Keeping Your Apartment Clean as a Whistle

in Health & Safety on by

Apartments have a way of transitioning from freshly cleaned spaces to chaotic pits of dirty laundry and dishes, seemingly overnight. We can blame this on any number of factors: the small size of many apartments, the hectic nature of life, or simply the law of entropy. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that many of our apartments are disaster zones. Keeping a clean apartment isn’t impossible, but it does require a plan of action.

Here are some apartment cleaning tips to help keep your place presentable enough for unexpected guests, last-minute parental visits, or a night in with someone special.

Start with a deep clean. If you aren’t in the habit of cleaning regularly, your apartment has probably accumulated dirt and grime in places you never think about. Unless you take care of that deeply embedded dirt first, subsequent cleanings won’t be as effective. What kinds of dirty places are we talking about? Think ceiling fans, window shades, air vents, and if you have them, those cracks between the stove and countertops. Remove everything from your shelves and cabinets and clean them. Wash and/or dust the items before you replace them. Refrigerator shelves and bins also need to be periodically washed to remove stains, spills, and that weird smell that develops in dirty refrigerators. Does your cleaning expertise only extend as far as washing the dishes and picking up your clothes off the floor? If so, you may have realized that you don’t really know how to clean an apartment. Luckily, lots of other people do.

Hire a cleaning service. If you have some spare cash, you can hire an apartment cleaning service to do the deep clean for you. Chances are, they’ll do a more effective job in a shorter time. Alternately, you can ask friends and neighbors if they use someone special to clean their apartments. Apartment cleaning services may be more willing than housekeepers to come in only once or on an as needed basis. If you decide to use a service, don’t leave the house when they come to clean. Instead, stick around and see if you can learn something. Pay attention to the products they use. After all, these are the people who know best. If you have more domestically inclined friends or family members, you can entice them into helping you (for this one time only!) with promises of dinner or drinks or tickets. Your mother might be more willing to help you start your life of cleanliness if you present her with theatre tickets for later in the week.

Schedule your cleaning time. Whether you live alone, with a partner, or with roommates, setting aside time to clean will help keep the mess from piling up. If you’re splitting the workload with others, you can give each person his or her own workday, specific tasks, or particular rooms to keep clean. Whatever system you choose, make sure the apartment is cleaned once a week. It doesn’t take long for clothes to pile up on the floor, garbage to overflow, or dishes to fill the sink. If you tackle the mess at least once a week, it can only get so far out of control.

Keep on top of bathrooms and carpets. You can leave dirty laundry on the floor for months and nothing bad will ever come of it (unless your laundry is dirty in ways we can’t imagine). But if you never clean your bathroom, you’re in for bigger problems. Shower mold, mildew, toilet stains, and loose bathroom tiles only grow worse if you neglect them. If you’ve ever moved into an apartment that wasn’t fully renovated, you’re probably familiar with the blackened grime that grows in the bathtub and the frosted white film on the shower doors. The longer you go without cleaning these surfaces, the harder the dirt, muck, and bacteria are to remove. Happily, all microscopic things growing in the bathroom can be removed by regularly applying a simple shower spray and toilet bowl cleaner. When tiles feel loose in the bathroom, don’t wait until they crack and dislodge to do something. Make a quick trip to the hardware store or inform your landlord or super of the damage.

The same care should be applied to carpets and upholstered furniture. Don’t let a stain linger on the carpet or couch. Treat the stained area immediately before it sets and becomes a permanent problem. Even if you use a cleaning service, have some basic carpet cleaner on hand or familiarize yourself with household items that work well with stains. That dark patch under the coffee table might not seem like a big deal now, but it will become a problem when you’re trying to get your security deposit back.

Do a little at a time. If you know you’ll have trouble sticking to your new cleanliness resolutions, resolve to clean a little at a time each night. Even if all you do is wash a dish and a plate, you’ve made a small impact. Doing a little bit of housework each day will help you develop a habit and make cleaning something you won’t even need to think about anymore.

26 Responses to “Keeping Your Apartment Clean as a Whistle”

  1. October 17, 2007 at 10:06 am, Guest said:

    These are things that should be taught at home and at a early age.If one has been expected to clean in this fashion all of his/her life when moving out as an adult this would make for a better roommate.


  2. October 20, 2007 at 3:55 pm, Guest said:

    I have a neighbor that lives downstairs from me and her apartment smells awful she has 2 small children the way her apartment smells it is unhealthy for her kids.You can smell the apartment from the entrance way.what can i do to stop that smell from getting upstairs?


  3. October 21, 2007 at 3:03 pm, Guest said:

    Im on the atkins diet and have alot of trouble keeing the grease from accumulating…I cook greasy things all the time. Any tips for that?


  4. October 23, 2007 at 6:39 am, Guest said:

    No doubt they should be taught, but a lot of things should happen that don’t. Like more important things. Often, too, boys have not been expected to do as much housework as girls (I am female).
    My point is that you can’t control the past, only the present.


  5. November 04, 2007 at 6:03 am, Guest said:

    I do! Every time you fry or cook around the stove range, take the sponge you use for dishes with you. Keep it partially wet and each time a drop of water, sauce, or grease flies from a pot, wipe it up with the sponge. Once you are done cooking, serve the food on a plate, put it in the microwave quickly and remove every single pot from the stove top. Put them in the sink and drop a drop of dish detergent in each. Then run the water over each pot until the grease line . Then, eat. Then, go clean up the dishes.

    Voila, a clean kitchen.

    Good luck


  6. November 04, 2007 at 6:04 am, Guest said:

    Clean as if your life depended on it. And don’t wait for someone else to help you.


  7. November 04, 2007 at 6:07 am, Guest said:

    Call CPS if it smells like poop urine or otherwise chemically unpleasant. Call pest control. Call the Management every day until they come out and see the problem.

    However, try to determine if the smell is coming from the lady’s cooking? Different cultures use different spices and deep fry more often than Americans do.


  8. November 04, 2007 at 6:08 am, Guest said:

    Well said.


  9. November 19, 2007 at 11:47 am, Guest said:

    A fresh mess is easier to clean. The longer you let it sit, the harder it will be to clean.


  10. January 08, 2008 at 11:23 pm, Guest said:

    some people don’t have time to clean regularly. Usually, stupid people with less aggressive careers, majors, lives, etc. are the ones who are obsessive about it. the more aggressive individuals will eventually be able to hire a maid when they are set in their careers. the stupid, less aggressive roomates will grow up to wack themselves with their bleach scented hands while the rest of us enjoy our wonderful, go-getter, rewarding lives.


  11. January 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm, Guest said:

    I wish there was some way for me give you 5+ stars for this comment-I couldn’t agree more!!!

    Your agressive, go getter, double jobbed, double degreed neighbor with the messy bedroom,



  12. January 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm, Guest said:


    Everything you need to know you learned in kindergarden.

    This means if you drop it pick it up
    This means if you empty it fill it up
    This means if you mess it up clean it up
    This means do all this today right away.

    Then follow the same instructions the next day

    And you will have no problems being clean or getting things done.


  13. February 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm, Guest said:

    I have a landlord that likes to play favorites and had many problems with her and the management and it all started with a letter I wrote to the owners complaining about the manager and almost got kicked out and had to drag echo housing and bay-area legal aid cant afford lawyer but they let me stay after complying


  14. February 18, 2008 at 11:23 pm, Guest said:

    Cleaning has never been a problem for me; as i simply don’t want to live in a dirty place and i was raised to know how to pick up after myself and put things away and my husband and i never leave a dish in our sink; and things of that nature; we just look at it as who wants to walk into a dirty kitchen or bathroom and do your laundry a load a day and it will stay done; takes less then a hour and most watch tv or on the computer a hour; so do it then; not a big deal, but is suppose when you and your husband are neat it is easy to keep things done. I feel for the ones that married a complete slob; that would be more difficult. Just spend a hour a day doing chores and you won’t be overwelmed later.


  15. February 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm, Guest said:

    Just because some one likes a clean enviroment doesn’t mean they are STUPID. It would seem obvious to me that if you have time to log on here and make comments that you obviously have time to clean up behind yourself. After all we are all grown. At least i’m assuming. Save your filth for the huge home that your aggressive and rewarding career will provide you with. For now your aggressiveness has not reaped it’s rewards. For now you don’t have a maid. So for now clean up after yourself. I would think you learned that much at home. oh yeah people with great careers still find time to clean up after themselves.


  16. February 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm, Guest said:

    well im clean but i keep having a very rude neighbor over me.. complain on me about odors coming from my apartment she has sent management over she says my cooking smells like ive been living in apartments for the longest time about 10 years and never had a complaint i can cook eggs make toast..even a damn bowl of cereal and she complains i have company come over and they dont smell a thing ..even the apartment manager hasn’t said anything,and has said dont worry about it..i hope this nut case moves ..she even complains about me cooking at 5:30 in the morning..i mean like duh! i have kids! i feel like im being harassed


  17. July 20, 2008 at 11:10 am, Guest said:

    I’m in the military and i go to school and have a part-time job. I doubt you can get much more aggressive than that…i still have time to keep my apartment clean. stop being lazy.


  18. November 22, 2008 at 10:32 am, Guest said:

    Wow. . .I guess irony is easily lost on you.


  19. February 17, 2009 at 8:51 am, Feed Up said:

    I live with 2 adults and one baby which makes 3. We have the most problems keeping things clean. I try to do as I go, but they wait until everything gets out of hand. I leave in situation disorder and they are live in chronic dis order. They say I am annoying because I like things cleans. what am I to do?


  20. February 17, 2009 at 8:52 am, Feed Up said:

    type-0 I meant to say…live….


  21. March 05, 2009 at 10:16 am, Feed Up said:

    what if you clean up, and your piggy family wrecks everything? What is the point? But on the other hand, I hate mess, so the battle continues.


  22. March 05, 2009 at 10:18 am, Feed Up said:

    How can you teach old dogs new tricks?


  23. October 10, 2009 at 12:44 pm, Anonymous said:

    is there anything mechanical equipment to clean carpet wall?


  24. January 30, 2011 at 2:32 am, Emerald Pointe said:

    Clean apartments really are a great sight to see and also relieves me from stress after coming home from a long, hard day at work. Not only that, but a clean & well-sanitized apartment improves health for the ones living there. Unnecessary things can be a real hassle since it makes everything look cluttered and messy.


  25. March 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm, Philola said:

    I live with an adult child that refuse to take out the trash. When he uses the face skin he brushes his teeth and leave spit+ footboard in it and the countertop around the sink. The toilet he piss all around the bowl. He refuse to do his do his laundry,market and turn off the lights at nights.and he wants the television on all night….Please advise me on how to correct this because I talk I am getting blue in the face. Heeelp!


  26. August 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm, Shannon said:

    Warn him That if things do t change you will have to kick him out. If he still keeps on you have no choice but to kick him out or find ternative living arrangements


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