Cleaning college dorms is one of the least favorite chores for college students. You get flashbacks of your mom yelling, “Clean your room!” But cleaning dorm rooms can be really quick and easy if you have the right plan and know what to clean.
Dusting and vacuuming are only the beginning. I’ll share some college dorm room ideas for keeping out bugs and cleaning mildew and offer some do-it-yourself college tips you might not have thought of to keep your room germ-free and smelling fresh.
8 steps to a clean dorm
1. Clean the bathroom. Sharing a bathroom can be the worst part of dorm life if you’re a germaphobe. But if you clean it properly, you should have no worries. Everyone knows to scrub the toilet bowl and to mop the floor. But also remember to wash areas where bacteria and mildew can grow: the toilet flusher handle, the outside and base of the toilet, the shower curtain, the showerhead which can accumulate mineral deposits, the bath mat, the toilet paper holder and the back of the sink where water splashes.
2. Keep food locked up. Dorm rooms with food, dirty socks and humans crammed into small places are breeding grounds for insects, rodents and other undesirables. In “5 Ways to Keep Pests Out of Your Dorm Room” posted on How Stuff Works, Cherise LaPine explains how to keep your room clean from pests: “[Mice] can chew through cardboard and cellophane. If they’re really desperate for their next meal, they can even nibble through slightly thicker plastic, such as those inexpensive reusable food storage containers. Keep as much food as possible in your dorm fridge; everything else should be stored in sturdy, heavy plastic containers.”
3. Wash your laundry. Dirty, sweaty and wet laundry attracts insects that seek out warm damp places. Keep dirty socks and wet towels off the floor and off your bed. Store them in a closed hamper or sturdy laundry bag. You can buy inexpensive laundry hampers designed especially for college dorms that are collapsible and portable.
4. Clean out your fridge. “Dorm room cleaning tips” posted on eCampus Tours February 22, 2012, suggests: “Don’t let your fridge become a breeding ground for bacteria. Clean your fridge at least once a month by throwing out expired food items and wiping up spills with mild bleach or disinfectant. To avoid bacteria growth, store leftovers in air tight containers and toss the leftovers after about four days.”
5. Throw out trash right away. Sounds like a no-brainer. Don’t leave garbage and leftover food in cartons on the floor or in your trash bins more than a day or so. Empty garbage daily or every other day to avoid attracting bugs and to keep your dorm room smelling fresh.
6. Disinfect your cleaning sponges. Sponges, rags, mops and dust cloths collect germs and bacteria so they need cleaning often too. “We all know that after just a few uses, [sponges] can get a bit funky-smelling,” notes Linsey Knerl in “Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks” posted July 1, 2009, on Wisebread. To clean sponges: “Fill up your kitchen sink with hot water, add one cup of bleach, and toss those stinky things right in! Bacteria will be gone for good, leaving your sponges fresh-smelling again.”
7. Get rid of mildew stains. Mold and mildew can grow not only on bathroom surfaces but also on fabric and towels. Good Housekeeping offers these tips to remove stains from towels and clothes: Put them out in the sun to fully dry; the sun acts as a natural mold inhibitor. Then soak fabrics in all-fabric bleach for half an hour (first read your clothes’ labels to see if they are bleach safe). Rinse out then wash as usual in the machine.
8. Make your bed every day. The bed is the focal point of the room, so if it is clean and neat, the rest of the room’s little imperfections won’t seem so bad. Also, a neat bed will boost your spirits and make you more organized and ready to face the day.
Do you have dorm room cleaning tips to share? Tell us in the comments.