You are currently viewing The Easiest Move Out Cleaning Method for 2022

The Easiest Move Out Cleaning Method for 2022

A graphic of a person moving boxes with a dolly who will need a move out cleaning..

Moving is stressful but move out cleaning doesn’t need to be. This article can help you save your damage deposit. Even if you live in Calgary in the winter, this article will prepare you to have as smooth a move as possible.

We'll answer the following questions:

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Why is move out cleaning needed?

The main reason move out cleaning is needed is you may be contractually obligated to clean the space when you leave. 

This is an opportunity to pay it forward, which can feel good.

The consequences of not cleaning can hurt and might include:

  • Still needing to spend time dealing with the old landlord
  • Losing the damage deposit
  • Being invoiced for a professional cleaning
A graphic of an open box.

What’s included in a move out clean?

Check your lease agreement, or any agreement you signed when you moved in.  It may include cleaning instructions.  If not, email your landlord and ask for their move-out cleaning checklist

The Alberta government provides a ton of useful information for tenants like minimum housing and health standards.

If you’re selling, ask your realtor or read the agreement you signed.

What do I need for a move out clean?

A graphic of cleaning supplies. There's a garbage bag, a spray bottle, a soap bottle, and towels.

What supplies do I need?

Supplies you will need include:

  • Large garbage bags
  • Medium garbage bags
  • Cleaning towels (we prefer microfibre.)
  • Extra vacuum bag (as needed)
  • Empty spray bottles (as needed)
  • Masking tape and a sharpie to label the bottles

What cleaning chemicals do I need?

Move out cleaning is harder than regular cleaning.  The right chemicals will make it easier.

Here’s what you need:

General Cleaner

Option: Add to a spray bottle:

Solution of:

  • 1 tsp dish soap
  • 10 oz water

Glass cleaner

Option: Add to a spray bottle:

  • 1 part Pure White Vinigar
  • 10 parts of Water
  • A few drops of dish soap
A graphic of a spray bottle with a toilet representing a disinfecting cleaner.

Cleaning Disinfectant

There are many.  If you have questions, visit Apple Cleaning Supplies.  They’ve been supplying janitors and house cleaners in Calgary for decades.

A graphic of toilet bowl cleaner

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This is another place Apple Cleaning can help you out.

A graphic of a spray can

Oven Cleaner

A graphic of a floor cleaning pad and a spray bottle.

Neutral Floor Cleaner

This is another place Apple Cleaning can help you out.

What tools do I need?

Tools you will need are:

A graphic of a 5 gallon bucket.

2 – 5 Gallon Bucket

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3 Tote Bags

  1. For cleaning chemicals, brushes and tools
  2. To carry clean cleaning towels and brushes
  3. To carry dirty cleaning towels and brushes
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2 Brushes

  1. For cleaning the showers, sinks and surfaces
  2. For cleaning the toilet bowls
A graphic of a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment

A Vacuum

With a brush and crevice attachment

A graphic of a broom and dust pan.

Broom and Dust Pan

With a brush and crevice attachment

Step Ladder

With a brush and crevice attachment

How long will move out cleaning take?

Move out cleans are more work than regular cleans. A good ballpark is to give yourself about an hour per 500 square feet.

Is there a checklist for move out cleaning?

Yes, and here it is:

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This article explains one way to clean using very general terms.  Your situation will bring it’s own challenges.  You are in charge of your own safety, but I’ll point out a few things.

Cleaning chemicals can harm:

  • People, pets and plants
  • The things you’re cleaning



Mixing cleaning chemicals can be deadly.



Understand everything you’re using.  Read the Safety Data Sheets (SDS). They contain safety instructions. Use the products as directed.

Google: [Product Name] SDS

For example: Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Original Scent SDS

The result will often be a PDF download.



Wear personal protective when recommended by the SDS.

This might include:

  • Goggles to prevent splashing chemical in your eyes
  • Gloves to prevent skin contact
  • Long sleeves and pants to prevent skin contact with chemicals
  • Closed toe shoes to prevent slip and fall and in case of spills


First remove everything from the property except the cleaning supplies and tools.  It will make your job so much easier!


  • Garbage
  • Cupboards and Drawers
  • Fridge and Freezers
  • Oven

Remove any debris a vacuum won’t pick up.


Clean every room top to bottom, left to right always.

Start with the hardest jobs, or the ones that require dwell time (like cleaning the oven)

Wipe with general cleaner:

  • Doors and knobs
  • Light switches and outlets
  • Baseboards
  • Blinds, curtains and rods
  • Window Sills and Tracks
    • If very dirty:
      • Dry brush and vacuum first

Dust or wipe with general cleaner:

  • Light fixtures
  • Vents
  • Fans


Fridge / Freezer

  • Inside
    • Empty all contents
    • Carefully remove shelves and bins to the bathtub
    • Clean with dish soap and water and a brush
    • Brush out any large bits to the floor for vacuuming later
    • Spray the inside down with a solution of dish soap and water
    • Use a cleaning brush to get into corners take off any accumulation
    • Use a toothbrush to get into small corners
    • Replace the shelves and bins to the refrigerator
    • If the home’s power is turned off, leave the fridge door open
  • Outside and under
    • Carefully pull the appliance out from the wall and unplug it
    • Spray the top, doors, left and right sides with dish soap and water solution
    • Wipe until clean
    • Wipe down the grill or surface on the back with a damp towel
    • Don’t spray or touch the electrical even when unplugged

Stove / Oven

  • Inside
    • Run the self-cleaning cycle the night before
    • In the morning, spray the inside of the oven with oven cleaner and keep the door closed
    • After 30 minutes, wipe out the oven cleaner with paper towel
  • Outside
    • Lightly spray the outside with dish soap and water solution and wipe until clean with a towel
    • Use a white scrub pad for any tricky spots


  • Inside
    • Open the door, pull the bottom cage out and empty the filter in the lowest point of the dishwasher
    • If the inside needs cleaning, run the dishwasher empty with regular dish detergent
    • Wipe around the rim of the door
  • Outside
    • Spray down the door with dish soap and water solution and wipe until clean with a towel

Other Appliances

  • Clean the outside and inside of the microwave and any other appliances that are staying

Cupboards / Drawers and Counter Tops

  • Remove large debris with a brush to the floor
  • Using a clean damp towel:
  • Wipe the doors inside and out
  • Wipe each shelf and back wall
  • Wipe down the frames inside and out
  • Wipe any drawers down inside and out
  • Wipe down all counters


  • With dish soap and water, use a cleaning brush to scrub the sink and wipe it dry with a microfibre towel



  • Shower
  • Bathtub
  • Sinks
  • Mirrors
  • Toilets
  • Bathroom fan vent screen
  • Cupboards and drawers


Clean the floors last.

Vacuum all floors (as long as that’s not going to cause damage)

Vacuuming removes most of the soil from the floors.

Mop all smooth floor surfaces using a neutral floor cleaner.

There is an easier way

Press the GO button!

We can do this all for you.  It’s worth it.

Focus Window Cleaning offers House Cleaning and Janitorial services.

Move out cleaning packages start at $150 + GST.

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