A Moving Out Cleaning Checklist for Tenants

By on 9th October 2019 (updated: 10th March 2020) in Cleaning Tips

Although every property is likely to have slightly differing cleaning requirements when it comes to moving out, we’ve saved you some hard work by putting together a collection of cleaning tips, with a bonus cleaning checklist you can use as a tenant moving out of your rented accommodation.

Some of these you may already be accustomed to doing on a regular basis, but we wanted to cover all bases to ensure you’ve got the best chance of regaining your deposit if you’ve decided to do a great deal of the move out cleaning yourself. We’ve also noted where we think a professional would come in handy to help ensure everything looks as good as new before you depart.

Why not print or download our checklist as a reminder?

My cleaning checklist

The windows (inside and out)

Perhaps one of the larger jobs on our cleaning checklist, you’ll need to give your windows some TLC when you move out, especially if you haven’t employed the help of a regular window cleaner. When it comes to cleaning the inside of your windows, you’ll need to ensure that all dirt and dust is removed first, then use a glass cleaner generously on the windowpanes. If you prefer, you could instead make a homemade solution, using white vinegar, washing up liquid and surgical spirit or water. Use a microfibre cloth to ensure the glass is left sparkling and streak free. This solution also works wonderfully on mirrors.

You can do the same on the outside of the windows, however it might be easier (and safer) to book in a one-off clean by a professional.

Defrost your freezer

The best and easiest way to defrost a freezer is to simply turn it off, pad it with towels and newspaper and let the ice slowly melt. We highly recommend doing this in advance of moving, as it’s not something you’ll want to deal with on your last day in the property.

The inside and outside of the fridge

Not forgetting the fridge, you will want to remove all food and give your fridge a good wipe down to eliminate any grime or spillages that have occurred. If you can take the shelves and drawers out, do so, and wash those up separately, so when you put it all back together your fridge is squeaky clean. For any awkward dirt, you can use a solution of vinegar and water to break it down.

The oven and hob

An in-depth clean of the oven is something which is easily forgotten (which is precisely why it’s on our cleaning checklist) but may put you at risk of losing your deposit if not done to a good standard. It is possible to do this yourself, and we’ve got plenty of oven cleaning tips for you to peruse, but if there’s a substantial build-up of dirt, we would recommend getting the professionals in to ensure the oven is left in pristine condition.

This is the same for the hob, as your landlord is going to expect all their appliances to be sparkling clean. Here’s some help on how to keep your hob clean.

Inspect the inside of food cupboards

Another task which is often overlooked, you will of course be removing all your food store items before you leave, but have you double checked the condition of the insides of the cupboards? Common culprits for leaving grime and stains are condiments, along with sticky foodstuffs such as honey and jams. Again, a solution of vinegar and warm water should do the trick.

The tops of kitchen cabinets

The top of your kitchen cabinets can become incredibly grimy and tacky over time, and because it largely goes unseen, this can build up to becoming quite the cleaning task. Vinegar will help to break down the sticky residue, but for any stubborn areas, mix water with baking soda to make a paste which you can then leave to dry and scrub off later.

Kitchen cleaning


If you have carpets in your home, you’ll know that they tend to take the brunt of stains, marks, indents and general wear and tear from daily life; yet we’re confident your landlord will want them as clean as possible before you move out. Carpets can also harbour plenty of germs when left alone, so this is an important one on our cleaning checklist for hygiene purposes too.

Start with a thorough vacuum, getting into all the nooks and crannies and all the way along the skirting boards. We then recommend hiring a carpet cleaner which you can use yourself, or get the professionals in to conduct a wash, which will remove a great deal of stains and leave the carpets in the best condition possible.


As part of your rental agreement, you may have been supplied with bed linen, or there may be other items in your home such as net curtains which were supplied by your landlord. All these items will need to be washed and left in good condition. If you have quite a large amount of linen or perhaps even curtains which need to be washed, you might be better off to head to your local laundrette to use a much larger washing machine to do more at once.

The bathroom(s)

Depending on the condition of your bathroom(s), this job will vary in difficulty. Aside from a thorough cleaning of the toilet, sink, floor, bath and shower, you’ll also need to think about the mould and grime which may have built up over time. Although we’re confident your landlord will expect daily use to have impacted the general condition, if you’ve allowed a build up of mould to occur, you’re also going to want to investigate re-grouting the tiles to remove this. Here are some great tips on conducting a deep clean in your bathroom.

We also recommend checking the bathroom plug holes and removing any hair or dirt. You could also use an effective unblocking solution if required, or as an extra courtesy.

Check the internal walls

Another task which is probably best done a little ahead of moving day; take some time to check over all the internal walls, looking out for marks, stains and any holes which may have appeared. See if you can wipe away some of the stains using a damp cloth, but for the marks which can’t be washed away, buy a pot of matching paint to touch up these areas. Holes will need to be filled and touched up too.


Moving out means it’s time for some serious dusting. From shelves and the tops of doorframes, to picture frames and windowsills, you may want to save this job for when you’ve boxed up your things, so you don’t have to tackle moving as much. If you want to use a natural homemade dusting spray as opposed to a shop-bought alternative, simply add water, vinegar, olive oil and lemon essential oil into a spray bottle for a citrus-infused solution which is highly effective too.

The garden

Do you have some outside space? You may want to give it a spruce up according to what’s reasonable for the season, especially if the current state of the garden is somewhat different to how you found it. If it’s become a bit unruly, you may find this article on clearing a messy garden useful, but if it just needs a little TLC, it’s time to don your gardening gloves, get outside and clear away any leaves, brush down decking and mow the lawn.

If you’re soon to be moving out of your rented accommodation, we hope you’ve found our household cleaning checklist useful. Remember, if you need any further cleaning tips when it comes to your oven, hob and microwave, navigate through our comprehensive news section.

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.