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Deep Cleaning Tips
by Kari Lamanuzzi

Sure, it's a lot easier to hire a maid on a weekly basis to scrub the grout and wash the windows but chances are, if you're renting, you don't have the money to spend on domestic help. Don't forget, deep cleaning your apartment periodically will save you a lot of time come move out and will ensure the greatest return on any deposit you have forked over to your landlord. But what's worth the time and money, and what isn't?

One of the easiest ways to lose part of your deposit is by leaving behind a dirty, stained carpet. Not only does it make the overall appearance of your home seem dingy and gross, but a filthy carpet can be home to tons of critters like dust mites and insect larvae. Carpet cleaners can be rented at home improvement and grocery stores most of the time and are inexpensive. Usually you buy the solution and rent the carpet cleaner for a predetermined number of days or hours. Make sure to vacuum well beforehand to remove any debris that may be in the carpet and allow the carpet time to dry after cleaning. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in the appearance of your home.

When it comes to deep cleaning your apartment, remember to clean in places that are normally neglected. Move couches and desks and clean the floors underneath and behind these items. If you can move appliances with or without help, clean behind your refrigerator and your oven. Ceiling fans and air vents are often neglected in regular maintenance cleaning, as are blinds and refrigerator shelves. Deep cleaning your oven may not be a bad idea either, especially if you or a roommate use it regularly and with messy food. Don't forget to take things off of your shelves and dust everything and the shelves themselves, but make sure you do that before you tackle vacuuming and shampooing your carpet.

If your humble abode has not yet been deep cleaned or regularly maintained, for that matter, you may think you need a bucket of harsh chemicals to get the job done, but don't underestimate the power of natural cleaning solutions. Lemons are known for their cleansing and antibacterial properties and can be added to solutions like vinegar and water to effectively clean sinks and tubs. For tough mildew stains in your grout, try mixing baking soda with water and making a paste. Let the paste sit for several minutes but make sure it is moist enough not to dry out. Baking soda paste can also be an effective way to remove grease stains from clothes and carpeting. Try sprinkling some on a wet cloth before wiping down the kitchen or adding it to your floor cleansing solution.

It may seem like a daunting task, cleaning the whole apartment. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the idea, do it over the course of a few days. Spend one day focusing on one or two rooms and ask a roommate to do the other rooms or do them at another time. You will feel much better once you rid your living space of dust, debris, and those nasty critters that can find their way into your home. Take a deep breath, relax, and dive in, knowing that all your hard work will pay off.

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