How to Clean Your Apartment Like a Pro
Need to do some apartment cleaning?
Since apartments are smaller than most homes, it’s easy to think that cleaning them doesn’t require as much time or attention. But because multiple occupants have lived in the same space, it often takes a little more work to really get them clean. Whether you’re just moving in, about to move out or simply want to refresh your space after months of living there, using a cleaning checklist will help you get everything done. Discover your cleaning personality, and then learn how to deep clean your apartment.
Different cleaning personalities
Not everyone looks at cleaning the same way. For some, it’s therapeutic. For others, it’s a chore (literally and figuratively). Whether you notice every nook and cranny that needs attention or just see the big picture, knowing your cleaning personality can help you focus on the areas that will make the biggest impact. Take this quiz to find out which type you are:
Gather cleaning supplies
No matter how you clean, the first thing to do is gather supplies:
- Baking soda
- Disinfectant wipes
- Disinfecting cleaners
- Distilled white vinegar
- Dusting spray
- Glass cleaner
- Microfiber cloths/old wash rags (get a lot of these, you’ll use them on multiple surfaces)
- Mop/steam mop
- Old newspaper
- Paper towels
- Rubber gloves
- Step stool
- Toilet bowl brush
- Trash can/bags
- Vacuum/steam vacuum
Now it’s time to come up with a game plan. Take a look at these simple, effective ways to get a clean apartment. Follow the room-by-room checklist for a deep clean and then use a personality based list for weekly tasks that will keep the space up to your standards.
Room-by-room apartment cleaning checklist
Studies show that the kitchen is the dirtiest room in a living space (due to food bacteria), so it’s really important to spend extra time on this room. Follow these tips to thoroughly clean and disinfect each surfaces and appliances:
- Stove: Remove the burners/caps and soak them in warm, soapy water (or run them through the dishwasher). Spray the stovetop with a vinegar/water solution and scrub until clean (don’t forget the knobs and back panel).'
- Oven: Remove the racks and clean them in the sink. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature, use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub inside the oven, letting it sit for a couple hours on stubborn stains. Scrub burnt on food, and make sure to wipe well with clean water and a clean cloth.
- Microwave: Place a cup of water with a couple slices of lemon inside and cook it for a minute, then let the steam sit for 1-2 minutes. Use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
- Fridge: Follow these tips to clean your refrigerator.
- Sink/disposal: Make a paste of baking soda and water and use it on a damp cloth to scrub the sink. Pour more baking soda down the disposal, letting it sit for 10-15 minutes and then run it with hot water.
- Dishwasher: Fill a dishwasher-safe container with a cup of vinegar, place it on the top rack and then run a hot-water cycle to remove any grease and odors. Wipe out the inside with a damp cloth.
- Countertops: Check this post to learn which cleaners are best depending on the type of countertop.
- Cabinets/drawers: Clean the fronts with soapy, warm water and a soft sponge or cloth, and then use a clean cloth and disinfectant inside.
According to WebMD, germs like norovirus, salmonella and strep can be lurking in your bathroom. Make sure to sanitize these areas, and you might want to wear gloves while you do it.
- Toilet: Use a toilet bowl cleaner, applying it under the bowl rim and letting it drip down. While it soaks, clean the pedestal and seat with a disinfectant. Scrub the bowl with a bowl brush.
- Sink: Use an all-purpose cleaner and cloth to clean surfaces. You may need to break out an old toothbrush or cotton swap to clean around the faucet base or other small areas.
- Bathtub/shower: Start with an all-purpose cleaner and then tackle stains with a scrub of baking soda and water. A spray of vinegar and water can help with mildew and soap scum.
- Tile: Spray tiled surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and use hot water and a soft cloth to wipe it down. Add a grout cleaner for especially dirty areas.
The rest of the house is mostly dusting and light cleaning, but don’t forget the floors! A study from the University of Arizona found that bacteria from your shoes transfer to the floors, so give them a heavy scrub. Follow these tips to get them clean.
Weekly tasks for each personality type
Once you finish the deep clean, it’s important to do regular cleaning for upkeep. We’ve broken down tasks based on the cleaning personalities, so you can focus on areas that fit your needs.
This type of cleaner takes care of all tasks — big and small. While routine maintenance likely comes naturally to this personality, Pristine Powerhouses can reach an extra level of perfection by taking care of these cleaning assignments once a week:
- Clean out refrigerator
- Scrub all glass surfaces, countertops, sinks, toilets and tubs/showers
- Dust all light fixtures, cabinet tops and window sills
- Clean flooring — mop tile/vinyl, vacuum carpets and polish wood floors
- Disinfect doorknobs, fixtures and handles
For this style of cleaning, focus on bigger projects and keeping things neat and orderly. To take care of things like this personality type, remember to:
- Sort through piles of stuff — mail, laundry, toys, etc.
- Put away laundry and straighten the closets and drawers
- Give the house a good spot dusting
- Wipe out sinks, wipe off countertops and give toilets a quick brush
- “Reset” each room — make the bed, place the pillows on the couch, etc.
Clutter Cutters should also take the time once in a while to do the more detailed cleaning above, even though their normal maintenance level of clean is focused on the larger tasks.
Know when to take a break like a Mess Maintainer
This laid-back personality type takes an “if I have time for it, I might do it” approach, so things may not be as fresh as neat as they are for the other two types. But these are the important, quick tasks to tackle:
- Wipe off counters
- Sweep floors
- Gather trash from around the house
- Empty all trash cans
- Change the sheets on the bed
While these chores are important, when you have time and energy, make sure you clean like the other personality types. Germs don’t care that you don’t mind a little mess — so disinfecting regularly will keep you and your family healthy.
Get even more cleaning and organization tips
If you have any questions or comments about our apartment cleaning checklists, leave us a comment. We’d love to hear the areas that you focus on when doing housework.
Feeling inspired to do even more projects around the apartment? Check out our other helpful blogs for more ideas.