7 Cleaning hacks every college student should know

Students in kitchen
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With the newfound freedom of college, comes the realization that you need to start cleaning up after yourself. And while some of us may know the basics of home economics, it can be quite a challenge to keep up with your chores while finding time to study and socialize. 

That's why we’ve found 7 cleaning hacks which every student should know. These are speedy tips which will help keep your dorm clean and save you time in the long run. That way, you can get back to the books without worrying about the state of your room. 

If you're in the process of kitting out your space, these are 5 dorm room appliances that you will and won't need, and here's our guide to the best mattresses for college students. Be sure to check out the best back to school sales for some great deals on both classroom and dorm room essentials.

1. Always keep baking soda and vinegar in stock 

Baking soda and vinegar bottle

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Baking soda and white distilled vinegar are two of the most useful natural cleaners you will find in the kitchen cupboard. They’re affordable, widely available and can be used to clean almost anything. Each are effective cleaners in their own right, but when combined they also create a chemical reaction that powers through stains. That’s what makes baking soda and vinegar so good at cleaning

These household ingredients can be used to clean glass shower doors, the inside of ovens and even burnt pots and pans — the possibilities really are endless. On its own, baking soda is also a great deodorizer, while vinegar is brilliant at descaling. That’s why we’d recommend keeping both in stock. 

2. Let your bed air in the mornings 

Woman changing white bedsheets

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You may have been brought up to make your bed as soon as you rise, but that’s not actually best practice. We sweat while we sleep every night, and by making your bed immediately you’re sealing in that moisture and encouraging dust mites too. 

Pull back the bedsheets and let your bed air for a couple of hours every morning. It also helps if you can open a window during this time to vent the room. As a result, your sheets will stay fresher for longer. You should still change them regularly though — here’s how often you should change your bedsheets according to the experts. 

3. Wipe out the shower to prevent water marks 

Someone cleaning glass with a squeegee while wearing rubber gloves

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own shower, you’ll want to keep it in tip top condition. Showers with glass doors can form water marks very quickly if not maintained properly. A quick swipe with a squeegee, such as the MR.SIGA Multi-Purpose Silicon Squeegee ($10.99, Amazon), can make a huge difference. Taking the time to wipe out the shower afterwards with a towel is even better — just remember to clean the towel every so often!

If limescale has already claimed your shower door, be sure to check out our guide on how to clean a glass shower door. How to clean grout can also come in use if you’re giving your bathroom a once over.    

4. Buy the necessary cleaning products 

A bucket filled with cleaning equipment

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While baking soda and vinegar are good to have, you will still need dedicated cleaners for jobs which require a bit more cleansing power. Bleach is essential for keeping your toilet spotless, while multipurpose cleaners are great for everyday jobs. If the smell of vinegar is a bit much on your bathroom mirror, a window cleaner could be useful as well.

Don’t forget to invest in some microfiber cloths, such as the MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth ($12.99, Amazon), while you’re at it. Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning because they’re durable, absorbent and gentle on surfaces, plus they’re machine-washable. You can also color-code them to reduce cross-contamination as well. 

5. Dry your laundry immediately 

A close up of a clothes dryer's drum with dry clothes

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This is something people can be guilty of long after graduation. Forgetting about your laundry and leaving it in the drum will result in smelly clothes, not to mention a smelly washing machine. Mildew can also grow on clothes that are damp for an extended period, so you’re best off drying the load as soon as you can. 

Set a timer on your phone if you’re generally forgetful of your laundry. You can also set the machine to dry the clothes as soon as the wash cycle finishes if you’re using a washer dryer. That said, in our experience, clothes usually aren’t completely dry even after a drying cycle, so you should still remove them promptly. 

6. Clean your appliances

Air fryer basket being washed

Air fryer basket being washed (Image credit: Future)

Even if a cleaner helps you keep on top of the kitchen, you’ll still want to keep an eye on your appliances and deep clean them when necessary. If you don’t, it will eventually affect the performance and could even result in irreparable damage.  

Everyday cleaning might not be enough. An air fryer will need deep cleaning once in a while, while a coffee maker will need descaling. Depending on your appliances, monitor the condition and take the time to clean them thoroughly when needed. 

7. Make the most of your space  

Organized items in bedroom

Organized items in bedroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Your room could always be bigger, so you need to make the most of your space. Buy dedicated storage caddies to keep everything together and try to stick to a system. By doing this, you know where everything is when you need it and you don’t have to worry about items strewn across the floor and surfaces. This can make your room look bigger and can promote positive mental health as well.   

Our full guide on tips to save space in a student dorm room has much more to offer on making the most of limited living areas.

Next: You can also read our guide to choosing what size of TV you should buy for your dorm room and the 7 bedding tips every college student should know.

For more cleaning tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our guides on how to clean a cast iron skillet, how to clean a toilet and what do laundry symbols mean

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.