How to Clean an Apartment: 15 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks For a Tidier Space

May 24, 2022 by Julia Weaver

Let’s face it when life gets busy, it’s easy for the cleaning tasks to get buried at the bottom of your to-do list. After a long day juggling countless obligations, the last thing you want to do is spend time deep-cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing the kitchen floors.

Whether you’re moving into an apartment in San Diego, CA, out of a rental home in Pittsburgh, PA, or are just in need of a tried-and-true cleaning schedule, there are many tips, tricks, and hacks you can do to make your apartment sparkle.

We’ve compiled a list of the top cleaning tips from professionals that you can start implementing into your routine today. From time-saving tricks to brilliant hacks, these cleaning tips will ensure you receive your deposit back in full.

Knowing how to clean an apartment is important to get your deposit back

Helpful cleaning habits and routines

Focus on one room at a time

The easiest way to clean an apartment is to focus on one room at a time and create a schedule, so you don’t become overwhelmed with cleaning the entire house in one day. For example, concentrate on cleaning your kitchen and living room on Friday, then on Sunday, you can focus on cleaning the bathrooms. Dawn dish soap is a great product because you can use it for many different cleaning areas. Mix a few drops with warm water in a spray bottle to use it as a glass cleaner, or use about 4-5 drops into a mop bucket with hot water to use it to mop the floors.

We all know that cleaning an apartment takes up valuable time, which is why many people turn to a cleaning company to help. When choosing a cleaning service that fits your needs and budget, here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Make sure they are licensed and insured
  2. Check if they have positive client reviews
  3. Look at how long they have been in business 

– Ashley Porchas, owner at BCB Cleaning Service in Corona, CA

Create a cleaning routine that works with your schedule

Keeping up with everyday housekeeping might be a chore, but it doesn’t have to consume your entire day. Here are our tried and true habits and routines for cleaning an apartment.

  1. Make a prioritized list of everything you want to accomplish.
  2. Begin each day by making your bed. It makes a significant change in the room’s appearance and takes a few minutes.
  3. Do laundry first thing in the morning. If you work outside the home and won’t have time to dry it before leaving, set your machine on delay so it will be ready to dry when you arrive home.
  4. Prevent the spread of dirt and dust throughout the house by keeping heavily-trafficked areas clean daily.
  5. Concentrate on one room. Focusing on one lets you see immediate progress, giving you a sense of accomplishment and motivating you to clean more.
  6. Place items that belong in a different room in a container. It will save you time from running between rooms to put things where they belong.
  7. Start with the couch when cleaning your living room. Clean the cushions and remove pet hair, food crumbs, and dust. Look behind the cushions for any things that have slipped through the cracks.
  8. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and carpets. Also, look for dirty clothes and put them in the laundry. Sort them out.
  9. Keep your kitchen clean by mopping the floors, wiping the counters, taking out the trash, and lighting some fragrant candles. This will make your apartment fresh and smell nice. 

– We Clean Baltimore in Baltimore, MD

Utilize technology to keep organized

Establishing a weekly cleaning checklist helps ensure that you stay on top of your day-to-day chores. Consider using an app like the Microsoft To-Do app to notify you of daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning and maintenance tasks around the home. 

– Mitchell Wiedenhoeft, Owner/Operator of Sentinel Cleaning Services LLC in Dane County, WI

Keep your apartment organized for easier cleaning

Cleaning your apartment is easy; keeping it clean is the tricky part. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep an apartment clean:

  1. Make a habit of placing things back into their place immediately.
  2. Make labeling your best friend. Label everything. 
  3. Get a microfiber duster and dust weekly. This will prevent the buildup of any dust.
  4. Invest in a professional service to do deep cleanings quarterly.  

– New Beginning Cleaners LLC in Brooklyn, NY

Don’t forget to dust

Dusting is one of the most forgotten and important tasks in a cleaning routine. Dusting and wiping your baseboard and surfaces at least once a week can help reduce the number of deep cleanings needed. Plan those cleaning days weekly and stick to them. Two essential non-toxic cleaning ingredients to keep in your home are baking soda and vinegar. Combine one cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of castile soap, and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide for a strong but soft scrub paste for scum on stoves, ovens, grills, and even shower floors. 

We recommend Murphy Oil Wood Cleaner Spray and Krud Kutter Degreaser Spray. Both of these are great products that are safe for your home and very effective, and we often use them to supplement our cleanings. We also make our products in-house and load them with unique fragrances, which will leave your home smelling fantastic and clean as a whistle. These products completely transform the environment of your home. 

– The Quality Cleaners in Atlanta, GA

A clean apartment kitchen white white countertops and cabinets

Tips, tricks, and hacks for apartment cleaning

A clean fridge is a healthy fridge

To help prevent bacteria from spreading in the refrigerator, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you clean your fridge’s interior.

  1. Throw out the expired food in order not to spread bacteria.
  2. Check if there is food debris on the shelves.
  3. Purchase an air filter to absorb and deodorize food odor, we suggest Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter.

– Green Duster in New York, NY

Bar Keepers Friend

From stained bathtubs, hard water spots on faucet handles, grime on oven burners, and even the toilet ring, BKF will make your life so much easier. Plus, it’s inexpensive, costing around $2 per can. You can’t go wrong there. 

– Right Touch Residential Cleaning in Golden Valley, MN

Work from ceiling to floor

Start small by eliminating clutter in your apartment, cleaning dishes, and picking up messes. Work room-to-room as you clean, and always clean from ceiling to floor. It is best to deep clean an apartment when you move in and before moving out, especially if you put down an initial security deposit. Don’t forget, that you can always hire professional cleaners if your apartment mess is just too much to handle. 

– Fresh Maids in Gainesville, GA

Utilize common household items for cleaning

  • Buff surfaces with olive oil. Olive oil has many nutritional benefits. It turns out it can also help you clean the apartment. 
  • Use vinegar and dish soap to remove soap scum.
  • Use scrubbing bubbles if you have tiled floors. Brush the tile to get it white.
  • Use a tennis ball to remove scuff marks from vinyl tiles.
  • Buy a duster or wrap a dryer sheet around a paint roller to clean ceiling blades, securing the ends with rubber bands. Attach an extension handle to the roller.
  • Use vegetable oil to remove permanent marker stains off many surfaces — even skin. Then wipe up with a damp cloth, and you’re done.
  • Use a purple degreaser to help with oven buildup.  
  • Use a magic eraser on your stove

– The Tidy Queens in Chicago, IL

End of tenancy cleaning tips

Moving out is a stressful process, especially if you want to ensure that you get the deposit back from your landlord. Follow these tips for when you move out and when you’re preparing to move into your new place:

  • Find a cleaning company to ensure you get your deposit back. While it may cost a little more to hire a professional cleaning service, it can be worth it. Make sure to check out reviews online before you hire anyone.
  • Check behind furniture. This area can be tough to clean, and furniture can leave marks on the walls and the floors. Make sure you’re thorough. 
  • Don’t use harsh cleaning products. The only exception to this rule is if you know that the landlord specifically prefers harsh chemicals. Otherwise, use a mild soap or even mix it with vinegar. 

– Maid Attendants in Nashville, TN

Hiring a cleaning service? Here’s what to look for

Inquire about the current cleaning vendor

Now that everyone is working from home, it’s essential to keep your home and workspace clean. Most of us don’t have the time to keep up with the cleaning ourselves (especially if we have shedding pets). Here are two things to look for in an apartment cleaning company: 

  1. Ask your leasing office for information about their cleaning vendor. Apartment cleaning vendors have to meet specific requirements, and your leasing office has likely already fully vetted the cleaning service.
  2. Ensure your neighbors have had great experiences by cross-referencing your potential cleaning company’s reviews on multiple platforms, such as Google, Yelp, Nextdoor, and Thumbtack. 

– Merit Maids in Denver, CO

An apartment bathroom with colorful tile and cabinets

Check online reviews

Residential cleaning companies come directly into your private space, so ensure they’re trustworthy by checking online reviews. This way, you’ll also be able to see what previous customers think of the quality of their work. You deserve a high-quality cleaning that is worth your money. Don’t just go for the cheapest service; a larger investment is well worth it and often directly correlates to the quality of service. 

– Miraculous Maids In Edmonton, CA

Look for a company with a smooth booking process and reliable service

A smooth booking process and reliable service are crucial when searching for a cleaning company. Flat rate fees are highly recommended because they remove ambiguity and help set expectations.

Aside from this, make sure that the company you choose is fully bonded and insured, and that whoever enters your home is professionally vetted and background checked. After all, an excellent cleaning service should give you more time and peace of mind. 

– Minted Maids in San Francisco Bay Area

Use quality cleaning products

When looking for a cleaning company, find out how long they’ve been in business and make sure they don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals (we have had many calls about ruined surfaces).  Take note of their professionalism, and ask if they are insured. Always ask plenty of questions. 

We recommend Bar Keepers Friend and Scrub Daddy sponges. You can use Bar Keepers Friend in your toilet bowl to keep it white without creating rings and to remove water spots on your shower glass. You can also use it to scrub your sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. The perfect sponge to use is the Scrub Daddy Sponge. We found it to be safe on almost all surfaces without scratching.

– Her Majesty Cleaning Services in Orlando, FL

Be sure the company is available, flexible, and offers high-quality service

Make sure the company has flexibility in meeting your cleaning requests. Cleaning companies with several years in the market can adapt and provide a high quality of service even under challenging situations. 

A cleaning company with a long history in the market understands that there are always variances in the time required to complete a cleaning. However, a company with experience typically operates on a relationship basis rather than transactional. They absorb any short time variance due to various factors ranging from fixtures that take more time than expected, redoing work due to a quality assurance problem, or any minor problems that might arise.

Our favorite products are Bona for cleaning hardwood floors organically, Method Organic Cleaning Supplies for bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas, and Clorox to disinfect toilets and showers. 

– Singularity Cleaning in Yonkers, NY

Julia Weaver

Julia is a part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home is a charming beachside home with lots of light. Email Julia

For more information about home cleaning services in Orlando FL, check out Her Majesty Services. They offer exceptional best residential cleaning services.

Jennifer Bowman