6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Rental Property

There’s no better time for spring cleaning your rental property than, well… the spring.  The sun stays out just a little bit longer and people get the urge to wipe it all away and make a fresh start. According to the American Cleaning Institute, 72% of households spring clean every year. Surely your future tenants would not want you to be the exception.

If you’re between leases, the spring is the perfect time to refresh your units with a little extra TLC. If you’re not, or you have long term renters, it still doesn’t hurt to share this list with your tenants. You may be surprised how many take the info to heart (who doesn’t love a freshly clean living space?). And if you really want to go the extra mile, offer to buy / provide the cleaning materials for anyone that takes you up on it.  So take advantage of the extra daylight and follow this checklist to ensure your rental property stays in top condition.

1. Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards and woodwork

This is a great example of a task that is truly only necessary once or twice a year. Wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth or sponge to remove any excess dust. Follow with an undyed cloth and warm soapy water. Scrub walls from top to bottom, and make sure to leave a door or window cracked open to help expedite the drying process.

2. Clean your screens and windows

First, remove the screen entirely from the window – it will make the process quicker and easier having the two separated. To wash the screen, first spray them with a garden hose. Scrub with soapy water to remove all grime and debris and let dry. If any dirt remains, take a scrap of carpeting and brush over the dry screen. The carpet scrap can also double as your quick-fix cleaning throughout the year when you don’t have time to dig all the way in. For the windows, simply clean with soapy water and hand-dry with another clean rag.

3. Wipe down ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and vents

The most important tool for this chore will be the vehicle that gets you there: the stepladder. So much dust and dirt settle in these hard to reach places because they are impossible to clean from ground level. Your first step should be clearing the excess as you don’t want dust, dirt and grime falling down on your beautiful carpet or hardwood floors. Grab a garbage bag, cover the fan blade, and give it a wipe. Repeat this on each blade.

Next, grab some all-purpose cleaner, clean rags, and, if you’re ambitious, a vacuum with a soft brush nozzle. At this point, a good spray and wipe down should do the trick, but if you’re looking for preventative maintenance, treating the fan blades with a bit of furniture polish will do the trick and help prevent dust from settling.

4. Air out comforters, blankets, and pillows

Oftentimes these items don’t need a true wash, but after being cooped up all winter they need a little air just like the rest of us. Take them out and drape them over a chair or hang on a clothesline for the day for a noticeable refresh. The one exception, though, is your pillowcases. Pillows are the resting place for your head, which unfortunately means they’re also the resting place for hair oils. This natural grease can wreak havoc on your skin and is often the cause of acne and pimples. The spring is the perfect time to start a new habit: regularly wash your pillow cases once every week or two.

5. Clean the fridge

This is one task that absolutely never gets done while you have tenants renting. So take advantage of the vacancy. According the experts at HGTV, there IS a right way to clean a refrigerator: “The best fridge cleaner is a combination of salt and soda water. The bubbling action of the soda water combines with the abrasive texture of the salt to make a great cleaner”. Wipe down the entire unit with this solution for a double win, as it also helps to prevent future mold and mildew build-up. And while your at it, take a bit of extra time to clean some harder to access parts of your appliances that could use the love.

6. Help your doormat make an entrance

You doormat may be small, but it’s one of those first impression things that you always want to get right. First, shake the mat out over grass or another outdoor area to loosen any debris. If dust and dirt remain, vacuum with the brush attachment to suck out the excess. When your mat gets wet from rain, make sure to drape it over a railing and air it out the following day. You can also sprinkle baking soda over the mat to deodorize.

Getting a deep clean in when nature is at her best is a great way to minimize headaches and eye sores for the rest of the year. Devote even one day to spring cleaning your rental property and rest assured that your tenants will take notice.

 

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10 comments

  1. Doesn’t feel like spring where I am! But thanks for the tips. Do you have any suggestions for motivating tenants to do some of the cleaning themselves?

    1. Hey Robert! We had 3 inches of snow around here, so I fully sympathize!

      A clean tenant makes a world of difference. Oftentimes, simply asking in the form of a reminder can go a long way: “Don’t forget to wipe down your intake vents! It’ll keep your air cleaner and fresher.” Also, buying cleaning supplies for your tenants can help motivate, but I wouldn’t suggest doing so unless they express interest. Make an offer to purchase the supplies if they’ll use them. As long as they’re used on your property it’s well worth the investment.

      And if you’re still looking for some added incentive, offer a reward or make it a contest. A local gift card can be a great gift that also ties them more closely to their neighborhood.

  2. Wonderful tips and a rea life saver! I was looking for some similar tips and tricks as I have to make my first spring cleaning alone.

  3. I agree with Robert, it would be so much easier if tenants took it upon themselves to clean once in a while! Or even if they would let me in to do it for them.

  4. Thanks for pointing out that when cleaning your rental house it can be important to make sure to clean the ceiling fan blades since a lot of dirt and dust settles on them. I think that it would be smart to keep your rental houses clean and looking good so that they can be as appealing as possible to potential renters. I also think that it’s smart to clean them just to make sure that they are in good condition because you see things from a different level when you’re cleaning and you might notice things that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

    1. That’s a great point! Cleaning allows you to examine spots around the unit you wouldn’t notice during a typical day-to-day. Taking a few minutes to sweep or dust can be a great way to inspect more thoroughly.

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