When it's time to photograph your apartment or time for a property viewing, you’re going to want to show people all the benefits and make it look as good as possible. The key to a good first impression is proper cleaning, and you don’t need expensive chemicals or equipment to get there. Start by reading the top tips from our cleaning expert.
Spotless floors, polished surfaces, beautiful natural light and a fresh, welcoming scent are just a few of the features you want to offer anyone interested in your apartment. The more of this kind of thing you can offer, the better the overall impression will be and your property will feel more welcoming. Vera is an entrepreneur who has run her own domestic services and corporate cleaning business for almost a decade and has helped out with a large number of house and apartment viewings. She always recommends a major spring clean to begin with.
“It gives you a good basis to work from and makes the apartment viewing easier, but also rids the place of dust, dirt and other buildups that prevent your home from smelling fresh. People viewing your apartment will open cupboards and look behind furniture and radiators, so it pays to be meticulous.”
If you want to clean effectively, you should first tidy away as much as you can from every surface in the property. If it feels like an uphill struggle, try to remember that you’ll still benefit from having cleared away all your personal items when it’s time for the property viewings and photo shoots. Read more about how to style your apartment here.
“If you have any pets, you should definitely tidy away all of their paraphernalia. Even if blankets, pet baskets and food bowls have been washed, they still smell. Don’t shove things into a cupboard, store everything in a storage area or garage. If there’s a lot of cat or dog hair on your rugs, you can try sprinkling a little baking soda over the surface, waiting for about twenty minutes and then vacuuming. In tight spaces like electrical sockets and skirting boards, or on the sofa, you can try scraping up animal hair while wearing a pair of rubber gloves.”
The most important thing at the very start is to clean each room from top to bottom. Start by dusting lights, skirting boards, doorframes and paintings, and shake all pillows and cushions to get all of the dust out. Then vacuum the furniture, carpets and floors and wipe down all surfaces. Finish by cleaning the windows and mopping the floors.
"I wipe everything dry straight away and then polish it all dry. That way I get really glossy table surfaces, windows and mirrors without any ugly water marks. Look at surfaces from different angles to help you detect bits you might have missed.”
Vera is always environmentally friendly when she cleans. With potassium soap, salt, white vinegar, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, lemon and water everything will be spotless and smell nice and natural. She has tested other cleaning products over the years, but none have performed quite as well.
“Salt and water are perfect for scrubbing a hob clean. White vinegar freshens up grouting in the bathroom. I use vinegar to clean the toilet. You can use lemon to polish chrome and even to get rid of limescale.”
Try wiping down chrome details with the inside of a lemon and then wiping them clean with a damp cloth. You can also remove limescale by rubbing lemon on it, leaving it for a while and then wiping it clean with a cloth.
If you haven’t got much time for cleaning and it’s almost time to photograph the property – focus on windows, surfaces and worktops. Before an apartment viewing, you should allow enough time to clean the bathroom and kitchen because they’re places that a lot of people look at very closely during a property viewing.
“Make sure you clean under the sink. To get your drains and floor sinks smelling fresh, pour 5-10 cl of baking soda down each drain, leave it a while and then pour boiling water down after it. It dissolves build up and cleans them out.”
Vera follows the principle of rub in, leave on, scrub, rinse and dry. But she warns against using too much water, particularly on floors.
“Using too much water that doesn’t dry straight away will leave water stains or water spots. Use a small amount of water and, if necessary, a little potassium soap. Hardwood floors, such as parquet flooring, can be sensitive to moisture so be careful.”
Otherwise, it’s just trial and error. And being a bit methodical. The reward is a first impression that will make your apartment stand out from the rest.