Perhaps you're moving out of your home and want it in tip-top shape for potential buyers, or maybe you're moving out of your apartment and want to ensure you get your security deposit back.
Either way, there are a few chores that are easy to overlook. From scrubbing out old pasta sauce from the microwave to dusting out your cupboards, here are six things you might forget to clean before you move out.
Unless you’re baking, the inside of your oven is out of sight, making it easy to overlook. But it can get seriously messy in there. To clean all those spill-overs and splatters:
Remove all racks from the oven
Place paper towels or newspaper on the floor around the oven to protect from cleaning drips
Make an oven cleaner with ½ cup of baking soda & 3 tablespoons of water
Spread cleaner “paste” throughout the oven (avoid heating elements)
Let cleaner sit for 20 minutes
Wipe up paste with paper towels and a 3:1 mixture of water and distilled vinegar
After getting the heavy grime out of your oven, put your racks back in
Use the “self-cleaning” setting if your oven has one
After the oven is cooled, wipe out ash
After nuking a wide variety of leftovers, your microwave can look like a battleground. But, like your oven, you only really look inside it if you're cooking. Remember to give it a thorough scrub down. A simple mixture of dish soap and water will do the trick. Remember to unplug it before you get started!
After cleaning out pots and pans, plates and bowls, silverware, and food, you’ll want to dust your cabinets. If you have cupboard liners and they’ve seen better days, spring for a new roll. Whether it’s a new buyer or a landlord that will be scoping out the house after you, they’ll appreciate the tidiness.
Before rolling out the new liner, use a microfiber cloth to dust. Then, with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, wipe down the outside of your cupboards, along with the hardware. Do not let water pool around the hinges or in crevasses.
If you also have cabinets in the bathroom, you’ll want to tackle them with the same approach.
4. Air Vents & Fans
The air vents in your home can get caked with dust, dirt, and cobwebs. To clean these dust catchers:
Turn off your heating or air conditioning
Unscrew the air vent covers from the wall of floor
Use a duster brush to remove heavy dust (dust outside if possible)
If needed, use soapy water and a sponge to scrub off heavy residue
Screw the air vents back in (let them dry first if you used water)
Your fans also collect a lot of dust. After ensuring your fan has come to a complete stop, clean each blade using a fan duster or microfiber. If there is a globe on the ceiling fan, remove it and wash the glass in warm, soapy water. Dry it thoroughly before putting it back on.
5. The Bathroom Ceiling and Fan
With heat and humidity, your bathroom is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you see tiny patches of black mold spores, you can create a cleaning solution to eliminate them. Please note, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), any moldy area that's more than 10 square feet may require professional mold remediation. However, if that's not the case, clean any mold on your ceiling by:
Using protective gear such as eye protection, gloves, and a mask.
Vent the bathroom by opening a window (if possible)
Make a 1:3 bleach-to-water mixture
Spray solution on bathroom ceiling where mold and mildew are
Leave it stand for 5 minutes
Lightly scrub with cloth or paper towels
While you’re scrubbing down the bathroom ceiling, consider cleaning the exhaust fan as well. To do so:
Turn off the power to the fan
Remove the vent cover by gently pulling down on it (you may also have to unplug the power wire if the fan has a light)
Clean the vent cover with warm soapy water. Do not submerge the cover if it has a light.
While the vent cover dries, vacuum out the fan with a crevice or brush attachment. Be gentle, as you can damage fan blades.
Use a microfiber cloth to finish dusting
When clean, reassemble
6. Attic, Garage, and Basement
Most of us stash a lot of stuff in our attics. Go through and make sure you pull out seasonal decorations, old toys, and furniture. If you no longer need it, consider donating to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. Before you move, give your attic a quick sweep or vacuum. If it's dusty, make sure you have a mask.
Next, head out to your garage and do a once-over. Pack, pitch, or donate old tools, outdoor furniture, bikes, and other items you may have. Then shop-vac or sweep the floor to remove dust and dirt.
Finally, do a loop in your basement. If it's a finished basement, clean it as you would any other room. If it's mostly for storage and laundry, make sure you have all your belongings packed up and sweep the floors. If you're selling your home, putting a fresh coat of Drylok on the walls may be worthwhile.
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