15 products to keep your dorm as clean as possible this semester

·7 min read
These top-rated dorm cleaning supplies are essential for the school year.
These top-rated dorm cleaning supplies are essential for the school year.

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Living in a dorm will undoubtedly make for some lifelong memories. Of course, you want those memories to be good ones (not grimy ones), so maintaining a clean dorm is essential. But don’t get it twisted: Clean doesn’t just mean free of dirt and grime. It also means a sanitary, dust-free, well-organized space. After all, have you ever seen a room strewn with clothes, shoes, and books, all covered in dust, and thought to yourself, ‘Man, now that’s a clean room.’ No, we bet you haven’t.

With that in mind, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up 15 of the top products to keep your dorm as clean as possible this semester. Add these items to a bubble list in your iPhone notes or print out this story to serve as your one-stop reminder for things you most definitely won’t want to forget at home.

1. A mess-free mop for every surface

It doesn't get better than Swiffer.
It doesn't get better than Swiffer.

Not all dorms have carpets. In fact, many come with tile or linoleum floors. As such, having a mess-free mop on hand to keep your floors in tip-top shape is always a good idea. Instead of fussing over a traditional bucket mop, stock your cleaning closet with a Swiffer WetJet—which, by the way, we ranked as the best mop off 2021. All you have to do is buy Swiffer sheets and solution, put the mop together, and get Swiffering. It’s all very intuitive.

Get the Swiffer WetJet from Amazon for $33.82

2. The best air purifier you can buy

Because clean air matters, too.
Because clean air matters, too.

Clean air is just as important as a visibly clean space, especially with rising COVID-19 cases and wildfire concerns in different areas of the country. Fortunately, in 2021, air purifiers are more popular than ever, so there are a ton to choose from. When we tested the top-sellers, we found that the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier reigned supreme, with easy-to-change filers, and an easy-to-move silhouette.

Get the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier from Amazon for $159.99

3. A set of stackable under-bed storage bins

You'll want to make the most of every nook and cranny in your dorm.
You'll want to make the most of every nook and cranny in your dorm.

Dorms are small. Luckily, there are ways to make the most of your limited space. Namely, putting the space beneath your bed to good use. The best way to do so is with underbed boxes. This four-pack of Sterilite storage boxes are great for their spacious, long, stackable nature. They're perfect for storing extra clothing, school supplies, food and more.

Get the Sterilite 4-Pack Storage Boxes with Wheels from Amazon for $67.20

4. A set of microfiber cleaning towels

So you don't have to be super wasteful with endless paper towels.
So you don't have to be super wasteful with endless paper towels.

Another sustainable solution: Microfiber cleaning towels. They work wonderfully for wiping down surfaces, drying dishes, and cleaning windows and mirrors, and they’re a whole lot less wasteful than paper towels. This set of microfiber cloths has a 4.2-star rating at QVC and comes in five fun patterns, perfect for any dorm style.

Get the 25 Premium 12" x 12" Microfiber Cleaning Towels By Campenelli from QVC for $21.50

5. An ultra-lightweight vacuum

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Speed is a good value.
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Speed is a good value.

Whether you live alone or with roommates in your dorm, there’s always the possibility of dragging dirt and debris in from the outside world. To ensure that it doesn’t clutter your baseboards or get matted into your carpet, make sure you’re well prepared with a top-notch vacuum. The Shark NV682 is the best affordable lightweight vacuum we tested. It comes with a number of useful attachments, it's easy to use, and it performed nearly as well as the Dyson Ball (which is about three times as expensive).

Get the Shark NV682 Vacuum from Amazon for $179.99

6. Or, if you prefer an unthinking approach to cleaning, a robot vacuum

We've tested a bunch and iRobot is our favorite.
We've tested a bunch and iRobot is our favorite.

If you’re more of a sit back and relax while the cleaning takes care of itself kind of person, you can’t go wrong with an iRobot Roomba i7+—our personal favorite robot vacuum cleaner. The best part about this automatic vacuum is that it disposes of dirt itself, so you don’t have to painstakingly empty it every other day.

Get the iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal from Amazon for $649

7. A high-quality trash can

Simplehuman sets the bar impossibly high.
Simplehuman sets the bar impossibly high.

Naturally, if you want a clean dorm room, you won’t want it to be littered with garbage, or swarmed with scents wafting from your garbage can. As such, investing in a high-quality, odor-resistant can is essential. When it comes to such, nothing compares to the Simplehuman 45L Rectangular Step Can. While $140 might seem pricey for a trash can, as someone who has sworn by them in all of her own apartments over the past seven years, I can assure you, they are 100% worth it—especially since they’re resistant to fingerprints despite being stainless.

Get the Simplehuman 45L Rectangular Step Can from Amazon for $139.99

8. A pack of microfiber cleaning mitts

They make dusting easier than ever.
They make dusting easier than ever.

Another microfiber cleaning solution worth stocking up on? Cleaning Mitts. You’ll be shocked at how well they work to dust surfaces and clean mirrors with a totally streak-free finish. Nearly 300 shoppers give these mitts 4.5 stars, noting that they're perfect for small jobs and easy to wash.

Get the Happy Place Sunny 12-pack 8" Microfiber Cleaning Mitts from HSN for $24.60

9. A bunch of disinfectant wipes

Don't let germs get in the way of your good time at college.
Don't let germs get in the way of your good time at college.

COVID-19 is still very much something to be mindful of, especially if you're sharing a dorm with dozens of fellow students. Thankfully, as we head back to school, disinfectant sprays and wipes are much more readily available than they were back in 2020. In other words, do yourself a favor and stock up while you can. But not just on any brand—one that’s proven to be effective—Lysol Disinfectant Wipes.

Get the Lysol Disinfectant Wipes from Amazon for $4.16

10. A well-designed dishrack

Because sometimes you'll want to use more than paper plates.
Because sometimes you'll want to use more than paper plates.

If sustainability is top of mind for you, chances are, you won’t want to rely solely on disposable plates, cups, and silverware in your dorm. However, since most dorms don’t come with dishwashers, that means you’ll want to outfit your space with a well-designed dishrack to keep your sink and counter space clean. While dishracks may seem one in the same, we tested a bunch and found that the PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack is best. It has a double-decker design with plenty of space to dry plates, cups, cutlery, and more. Also, it comes with two drain board options, so water won’t pool and mold won’t form. Thank goodness.

Get the PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack from Amazon for $49.99

11. The trendiest hand sanitizer around

You might as well make it an Insta-worthy accessory at this point.
You might as well make it an Insta-worthy accessory at this point.

I know what you’re thinking: How does cleaning your hands make for a clean dorm? Simply, by not bringing endless bacteria into it! This sanitizer from Touchland not only will keep your hands impeccably clean but it will leave them smelling great, too. Plus, the rectangular bottles are so unique, you’ll likely want to feature them on your grid. In that way, they’re almost like a trendy accessory for these times. No wonder they’re beloved by hundreds of shoppers and have an overwhelming number of 5-star reviews.

Get the Power Mist Hand Sanitizer from Touchland for $9

12. A can of disinfectant spray

Again, clean air matters-and this will help it not only be clean, but smell clean, too.
Again, clean air matters-and this will help it not only be clean, but smell clean, too.

While you’re at it, add a can or two of Lysol’s Disinfectant Spray to your cart, too. It’s a powerful and effective cleaning workhorse that belongs in your supply cubby. It's perfect for surfaces, knobs and handles—and basically every visible inch of the dorm room.

Get the Lysol Disinfectant Spray from Amazon for $12.79

13. Sturdy, durable hangers

Trust us, you don't want all your clothes to pile up on the floor.
Trust us, you don't want all your clothes to pile up on the floor.

Do you feel like a space is tidy if there are clothes all over the floor? Probably not. So, to avoid that disastrous feeling for yourself, keep your dorm and closet clean and organized by hanging your clothes on our very favorite hangers: The Container Store Basic Acrylic Hanger. They’re sleek, modern, and make navigating small, dark closets (as is often the case in dorms) a breeze. Plus, clothes cling to them, so they’re less likely to fall off on the floor.

Get The Container Store Basic Acrylic Hanger from The Container Store for $7.99

14. A bottle of trusted stain remover

Because hey, spills happen.
Because hey, spills happen.

No matter how careful you aim to be, spills will inevitably happen. And, if you have any type of fabric in your dorm—whether it’s a comforter, chair, carpet, or rug—you’ll want to have a top-quality stain remover on hand. Fortunately for you, we’ve already tested a bunch and found that the Woolite INSTAclean Pet Stain Remover is the way to go. Not solely for pet stains, the remover works exceptionally well to address everything from chocolate to tomato sauce stains, and even removes stubborn scents in the process.

Get the Woolite INSTAclean Pet Stain Remover from Walmart for $5.42

15. A top-rated step stool

Ensure you can reach every corner of your home away from home.
Ensure you can reach every corner of your home away from home.

You don’t want your dorm room to turn into dustville USA (yes, that’s a Samir Celebrity Home Shopping reference). Part of ensuring it doesn’t is making sure that you’re tall enough to reach even the highest corners in your home. The Honey-Can-Do Folding Step Stool is our favorite stool for just that. In addition to making crown molding more accessible, this sturdy stool will make organizing tall shelves and closet spaces a breeze, too.

Get the Honey-Can-Do TBL-02977 Folding Step Stool with Anti-Slip surface from Amazon for $34.19

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 15 products to keep your dorm as clean as possible this semester

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