Get Your Deposit Back Apartment Move-out Cleaning Tips 

When moving out of an apartment, how clean should you leave it and what happens if you don’t bother cleaning it at all? Well, that all depends on whether you want your security deposit back along with a good reference for your next place. Most property managers expect tenants to leave their unit in the same condition as when they first moved in, albeit, with the exception of reasonable wear and tear. Typically, the property manager will request a security deposit held as collateral in case the apartment is left dirty and in need of major repairs.

If you want to get your deposit back, make sure you don’t give your landlord any reason to hang on to it. Be sure to give your place a thorough cleaning, fix any alterations you made during your lease such as painting the walls a different color, and take care of any minor repairs that are needed. For instance, if you’ve hung pictures on the walls or installed curtain rods or hooks in the ceiling for hanging plants, make sure to take these down and fill any holes you’ve made with putty.  

Once you are finished with cleaning and any minor repairs, it’s always a good idea to take pictures of the space just in case the property manager is a stickler and tries to hold onto your deposit. This way, you’ll be able to prove you left the place in pristine, clean condition.  Even if a portion of your deposit is non-refundable, you should still do your best to clean, put things back the way they were, and make small repairs to avoid further charges.  

You can safely assume that any cleaning or repairs done by your landlord on your behalf will be more expensive than if you handle these things on your own, giving you more control over the costs. While security deposits can vary depending on where you live and other factors, a typical deposit can cost upwards of $2,200 or equal to a month’s rent. That’s money you’d rather have in your own pocket, so don’t give your landlord any reason to hang on to it. 

We’ve put together an apartment move-out cleaning checklist to help you get it all done. 

Apartment Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Use this handy move-out cleaning checklist to make sure you clean everything in your apartment that needs to be cleaned:  

Entire Apartment

Remove dust and cobwebs from the ceiling
Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures
Dust blinds on all windows
Wash windows
Remove nails and patch walls
Check smoke detector batteries
Clean walls and baseboards
Clean carpet and remove stains
Vacuum and mop floors


Clear out kitchen cabinets and pantry
Wipe down fridge inside/ outside
Clean oven inside/outside
Clean microwave inside/outside
Clean behind appliances
Sanitize kitchen sink, drain, and disposal
Clean dishwasher inside/outside
Sanitize kitchen countertops
Clean washer and dryer inside/ outside


Polish mirrors
Sanitize sink and countertop
Disinfect toilet
Scrub shower and bath
Mop bathroom floor

If you simply don’t have time to clean at the time of your move, your best option is to hire a reputable cleaning service like Cleanstart, so you can move on and get your security money back with no hassles. Our cleaning pros will thoroughly clean and prepare your place for a final walk-through inspection with your landlord or property manager.

Cleanstart Apartment Move-out Cleanings  

Our detailed move-out apartment cleanings include the following:
Vertical and horizontal surfaces (doors, door jams, molding, baseboards) below 8 feet dusted 
Sliding glass doors inside and out, door and window tracks 
Light switches 
Spot clean interior windows below 8 feet 
Vacuum accessible carpets and hard surface flooring 
Mop-accessible hard surface flooring 
Cabinet exteriors spot cleaned 
Refrigerator exterior cleaned  
Oven exterior and cooktop
Kitchen counter, sink, and fixtures  
Polish stainless steel appliances if applicable 
Sanitize and polish bathroom toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers 

* Cleaning and price to include carpet extraction, windows (interior/exterior), and refrigerator and oven (interior/exterior).  

Our cleaning crew will bring to the job whatever cleaning supplies and equipment are needed for a thorough move-out clean. When we are finished cleaning, a final inspection will be conducted with you. If there is any unsatisfactory or incomplete work, it will be redone at that time. We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction, and all of our cleaners are professionally trained, background checked, and covered by workers’ compensation, bond, and liability insurance.  

Cleanstart Apartment Move-out Cleaning Services

Our professional cleaners will get your apartment spic and span and ready for a final walkthrough inspection with your landlord/property manager. Call to schedule your appointment today. 

(253) 921-2593


Cleanstart is a full-service cleaning company with over two decades of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry. Our team is committed to providing the best customer service and the highest level of cleaning services available.

What we’re all about:

✓ Over two decades of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry
✓ Thoroughly trained and vetted cleaning professionals
✓ Commitment to the highest standard of clean
✓ Licensed, insured, and bonded
✓ 24/7 cleaning options and support
✓ Customized cleaning plans
✓ Recurring cleaning options and janitorial services
✓ Electrostatic spray disinfection service
✓ 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, and AORN compliant
✓  A+ BBB-rating

Give us a call today at (253) 921-2593 to learn more about our apartment move-out cleanings, request a free estimate, or schedule an appointment.

We service greater Puget Sound, including:

AuburnBellevueBellinghamBonney LakeBremertonFactoriaFifeGig HarborKentLakewoodOlympiaPuyallup, RentonSeattle, TacomaTukwilaUniversity Place, King CountyKitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.


5013 Pacific Hwy E unit 16 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @

 Apartment Move-out Cleaning Tips