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How to get your deposit back

How to get your deposit back
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A big chunk of money paid into your account at the end of the academic year is always a plus point in the life of a student and is definitely something that is worth fighting for.

Even if like most students, cleaning is just not your thing, it is still a vital part of grabbing back your deposit at the end of the year.

Here are some top tips on how to ensure that you get your money back!

Empty and defrost your fridge, leave the doors open

Completely empty your fridge of all food and remove all the shelves as well before cleaning them and putting them back.

Give the whole fridge a good clean and let it air out. Switch off the fridge and the freezer and allow to completely defrost, you might want to place some towels around the outskirts to catch all the water.

Give the freezer a wipe down when all defrosted and leave the doors open.

Clean the microwave

Unfortunately, microwaves are subjected to food explosions all year round which are then left to ferment. Nice.

Place a little tub of white wine vinegar in the microwave for 2 minutes, when it’s done, give it all a wipe down, the grease will come right off thanks to the vinegar!

Remove or dry all damp towels

Make sure all your towels are dry and clean before packaging them away and getting them out of the house/flat to avoid any damp. Likewise with clothes, package them all up and take them to the car before you start the main cleaning.

Turn off all plugs at the wall, check all light bulbs

This one is pretty evident, but quite easy to forget. Make sure that you have turned off all lights, as well as all electrical appliances off at the wall. Unplug any appliances that you own and package them away. Double check if any lights are blown, replacing any that are with new light bulbs.

Keep doors open between rooms, air can circulate and rooms will not get stuffy

A few days before you are set to move out, make sure that all the windows and doors are left open for an extended amount of time to allow the whole flat or building to air completely out, this will prevent any damp from forming and will also make the place smell fresh!

Close and lock all windows

Shut all windows, making sure to lock them if they have a key as well. Give all the window ledges a good clean with surface cleaner and wipe the windows down with soap and water. You need to also look along the corners of the windows for any dirt and mould, wipe that up with some mould remover.

Empty dishwasher and wash with dishwasher salts

Make sure that your dishwasher is completely empty! Now, the gross part…

Reach into the back of the dishwasher and pull out the filter, it will probably be full of food. Give it a swill under the tap before placing back.

Grab some dishwasher salts from your local supermarket.

Fill the washer up with half of them and put it on a basic rinse.

After this, put the rest of the salts in and leave the door open for the washer to completely dry. It should be smelling a lot better and look nice and shiny.

Clean out your washing machine

Pull out the washing detergent tray and clean it of all the gunk that’s collected there over the past year.

You can either grab some washing machine cleaner from your local supermarket, or alternatively, you can either put some mouthwash in on a cycle, it works, trust me, or throw in some trusty white wine vinegar for that lovely shine and smell!

Give everything a good hoover

Pull all the furniture away from the walls and given every single space of floor a really good hoover!

Get into all the tiny crevices and make sure that you have got every spec of dirt that you can.

Don’t be afraid to move the furniture around and make sure that you check behind the bed as well. If you’re feeling lazy, you can even hoover the kitchen cupboards to save using the dustpan and brush.

Oven pride that oven

Do not forget your oven! 

By far the grimiest of appliances in your property, the oven is usually neglected all year before having one deep clean before move out day. The best way to tackle the oven is to pick up some oven pride from your local supermarket, you can also buy a discount version that I spotted in ALDI! If you make sure to follow the instructions closely on the packet and if you remember to wear gloves then your oven should be spotless in no time!

Likewise, if you have a vent at the top of your oven, you will probably need to sort that out too! Remove the vents and give them a good scrub and clean before replacing them.

Clean out the airing cupboard

If, like me, you’ve been stuffing your airing cupboard with junk all year then it’s probably time to sort it out. Give the cupboard a good clean and hoover the floor, landlords get annoyed if your pile it with too much stuff anyway because it can overheat, so get this sorted as soon as you can.

Deep clean those toilets

Give those toilets a really good deep clean!

Start by hoovering the whole bathroom to get up any dust, then give the whole room a good mop and floor clean.

Bleach the toilets, clean out the toilet brush holder or even throw it away if you bought it.

Get that hair out of the plug hole (ew) and tip some sink cleaner down it.

Dispose of any bathroom toiletries and get to work on banishing the black mould from your shower. White wine vinegar works really well, likewise you can get some mould remover and get scrubbing in between the tiles.

Clean the skirting boards and check for any damp, you can get this off with damp remover from any supermarket, it’s usually only 99p. Spray liberally onto the mould and wait a few minutes before wiping off.

Toilets are where a lot of flat deposits slip up so make sure that yours is spotless!

Freshen up your fabrics

Most inventories call for your sofas, carpets and curtains to be professionally cleaned, but if you are looking to save some money, then you can easily do this process yourself.

Give any stubborn stains on the carpet a good scrub with washing up liquid and warm water. Take down any stained fabric curtains and put them in the washing machine on a cool cycle. Wash any pillow covers if pillows came with the property before putting them back on.

In terms of freshening up carpets and sofas, grab yourself some frebreeze fabric spray and give everything a good spritz to get the whole property smelling fresh! Lastly, give any rugs a good shake and a hoover!

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.