Hi! Koko here.
“wow, your apartment looks good for 9 years living!”
….that was our landlords’ first comment when he walked in our rooms for screening.
We had recently moved from a 9 year-living-apartment to a house recently.
We had to go through deep cleaning madly.
As a result, we succeeded to get $1500 back from our deposit!!!!
In this post I will share what and where we had cleaned!
>>> Read about Our Moving Tips that nobody told you
Before I start a list, I tell you it was intense and crazy.
It took us 3 weeks, we worked from 3~7 hours daily. (for real)
Give LOTS OF time for cleaning…it takes a lot more than you think.
I hope you will get your money back, too!
<Living & Bed Rooms>
window Tracks – You can see there are lots of dust, sand, molds…. urg!
They were so strong that you can’t just clean at once. I used a wet sponge, cloth, a toothbrush to clean.
This was the problem! Molds? Dust? Mud? between the rubber and window.
We used some detergent and hot water mix, and used a knife (like butter knife, round tip) to clean the rubber and molds.
To spray soap, I used these traveling size spray bottles. We had 6 windows to clean off.
If you want bigger, this will do.
I recommend you to prepare some empty spray bottles for big cleaning… you will use them a lot, not only for windows!
windows both sides (in and out) – you will need something like this, to be able to reach!
window frames – cleaned with damp clothes
floor – vacuum, wash if necessary.
walls – from fingerprints to I-have-no-idea-what-it-is, walls are dirty.
doors – clean panels
door knobs – sanitize all of them! They are full of fingerprints and oil and dust…!
door frames – wipe around the door frame. especially top part, where collects so much dust.
light switches – fingerprints there, sanitize them.
ceiling fans – dusting
<Kitchen> * Takes time!
Kitchen takes A LOT OF TIME to clean. Make sure to give 5 times more volume than your original plan.
oven inside – there will be lots of oil and burns.
oven trays – oil and burns. If it’s difficult to clean, it may be easier and save time to buy a new one.
oven drawer – cleaned with damp clothes
space between the kitchen stove – attention!! This was one of the reasons why we didn’t get full deposit back. We forgot to clean this space…. 😫
kitchen counter – I like to use Green Tea (really) or natural spray.
inside of a cupboard – even though it’s been always closed, there is dust and some small pieces of trash.
top of a cupboard – lots of dust there. I recommend vacuum first with cordless handheld cleaner, then wipe down.
inside of drawers – again vacuum first with the handheld cleaner. There are a lot of small garbage in there… then I cleaned with damp cloth.
utensil separator – wash with dish soap. Don’t forget to take the separator out, and clean the drawer inside, too.
top of kitchen light – lots of dust!! If you have lights like the picture below, be sure to clean the back of it.
fans – there is grease and dust. I used wipes and spray to clean up.
kitchen ventilation – I washed in a dishwasher, ONLY placed the kitchen ventilation — twice! Grease was very strong and tough to come off. The best way, is to soak it into hot-boiling water in a bucket.
However mine was too tall for a bucket that I had to use a dishwasher instead.
kitchen walls – there will be some grease on the kitchen wall, we used soap to clean it.
sink – I cleaned with Green Tea.
fridge inside outside
fridge egg holders, trays
top of the fridge
cooking stove – you will be surprised to use this method – using EGG SHELLS !!!! Amazing result. Check out this post >>>How to clean a stove top with Egg shells
<Bathroom> * Takes time!
Bathroom was the room that we had spent the most time to clean.
bathtub – our apartment had only shower … but I imagine you can clean with bleach?
shower tiles – this one was really really hard.
faucet – I’m sorry this is not that pretty image….but I have to show. In the red circle, we had this calcium / hard water stain under the faucet. I tried to use acid …vinegar, lemon to dissolve calcium first but none worked.
If calcium is really strong, you need to scrape it off.
We used a strain eraser –
Let me proudly recommend my country, Japan’s awesome product – SabiToru! Sabi means rust, Toru means take.
I used this to scrape off the calcium.
you see these calcium crumbs ? I used it for our toilet calcium. It worked!
to shine faucet – we bought a special cleaner for faucet. It’s more effective when you have limited time for cleaning!
shower glass door – I’ve tried this vinegar & water & soap mix, soaked it in a paper, put it on to the glass for even over night …. but the hard water DID NOT come off <shrugs> I think those stains were just too strong.
So instead, we ended up using some real cleaner- 😶to dissolve calcium.
tiles – this was one of the MOST time consuming area to clean. The trick was : using a scourer!!!
I was skeptical when a friend told me that I should use one, but it was a magic!!!!!
NOTE: Test-clean the small area first, to see if it gives scratches on tiles. I scratched tiny tiny area on the bottom corner and it was fine.
Can you see the white tiles?!
washing machine – there is a rubber door seal. Clean inside, it’s slimy (yuck)! I first used a toothbrush with liquid soap, then wiped.
dryer – clean a lint trap
closet – inside-outside – if your apartment has built-in closet, do clean inside and out. Even it’s been always closed, there is dust, hair inside. Vacuum
closet handles – sanitize
closet door – wipe it with damp clothes
radiator – this part was tricky. I actually almost skip cleaning… because it’s such a ‘small area’ . But glad we cleaned, because our owner checked how clean our radiators were!
This is our radiator.
And this was the problem! Do you see lots of dust…. yuck!
We used an old toothbrush to dust, since our vacuum cleaner was too big for these skinny area.
We brushed off dust first and vacuum the floor.
You can easily use a small paint brush, too!
closet – dust inside
floor – mopped. There were lots of sand and dust.
under the mat – flip the mat and clean the floor.
This is the $1500 – worth cleaning project that we did!
I hope you’re inspired and get your deposit money back!