What Should I clean when moving into a property?

Moving into a new property is an extremely exciting time, whether you are moving to a new uni house with…

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Moving into a new property is an extremely exciting time, whether you are moving to a new uni house with friends, or moving in to your first flat with your partner. There is no doubt that it is both a stressful and exciting process!

When you get to your new property, you want it to feel like your home. One of the quickest ways to help do this is by giving the property a thorough clean. You may be thinking “What should I clean when moving into a property?” which is why we have put together a cleaning checklist and some top tips to help you get started.

It is important to note that it is best to clean the property before you move any of your belongings in. This allows you to give the property a real deep clean, making sure that no nooks or crannies are left untouched. Whether you are moving into a new build, or an older house, cleaning before you move in is essential.

What You Need

Supplies

  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponges
  • Scrubbers
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning rags or microfiber cloths
  • Vacuum
  • Duster
  • Dust mop
  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning products
  • Step ladder
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Bathrooms – What should I clean when moving into a property?

We recommend starting the clean in the bathroom, as the chances are that you will be needing to use one during the course of the cleaning process. 

  1. Start at the Top

Start at the top and dust the ceiling, corners, vents, fans, and light fixtures.

  1. Window Areas

Clean the windowsills and window coverings. If there are curtains, give them a wash or replace them if they are especially dirty.

  1. Cabinets and Closets

Wash the inside and outside of the medicine cabinets, linen cabinets, and closets attached to the bathroom. If there are any mirrored surfaces use a glass cleaner to wipe off any water marks or streaks.

  1. Bathing Fixtures

Scrub the shower, tub, and enclosures. Clean the taps and handles, using a scrubber to remove any limescale or rust.

  1. Toilet

Scrub the toilet, including the outside, back, and handles. Pour bleach into the bowl and under the rim of the toilet.

  1. Sink

Wash down the sink, fixtures, and mirrors. Take out the plughole and remove any hairs. 

The Kitchen – What should I clean when moving into a property?

Once the bathrooms are in order, move on to the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be where a lot of the dust and grime can collect. Before you move in your appliances or belongings, make sure that you give all the nooks and crannies a good clean to remove any old smells or grease that has collected there.

  1. Clean from the Top

Start at the top and dust the ceiling, corners, vents, fans, and light fixtures. Oil often accumulates here, leaving the tops of cupboards feeling sticky. Before putting any of your possessions here, give the tops a good wipe down with soapy water or a common kitchen cleaning spray.

  1. Clean the Walls

Check for fingerprints around light switches and corners. Another great solution for sticky spots is to apply a small amount of fabric softener to a sponge then rub it on the area. Whatever has stuck to the wall will disappear.

  1. Clean the Cabinets

Use a mild cleaner to clean the inside of cabinets, especially if they’re painted or lined. If they aren’t lined, consider using a liner to ensure that the insides are ready for your dishes.

Clean the top of cabinets, and cabinet doors. If the surface is wood, use a wood cleaner or a mild soap. For grease stains, use baking soda and water. Make a paste and apply it, letting it sit for a few minutes. Disinfect the handles and inside drawers.

  1. Clean the Counters

Counters usually require less work, make sure you clean between cracks using a putty knife to remove any debris. Clean back-splashes with a mild cleaner or baking soda and water. Make sure that you remove everything off of the worktops prior to wiping it down.

  1. Clean the Major Appliances

Clean the oven, hob, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher. Take a look at our oven cleaning guide to see how best to clean the oven and the hob. Clean the inside of the fridge with a standard kitchen cleaning spray. Remove all of the shelves and clean them in soapy hot water. Don’t forget to give the fridge seal a clean too, as small crumbs and juice can often get stuck in here. 

Remove the spin plate from the microwave and clean this in soapy hot water. Give the inside of the microwave with a sponge and kitchen cleaner. Disinfect the handles and any buttons. For the dishwasher, wipe the outside and then run the dishwasher with nothing but a dishwasher tablet in. This will flush out any dirt or germs that may have been left behind. 

  1. Scrub the Sink

Use a chlorine-free bleach to clean the sink by putting some in a spray bottle and adding water to it. Spray the sink well and let it soak for a while. Then rinse thoroughly. Also, bleach the plugs by placing them in a small amount of bleach-water and letting them sit for a few minutes. Rinse this well. 

If the sink still has a rather pongy odour, you can remove this by mixing baking soda, lemon and water , then pouring this down the drain.

  1. Sweep and Mop the Floor
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How to Clean the Stove

You may need to use a heavy-duty cleaner for the oven, and may need an appliance cleaner, such as a wax or paste. Baking soda and water work well, too, along with sponges or a heavy-duty cloth.

  1. Remove the Elements, Drip Pans, and Racks

If your stove has removable elements and drip pans, remove them and set the elements aside. Soak the drip pans and racks in a sink full of hot, soapy water while you clean the rest of the stove.

  1. Clean the Oven

Take a look inside the oven, and if need be, apply an oven-cleaner. Most take approximately 20 minutes to work. If it is a self-cleaning oven, you can set it to run the cycle.

  1. Clean Under the Hood

Make sure you clean under the hood and use a grease remover if you find the regular cleaner isn’t getting off the tough stuff. Lay down a sheet of brown paper to collect any drips that might fall.

  1. Clean the Top and Front of the Stove

Clean the top, front panel, and temperature dials.

  1. Clean Under the Stove

Once you’ve cleaned the top and front of the stove, remove it from the wall and clean beneath it. If possible, clean the sides.

  1. Clean and the Drip Pans and Racks

The drip pans and racks have been soaking, so now you can scrub them clean. If you’re using a brush, make sure you use a brush that won’t scratch the surface. Replace the drip pans and elements.

  1. Replace Drip Pans, Racks, and Elements

How to Clean the Refrigerator

Now, tackle the refrigerator. It’s always a good idea to clean it well. Unplug the fridge and let it warm up before cleaning it. It will make it easier to clean. Use a soft cloth as anything harsher will scratch the surface.

  1. Remove and Wash Drawers and Bins

Take the drawers, bins, and shelves out of the refrigerator and freezer and wash them with hot, soapy water in the sink or bathtub. Set them aside to dry.

  1. Wash Walls and Shelves

Wash the inside walls and any non-removable shelves.

  1. Clean the Freezer

Check the freezer. If the fridge has been unplugged, wipe down the inside or clean it thoroughly if it needs it.

  1. Pull the Refrigerator out and Clean All Sides

Move the fridge out from the wall and clean behind it, then on top and its sides, too. Dust and dirt also gather on handles and along the plastic seal that encases the doors.

  1. Dry and Replace Shelves and Bins

The rest of the home – What should I Clean when moving into a property?

  1. Clean the Carpets

If you’re moving into a home with carpet, consider hiring a professional cleaner to steam clean them before moving in. If that isn’t possible, or the previous occupants claimed they had the carpets cleaned, then your new home probably needs a thorough vacuum. If the previous owners had any pets, you might want to protect against possible fleas, especially if you have pets of your own.

  1. Clean Wood Floors

For wood floors or faux wood, sweep the floor well, making sure to clean under heating vents and appliances. Use a mild soap to clean its surface; wood soaps work well to remove dirt and give it a polished shine.

  1. Sweep and Mop Other Floor Types

For tile, linoleum, stone, and concrete floors, sweep or vacuum to pick up debris. Then mop using the appropriate cleaning solution for the type of floor.

  1. The flooring may need to have a finish added to protect it, as is appropriate for the type of flooring.
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Professional Cleaning

If you would prefer not to have to even think “What should I clean when moving into a property”, you can hire a professional cleaning company to help with the job. This is often known as pre-tenancy cleaning, or for newly built houses you can get sparkle cleaning, which is tailored specifically to new builds.

What does a pre-tenancy clean include?

As a pre-tenancy clean is the most thorough clean possible for a property, so it really does include everything. From cleaning inside drawers and cupboards, to doorframes, refrigerators, furniture, and skirting boards. When hiring a pre-tenancy cleaner, nothing is ignored or forgotten about. These cleaners are highly trained professionals who are educated on what is looked for by landlords. So, if you are ending your tenancy and want your full deposit back, it is highly recommended you opt for an end of tenancy clean.

Here is a list of what should be included in most pre-tenancy cleans:

  • Door frames, handles and doors
  • Light switches, sockets, and shades
  • Skirting boards
  • Dust and cobweb removal
  • Underneath remaining furniture such as beds and sofas
  • Windowsills, internal windows, and window frames
  • Polishing all wooden furniture such as bookshelves, tables, wardrobes etc.
  • Vacuuming the whole property
  • Cleaning and disinfecting kitchen cupboards
  • All kitchen appliances thoroughly cleaned including hob, oven, refrigerator, freezer, and microwave
  • All taps, tiles, toilets, and basins descaled and polished

What is not included in a pre-tenancy clean?

The answer to this question is completely subjective and will change depending on which cleaning company you decide to hire, so it is important to ask them yourselves. However, there are some common areas that are not included in a pre-tenancy clean.

Carpets are most commonly not included; this is because the cleaning process is very time consuming and requires carpet cleaning equipment that not all pre-tenancy cleaners own. If you require carpet cleaning, you can either hire the equipment yourself or pay a professional carpet cleaner to do it for you. Similarly, garages and patios are not often included because of the cleaning equipment required.

Some tenancy agreements require the outside windows to be thoroughly cleaned but these usually are not included in pre-tenancy cleans due to time management and skill. To make sure the job gets done correctly, it is important that you hire a professional window cleaner.

Finally, anything that is easily damaged or fragile, such as lightbulbs, are not usually included. This is because they are usually not too dirty anyway and they are too delicate which creates a risk for the cleaner as they could potentially break.

How much will it cost?

The cost of hiring a pre-tenancy cleaner depends on the company itself and the location you live in. Some cleans cost as little as £95 for a one-bedroom flat but others start at £240. For a larger home, such as a six bedroom property, you would be looking at spending between £230 and £415. However, dividing that between six people is a small price to pay to possibly receive a full deposit back.

It is recommended that you research several local professional cleaning companies and ask them for a quote. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms and individual furniture, cupboards and light fittings will affect the cost of the pre-tenancy clean. The state of the property will also be a major factor, if it has been correctly maintained and cleaned throughout the previous tenancy, the clean will take less time and effort, therefore costing less.

If the property is left full of rubbish, dust, dirt, and mould then the pre-tenancy clean will take a lot longer to perform so there may be some additional cost considerations. Some tenants may leave a property in disarray with no concern about how disrespectful this is to the landlord or whether they lose their deposit or not, potentially affecting the rental value of the property. Hiring an end of tenancy cleaner will help to restore not only cleanliness and hygiene to the property but will help to reinstate the rental value of your property. 

Cost may be influenced by other factors such as the cleaning company’s reputation and the cleaning products used. If a company is used to working on more expensive, high-profile properties then they may charge a higher rate.  If you are a landlord that requires your properties to be cleaned with eco-friendly products or a particular brand of product then you could expect the cost the the pre-tenancy clean to be increased. 

As a landlord gaining a good local reputation can take years. Providing clean and hygienic properties that your tenants look forward to moving into can really help promote your properties in an ever increasing competitive market 

How long does a pre-tenancy clean take?

Once again, this question is entirely relative. The size and condition of the property will have a huge impact on the time it takes to perform a pre-tenancy clean. Unless you live in a mansion, it is recommended that you dedicate one whole day for the clean to take place. If you live in a small property, such as a one or two-bedroom flat, it may just take a couple of hours. Alternatively, a house with five bedrooms or more will mostly take all day to clean. It is a necessary use of time so find something to do with your day but stay local so that the cleaners can return the keys at some point.

What is Sparkle Cleaning?

Sparkle cleaning, sometimes referred to as a handover clean is the deep final clean of a new build or renovated property prior to the handover to the new homeowner. Once the build is complete, and the builders clean has already been undertaken a team of sparkle cleaners will be brought in to really make the property sparkle. 

This clean is probably the best clean your house will ever receive. Unencumbered by furniture and other personal items the teams of professional cleaners will ensure that every surface that can be shiny is shined, and everything that can be sparkly is sparkled! At the end of a sparkle clean the property should be immaculate and up to showroom standards.

The majority of professional companies are well experienced professionals with a history of working with the major housebuilding companies as well as local independent house building companies. Every room in the property should be literally gleaming. These cleaners have the experience, and the knowledge of the right tools and materials to add that additional sparkle.

This includes adding the finishing touches, and that wow factor to all steel work and taps, tiling and wooden floors to mention just a few. A sparkle clean should really show a house off to its maximum potential.

What Does Sparkle Cleaning Involve?

Obviously, different cleaning companies offer slightly different services but some of the most common points are detailed below:

House Exterior

  • Clean, wipe down, polish and buff window ledges
  • Clean windows, remove all smudges and fingerprints and safety stickers
  • Ensure borders and pathways are clean
  • Clean front door and surrounds
  • Remove all protective coverings from door furniture if present and polish to a high sheen. All ready for the new homeowner to insert their keys and start their new life
  • Check any exterior bin or storage cupboards and clean

Entrance Hall

  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be sparkling, without a fleck of paint, or the slightest smudge or fingerprint
  • Dust and wipe down all skirting, architrave, doors, frames, and sills
  • Thorough vacuum of all the carpeted areas (if present), final brush to ensure carpet flows in the same direction
  • Vacuum and mop any hardwood, tiles, vinyl, or any other kind of hard floor areas
  • Check all corners and walls for cobwebs or dusts and wipe down

Living Room

  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be highly polished and spotless
  • Dust and wipe down all skirting, architrave, doors, frames, and sills
  • Clean and polish fireplace and mantlepiece
  • Thorough vacuum of all the carpeted areas (if present), final brush to ensure carpet flows in the same direction
  • Vacuum and mop any hardwood, tiles, vinyl, or any other kind of hard floor areas
  • Check all corners and walls for cobwebs or dusts and wipe down
  • Clean and polish all metalware on doors and windows

Kitchen

  • All kitchen units, worktops, sinks, taps thoroughly cleaned, ensuring all stainless steel areas and appliances are sparkled
  • Check all labels are removed from kitchen units and appliances and remove any sticky residue
  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be sparkling, without a single blemish
  • Vacuum and mop any hardwood, tiles, vinyl, or any other kind of hard floor areas
  • Clean and polish all tiled areas
  • Clean tops of doors and any architrave
  • Remove any excess grout from tiles and walls
  • Check the tops of all cupboards and clean
  • Check all corners and walls for cobwebs or dusts and wipe down
  • Clean and polish all metalware on doors and windows

Stairs and Landing

  • Clean banisters and balustrades 
  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be highly polished and spotless
  • Dust and wipe down all skirting, architrave, frames, and sills
  • Check all corners and walls for cobwebs or dusts and wipe down
  • Thorough vacuum of all the carpeted areas (if present)
  • Clean and polish all metalware on doors and windows 
  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be sparkling, without a fleck of paint, or the slightest smudge or fingerprint

Bedrooms

  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be highly polished and spotless
  • Dust and wipe down all skirting, architrave, frames, and sills
  • Check all corners and walls for cobwebs or dusts and wipe down
  • Thorough vacuum of all the carpeted areas (if present)
  • Clean and polish all metalware on doors and windows Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be sparkling
  • Ensure all cupboards and wardrobes in all areas are dusted and wiped, all handles polished to perfection
  • Clean and polish any railings on balconies

Bathrooms

  • Ensure all bathroom areas are clean and sanitary ware is sparkled included tiled walls
  • Clean and polish all plumbing metalware, taps polished to a high standard
  • Flush clean and bleach all toilets
  • Remove any excess grout from tiles and walls
  • Clean all internal windows and frames – windows and frames will be highly polished and spotless
  • Dust and wipe down all skirting, architrave, doors, frames, and sills
  • Clean and polish all metalware on doors and windows 
  • Vacuum and mop any hardwood, tiles, vinyl, or any other kind of hard floor areas, polished to a high sheen

Sparkle cleaning is a good alternative to a deep clean when moving into a newly built property. Prices for this service vary and you should speak with the cleaning company directly to get your own bespoke quote. 

Overview

We hope that this has helped to answer your question of “what should I clean when moving into a property?”. Remember, you don’t have to do all of the cleaning on your own, there are professional cleaners available to help you get your new property ready to become your home. 

It is important that the clean takes place before you move in your belongings to the property as it will allow you to perform a deeper clean.

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