Apartment Move Out Cleaning Guide

The Importance of a Good Apartment Move Out Cleaning

In Houston, there are a TON of apartments or condos that many residents call home. The majority of those apartments are rentals, which means that there’s a lot of moving in and out as tenants change locations, move to other apartments, and relocate for job opportunities. 

As most renters are aware, there’s often a situation that happens when you’re moving out where you (as the renter) are responsible for cleaning up the apartment, and getting it ready for the next tenants to move in. 

A lot of times, your initial deposit is held as collateral by the landlord for any damage that the apartment might incur while you’re the resident. 

A good apartment move out cleaning will not only keep you in good standing with your current landlord and also help you get the max amount of your deposit back.

Before you attempt to clean your apartment on your own, it might be worth considering a professional cleaning service to assist in the apartment move out.

A typical move out cleaning costs in the range of $250 – $400 depending on your square footage. If your deposit was $1000 or more, there is a case to be made to invest in a professional cleaning and take it out of your returned deposit. You’re more likely to get your full deposit back after a professional cleaning than trying to tackle it on your own.

How to Approach an Apartment Move Out Cleaning

The process of cleaning your apartment should be pretty intuitive. If you’re going to be cleaning your apartment on your own you should make surf of the following: 

You Need the Right Cleaning Supplies

Here’s a handy list of house cleaning supplies:

  • Duster
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Plenty of microfiber cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags

You Need to Have an Apartment Cleaning Process in Place

In general, it’s best to approach a cleaning project strategically. For a specific cleaning list, you can check out the apartment cleaning checklist below. But in general, you’ll want to tackle the following tasks in every room.

  • Dusting top to bottom
  • Mopping floors and vacuuming rugs from baseboard to baseboard
  • Wiping down the interior of cabinets and closets.
  • Scrubbing the toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers
  • Scouring the tiles and grout lines
  • Getting rid of any dirt and grime outside and inside major appliances
  • Cleaning the wall switches, door knobs, and other commonly touched areas

You Need to Set Aside Time

When doing an apartment move out cleaning on your own, the last thing you need is time. 

Doing a professional, deep clean of an apartment after you’ve been living in it can take a while. There are a lot of areas and spots that are neglected. We recommend setting aside a whole day, or breaking up your cleaning across several days to give you a break. 

Apartment Cleaning Checklist

So you’re ready to clean your apartment. Here’s a helpful checklist to follow:


  • Wipe down countertops and kitchen backsplash
  • Tops and outsides of large appliances (ovens, fridge, dishwasher, microwave)
  • Wipe down inside and outside of cabinets and drawers
  • Inside microwave
  • Pull out your stove and clean down the sides and around, sweep floor underneath
  • Pull out your fridges and clean the sides, sweep floor underneath
  • Baseboards
  • Vacuum and mop floors


  • Spray and wipe down shower area, being sure to take care of the grout and any soap scum
  • Clean shower drains and spray out the shower basin
  • Spray cleaner on the inside of toilet bowl and let it sit while you wipe down the sinks and toilet
  • Spray toilets and sinks, wipe down
  • Spray glass cleaner on the mirror and wipe down
  • Clean inside and outside bathroom shelves and cabinets
  • Vacuum and mop floors


  • Wipe down door jams, corners, window sills, etc – any surface where dust and debris might collect
  • Spray down and clean inside of the windows in the room
  • Wipe down baseboards
  • Trimwork and Molding.
  • Vacuum carpet and mop if you have hardwood floors


  • Wipe down door jams, corners, window sills, etc – any surface where dust and debris might collect
  • Spray down and clean inside of the windows in the room
  • Wipe down baseboards
  • Trimwork and Molding.
  • Wipe down countertops or shelves and fixtures
  • Vacuum carpet and mop if you have hardwood floors

Apartment Move Out Cleaning FAQs

Are apartment move out cleaning services worth it?

Yes, when you work with a professional cleaning services company to handle your move out cleaning, you can rest assured that your apartment will be super clean and you have the best chance at getting your deposit back when you move out.

Depending on your deposit amount, it might make sense to hire a pro cleaning service and take that amount out of the deposit reimbursement. 

Should I clean my apartment before I move out?

Yes, the majority of lease agreements will have some kind of a stipulation that any cleaning and repairs that are required once a tenant moves out will be taken out of the deposit. 

Should I ask my landlord to pay for professional cleaning services?

There are some scenarios where it is appropriate to ask your landlord to include professional cleaning services in your rental agreement. If you’d like to learn more about whether your landlord should be paying for professional cleaning services, you can visit this blog post. 

How much does a professional apartment move out cleaning cost?

Depending on your square footage, a move out cleaning service for a typical apartment in the Houston area can cost anywhere from $250 – $400. Get in touch with Maid Zen today to get a free quote on your next cleaning.

Apartment Move Out Cleaning Cost

The time and cost of a professional move-out cleaning service can vary based on the size of the apartment, the number of rooms, location, and any special requests.

On average, the cost for an apartment move-out cleaning service in Houston is approximately $4-$6 per square foot and includes cleaning all bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, hallways, and entryways. It may also be estimated at around $75 per bedroom.

The final cost will depend on the specific cleaning service chosen and the initial cleanliness of the apartment unit. Places with regular cleaning services may have a more affordable move-in/move-out cleaning compared to a first-time or one-time cleaning. To get a precise estimate, it is advisable to contact a professional cleaning service and provide them with details.



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