House Cleaning

Take time to clean thoroughly to get your Security Deposit Back!

Once cleaned do not use the oven again!

Do a preliminary cleaning of the bathroom to get the worst done leaving just a touch up before your inspection.

The day before the final inspection go back over all the steps listed here to insure everything is in top condition.

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Move-Out Cleaning

Get Your Security Deposit Returned Part 2

Week 2

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Determine what cleaning products and tools you will need. I provide a list of my recommended Cleaning Products and Tools but you will probably also need to get an oven cleaner, for ovens that are not self-cleaning and a stiff round synthetic paint brush, my favorite is approximately 1-1.5 inches in diameter. READ the INSTRUCTIONS on all cleaning products. Any damage caused by the supplies you choose will be your responsibility.

There are three things you should do this week. Clean the oven and range (do not use the oven from this point on), do a preliminary clean of the windows and sliding glass doors and their runners or gliders, and do a preliminary clean of the bathroom. The latter is essential if you've let it get really grungy.

The windows, bathroom and range top will need a final touch up but it will pay big dividends to get the worst done now as you will discover if you have to purchase harsher chemicals or replace items such as drip pans on the range.

Cleaning the Range: Pick a day off to clean the range. Remove drip pans and the filter in the range hood, place in hot soapy water to soak. Clean under the range top. Check to see if the range top will lift allowing you full access to the area under the cook top surface. If it does there should be a support bracket to hold it up. Counter top ranges usually do not lift which means you will need to do some contortionist moves to get to all areas below the drip pans. DO NOT USE stainless steel scrubbers. They can scratch and leave serious damage to many range surfaces. You can use good old fashioned SOS pads as long as they retain some of their sudsing agent. Move on to the oven.

Self-cleaning ovens: Self clean ovens usually take approximately 3 hours to complete the cleaning program and then several hours to cool down enough for a final wipe down by you. Follow the instructions and if there aren't any ask the apartment manager for the information. Many people turn the cleaning program on and leave but I do not recommend it. The temperature inside these ovens reaches in excess of 500° and this simply isn't the time to trust that something will not malfunction. When the oven is cool thoroughly wipe out the ashes, close the door and do not use again.

Ovens requiring manual cleaning: Remove the racks and as much of the burned debris on the bottom as possible. A metal cooking spatula or small putty knife will allow the thicker drips to be scrapped up and removed reducing the time needed for the cleaner to work. Following the instructions on the can, some require warm ovens some cold, spray the racks and all the interior oven surfaces. Wipe out the oven thoroughly making sure to scrub the racks and dry everything with a towel. Once finished heat the oven to 300° or so allow to cool and you will see all the areas where cleaner wasn't completely removed. Wipe down again and DO NOT USE the oven from this point on.

While the oven cleaner works do the final cleaning on the drip pans and range hood filter and the range hood itself. 409 sprayed directly on heavy grease build up on the hood will drip so make sure nothing other then the dirty range top is below it. Use a dry towel to shine up the drip pans and hood, allowing the filter to drip dry as you finish up.

Exterior: Thoroughly wipe down the exterior of the oven using straight 409 if needed to break up grease and grime.

During the last few days you'll need to do touch up on the range top but not a major all day cleaning.

Windows with runners or gliders. Cleaning the runners and gliders needs to be done prior to washing the windows. If they are not dry, as in a rainy period, they can be done but it will be more difficult. Take the round paint brush mentioned above and use it to brush as much dirt and debris as possible from the runners or gliders on dry surfaces only. Now using a damp rag with 409 sprayed on it wipe out the runner or glider. A cotton swab with 409 can be used to get into those tough nooks, crannies and corners. Wet surfaces should not be brushed out instead wipe out until clean, rinsing your rag frequently, with a wet rag using 409 to break up the worst grime. Finally wash the interior of all windows and inside and outside of sliding doors.

Set aside an hour or so and tackle the bathroom. Select the Cleaning Products and Cleaning Tools that will be needed. For seriously dirty showers I recommend using The Works at this stage of your move out cleaning. It is much more efficient at cleaning a combination of soap scum with water spotting (lime) then Tilex. If the first clean doesn't get it all respray walls, floor and glass and scrub again. DO NOT ALLOW THIS PRODUCT TO DRY ON METAL SURFACES! Make sure ALL surfaces are thoroughly rinsed and Dry with a soft towel.

Your second week of cleaning has been the most intense but, it is also timed to occur when little else needs to be done and will considerably reduce the amount of pressure during the last week as you have to once again focus on getting the last of the packing finished and complete the actual move

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