How To Deep Clean and Disinfect Your Apartment During COVID-19

in Renter Life

Rest easy knowing your apartment home is spotless and safe

There could be any number of reasons why you’ve decided to give your apartment home a nice, deep clean with some special attention to disinfecting. You could have decided to move and want to leave the place as spotless as you found it, you could be renting your apartment out to another and want to make the best impression. 

It might be springtime—an ideal time of year to do some housecleaning. 

Or you might be in the middle of 2020 when concerns of COVID-19 abound, and you want to make sure your new apartment home is as free of risk as possible.

Whatever your reason, you don’t have to feel intimidated by such terms as “deep clean” and “disinfect.” All it means is that in addition to any routine cleaning tasks you’d perform, we have listed a few areas to pay special attention to so your apartment home is as clean as you can make it and free of virus risk. 

On disinfectants

There are a lot of disinfectants on the market. If one of your concerns is COVID-19, look for ones that are approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 by the Environmental Protection Agency. Because of the sometimes strong chemical smell, make sure you have the area you’re working in well ventilated. 

blue Honest plastic spray bottle

For surfaces in which it’s safe to use (tile, stainless steel, porcelain, etc.), you can use a mixture of five tablespoons of regular household bleach per gallon of water. Never mix bleach with any other cleaning product.

Cleaning drawers and cabinets

Get deep into your deep cleaning. Either one at a time or grouped by location, empty each cabinet and drawer, run a vacuum into the corners and wipe everything down with a wet cloth and then your preferred disinfectant. Make sure the surfaces dry before replacing items.

Tackling your large kitchen appliances

Tackling the kitchen is probably the most intimidating task. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Approach each appliance in turn and finish one before taking on the next. Take a break between each job.

Stove

You probably already clean the tops, fronts, and sides of your stove on a reasonably regular basis. That said, don’t forget to pay attention to pot grates, wells, burners, exhaust fans, and controls. If your range top has a slide-out tray for catching crumbs, give that a nice wipedown as well. If your stove has a bottom drawer for pots and pans, empty that and give everything a good cleaning. 

You may need to use a degreasing solution in areas that see frequent use before going over it again with disinfectant. 

Refrigerator and Freezer

This one can be a bit of a chore, admittedly. Deep cleaning each means emptying, tossing old and expired food, removing shelves and drawers, and giving everything a complete wipedown with cleaner and disinfectant. You’ll want to make sure to get the walls—especially the back wall—and to clean the gaskets on the doors carefully. 

Don’t forget the non-visible outside portions, too. Start with the top of the refrigerator or freezer. Remove any items up there, cleaning each as you go, then wipe down the top of the appliance. Following that, remove, empty, and clean the drip pan and other near-the-floor areas. Finally, unplug the appliance and get behind it to carefully clean the condenser coils. 

Dishwasher

It seems ironic that an appliance designed to clean and disinfect also needs to be cleaned and sanitized. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your dishwasher, you need to spend some time on this as well. Run a wash cycle with a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda in an empty washer, then run it one more time on its hottest selection. 

Examine the door gasket to make sure it’s nice and clean. Clean it gently with a sponge or wet cloth. Give the outside a good wipe with a disinfectant and make sure to cover the handles and controls. 

Treating your electronics right

Televisions, cable boxes, gaming consoles, media players, and computers are all great at collecting dust, dirt, and—with all the frequent touching—bacteria. Use a cleaner that is rated safe for electronics. Unplug each device and give it a thorough going over. Pay special attention to any control buttons, but treat them gently. Don’t neglect the backside of each device. 

When cleaning computers, carefully insert a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol between the keyboard keys. A microfiber cloth with a small amount of cleaning solution can take of things like computer mice, monitors, smartphones, or smart home devices. 

Looking at the easily overlooked

Sometimes the things that need the most attention are the easiest to miss. When planning your deep clean, don’t forget these common household areas.

Garbage cans

These should be pretty easy as most indoor garbage receptacles are made of smooth plastic or metal and can be wiped down easily. If possible, take them outside and let them soak with some antibacterial dish soap and then hose them out before giving it that final disinfectant wipe. 

Ceiling fans

Out of sight, out of mind. It’s easy to forget ceiling fans, but they collect a lot of dust over time and can exacerbate allergies. From a stable footing, turn the fan off and give each blade a thorough wiping. If you want to keep dust from falling or getting into the air, consider using a cheap pillowcase so it catches the dust before it can get into the air. 

Behind the toilet

Yes, there is a behind the toilet. It’s an awkward and hard-to-reach area, but one you should not ignore. While you likely keep the rest of your bathroom sparkling clean, it’s the area behind the toilet that can collect grime and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Your regular porcelain cleaner and disinfectant should do well back there. 

Grout

For appearance’s sake alone, clean tile grout is a great thing to have. Cleaning it can be a bit tedious if you’ve let it slide for a while. A mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water left to sit for five or ten minutes before scrubbing should do the job. Depending on how ingrained any dirt or mold may have gotten, you may want to consider a stiff-bristled toothbrush for stubborn areas.

If your bathroom has an air vent, remember to use it regularly to reduce humidity and potential mold growth.

Regular cleaning makes the job effortless in the long run

Conscientious cleaning and disinfecting your apartment home doesn’t have to be limited to springtime, special occasions, and pandemics. Understandably, this level of cleaning may not be sustainable every week; it is something that you can manage every month. You could either do it all in one day or break it into halves and do one half every two weeks.

woman in white long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside white wooden framed glass

The idea is that by keeping on top of the deep cleaning, you make the job more manageable over time. Not only do you find yourself getting more efficient, but you also find that the cleaning itself takes less work and is accomplished more quickly.

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Once you have your deep cleaning and disinfecting routine down, you’ll find yourself resting confidently in a beautiful, clean, and safe apartment home.

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