FIRSTLY WHAT IS A BOND CLEAN? AND HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT TO A HOUSE CLEAN
A bond cleaner will often be at a property for 8 hours & they will have 3 people cleaning. Compare that to a normal house cleaner where a cleaner will be at the property for 4 hours on their own. So what’s the difference & what do bond cleaners do that’s different from a house cleaner ?
Put simply a bond cleaner will do a deep clean with extreme attention to detail with everything. They will clean window tracks, sliding door tracks, they will remove and clean fly screens, they will scrub walls. They will remove light fittings and remove the insects in the light globe bowls. They will clean light switches, door handles and more. They may spend 20 minutes just cleaning all the goo and dirt from a sliding door track. They will use CRL to remove scum build up on bathrooms & showers & around all the taps and drains.
WHEN SHOULD A BOND CLEANER BE USED?
Well. The very first time an investment property is leased it’s a smart investment for the landlords to invest in a bond clean. The idea is this creates a baseline foundation of how clean the property should be returned when the tenant moves out. The next time a bond clean should be done is when the tenant moves out, as the property needs to be returned in the same condition. Of course tenants can choose to clean the home themselves, which we will discuss later.
ARE BOND CLEANS MANDATORY?
No. The landlord & tenant do not need to have a bond clean done. They can choose to clean it themselves or they can get a house cleaner in. Grey areas are created when a landlord does the clean themselves & the home is still a bit dirty, so when the tenant moves out they leave it a bit dirty, but maybe a bit dirtier then it was given to them. If this happens several times the home gets returned dirtier and dirty as it’s very hard to quantify the level of dirt from when the landlord cleaned to when the first tenant cleaned it and so forth.
ARE ALL BOND CLEANERS THE SAME?
No. I have seen many bond cleaners do a terrible job at bond cleaning. If it was a house clean the quality of the clean would be wonderful, but not bond clean standards. Not all bond cleaners are the same and this is one of the biggest challenges tenants face. Thinking they are paying for a bond cleaner but instead are getting ripped off. So if you plan to pay a bond cleaner please check that they are in fact a real bond cleaner and will do all these extra things. Consider sending them a link to this article, so they can use it as a guide.
HOW TO CLEAN AND CHECK THE CLEAN
The easiest thing to do is when a room is totally clean close the door. But before you do you need to have a good slow look at everything. It sounds like something from the movies put a white glove on or cloth and run off over the tracks, blinds and fans will soon show you. Have a good slow look at everything before closing the door & marking it off as cleaned.
TOP THINGS EVEN BOND CLEANERS MISS
Usually ovens get cleaned. Just not cleaned very well. The most common thing is the oven ceilings are missed and still dirty, the door hinges and jams, plus inside the double glass door then the wire shelves. They all get missed, almost every time. So take out the shelvings & sides, remove the double glass door & spray the oven with that hard core oven cleaner. The stuff that will kill you if you breath it in. Yeah, that stuff. Ha. Sometimes you need to warm the oven up and sometimes you need to do it twice.
- Put a stack of newspaper on the floor in front of the oven
- Remove the oven trays, silver racks and racks on the side of the left and right walls
- Either remove the element on the ceiling or loosen it. You need to do this to be able to clean the ceiling
- Put a mast on your face and spray the walls, ceiling and floor with a product like Easy Off Oven cleaner. I find I need 2 cans for 1 oven. Then leave it 30 minutes
- Now you can spray the oven trays and racks and leave them 30 minutes
- While you are waiting. To clean the oven door glass the glass comes out. You will need to google the model oven you have. With the glass out you can now clean it in the sink.
- With the oven door glass out you can now get into the hinge doors and clean out any crumbs and oil
- With a bucket of water and rag you can now start to wipe out the oven. It helps to have a second rag to wipe a second time to ensure its now dry and very clean.
- I find that some stubborn areas need an extra blast of Easy Off Oven Cleaner or some personal scrubbing
- With the shelves and trays you should just need to wipe these with a rage and water using a second rage to dry and make sure they are clean.
- Often trays get fat in the corners where the wire joins and this sometimes needs steel wood to get clean.
2. INSECTS IN LIGHT FITTINGS
Look Up. Ha. This is a super easy one. You need need step ladder. Then just unclick the light covers, then wash them out in the sink, dry and put back
3. DUST ON FANS AND FAN POLES
You need a step ladder to get above the fan so the fan can be wiped clean. Some fans can have so much dust on the top of them they need to be wiped multiple times. I’ve seen bond cleaners with no ladder just wipe the top & more than 1/2 the top of the fan still black with dirt and dust. It used to be a shock but now I’m used to seeing this.
OTHER VERY VERY COMMON THINGS PEOPLE MISS
4. AIR CON FILTERS
These need to be removed, washed in the sink and dried. It’s alarming the number of bond cleaners I’ve seen not clean these. But also while the filters are out you will see in the air conditioning unit all around the filters need to be cleaned too.
5. EXHAUST FANS
These need to be removed and the dust cleaned out, they usually just pop off. With the cover off give the fan blades a quick wipe too.
6. SHOWER SCREENS
CRL will remove all the scum and film. I’ve had bond cleaners say it won’t come off but have just not used the right chemicals and taken more time. Time and the right cleaning products will make a big difference.
7. BATHROOM TAPS
Around the base of taps & drains, calcium can build up. Again CRL will get this off, just needs time and some hard scrubbing.
8. BLINDS & CURTAINS
Venetian blinds get so much dust on them. They are easy to clean but take time, as you need to clean each blade one by one on both sides, plus the strings get in the way. Usually just water and a rag will do the job just keep rinsing & squeezing out the rag so it’s not too wet. Blinds that roll up can be a bit trickier, as it’s common for insects to get squashed when the blind is open, so these need a really good clean. Often with curtains you need to put in the washing machine. It’s common to find bits of mould to form on them.
9. UNDER THE DISHWASHER
Well OK inside the dishwasher & the dish washer filter, but also if you look under the dishwasher you’ll be surprise at the gunk. I once found a massive potato chip, after a clean was done. Ha. Luckily I already had lunch.
10. FLY SCREENS
Usually all you need to do is take them down and hose them. Just make sure you don’t mix them up as they may not fit other windows. When down it’s a smart idea to clean the window track and the outside of the window too.
11. GUTTERS AND EVES
Bond cleaners will often avoid this, they seem focused on the inside. But you need to either get them to do this or you need to do it yourself. The very easiest way is with a high pressure cleaner, but a bucket, broom and putting a bit of chemicals onto the gutters and eaves will speed this process up. I find if I wash first with a bloom and chemicals then use a pressure spray next works best. Now if you plan to do this & you should. Do it before you do the fly screens and windows
Inside and out. Just last week I checked a bond cleaners work and while most of it was good, they have left very large streak marks down many of them. Its also common for a cleaner to clean the inside and forget the outside.
13. WINDOW AND SLIDING DOOR TRACKS
This is extremely common. I once spent about 30 minutes cleaning the gunk and goo from 1 sliding door track after a bond cleaner had cleaned and even been back a second time. The property had 2 sliding doors and the other door took me about 30 minutes too. So yes that’s an entire hour just on two sliding door tracks. Often the very corners get missed or the tracked when the window is open is missed.
14. SPIDER WEBS IN THE CORNER OF CEILINGS
Bunnings sell special brooms for this. So use a step ladder and rag, but these tiny spider webs & tiny spider eggs get missed all the time. I mentioned above to close the door or a room once you are done and having a very close look for things like this should be done.
15. LIGHT SWITCHES & DOOR KNOBS
These are all part of returning the property in the same condition it was given to you. Spray n wipe will do the trick or a bit of Jif if there is a bit more dirt. It should be part of the room check before you close the door. Our hands touch door handles, light switches, and around the doors daily, usually many times.
16. SKIRTING BOARDS
Yes they get missed too. Mostly dust sitting on top of them. They need to be wiped with a damp rag at the minimum.
17. CARPET CLEANING
Did you know that a tenant can’t be demanded to have carpets professionally cleaned. But it’s a good idea as they need to be returned in the condition when the lease started. You are best to have this done after the bond clean is done, but before the floors are mopped. Because the carpet cleaner dude or dudette will drag their wet hoses messing up the tiles. When they are done they may wipe the floor with a towel but you’ll see all these streaks.
CLEANING THAT MAYBE OUT OF A BOND CLEANERS SCOPE
Tenants are responsible for the entire property but some things bond cleaners just don’t do or need to be asked to do.
18. OUTSIDE OF THE PROPERTY
Most bond cleaners do not do outside. like gutters, eaves, patios, decks etc. Tenants need to do this themselves or get a pro in
19. FLY SCREENS
These need to be removed and cleaned.
20. DRIVEWAYS & PATHS
Need to be high pressure cleaned and if your car has leaked oil that needs to be sorted out too.
21. RUBBISH BINS
They need to be cleaned too. Best with disinfectant and a high pressure cleaner, just look out for the splash back. It can be nasty.
22. GARDENS AND WEEDS
I’ve mentioned this in other blog articles, but probably 4 weeks prior you need to start on this by killing weeds so it has time to look it’s best when you vacate. Consider fertilising and even some lawn seed. At the very worst sometime new lawn needs to be laid.
HOW MUCH WILL A BOND CLEANER COST?
Well a cleaner will usually charge around $100 to do a house clean. Some bond cleaners will tell you they will charge around $500, but the very best bond cleaners charge over $1,000. It’s these high end bond cleaners that send in a team and are at the property all day.
WHY DO HOUSE CLEANERS SAY THEY ARE ALSO BOND CLEANERS WHEN THEY ARE NOT
I assume for the money. Most house cleaners will say, sure I do bond cleaning too. But while they can clean, many just don’t get the intensity involved for a full proper bond clean. If they are quoting you $300 it’s a strong indication they are not right for the job. So ask how many hours will it take you ? If it’s under 5 they also would not be right for the job.
Check the bond cleaners review. Ask if they offer a guarantee. Ask if they will return free if anything is missed. Ask for an email that lists what they will do.
BOND CLEANER NIGHTMARE STORIES
I have so so many stories about people using the wrong bond cleaners. Mostly cleaners who say they will go back and don’t, or can’t go back in time, or do go back and still don’t do a good enough job or say “that” is not included in their quote. Recently we had an $800 clean on a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. The walls where still dirty and the light switches and power points still had not been done. Consider not paying your bond cleaner until your property manager give it the tick