There’s a lot to do when you’re moving out of your rental home, and you usually have to do it all in the span of just a few days. One of the biggest tasks you need to take care of, besides moving tons of boxes, is the end-of-tenancy cleaning.

You might do your best to make sure everything is spick and span, but in the rush of it, you might overlook some spots, spots that could cost you your security deposit.

So, in this article, we’ll go over the most commonly overlooked spots in the end-of-lease deep cleaning!

Don’t Forget the Window Sills and Doors

Most people remember to wipe the windows on the inside and outside, but the window sills and frames are often forgotten. Any horizontal surface accumulates dust and other gunk over time, so don’t neglect them. But not only horizontal surfaces collect dirt – vertical ones like doors need cleaning, too.

Moisten a microfiber cloth with some all-purpose cleaner and wipe away all the dust on your window sills and frames. Move on and do the same to all the doors and their frames. Don’t forget to wipe the little ledge above the door, as well!

Did You Wipe Down the Walls?

Speaking of vertical surfaces, the biggest ones of them all are walls. Sure, you can use a magic eraser to remove marks and scuffs here and there and maybe even repaint some little spots. But not a lot of people realize that walls collect dust, too. I mean, they don’t look dirty, right? Wait until the sun is shining right against your walls and inspect them closely – do they look kind of “fuzzy”? If so, the walls definitely need a good wipe-down.

Your trusty little microfiber cloth won’t do the job in this situation. So, take out your flat floor mop, preferably equipped with a microfiber mop pad, and start wiping those dusty walls. If the paint on the walls is water-soluble, make sure to never use a wet mop.

Bonus tip: If you’ve had any pictures and paintings hanging on the walls, take care to fill any holes that are left behind.

Clean All the Appliances Inside and Outside

All those appliances you’ve been using daily have been accumulating all sorts of gunk on the inside and outside. The oven, stovetop, refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and microwave all need to be given a deep cleaning and disinfection so as to be ready for the next tenants.

Start by wiping away all of the dust and grime from the outside of the appliances. The stovetop might need some extra elbow grease and a specialiced cleaning foam to get rid of all that stubborn, burnt-on residue. The insides of your oven and microwave can be cleaned in pretty much the same way.

The interior of the fridge should be deep-cleaned and disinfected. The dishwasher and washing machine should be run on a high-temperature cycle, together with a special detergent that removes any limescale, residue, and bacteria that have accumulated inside. Don’t forget to clean behind the appliances, as well!

Take Care of All the Hard-to-Reach Places

Well, everything at eye level might look spotless, but have you tried looking up? High up, above everything else, there are still spots that need some attention and proper cleaning. Ceiling fans, light fixtures, curtain rails, crown moldings… all of it gathers dust and cobwebs, so you should take care to give them a proper clean.

For these lofty places, you will either need a chair, a step ladder, or some ingenuity. Try attaching your dusting wand to a long broomstick and have at that vile dirt from far away! For ceiling fans, you can use the pillowcase method. Remove any cobwebs, wipe down dust and grime buildups, and use some all-purpose cleaner if needed.

The Bathroom Needs to Be Spotless

The bathroom is the place where we go to clean ourselves up, but ironically, it’s also one of the dirtiest rooms in every home. You should take special care to clean the shower, bathtub, sink, toilet, medicine cabinet, and mirror.

All the gunk and soap scum that builds up over time needs to be vigorously scrubbed away. That darkened grout between the tiles needs to be shined until it’s bright as new. The space behind the toilet needs extra attention, as it’s often neglected and gathers lots of icky muck. All faucets should be scrubbed to remove any limescale buildup until they’re left sparkling clean. Don’t forget to take out all the hairs and other gunk from the drains.

When you finish scrubbing, use a disinfectant on all surfaces so the new tenants can comfortably start using the bathroom. If the landlord sees that the bathroom is absolutely spotless, that will bring you leaps and bounds closer to getting that deposit money back!

The Kitchen Always Needs Some Extra Care

Not only do the appliances in the kitchen need a good cleaning, but the sink, faucet, and dish drying rack should all be scrubbed to remove any grime that has built up. If you have a garbage disposal, take care to clean it out perfectly. Unclog any blocked drains. Disinfect all the surfaces afterward.

Don’t forget to empty all the cupboards and the pantry. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many little things can get left behind just like that. Afterward, wipe down the inside and outside surfaces of the cupboards with a microfiber cloth and some wood cleaner to remove any dust and other particles that have been collected there.

Don’t Neglect Any Outdoor Areas

Not every property has outdoor areas, but even apartments can have balconies that need to be taken care of. If you’re renting a whole house, you might have a front and/or back yard that needs to be properly maintained.

If you have a balcony, you need to remove any flower pots, furniture, and decorations you’ve added. Wipe the railings with a moist cloth, sweep the floor, and mop it until it’s squeaky clean. If your rental has one or more yards, then you have a lot more work at hand. Clear out any garden furniture, mow the grass, and remove weeds that have grown. The idea is to leave it all looking just as good as it was when you first settled in, or even better!


Whatever the reason for your relocation, the moving process is often quite chaotic and can leave your head spinning. And what if your end-of-tenancy cleaning isn’t up to the standards of your landlord – you could lose your precious deposit!

But now that you’ve read our article, you know all of the often-overlooked spots that can end up costing you a lot of money.

Ayush Bhansin

Ayush Bhansin has a degree in General Studies focusing on Interdisciplinary Sciences from Harvard University and has been a versatile contributor and analyst for 12 years. He offers a broad perspective on topics ranging from technology to lifestyle. His previous experience includes roles in market research and as a freelance journalist. He has brought his broad knowledge to various general content, providing insightful analysis and commentary. He is an emerging technology enthusiast and actively participates in various intellectual forums. He is also a classical music aficionado and enjoys exploring different culinary traditions.

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