Prep for College with These 7 Dorm Cleaning Essentials

Whether you’re attending orientation, discovering room assignments or double-checking your packing list, it’s easy for you and your child to feel anxious about heading off to college. Sometimes it takes only a few items that remind them of home to help calm pre-college jitters – even things as small as familiar snacks or a favorite pillow can help.

When it comes to cleaning, convenient versions of the products you know & trust not only tackle dorm messes, but also bring with them a hint of home. Here are 7 travel-friendly cleaning essentials that can help make college life a little easier:

Here are some of our picks for dorm cleaning essentials to pack this fall:

  1. All-purpose cleaner: The average dorm room is just over 200 square feet — about the size of a one-car garage — so it doesn’t take much work to keep that space clean. It also means that the products roommates use impact every square inch of living space. That’s why its important to choose all purpose cleaners free of fragrances and VOCs.
  2. Disinfectant wipes: Tiny dorm rooms and communal bathrooms are like a petri dish. According to the CDC, these close quarters put college students at higher risk of flu and other contagious illnesses. One of the best ways for your child to help reduce germs is to encourage good hygiene, like washing hands, and to wipe down countertops and shared hard  surfaces where germs are present. Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes kill over 99.99% of household germs botanically, including Influenza A virus, H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37, Methicilin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  3. Hand wash: Speaking of handwashing, the soap in the dorm bathroom may not work for your child — especially if he suffers from skin sensitivities. Send him off with a bottle of his favorite Seventh Generation Free & Clean  hand soap, which is free of fragrances. It also contains no dyes or phthalates! Plus research failed to prove that over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are safe or better at preventing the spread of germs than proper hand washing with plain soap and water.
  4. Laundry packs: Since mom isn’t there, your child’s laundry probably won’t get done as often she’s used to. Although you can’t remind her to empty her overflowing laundry basket, you can encourage good habits by packing a roll of quarters and some laundry packs. Seventh Generation packs are filled with the same trusted detergent she’s used to in a grab-and-go form.
  5. Dishwashing liquid: Remember the days of washing your cereal bowl in the bathroom sink in your dorm? It’s still less-than-ideal, but a healthier option is to send her off with a dish pan, a scrubber, a bottle of dish soap, and a towel. Keep in mind that dishes probably won't happen often, so a small bottle will last a long time.
  6. Toilet paper: If the residence hall doesn’t supply toilet paper, make sure a few rolls of extra-soft toilet paper are stashed under the sink.
  7. Paper towels: Like toilet paper, paper towels aren’t usually provided in dorms. However, a roll of recycled paper towels is essential for wiping up spills, cleaning countertops, and using as makeshift plates for late-night pizza. They’re also more hygienic than reusing a hand towel in a communal bathroom.