Information Provided By:  Connie, Home Pride Services, Downers Grove, IL

 Moving out of your apartment can be a very stressful time, but when you rent or lease an apartment you want to make sure you leave it in the condition it was prior to your move in.  Its always a good idea to hire a professional cleaning service if you can afford it, (and if time allows).  If not, here are a few ways to cover your responsibilities so you will be able to get your security deposit back and not be charged with extra fees.

Before cleaning your apartment, you should make sure all holes in walls including nails, tacks, tape, etc have been removed.  If necessary, you may need to patch these up to avoid additional fees.  Magic eraser is a good tool to remove stains , just make sure to test the area first, so you do not remove the paint.


  • Wipe down all appliances and counter tops
  • Stove/Oven: Clean with oven cleaner
  • Clean refrigerator, wiping down all drawers and shelves
  • Pull out refrigerator only if on rollers, and clean behind
  • Open and wipe out inside of all cabinets and drawers
  • Clean and polish sink and all chrome
  • Sweep and then mop floor with a germicidal detergent


  • Clean mirrors and medicine cabinets, inside and out
  • Clean sink and all chrome fixtures
  • Clean commode, inside/outside, and the space behind
  • Clean shower/tub and walls (Grout also, if not permanently stained)
  • Sweep ceramic floors and then mop with a germicidal detergent


  • All exposed wood is to be wiped down, free of dust and smears


  • All carpeting is to be thoroughly vacuumed.  Attachments should be used along the edges.  Any stains should be removed (professionally if necessary)
  • Hardwood floors swept and damp mopped


  • Indoor/Outdoor light fixtures and windows are optional for the individual tenant depending on the lease terms
  • Patio doors are to be washed both on the inside and the outside


 The above listed duties should enable (if properly performed) you as a renter to recover your security deposit. Before performing your move out clean up, pull out your lease and look at what your responsibilities are when you move out.  If there is a “move in” walk through checklist, match it up with the units current condition so you aren’t charged for something you didn’t do.  It’s a good idea to take pictures once your apartment is empty and have the landlord sign off condition.  Then when you do an inspection prior to your move out, obtain a copy of the move out inspection for your records.  These tips should help protect you from unnecessary liability.

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