Most students change accommodations every year, due to placements or decision to move out of halls, or perhaps you just want different housemates to live with next year. There is no doubt however that every year, students who are bothered about their deposit have to go the extra mile in order to secure their full refund.
Common reasons for deposit reduction by landlords or estate agents are linked to uncleaned properties or damages that occurred during the tenancy period. We have put together a short guide on “how to clean up student accommodations and halls of residence“. Before cleaning, the very first thing to do is to observe what needs cleaning and how much effort you will need to set aside, this means you need to make a quick mental plan of where to start and where to finish. This approach will help to reduce chances of overlooking certain areas. [The pictures below were taken by our team from various cleaning projects]
After making your list of where to clean, it is ideal to start from the top level so that dirt that falls down are cleaned up together… Knowing where to start you need to be thorough with dirt. This is actually what matters the most. If you are not thorough you will get complacent and miss stains/dirts that should have been removed easily. Here are a few things to look out for while cleaning away.
Top cabinets: Grease is present in every home. One strange hideout for grease is the very top of the cabinets. It is so easy to forget the top of cabinets because it is above your eyesight, however landlords mostly look here during post tenancy checks/inventory. To effectively remove this grease, you will need a plastic scraper for most DIY sections a “lemon cream cleaner” and a sponge. As the top of cabinets fall into the top level cleaning areas, you will need a safe and appropriate step ladder to help you reach comfortably. Climbing on work tops is not recommended.
Onto eye level cleaning areas, You can see from the pictures below that a greasy kitchen is definitely a recipe for deposit deduction. Read the captions for tips on how to clean
Lower cabinets: When cleaning lower level areas, try and avoid bending down as your back may start to hurt after a long cleaning session, and you might not see what you are cleaning properly. Remember look at all corners and surfaces, any dirt, should be removed.
It is easy to miss out the oven bits, but you can clean the oven properly (and feel good about it) when you have the right tools. Oven knobs are easily missed out, but you can use a microfiber cloth as shown on our previous blog – The hygienic care for your oven [knobs]. When cleaning the oven, don’t rely on the scourer and the oven cleaner alone, you need to apply the oven cleaner for about four hours, with a dish washing brush. This will help you spread the solution across the entire burn surfaces.
More tips for cleaning the toilet and bathroom. You will be more effective if you are prepared to get on your knees, so that you can see what you are cleaning. As shown below, splashes are a common dirt trap in the bathroom. Splashes are generated from the wash hand basin, bath and improper use of the toilet bowl when urinating. Splashes can generally be found on lower parts of doors, radiators, sink stand, bath side panels, skirting boards…. Your observation will point more out to you.
This toilet bowl shows dirt stuck to the side and corners. This state will indicate a toilet that is not regularly cleaned or not cleaned to a suitable standard. Also watch out for carpets inside toilets. We know they are a bad idea, but you can easily clean them by hiring the Green Heart Clean, a professional carpet cleaning service.
Always check the top of the wall fittings as a lot goes up there especially if they have not been cleaned previously. You will need a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush to loosen dirt in tight areas.
Again an old toothbrush is so useful in removing stains and dirt from inconspicuous areas such as above. In addition, you will need to use a scale remover to remove any built up scales.
Floors and carpet
When is comes to floors, you should aim to clean it last, provided it is safe to do so. You should focus on the kick board (the panel below the cabinets) and edges between the cabinet and the floor. You should endeavour to pulls out any appliances (if possible), vacuum and mop these areas. Carpets are another area you may lose out on your deposit. We must admit cleaning carpets may be daunting, but when you team up with your housemates and you learn a few “know-hows” about carpet cleaning, you will not soon realise that cleaning is easy when you know what to clean.
Vacuum and mop the obvious areas too, but some areas in the kitchen (especially around the cooker) might have more grease than others, they will require elbow greasing.
We hope you are “thoroughly enlightened” and geared up to hand over your accommodation in a sparkling condition to your landlord!