Do Men or Women Have The Dirtiest Dorm Room?

Cleaning isn’t at the top of your to-do list as a college student. To start with, no one likes to clean, and without your mom bugging you, odds are you push that unpleasant task out of your mind. But your dorm room may be even nastier than you think based on a recent study to determine who had the dirtiest dorm – men vs. women.

I would like to say that the ladies came out as leaders in the world of cleanliness, but you may be surprised at how many germs and bacteria were found in the living spaces of either sex.

Which dorm room spots are worse?

A recent College Stats study looked at men vs. women to see which sex’s dorm room was the messiest when it came to germs and bacteria. The study looked at eight different surfaces—sheets, fridge handle, room door knob, desk surface, dresser surface, room light switch, bathroom door knob, and bathroom light switch. Now I expected that the two bathroom locations might be housing some unpleasantness, but I figured the dresser surface and desk might be ok. Boy, was I wrong.

College Stats found that the men’s dresser surfaces had 1.5 million CFU/sq. in. of bacteria. The women’s, while less, 8,500 CFU/, still wasn’t pristine. Per College States, “Bacteria, when quantified, is measured in colony-forming units (CFU).”

Men vs. women—who’s dirtiest?

For women, the germs and bacteria may be lower in their dorm room, but head toward their bathrooms and the numbers skyrocket. The door knob in the women’s dorms that the study examined averaged more than 1.5 million CFU/sq. in. of bacteria and the bathroom light switch had 25,500 CFU on average. For men, the three highest numbers were their bed sheets, the dorm room door knob, and their dresser surface—all posting about 1.5 million (or more) CFU/sq. in. of bacteria.

Cumulatively in the men vs. women battle over who has the messiest dorm room, the men emerged as the dirtiest, with an average of more than 6 million CFU/sq. in. The women’s dorm rooms housed an average of more than 1.5 million CFU/sq. in. of germs and bacteria.

What kinds of germs and bacteria show up?

Ok, so all college students could benefit from a few extra loads of laundry and a swipe or two with a cleaning wipe. But germs and bacteria are everywhere, and some are even good for you, right? So why should college students be worried? I get that just learning that your dorm room may be housing a few random bits of grime may not be enough to alarm you. Well, let me share some of the fun that these germs and bacteria can visit on you:

  • Gram-negative rods—These bacteria cause infections such as meningitis and pneumonia. More than half of the germs and bacteria found in both men and women’s dorm rooms were gram-negative rods.
  • Gram-positive cocci—More than 40 percent of the germs and bacteria in the dorm rooms were this type that can lead to strep throat, staph infections or scarlet fever.

Maybe you haven’t done the math yet, so I’ll help you out—more than 90 percent of the germs and bacteria found in the College Stats men vs. women dorm room study were potentially harmful. Next time mom suggests sending you a care package, perhaps you might want to ask her to include some cleaning products?

Are you surprised to learn that the men edged the women out? Let us know in the comments.

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