Once it’s time to move out of your apartment, it’s always a good idea to give the place a good scrubbing before finally turning in those keys. However, if you owned a dog or cat during your lease, you may have to do a bit more than just a basic cleaning.
Invest in a good steam cleaning
There are a number of ways to go about this. You can easily rent a steam cleaner, many times from your local pet retailer. You can borrow one from a friend or neighbor. You can hire a professional to come in and steam clean. Hiring someone will not be cheap, but it’s cheaper than your landlord sending you a hefty bill for carpet replacement, right? The fourth option is that you can even buy your own steam cleaner if you think you will use it enough in the future. Either way, a steam cleaner is really the only solution to get rid of those fine pet hairs that are caught in your thick, tightly woven carpet fibers–even hairs you cannot see. This is a job that just cannot be achieved with the work of a traditional vacuum cleaner.
So a steam cleaner just is not in your budget, and you are not able to borrow one? That’s just fine. Do the very best job you can with your regular, good old vacuum cleaner. Again, those pet hairs really do get down into those rugs and carpets, so a vacuum with really great suction is beyond essential. Not only with this help to loosen and suck up the hairs, but it will also finally get rid of the dust and dirt that those hairs have been trapping for so long. Basic vacuuming is not a job just for the floors, though. Chances are, your pet spent a good amount of time snoozing on the window sill and in cozy corners. Be sure to vacuum those areas really well, too. It may seem a bit excessive, but vacuum the place again just before you leave for the very last time. During your packing and moving things around, you probably unearthed even more pet hairs, so you will want to get rid of those, too. Don’t forget to change your vacuum filter often or empty the canister so that it is always working at maximum capacity.
With the damage that some pets leave behind, even the best steam cleaning or vacuuming just will not cut it. Spots and stains are for sure going to put your security deposit in jeopardy. In this case, you may need a carpet cleaner–either an appliance or a chemical solution–that specifically targets pet stains. The chemicals and enzymes in these products are specially formulated to knock out those stains left behind by your pet. Besides stain removal, pet cleaners are also ideal for ridding the apartment of odors–even bad smells that you don’t even notice anymore.
Get a second opinion
Once your place is empty and ready for the next tenant, don’t be so quick to turn over those keys. Sure, your landlord will need to do a final walkthrough. But even before then, invite over a friend who does not own a pet. This person should be able to give you a thorough and honest opinion regarding how well you have cleaned up, and if your apartment still has any smelly pet odors.