How to Clean Rental Houses

It is important to have a clean rental house.

It will assure that future tenants know that you are willing to take the time and effort to keep your property in top shape. It also will make the house look nicer, which is important when it is time to show the house to potential renters. By cleaning the house yourself, you will save money and assure that the house is cleaned to your expectations. Cleaning rental houses need not be overwhelming.

Walk through the house to determine how much cleaning needs to be done. For simple cleaning jobs, a quick once-over will be sufficient. A rental house that has been left extremely dirty by it's previous tenants will need to be scrubbed down, which will require more time and cleaning materials.

Write down what needs to be cleaned and what supplies you will use. In the long run this will save time, because you can gather all of your supplies beforehand. This can be important if you have new tenants moving in soon.

Start cleaning in the rooms first that you will not be going back into. By cleaning a room and then having to walk back through it, you will track dirt into the room and will have to clean it again.

Use a multipurpose cleaner to save time. Fill a bucket with water and add cleaner to the water, following the amount instructions on the cleaner label. Place a sponge into the water, ring it out, and wipe down surfaces, such as cabinets and doors. Empty the bucket, and refill it with clean water and more multipurpose cleaner. Prepare floors by sweeping dirt into a dustpan using a broom. Dip a mop into the bucket of water and multipurpose cleaner, ring it out, and mop the floor. Floors may need to be mopped and rinsed more than once to remove stains.

Pull out appliances, and clean behind them. Tenants most likely will not have cleaned in these areas.

Use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach corners as well as grout.

Vacuum the floors in any room the has carpet.

Turn on the lights and inspects the rooms where you have cleaned. The lights will help you see any place you have missed.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Sponges
  • Mop
  • Toothbrush
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Pencil
  • Paper


  • For rooms that have carpet, consider renting a carpet cleaner to clean it. This will make the carpet look newer, and you may be able to rent the house out for more money.
  • Do any necessary repairs before cleaning the house.


  • Remember to open the windows and turn on a ceiling fan in rooms where you are using chemicals to clean. This will prevent you from experiencing dangerous side effects from inhaling the cleaning products.

About the Author

Stormy Lee has been writing professionally since 1997. Many of her articles appear online at various websites. Lee specializes in writing education-related articles and has experience in proofreading and writing reviews for schools in Palm Beach County. Lee holds a master's degree in education from Florida Atlantic University.