How to Keep a Dorm Smelling Good

Tips to make your dorm room smell better, connect with friends, and become a real adult—or at least to do one of those things!

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #171

5. Do the Dishes

If you are using reusable dishes in your dorm room, congrats for going green! While using real dishes is great for the environment, if you don’t wash them on a regular basis, they can start to grow mold. Get in a habit of washing your dirty dishes at the end of the day, and you’ll never have to worry about them stinking up your food prep area.

6. Look for Hidden Stinks

When I was in college, I had international roommates for a summer. They were great, but when they went back to their home countries, I discovered where they had stored their vegetables: in the coat closet. You can imagine the stench that accompanied the rotten potatoes, onions, and carrots in the bottom of the closet. While there’s a good chance you won’t find rotten veggies in your dorm room, you might find some surprises hiding in your closet, under the bed, or behind furniture. Never underestimate the great ideas your friends can come up with to hide their leftover nachos.

7. Use Carpet Freshener

When you’re ready to vacuum the carpets, use a little homemade carpet freshener to help make the entire room smell better. In a small container, combine 1 cup of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Shake it up or stir it to mix it well. Sprinkle some in the carpet and let it set for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming the floors. The baking soda will help remove smells from the carpet, and the cinnamon will release a yummy smell when the vacuum goes over it.

I have more recipes like this on my episode, How to Make Your Home (and Everything in it) Smell Good. You can find a homemade deodorizing spray, air freshener gel, room diffuser, and more. Also, check out these 6 Easy Air Fresheners You Can Make Right Now for more affordable DIY options. These will help you not only remove the bad odors, but put in some yummy smells that will make people want to spend time in your dorm room.

Remember, living on your own for the first time means that your parents aren’t there to clean up your stinky messes. You’ll probably make some mistakes, and you may have you might have to learn the hard way to do your dishes before going home for holiday break, but soon you’ll be a fully functional member of adult society. We’ll welcome you with open arms—as long as you don’t smell funny.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.


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