How to Get Your Full Deposit Back: Move-Out Cleaning

Hey there, savvy renters! 🏠 If you’re reading this, you’re probably about to embark on the big move out of your rented space. We all know that moving can be both exciting and stressful. You’ve got to pack, maybe even find a new place, and… ugh, clean.

Why clean, you ask? Well, getting your full deposit back from your landlord is like winning a mini-lottery. And, believe it or not, a great move-out clean-up could be your golden ticket. So put on some comfy clothes, cue up your favorite cleaning playlist, and let’s dive into how you can ace your move-out cleaning like a pro.

Gather Your Supplies

First things first: you can’t clean without cleaning supplies! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. All-purpose cleaner: A true MVP for various surfaces.
  2. Degreaser: Essential for kitchen cleaning.
  3. Glass cleaner: For windows and mirrors.
  4. Toilet bowl cleaner: Self-explanatory!
  5. Mop, broom, and vacuum: For floors and carpets.
  6. Microfiber cloths: Your go-to for wiping down surfaces.
  7. Garbage bags: For tossing out odds and ends.
  8. A checklist: Yes, it’s that important.

Optional, but handy:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Extendable duster
  • Magic eraser

Revisit Your Lease Agreement

Before you dive into cleaning, take a moment to review your lease agreement. It likely specifies the condition in which you need to leave the apartment to get your deposit back. Keep those points in mind while you go about your cleaning mission.

Kitchen: The Heart of the Home


  • Fridge: Empty it, defrost it, and clean all the shelves and bins.
  • Oven and Stove: Use a specialized oven cleaner or baking soda + water mixture to clean the interior. Wipe down the stovetop and knobs.


  • Countertops and Sink: Use an all-purpose cleaner and ensure all crumbs and stains are gone.
  • Cabinets: Empty them out and wipe them down, inside and out.


  • Sweep and Mop: Don’t forget the corners and under the appliances if possible.

Living Room and Bedrooms

Walls and Baseboards

  • Dust and then wipe down all walls and baseboards. For stubborn scuff marks, try a magic eraser.


  • If you have carpets, consider getting them professionally cleaned, especially if that’s stipulated in your lease.
  • For hardwood or laminate, a good sweep and mop should suffice.


  • Clean the inside of all windows, and the outside if possible.

Bathroom: The Sanctum of Cleanliness

  • Toilet: Clean thoroughly, including under the rim, around the base, and behind.
  • Bathtub/Shower: Remove soap scum and any mold.
  • Sink and Counters: Wipe down thoroughly.
  • Mirrors: Use glass cleaner for a streak-free shine.

The Often-Overlooked Details

  1. Door Handles and Light Switches: Wipe down with disinfectant.
  2. Light Fixtures: Dust and wipe clean.
  3. Closets: Empty and wipe down.

The Final Walkthrough

Once you think you’re done, take a slow walk through the apartment. Check every drawer, cabinet, and closet to make sure nothing is left behind. Ensure that all light bulbs are working. Look out for any damages you might have missed earlier.

Consider a Professional Cleaning Service

While DIY cleaning is cost-effective, sometimes hiring a professional service can be worth it. They can deep clean areas you may not even think of, increasing your chances of getting that full deposit back.

Wrap Up and Return Keys

After your final walkthrough and any last-minute touch-ups, you’re good to go. Make sure to return all sets of keys as failing to do so could result in a fee.


You did it! Your space should now be in the tip-top shape that you found it in (or maybe even better). Move-out cleaning is no small task, but when that full deposit comes back to you, it will all be worth it.

Happy moving and onto your next adventure! 📦🚚✨

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