Sometimes you just want to eat Doritos in bed even though you know you will have to deal with the crumbs for days afterward. In college, no one holds you accountable for the mess that you make, and with the added effects of procrastination, sometimes things don’t get cleaned often enough. Although no one expects that your room will be immaculate, it is easy to overlook certain spots. Don’t forget, it is important to maintain your space to prevent yourself from getting sick. There are several different areas in your dorm that cause the most trouble in terms of bacteria. Break out the Lysol wipes because you are definitely going to want to do some disinfecting.
Keyboards and Cellphones:
When was the last time that you wiped down your laptop or cellphone? ABC News reported that a study out of the UK revealed that cellphones are dirtier than toilet seats. Because surfaces like keyboards and cellphones are warm, they are the perfect place for bacteria to grow, and not keeping these devices clean also increases the risk of transferring viruses like the flu. This, partnered with the fact that we spend all day touching our screens, means that there’s a good chance you probably do not want to know is happening in the unseen ecosystem of your phone or laptop. Putting an oily screen up to your face is also unhealthy for your skin. So think twice before you hop into bed with your phone or laptop, and just take a second to wipe your technology down with an antibacterial wipe or a drop of hand sanitizer.
Similar to keyboards and cellphones, door handles are another place where bacteria can hide. Make sure to clean your doorknobs once in a while to alleviate the risk of picking up a virus. The germs can live, at most, for two hours. It is especially important if you have a sick roommate or visitor to wipe down your door handles with an antibacterial wipe. Beware communal spaces as well, like bathrooms and common areas. Since these places are high traffic, the risk of transferring an illness is even greater. It never hurts to use the classic paper towel trick on the bathroom door handle.
Fridges and Microwaves:
If you are using a communal microwave, it might be in your best interest to wipe off the buttons before you put in that cup of ramen. The display surface can harbor bacteria like salmonella and E. coli from people touching raw foods as they are trying to use the microwave. It also is helpful to wipe off the inside once in a while, because nobody wants to see the remnants of past meals baked onto the interior. Refrigerators are another frequently neglected device. Just like door handles, refrigerator door handles have been shown to be surprisingly dirty. Take the time to give your appliances a little TLC and clean them up both inside and outside.
Beds and Sheets:
You probably do everything in your bed from studying, facetiming your friends, and watching Netflix to actually sleeping. Well, spending so much time on and in your bed means that it is the perfect spot for things like skin cells, yeast/mold, and bacteria to build up. One study showed that the pillow of an average student has 170 million possible bacteria counts and forty million counts of yeast/mold. No one wants to be sleeping in that! There are many ways to maintain a cleaner space. First, make your bed every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Second, change your sheets: there is nothing like settling into clean sheets at the end of the day. And lastly, spend less time in your bed and more time at a desk. If you do have to sit on your bed, save a pair of clean sweatpants to change into that are only for that purpose, that way you won’t be bringing in the grime from the public places you were sitting in throughout the day (metro, classrooms, grass, etc.).
We have all kept our makeup brushes dirty for a longer time than we feel comfortable admitting. Perhaps just long enough that when we finally get around to cleaning them, you realize that you had actually forgotten their original color. Brushes that are too dirty can be very harmful for your skin and can cause it to become irritated. Also, make sure you know who you’re sharing your makeup supplies with because you can easily transfer things like pink eye. Just take the time to wash out those dirty brushes, your skin will thank you.
Also Notably Dirty:
1. Backpacks– These go everywhere with you and are often put on the ground. Try not to put your backpack in places that you want to keep clean, like your bed.
2. Old Dishes and Laundry- Aside from being an eye sore, if left out too long these items can grow mold.
3. Room key/ID- This probably goes everywhere with you from the bathroom to the metro. Make sure you give it the occasional wipe down.
4. Floors- Make sure you are using a vacuum of some kind to clean up the floor of your room. You will undoubtedly find a shocking amount of hair that will make you wonder how it is that there is any left on your head.