Essential dorm cleaning supplies to buy before the new semester

You're gonna need 'em

Cleaning supplies repeated on pastel bubble background
(Image credit: Future)

Just like that butterfly chair and mini fridge, dorm cleaning supplies are non-negotiables — trust us

Things will get messy in between bites of ramen and during long study sessions, and you'll want to know how to clean your dorm, especially after your dorm party wraps for the evening early morning. It's inevitable, so you're going to have to be prepared. But where to start? Have a conversation with the roomies, according to Jean Prominski, the founder of Seattle Sparkle

"The best way to keep dorm rooms clean is to talk as a group to see where everyone’s level of comfort is with cleanliness," she says. "This is an important discussion so everyone can communicate their expectations, get their voices heard, and then come up with a plan that takes everyone’s desires into consideration."

After creating to-do lists and divvying up tasks, you're one step closer to keeping your study/sleep sanctuary spotless (and adorable, obviously). But make sure not to overwhelm yourself. Cleaning definitely should not be equivalent to an elective.

"Remember to keep things simple and achievable," Prominski recommends. "And if you or your roommates have a hard time keeping up with the tasks, have an open, kind, and compassionate conversation with each other, keeping in mind how much pressure everyone is under."

And when all else fails, never underestimate the power of a handy cordless vacuum (Prominski's go-to buy for college students). Here's what else needs to make its way into your boxes before move-in day.

Essential dorm cleaning supplies for the new semester

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How often should you clean your dorm room?

Unlike your physics test or economics midterm, there's no right or wrong answer. The truth is, every situation is different.  

Chores can be rotated once a week, once a month, once a semester, or whatever feels right for the roommates," Prominski says. 

However, there are a few ways to go about tackling the process. 

"Make up a proposed cleaning schedule. Each roommate could then pick weekly chores they want to do, and can agree to daily tasks," she adds. "Assuming everyone is on the same page with their desired level of cleanliness, it will be fairly easy to divvy up tasks."

How do you and your roommates agree on a dorm cleaning routine?

By being open about your needs and having a conversation early in the semester, you and your roomies can set up a scrubbin' schedule that works well for everyone. But don't skip over the topic — you won't get anything situated unless you're upfront. 

"Communication is the first step," Jean Prominski, the founder of Seattle Sparkle, reminds us. "Each roommate should make a list of everything that is important to them regarding cleanliness."

How do you fit cleaning into your schedule while in college?

It sounds impossible, but it's not! Keep things consistent, and remember that a little goes a long way when Friday rolls around.

"By carving out 10 minutes each day and about 30 minutes once a week (plus the time it takes to wash and dry the laundry), you will feel organized," Prominski assures.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.