Thankfully, a little mirror polish will help. If you notice any new cracks or damage, you’ll want to bring this up to your landlord before you go.

Take Pictures Before You Leave

Our last move-out cleaning tip for you: take pictures of everything before you go, after you’re done cleaning. You want to make sure you’ve documented how sparkling clean your rental is in case your landlord decides to hold part of your security deposit back. If they’re wrong about their reasoning for keeping the deposit, it’ll be easier to contest their decision if you have evidence of how well you cleaned.

Happy cleaning, and best of luck as you move out!

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