The 6 DIY Cleaning Mistakes We All Make When We Move

Your move took longer than you thought and it’s midnight on Sunday. You need to be out by Monday morning at 8:00 a.m., and you neglected to find a cleaning service, so you have to get your apartment in order quickly so that you can get your much-needed security deposit back.

Whether you live in a city like Denver where rent prices are on the rise; or if you’re moving to a super popular city like Austin, Texas, you’ll definitely want to do everything you can to ensure that you get your security deposit back to save up for new things for your place or the costly moving expenses.

But before you go to 7-Eleven and spend big bucks for a variety of cleaning supplies, pay attention to the following common errors we all make when trying to clean up in a hurry.

Wrong Chemicals

Bleach might work for your toilet or even your bath tub, but if you get some on the hardwood floors, good luck. For that matter, even some mop and glow-type products are made for very specific uses and won’t work on every surface. Also, you don’t want to remove the paint along with the stain, so take some time to actually read cleaning product labels. And remember, mixing ammonia and bleach products can create chlorine gas–that’s fatal–so be careful when you’re concocting a cleaning brew.

Missing Important Areas

Just because you’re not tall enough to see the top of the fridge doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to clean it. While the front may by nice and squeaky clean, the top can look like a greasy dusty desert, so get up on the stepstool and take care of it.

Wall Holes

It was fun hanging pictures, but now you have to pay for it by filling nail holes. If your walls are white, adding some lightweight spackling compound may be all you have to do. If you painted it black, however, those holes may look like a starry night, and you may have to repaint.


Don’t forget the inside. It’s probably hard to forget anyway since the smoke that came out when you pre-heated the oven with that old pizza box still there was pretty memorable, but make sure that after you have run the oven through its self-cleaning cycle that you brush out the leftover dust and then wipe the inside clean with a moist cloth.

Cabinet Doors

If your pants stick to the cabinet doors as you walk by, the cabinet fronts are probably not clean enough. Even if they look nice and are still evenly colored, layers of dust and grease can build up. Use a good wood oil soap to remove all of that gunk.


It’s a dishwasher. It washes things. But who washers the washer? You do, and if you run a cleaning cycle with a lime remover chemical, you’ll be amazed at the results. You probably thought you had one of the few dishwashers with a yellow interior, now you know the truth that it was once–and now is again–white.

Landlords are like insurance companies–they don’t want to pay out money, and they can be experts at deducting items from your security deposit balance. Take some time to clean properly so that this doesn’t happen to you. Any money saved can be extremely beneficial for your future home buying aspirations, especially for the Millennial generation.


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