Top Cleaning Tips for Renters: A Room by Room Breakdown

March 24, 2023

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If you rent property, you understand the importance of a clean rental property. 

Waiting until the day before you move out to clean everything is a recipe for disaster. 

Instead, it’s wise to clean each room every two or three weeks and save yourself from a surefire headache in the future.  

In this article, we’ll cover cleaning tips for each room of a typical rental that will help you keep your rental in great condition. 


The bathroom is a good place to start your cleaning regiment. It’s probably the least pleasant area to clean, so it will give you a sense of immediate accomplishment to check it off the list.  

To start, wipe the tub and sink with Lysol or some other cleaning agent. Get rid of dust, hair, and other accumulated debris. Clean the toilet bowl with a toilet brush and some bleach. You can also drop a tank cleaner into the toilet, which helps significantly by disinfecting and deodorizing every time someone flushes. 

Clogged drains and mildew accumulation are two key things to watch out for in bathrooms. You don’t want to let either of these issues go. They can quickly become serious problems. Keep an eye on the sink drain and use a drain snake if hair or other debris gets stuck down deep in the drain. Regarding mildew, preventive action is your best option. Turn on the exhaust fan while you shower and open any windows you can. It’s also not a bad idea to use a squeegee in the shower to clean it a couple times every month. 


This is probably the easiest room to make a mess in. Thus, cleaning it on a regular basis is important. 

Start by disposing of old food from the fridge. Then wipe down any area of the fridge (I.e., shelves) where mess has accumulated with an all-purpose cleaner. Don’t forget to dust the top of the fridge; it can get dirty up there! 

Don’t let dishes pile up in your sink or on your counters. Make sure you do them by hand or load items into the dishwasher shortly after using them. You don’t want food stains turning into something worse. And that could happen if you let dishes sit for a while without cleaning them. Then, be sure to put them away in cabinets or some other storage space. Clearing out your counters will make them much easier to clean. 

Next, scrub your counters and remove debris from the stovetop. You don’t want to leave food particles out. You may find ants and other animals in your kitchen if you do.  

Now for the sinks and garbage disposal. Use baking soda and water to give the sink a good scrub. Once that’s done, disinfect with an all-purpose cleaner or dishwashing soap. You can also use some lemon juice, ice cubes and baking soda in the garbage disposal to create a good scent. 

You’ll also want to clean cabinets and counters. Get rid of any grease and dirt using soapy water and then dry with a microfiber cloth. Check with your landlord about the best cleaning solutions to use if you’re unsure. 

Be sure to empty the trash whenever it’s full. This is a great way to keep bad stenches from building up and prevent an overflow of trash in your rental. 

Living Room 

Furniture should be the main cleaning focus in your living room. If the furniture is upholstered, you should consider vacuuming it once in a while to remove crumbs or other debris that inevitably piles up. Take off the cushions and vacuum behind and underneath them as well. 

After you vacuum the furniture, turn your attention to the floor. Vacuum rugs and use a dusting mop to clean any hardwood floors


It’s prudent to keep your bedroom clean as well. Simple, consistent acts can go a long way when it comes to cleaning. 

Start by cleaning the ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures to remove dust. A microfiber cloth or a duster with a long reach can help you clean fan blades. An alternative idea is to wrap a broom with paper towels and run that over the surface of the blades. 

Dust the furniture in your room. Clean your dressers and cabinets. 

Keeping your floors mostly clear is a good idea, too. That way, you can see when things get dirty right away. If you have carpet flooring, vacuum your room. 

Cleaning Products for Your Consideration 

Here are some products that will help you clean your rental: 

  • Swiffer: These dusting mops are great for cleaning hard surfaces and hardwood floors. 
  • Baking soda: This environmentally friendly deodorizer absorbs odors. 
  • Drain snake: This product removes hair and helps your drains run smoothly. 
  • Magic eraser: This product helps remove scuff marks on walls and baseboards. 
  • Bleach: A small amount helps clean your toilet. 
  • Microfiber cloths: These cloths are particularly useful when dealing with dust particles. 
  • Window cleaner: This product ensures the glass in your rental shines without grime. 
  • Sponges: Does this one really need an explanation? 


Often, the best defense is a good offense. Regarding cleaning, prevention is that offense. If you don’t like cleaning, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your place clean without retroactively cleaning. 

Be proactive about keeping your space tidy and clean. Some landlords even provide tips for apartment maintenance in your lease agreement. 

One of the simplest and most effective preventive cleaning tips is to take your shoes off when inside the rental. This will keep a lot of dirt off the floors. 

Another thing to consider is lining the oven with aluminum foil. Instead of needing to clean it after you use it, you can dispose of the foil. 

The most critical part of prevention, though, is to notify your landlord about any issues, no matter how insignificant they seem, right when they occur. A minor leak in a faucet might not seem like anything, but it can cause more damage if left untreated. Filing a maintenance request before something turns into a serious issue is better for your potential liability  

Take care of messes and spills right away. It’s considerably easier to remove a stain before it has time to set. This is also true for pets. If you have pets, you may want to consider: 

  • Placing pet pads on the carpet and furniture 
  • Giving your cats a scratching post to keep them from clawing furniture 
  • Obtaining a purifier to prevent a lot of pet hair and dander from circulating 


Cleaning a rental property is an essential part of your responsibilities as a tenant. This doesn’t mean you need to clean it like a professional cleaner. That said, you want to get your security deposit back in full and enhance your reputation as a renter, so it’s important to take it seriously. 

By following the cleaning tips laid out in this article, you’ll keep your rental clean and your landlord happy. And you’ll give yourself a better chance of getting all of your deposit back. For more helpful tips and tricks, take a look at our tenant renting handbook here.

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