The Top 13 Things Renters Forgot to Clean

By August 24, 2022 No Comments
A vacuum and two white shoes sitting on top of a blue and white patterned carpet.

The Top 13 Things Renters Forgot to Clean

Moving out of your rental property can often be hectic and difficult. Along with the actual process of moving, you’re responsible for paying off the last of your lease, inspecting and documenting the property, and giving it a thorough cleaning. While cleaning a dirty apartment may seem to be straightforward, there are quite a few things most renters forget to clean.
Doing a proper job at cleaning your rental during move-out can help you to regain your security deposit, but you must not forget these essential cleaning places. Read our list of the 13 most common places renters forget to clean and check them off as you move out!


Installed to cover up the connection between the wall and the carpet or hardwood floors, baseboards are mostly aesthetic in use. They are fairly easy to forget, which makes them one of the most overlooked items when it comes to cleaning – but that doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty. They’re prone to be kicked by shoes, hit by furniture, or splattered with grease or mud.
To clean your baseboards, make a solution of warm water, dish soap, and vinegar. Dip a damp rag or sponge into the solution and proceed to scrub the baseboards. If you encounter tough stains or scuffs, we recommend using a Magic Eraser or other type of melamine sponge.


Dirt and germs easily build up on walls and are rarely cleaned off during a routine cleaning session. Not only can cleaning your walls result in a cleaner-looking home, but it can also help those with allergies breathe easier.
Use a mixture of warm water and dye-free hand soap or dish soap to wash your walls. Dip a sponge into the solution and wring it dry before gently scrubbing the walls. Rinse with clean water once done and dry the walls completely.
Be sure to test your soap solution on a test patch of your wall first. Some paint types require a specific cleaning method.

Light Fixtures

Typically cleaned at least twice a year, light fixtures need to be cleaned once again when you move out. Doing so can help light bulbs emit the correct amount of lumens as well as keep the space bright and inviting. Use a mixture of water and a few drops of dish soap to gently clean the inside and outside of the light fixtures.

Light switches will also need to be cleaned before you can move out. Dampen a cloth or use a liquid cleaner to wipe down the light switch or outlet cover. Do not use a wet cloth to avoid electric shocks.

Glass Doors and Windows

While dirty windows are easy to see, they often get overlooked as you deep clean the entire rental property. Use a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth or damp sponge for these. If this does not clean the windows and glass doors completely, use a mixture of water and vinegar. Be sure to dry the windows afterward.

Window Blinds

Window blinds accumulate dust and grime over months of use, and often get overlooked during the move-out process. First, dust the top and bottom of the blinds. You may have to use a step ladder to reach the upper blinds.
Next, remove the blinds from the window and place them in a bathtub. Soak them for an hour in warm water, dish soap, and a cup of baking soda. Once done, rinse with warm water and dry completely before hanging them back up.


While bathrooms are near the top of everyone’s move-out cleaning list, many people forgo a deep clean in favor of a quicker routine cleaning. You need to take the time to give each and every space a bit of TLC, not just the toilet.

  1. Vacuum the floors. Pay special attention to the corner.
  2. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant spray.
  3. Deep clean the shower, including the shower head, drain, and window.
  4. Deep clean the toilet bowl and the outside of the toilet. Do not forget to clean the backside!

Refrigerator and Freezer

When you move out, you’ll undoubtedly take your food with you. This helps to clean the refrigerator and freezer, but you’ll need to deep clean both as well to get rid of any spills that may have occurred.
Unplug and empty your refrigerator completely before wiping down all surfaces with hot, soapy water. Take out trays and be sure to clean the back of the refrigerator as well. Once done, clean the soap off with clean water. Dry completely before reassembling the refrigerator.

Similarly, you will also unplug and empty your freezer before cleaning it. Sanitize the freezer using 1 tbsp of liquid bleach in a gallon of water. Wash the drawers and non-removable trays with hot, soapy water before rinsing with clean water. Dry completely to prevent ice buildup.

Oven and Stove

In a kitchen, the oven floor and stove surfaces often accumulate the most amount of debris due to a lack of cleaning. So, as you move out, it’s important to pay special attention to these areas.
To clean an oven, you must first make sure it is turned off and completely cooled. Make a paste of 1/2 cup baking soda and a few teaspoons of water and thoroughly rub down the walls, floor, and ceiling of the oven. Let it sit for at least 12 hours while you deep clean the racks and other places within your rental. Once 12 hours are finished, wipe out as much of the baking soda paste as possible before spraying the oven with vinegar. Finally, wipe down the oven with a damp cloth, making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

To clean your stovetop, first wipe down the surface with a damp rag. Create a paste out of 1/2 cup baking soda and 3-4 tbsp of water and a non-abrasive sponge or damp cloth. Make sure to use a plastic knife or spatula to remove any stuck or burnt food debris. Finish your stove cleaning by rinsing with clean water and drying thoroughly.

Ceiling Fans

Often overlooked even during general cleaning practices, ceiling fan blades are something you absolutely shouldn’t skip over as you go down your move-out cleaning checklist. Fan blades collect dirt, dust, and allergens that float through the air in your home. When you turn them on, they spread all the dust they have collected, causing you to breathe in those contaminants.
First, remove existing dust with a cloth or duster. You may want to wear a mask or face covering during this step to avoid breathing in large amounts of allergens. Next, spray an all-purpose cleaner or an equal solution of water and vinegar into an old pillowcase. Cover a fan blade with the pillowcase and slowly pull backward to clean. Repeat with all fan blades.

You will want to wipe down the fan’s motor and chain with a microfiber cloth to remove dust. Finish your fan cleaning by making sure the blades are spinning in the correct direction. They should spin counterclockwise in summer and clockwise in winter.


During their use, carpets trap dirt, debris, allergens, and other pollutants that can tear up the carpet fibers. As such, it’s important to thoroughly clean all the rooms that contain carpets or rugs.
Start by vacuuming the carpets to ensure that all debris, hair, and dirt are removed. Remove spots and stains using a mixture of 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tbsp gentle dish soap, and water. Spray the stained area and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Blot with a paper towel to remove the vinegar mixture and the stain. Repeat if necessary.

After you move, the property owner will hire a cleaning company to professionally clean and disinfect the carpets. If you choose to hire a cleaning company as part of your move-out process, be sure to provide your property management company with a receipt.

Under Appliances

It’s common for food and other debris to get kicked underneath the many kitchen appliances we have in our homes. These scraps and crumbs can attract pests or create unpleasant odors and mold that may affect our living situation. When you move out, make sure to devote some time to make sure the appliance undersides are clear of messes.
Sweep under the appliance with a broom before unplugging it to make moving the appliance easier. Once moved, sweep the area again or use a floor vacuum to remove any debris or contaminants. Follow this by mopping the area. Be sure it dries completely before moving the appliance to its original location.
If you encounter hard-to-remove deposits as you clean the floor under the appliances, use a cup of vinegar to loosen them.


Take special care to clean all the doors in your home, including the doors of your kitchen cabinets. Highly used doors can accumulate stains, grime, and bacteria, making them a priority on your cleaning list.
Clean your doors with a mixture of gentle dish soap and water. Lightly scrub the door with a sponge, rinse with clean water, and dry with a microfiber cloth. If you encounter tough stains, use a Magic Eraser or melamine sponge to clear them up.
Clean your door knobs with disinfectant spray to kill any bacteria that may be living on the surface. You can also scrub them with a soft toothbrush and a mixture of gentle dish soap and water. Rinse the door knob with clean water to remove soap, and dry completely to prevent rust.

Outdoor Spaces

When you move out you are expected to clean your entire apartment or house, and that includes the outdoor spaces! Be sure to wash down the walls and windows, sweep off the porch, and mop your deck.
After you’ve finished cleaning your patio, it’s time to move onto the yard. Rake up any leaves and pull any weeds you see before mowing the grass.

Once you’ve moved out from your current home, you’ll need to find a new property to live in. At DJW Property Management, you can search for apartments and homes that not only suit your budget but also fit your exact requirements! We abide by the Fair Housing Act and strive to make sure that our tenants’ needs are taken care of promptly. Visit our website to browse available properties today!