When a student is new to a college, they are thrown into an area where there are many people they encounter 24 hours a day 7 days a week, in their immediate personal space like an apartment or dorm. They can easily get sick and catch anything from the common cold to some of the deadliest types of diseases. But, the good news is, they can easily do things about it so they minimize their exposure to these germs. Today we will talk about 25 areas to clean in a dorm room to help keep you from getting sick.
I divided these areas to clean a dorm room into four sections, bedroom areas to clean in a dorm, kitchen areas to clean, bathroom areas to clean, and common areas to clean.
Note: the trick is to do these tasks regularly. It needs to be done at least once or twice a week unless otherwise mentioned below.
Below is the list of areas you need to clean and how often.
Bedroom Areas to Clean in a Corm
Keyboard - Spray a cloth and wipe down the keyboard when the laptop or external keyboard is off.
Laptop cases - Since you will probably be taking the laptop everywhere you go, wiping the outside every few days will help keep it clean.
Cellphone screens - Cellphone screens get super dirty because of the touch screen. Wipe the screens when the device is off.
Cellphone cases - Don't forget the cases; you can easily use a cloth and soak the case for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water and a squirt of dish soap.
Tablets - is similar to the cellphone screen, be sure to clean this regularly, especially if it is a touch screen.
Writing Utensils - Is there a pen or other writing tool you use a lot? Wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe often.
Computer mouse - do the same with the mouse you use; wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe at least once a week.
Headset or earbuds - Keeping these items clean will help them last longer. The New York Times has a great article about how to clean headphones and earbuds.
Kitchen Areas to Clean in a Dorm
Inside and outside of the water bottles - clean the inside and the outside of your water bottle. And never leave the lid on for too long. Water needs removing after each use. It will get stagnant.
Glasses and mugs - Another area you should clean a dorm is the glasses and mugs. Leaving them in the sink will just pile up, and if the glasses or mugs have milk in them, they will smell up the room after a day of sitting out.
Plates and bowls - If you don't clean plates or bowls right away, the food in them will get hard and smelly. Soaking them with water will help, but it shouldn't become a habit to leave these items in the sink.
Refrigerator handles and inside the fridge and Microwave - You can use the all-purpose disinfectant cleaner you use for the kitchen. However, if you have a stainless steel refrigerator handle, check out this post for instructions from HGTV.
The Today Show has great tips on how to clean the inside of the microwave.
Countertops - Especially if you have a small countertop that everyone uses, you should clean this area at least once a day. Use countertop disinfectant cleaners, like Lysol Pro Kitchen Spray Cleaner and Degreaser Antibacterial.
Cutting boards - Whether you have wood cutting boards or plastic ones, they should always be cleaned after every use. You can read more about how to clean this on the Real Simple magazine website.
Reusable Straws - Whether you have stainless steel or other types of straws, be sure to have a straw brush (Amazon Affiliate). These are so handy for cleaning the inside of the straw. You can easily add a little dish soap on the brush and run it through the straw, and then rinse the inside with water.
Common Areas to Clean in a Dorm
Doorknobs - This area needs to be cleaned once a week.
Railings - If your dorm or apartment has stairs, you should clean the railings once a week to minimize the transfer of germs.
The printer display - If you have a printer in your room, you want to clean off the touch screen display every so often, especially if someone else uses it as well.
TV remotes or any remotes you may have - This is a hot spot for germs. Cleaning this every week and more frequently when your roommates are sick. Visit our post about how to clean electronics.
Vacuum cleaner - Just emptying out the vacuum cleaner is not enough. You should turn it over and clean out the hairs of the brushes at the bottom. If they do not budge, use scissors and cut the hair out. Always, always, always use gloves and a mask, especially if you have several roommates.
Fan blades - Cleaning fan blades at least once a month will cut down on dust in the room. And, if you are sensitive to dust, this should be a priority. Be sure to stand in a secure area while cleaning these blades. Home Depot has some great tips on how to clean blades using a pillowcase.
Tops of picture frames and window sills - And the last area to clean is picture frames and window ledges. The top and bottom of picture frames and window sills are super important to reduce the dust in a dorm room. You can use an all-purpose spray cleaner, and a microfiber cloth works nicely.
Bathroom Areas to Clean in a Dorm
Toilets - Of course, I had to add toilets. Look for a cleaner that sains disinfectant cleaner on it. It may also have bleach.
Tub or Shower - The next area to clean often in a dorm room is the tub or shower. Using a shower cleaning daily will maintain the space but cleaning it at least once a week with a disinfectant cleaner. I prefer the foaming ones.
Floors - Usually, there aren't rugs on the floors in dorms, but if you do have area rugs, be sure to shake them into a trash can to get rid of the dust. If you really want to shake it out, ask your RA if you can shake it outside the building and where to do that.
Cleaning the floors can be done using Swifter wet pads or another all-purpose floor cleaner.
REMINDER: always clean your hands after you return to the dorm from outside BEFORE you do anything else. Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds before, during, and after you prep food to help minimize germs.
I hope this post helps you keep your dorm clean and reduce the germs in your new home. Please leave a comment with any questions you may have about your cleaning routine.