Annual Deep Cleaning Checklist for Renters
Many people do their big yearly house clean in Spring, in preparation for the warmer months. From protecting yourself from mould spores and other health issues to protecting your renter insurance and bond, completing a deep clean inside and outside your rental home yearly will benefit you in several ways.
While starting a deep clean can seem overwhelming, focussing on a few key areas inside and outside of your rental home can make all the difference! We’ve outlined a few of the most neglected yet important tasks for renters to work through for a comprehensive deep clean inside and outside of the house.
1. Windows, Screens & Blinds
Windows, screens & blinds tend to get neglected when it comes to weekly cleaning and can have a lot of build-up by the time it comes to end-of-lease cleaning. Dust and grime build-up on windows, screens and blinds is a common reason for bonds being withheld for cleaning.
By using a concoction of vinegar, warm water, dishwashing liquid and a microfiber cloth, you can easily remove built-up dirt and grime from windows, screens, and blinds. It is best practice to try and do this every few months to keep sunlight coming in and to make the cleaning process easier down the track.
It’s also important to regularly check windows, doors, and locks are functioning, as heavy rain can cause swelling and leaks. If you find any problems, take photos and report them to your property manager.
Hot tip! Avoid cleaning your windows on a sunny day to prevent streaks & don’t forget to clean sliding door tracks.
2. Exhaust Fans
Another forgotten place to clean is inside exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen. While it may seem obscure, these fans suck up dust and debris from the air, and it builds up, causing it to drop dust particles every time it’s switched on.
To prevent this and save you time cleaning in the future, simply use a ladder to reach the fan and remove the casing (you may need a screwdriver for this). Use a microfibre cloth and cleaning liquid to remove all the dust and dirt.
3. Shower Door
Shower doors tend to be overlooked when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. However, they are frequently used and should also be frequently cleaned! You can easily use glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to clean your shower door.
Hot tip! If you have tough spots of grime or soap build-up, use a shower spray to soak the area and leave for a few minutes before wiping it up. There are several inexpensive shower sprays from Bunnings and other stores.
4. Light Fittings
Similar to Exhaust Fans, Light Fittings also tend to be forgotten when it comes to general and deep cleaning. However, they generally attract a lot of dirt, dust, and bugs over time and can even start to affect the brightness of the light.
Simply removing the light fixture (if not too difficult) and using a microfibre cloth and cleaning liquid to remove grime build-up should do the trick. If you’re unsure if the light fixture can be removed, shoot your agent a message to confirm.
5. Behind the Toilet
Another commonly overlooked area is the small gap behind your toilet that seems to trap dust and hair from around the bathroom.
When the bathroom is dry, use a vacuum to suck up any dust and hair, then use spray and wipe to clean the surface of any built-up grime.
6. Kitchen Cabinets
While your kitchen cabinets may look somewhat clean, behind all your food and panty items may be built-up grime and food waste that could have a bad odour and attract pests such as moths, ants and cockroaches.
A deep clean every few months can easily prevent these and ensure your food remains fresh and your cabinets smell nice. Start by removing all of the items in the kitchen cabinets and then use a dustpan and broom to wipe up any dust, dirt and crumbs, followed by a spray and wipe to completely clean the service.
Hot tip! If you have a few tough spots in the cabinet, use a surface cleaner to soak the spot and then use a rough sponge (not steel wool as it may damage the cabinet) to scrub the stain out.
7. Clean Gutters
The function of gutters is to collect rainwater and carry it away from the foundation of the rental property. However, gutters can easily become clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris over time, blocking rainwater from passing and can cause larger problems with costly repairs.
The property manager’s responsibility is to ensure the property’s maintenance, including regularly clearing out gutters. Talk to your property manager when a professional service is required.
Look out for water overflows and birds gathering around your roof as they would be attracted to the pool of blocked rainwater, and report this to your property manager in a timely matter so they can quickly assist. If your gutter becomes blocked in Summer, it could cause a bushfire, so it’s vital to ensure they are regularly cleared out.
When checking your gutters, make sure to be diligent with safety if using a ladder or accessing the roof.
8. Remove Excess Leaf Litter
A quick and easy task that can build up to a difficult task over time is removing excess leaf litter from your front and back yards. Excess leaf litter in Australia, especially in drier months, could start a bushfire, so clearing this up each season is a vital task for everyone.
On the other hand, excess leaf litter can actually stain decks and pathways if not cleared regularly, which could lead you to need a pressure cleaner to remove stains to protect your bond. Simply using an outdoor broom from Bunnings to sweep leaves into piles and then collecting the leafs using gloves into your Green bin is all that needs to be done!
9. Prevent Pests
By ensuring you’re on top of all these tasks and your general house cleaning, you should already be preventing nasty pests from lingering around your rental property. However, if you’re rental property is prone to pests or Summer is approaching, it may be worth taking extra precautions to make sure your rental is pest-free!
There are inexpensive baits that can be bought from Woolworths, Coles or Bunnings that you can place in hidden places around your rental that can deter pests such as cockroaches, ants and rats. Check out this guide to preventing pests.
If pests appear only after you have moved into your rental property, you may be responsible as the tenant to remove them. However, if pests are reoccurring despite your efforts or were already rampant when you moved in, contact your property manager as they may be liable to conduct a pest removal.
Learn more about your tenant rights:
10. Sweep & Hose
Last, but certainly not least, doing a regular sweep and hose of outdoor areas can prevent staining and grime build-up. If you have pots outdoors, make sure to lift and sweep underneath often, as they are prone to staining the ground. You can also purchase pot stands from Bunnings to make this job easier.
If you keep on top of these simple but important tasks, you will be able to protect your bond and renter insurance as well as protect yourself from hazards such as mould and bushfires caused by leaf litter/gutter build-up. It’s also great for your peace of mind and lifestyle to have a clean home… clean home, clean life!
For more tips and tricks to deep cleaning and maintaining your rental home, check out our renter guide to spring cleaning.