Get your deposit back: a move-out cleaning checklist

bedroom white

*A collaborative post

As the end of your tenancy approaches and you plan for moving day, the last thing you want to think about is deep cleaning your home. After all, there’s plenty else to organise – like packing up all your belongings. It’s worth taking time out to spruce up your interiors. Smart cleaning can be the secret to securing a returned deposit – so throw on some tunes and don the rubber gloves, while you work your way through this deep clean checklist; 

bedroom white

Photo by Logan Nolin on Unsplash

In bedrooms and living areas:

Dust – everywhere

You’ll be surprised where dust can accumulate after years of living in the same house or apartment. Tackle the places you wouldn’t in an everyday clean – like the ceiling above the stairs and the inside of your storage cupboard.

Vacuum throughout

Cleaning your carpets can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve accumulated layers of dirt, or stains over the years. Before your final vacuum, ensure the carpets are thoroughly cleaned. Hire a professional end-of-tenancy cleaning service like the service offered by Molly Maid– if standard carpet soap isn’t up to the task.

Remove all nails and screws, and repair wall damage

This is important, since many tenancy agreements have clauses forbidding interior changes – including hanging frames from the walls. To remove the evidence, remove all screws and smooth the walls with sealant. If necessary, touch up the paintwork with a sponge.

Remember to clean the windows – inside and out!

It’s easy to forget the windows, but squeaky-clean panes can transform the appearance of a room. Tackle every window to leave a bright and airy house, and a good impression with your landlord.

Clean walls and skirting boards

A deep clean involves wiping down your coving and removing stains from walls. This probably isn’t part of your weekly clean routine – so these areas will have accumulated some dirt over time.

In the kitchen:

Photo by William on Unsplash

Scrub the oven and refrigerator

This task is a necessity for any end-of-tenancy deep clean. Put on gloves, remove all drawers and racks, and use a little elbow grease.

Clean cabinets, inside and out

Once cabinets are empty, you need to clean them thoroughly. Remove any crumbs and make the kitchen shine. 

Clean and shine up the sink

The kitchen sink may seem like an easy task – but it plays a big role in the first impression of your kitchen, and can harbour a lot of dirt. Follow these nifty tricks to leave the sink sparkling.

Sweep behind all appliances

This step is important even if you’re leaving appliances behind. The ridge between the cooker and cabinets is the first place your landlord will check to assess your deep clean.

Clean all surfaces and mop the floor

Finally, make your surfaces shine. The best cleaning products to use depend on the material of your worktop – so choose wisely.

In the bathroom:

Deep clean the shower, bath, toilet and sink

This doesn’t need to be an unpleasant task. There are easier ways to tackle the bathroom necessities. Every new tenant wants a properly disinfected bathroom, with soap and scum-free surfaces that gleam.

Bleach all tiles and ridges

Mould and mildew can betray bad bathroom habits, but the good news is, it’s possible to remove them quickly. Bleach is most effective, but there are also natural options, if you prefer.

Shine the mirror

Pick up a glass cleaner and your bathroom will be back to its former glory in no time at all. Use to remove smudges and splashes on mirrored surfaces.

The finishing touches: floors and ceilings

The final clean in a house is all about leaving no stone unturned. Mop the floors and sponge the ceilings.


Sweep up and empty the garage and shed

For the best chances of unlocking that deposit, you need to leave outside areas presentable. Sweep them out and remove all belongings.


Photo by Félix Prado on Unsplash

Cut the grass

All this cleaning will be worthless if you leave an overgrown garden full of weeds. Take the time to leave the garden looking presentable.

Remove all garden ornaments and pots

If it wasn’t there when you signed, take it with you – and if you moved or lost an item, replace it.

Finally, mop hard-surface floors throughout your home, from the back to the very front. Lock up and leave with peace of mind, and carry pride into your next chapter.

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