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    26 Effective Cleaning Products Renters *Swear* By, Especially If The Place Was A Mess When You Moved In

    Apparently the former inhabitants never paid attention to the ~everybody do your share~ portion of the Clean Up song.

    1. A fume-free oven cleaner so you can breathe a bit easier while you're doing everyone's least favorite job (which the last tenant clearly had zero interest in). This NSF-certified product doesn't contain lye or harsh fumes, and reviewers say it works like a dream on caked-on messes and grease stains if left on overnight. If using this doesn't cut your rent in half, I'm not sure what will. 

    reviewer before photo showing the inside of a crusty oven
    same reviewer's after photo showing the inside of the oven looking much cleaner

    Promising review: "Couldn’t even use my oven in my apartment because it was so caked in god knows what from the previous tenants and years of use. I used another oven cleaner and scrubbed SO much and it did nothing but spread grease around. This stuff though...I sprayed it on, left it overnight and the next morning it wiped right off. No grease. No scrubbing." —Zoe

    Another promising review: "I love this stuff. I typically do not use oven cleaner due to the toxic fumes. This is great! I sprayed the super gross oven that came with my new rental home, let it sit over night, wiped it clean in the morning. My family didn't even know I was cleaning the oven!! That's how LITTLE this product smells. But it works great! I wiped off all that old crud like nothing. Wonderful!" —Rebecca Short

    Get it from Amazon for $19.12.

    2. And a powerful glass cooktop cleaner kit that'll actually conquer those burnt stains you had zero hope for — very little elbow grease required. Take that, caked-on tomato sauce from inhabitants of yore!

    Reviewer photo of the three-piece cleaning kit

    In addition to a heavy-duty cleaning solution and polish, this set includes a non-abrasive cooktop scrubber as well as a cooktop scraper that reviewers say is the *game-changing* element of this kit (and won't scratch your stove's surface).

    Promising review: "Miracle! I moved into an apartment where the previous tenants left the cooktop full of gunk. The owners thought it was permanently destroyed, but this stuff helped me scrape it all off!" —Cashelle

    Another promising review: "I really didn’t think that there was much hope for my stovetop to look good again. It had years of burnt-on grime that no other cleaner could touch. I read the reviews for this product and decided to give it a try. Well, I am blown away! It does everything it says in a matter of minutes, and with minimal effort! My stove top is gleaming, just like in the product picture. Note what others have said, unscrew and turn the blade around if you use the scraper. It did not scratch the surface at all. I couldn’t be happier!" —Wisegirl

    Get it from Amazon for $18.98.

    3. A pack of dishwasher cleaning tablets, because their subtle, crisp scent is a vast improvement over those rancid odors you were greeted with on move-in day (how thoughtful!). Oh, and in terms of your dishwasher's appearance, I think the photos say it all. 

    reviewer's dirty dishwasher with brown stains on the bottom
    The same dishwasher, which is now stain-free after using the tablets

    Just pop them into the tray where you'd normally put detergent (or on the bottom of your dishwasher if you're washing dishes at the same time), and run as usual!

    Promising review: "Honestly love these things! I am renting and our dishwasher was not cleaned super well between tenants. I popped one of these in and could already see a huge difference; after using two, my dishes have come out looking so much cleaner! I have the same brand for washing machine cleaner and love those, too." —M

    Another promising review: "I have had a film on my dishwasher for quite some time now, I am embarrassed to say. We did not realize that it was necessary to clean the dishwasher from time to time. The buildup had been accumulating for over four years now. I tried several other cleaners to get the buildup off, but failed. I bought this product and figured it was worth a try. We added the product into the dishwasher and ran a normal cycle without dishes. When we opened it back up, it looked like new. Highly recommend this product!" —Phillip and Katherine

    Get a pack of six tablets from Amazon for $8.99.

    4. A heavy-duty grout cleaner that'll have you doing a double-take when you see how much dirt it removes from the cruddy tile crevices that were so generously left behind. Even your landlord won't recognize the apartment when they see your new and improved floors!

    a before and after of a tile floor with dirty grout and a the same tile floor with clean grout
    Bottle of grout-eez on a counter

    Clean-Eez is an Indiana-based small biz selling cleaning products that'll make tackling even the toughest jobs a lot easier. 

    Promising review: "Simply the best product! I rent and unfortunately not everyone takes good care of a rental property. I just moved and was disgusted by the flooring (regular white tiles with disgustingly dark grout). Used the product as directed and the results really impressed me! Definitely recommend this product!" —Maria Alejandra Hinojosa

    Another promising review: "After trying to get my grout clean with everything I could think of and not having any success, I stumbled upon a TikTok using Grout-Eez so i thought I would try it. This stuff is legit. I’m confident a professional cleaner couldn’t get my grout cleaner. There is literally no dirt left. Very little scrubbing required and little to no odor. It’s amazing! The scrub brush included attached to my paint handle and I didn’t even have to bend over. I cleaned it twice because my grout was really dirty, then I sealed the grout in hopes it won’t get dirty again so fast. I can’t wait to do the rest of my house!" —Kathy

    Get two bottles and a brush from Amazon for $42.95.

    5. An Angry Orange pet odor eliminator to spray over those gross, smelly spots the previous renters didn't bother cleaning up before moving out. Its strong citrus scent is derived from orange oil and sure beats the stench of old dog vomit. 😬

    Beige carpet with a brownish-gray stain in the middle of the image
    Beige carpet after using the spray, showing how the stain is now gone

    Promising review: "I moved into a rental that the previous tenants had allowed their dog to defecate in for over two years. The smell and stains were beyond imagination. I used this product and you would never know that had occurred. Absolutely worth the money!" —Stacy Creed

    Another promising review: "This product is amazing!!!! We have a Rottweiler pup and a bichon pup and our house was feeling the PAIN! I tried everything and used to tell my wife, 'with all the science and technology in the world we still can’t come up with something that gets rid of the dog mark smell!' This product does everything and more. Just ordered another round. We were about to throw away some furniture due to the smell and now after use we can keep it. Saved me hundreds. Well worth the money." —clayton s tonkin

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97 (also available in a larger size and multipack). 

    6. Or a nontoxic carpet deodorizing solution you use with your vacuum so it can cover large areas in need of a miracle. Those unsightly messes on your rug are no match for its stain-fighting powers, and its refreshingly minty scent will provide some much-needed relief from...~whatever~ was going on in there before you showed up.

    reviewer before photo showing a dirty carpet with lots of stains
    same reviewer's after photo showing the carpet without stains after being cleaned with the solution

    This solution works great with Bissell, Hoover, McCulloch, Rug Doctor, Kenmore, and Carpet Express vacuum cleaners.

    Sunny & Honey is a family-run small business making cleaning products designed for pet owners who want keep their homes stain- and odor-free. 

    Promising review: "This carpet cleaner is AMAZING. I live in a rental house, and the previous tenants had a dog that left a lot of stains throughout the house. A friend of mine suggested I give this a try, and it has worked wonders on very old stains, as well as newer stains my children have left behind. I mixed this solution right into my Bissell carpet cleaner (half solution, half water) and ran it across my living room. The smell isn't overbearing and is actually quite pleasant...not too much like chemicals. It was able to remove a large dark brown pet stain, as well as a purple grape juice stain. I will happily recommend this product to anyone and everyone!" —Kat

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two sizes).

    7. A gently abrasive toilet bowl ring remover made of pumice, because if there's one thing you don't wanna be staring at, it's an old mess someone else made in your porcelain throne. And even though the stains might not be caused by caca itself, this will scrub away icky signs of mineral deposits, lime, and rust as well. 

    reviewer photo showing toilet half cleaned with the pumice cleaning tool
    reviewer holding up the pumie

    Promising review: "This works so quickly and efficiently. I live in an apartment and the previous tenant never seemed to clean the toilet, so there was a dark, un-cleanable ring. Literally took me five minutes with this magical Pumie!" —Elisia M 

    Another promising review: "I never thought I'd be this excited about a clean toilet. I had largely given up on our first floor toilet. Nothing would take out the ring along the waterline. But I saw this product in a BuzzFeed roundup and figured it was worth a shot. Tried it this morning and oh. my. goodness. It easily took out the ring and with some harder scrubbing, the rest of the stains/buildup/whatever the term is for the stuff that made the bowl look gross. It looks just about brand new! Definitely worth the purchase." —Courtney

    Get it from Amazon for $12.50 (also available in multipacks). 

    8. A bottle of instant mold and mildew stain remover that'll probably make you believe in miracles once you see how quickly and effectively it makes the gross black shower spots you inherited disappear. And you can use it on your outdoor patio, too!

    reviewer before and after photos showing a mold-covered ceiling next to the same ceiling looking stain-free
    time lapse gif of reviewer spraying a mildew-stained post on their porch and showing how the stains disappear

    FYI: Reviewers say this stuff is pretty heavy-duty and has a very strong smell, so be sure to cover your face and open a window if possible when using. They also suggest wearing clothes you don't mind getting bleached!

    Promising review: "Some background — we rent an apartment that is inside of a renovated 100-year-old home. The bathroom is very small with one tiny window and a fan. Since we moved in, we've been battling mold on the ceiling. After I got pneumonia, I finally decided we needed to go after this mold once and for all. Now, we've tried scrubbing it with bleach on a ladder in this tiny space and it lasts for a bit before growing back. Almost the entire ceiling was covered in spotted grey mold. This stuff is straight up sorcery. Every part of the ceiling I sprayed, the mold quite literally melted off. It's strong, so you'll need a mask and goggles. It took me a few times in and out of the bathroom to finish sections of the ceiling at a time. But, after letting the solution do its thing with no scrubbing, the ceiling is pristine. Like, this is the cleanest I've ever seen our bathroom ceiling and we've lived here for a few years. It even got all of the mold out of the caulk on the side of the bathtub. This stuff is well worth the money. Fair warning — it does have bleach in it and it will drip from the ceiling if you spray a lot (we needed to). So, be sure to take anything out of the bathroom that might react to bleach before you start and wear old clothes. 100% recommend this product.

    "Edit: Over a year later and the mold on our ceiling has never come back. I bought another bottle of this to easily remove any mold that pops up on our tile grout now in the tub. I recommend it to everyone!" —frugal athlete

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (also available in larger sizes and multipacks). 

    9. A handy FlexiSnake drain cleaner so you won't be responsible for a hefty plumber bill just because the previous renter never cleaned their hair out of the tub. All you do is insert the wand into your clogged drain, rotate it, lift it up, and try not gagging when you see how much nastiness it pulls out. 🤢

    reviewer holding the hair-filled flexisnake over a shower drain
    gif of reviewer pulling a long clump of hair out of a drain using the flexisnake

    This pack includes five wand refills!

    Promising review: "This is a lifesaver. I don't want to use acid/liquids in my sink because I rent and I'm not sure how old the pipes are, but one attempt with this sink cleaner and all the stuck hair came out. Sink now works as new." —Reach For The Sky

    Another promising review: "This snake was very easy to assemble and use, and man, it works well! We're renting our home and a prior tenant/tenants with long, brunette hair apparently loved to rinse their hair down the sink and not use a hair catcher in the tub, so we were welcomed to clogs everywhere very early in our lease. Drain clearing chemicals were not helping, so I broke down and ordered this snake and bam! Drains are clear! The length may seem long, but if your clog is far down the pipe, this might not catch it." —Allie

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for $19.99.

    10. Plus a bottle of Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver to pour into your sink (or toilet) when the water is taking FOR.EV.ER. to go down. Leave it overnight, flush it out, and ta-da! If the last occupant was *kind* enough to leave you a bunch of gunk-filled pipes, you'll want this in your cabinet. 

    reviewer holding a green bottle with two openings with twist-off caps at the top of it
    Reviewer's drain with a bunch of water and dirt

    Promising review: "I hardly ever write a review, but I really had to for this one. This product literally blew my mind because I had doubts that it would work. I live an apartment and the previous renters left the bathroom sink clogged up completely. I tried using baking soda and vinegar, baking soda and hot water, and nothing worked. So I saw this had pretty good reviews and I tried it. I left mine overnight and then poured boiling hot water in the sink the next day and I literally saw when the plug cleared up and all the water in the sink drained out at once. Do try it." —Galia lulley

    Another promising review: "OK... So I have to do a little review on this product BECAUSE I have had a stopped-up kitchen sink and have LITERALLY tried EVERYTHING down to the industrial products with NO luck. I decided to go on Amazon and read a few reviews. This is the one I decided to go with. I only used one chamber, let it sit for an hour, and then used boiling water. My sink is NO LONGER stopped up!!! I saved a plumber bill. HUGE win for this woman!!" —Tabpeach

    Get it from Amazon for $11.84.

    11. A gentle, restorative sink cleaner so effective, it'll hide any evidence of the previous renter's hair dye obsession. Now the very spots where you wash your hands will actually look (and feel) clean themselves! 

    It also creates a slick, water-repellent barrier that water will just bead off of.

    Promising review: "I have used many products to maintain my kitchen sinks, but now know this product is my last, as I'll never us anything else. I moved into an apartment where the stainless sink was a dark BLACK due to former tenants not taking care of the sink, and it resulted in what appeared to be permanent staining. It took a few applications and a couple of weeks of using this product but the sink ended up shining like brand-new real soon. I was amazed." —Brian Jay

    Another promising review: "Like magic. Bought this for the cheap price and great reviews. Seemed too good to be true…but it’s true! Our landlord installed a stupid white sink in the kitchen, and I cook a lot. Bleach and vinegar did nothing. I had given up, until…this cleaner. My mouth dropped open as the stains began lifting instantly! Very limited effort required to remove the stains and return it to a viewable state! It will be easy to maintain with wiping down once a week. Highly recommend!" —Kimberly S.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.87 (also available in multipacks). 

    12. A tub of *iconic* cleaning paste The Pink Stuff, because once you realize how much stain-lifting power this absolute miracle in a jar has, you'll wonder how you would've conquered your new place's old messes without it. Not only does it get stains out, it does it so quickly and with minimal effort on your part, whether you're tackling former occupants' bathtub buildup or crayon catastrophes.

    reviewer photo of a tub of the pink stuff on an oven door, half of which is dirty, and half of which is clean
    reviewer holding a tub of the pink stuff over their clean stove with text: secret to oven cleaning, spotless

    Check out yours truly using it three ways on TikTok!

    After seeing countless videos on cleaning TikTok that raved about The Pink Stuff, I knew I had to try it out on my stained, grime-coated sheet tray. I mean, if it could make a dent in that, I'd probably believe in magic. Well, I started scrubbing one corner as a test, and lo and behold, the difference was nothing short of DRAMATIC (check out my TikTok for proof!). And I didn't even have to scrub very hard, though as someone with ~minimal~ upper body strength, I doubt any force I could physically apply would even constitute as heavy scrubbing. At any rate, it worked so well that I tried it on a pair of dirty tennis shoes and a blue stain that had been singed onto my toaster oven for months, and, yup, it worked. Consider me a FAN. 

    Promising review: "YOU GUYS!!! My daughter decided the world is her canvas, her medium: crayons. Almost every door and wall in my rented home is covered. I've tried everything, and my arms are super buff from scrubbing, all for nothing. I saw the Pink Stuff on a Pinterest post, and thought I would check it out here on Amazon. I thought, 'Well, it looks like it'll work, and if not, it's not expensive and it can't damage my walls anymore than they already are.' I am NOT disappointed! I used a damp microfiber cloth, scooped it up, and wiped it on the walls. I kid you not when I say it just wiped off!! My husband's mouth fell open and I happily did my entire hall. 🤣 Seriously, get it." —Sarah B.

    Get it from Amazon for $5.97.