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How to Clean a Dorm Room & Bathroom and Essential Cleaning Supplies

Whether it’s move-in day, weekly cleaning, or year-end cleaning before move-out to avoid a cleaning fee, Clorox® products make it easy. No cleaning experience? You’ll be a pro by the end of the year.

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By Mary Gagliardi
Smells like Coconut.
Cleans like Clorox.
Smells like Coconut.
Cleans like Clorox.
Clorox Scentiva Products

From the start of the semester when you first move in, to routine maintenance cleaning, and finally move out day at the end of the year, deep cleaning a dorm room on a regular basis will help to maintain a healthier home-away-from-home. This is important to help prevent pests, allergens and the spread of illness.

Housing amenities differ from campus to campus, and even within the same college. Whether you have a single, double, triple or quad room, or a suite with a shared bathroom, try to coordinate with any roommates to keep these spaces clean and disinfected. It’s a great way to practice your collaboration skills (not to mention adulting).

Don’t avoid doing laundry, or wait to bring it home on the weekend. Letting dirty laundry sit around just gets smelly, and it annoys your roommates. We’ll show you just how easy it can be to get your clothes clean, fast.

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How clean is that dorm room?

Start the year off right with a quick clean before unpacking

On move-in day, don’t be surprised to find a less-than-clean dorm room. Instead, be ready: bring a large canister of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and Clorox® Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist, along with a broom and a dustpan since it may be hard to find one on move-in day.

Before unpacking, wipe down all hard, nonporous surfaces like closet shelves, bedframes, desks and dressers with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes to get rid of any dust. Spray soft surfaces like curtains and mattresses with Clorox® Disinfecting Mist to remove any odors. After sweeping out the room and lining the trash can with a small Glad® drawstring garbage bag, it’s time to unpack! It won’t be too long before your room will need a midterm deep cleaning, and we’ll help you get ready.

Cleaning Supplies checklist


Dorm Room/Laundry:

  Clorox® Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist

  Laundry detergent pods

  Clorox 2® For Colors 3 in 1 Liquid

  Clorox® Zero Splash™ Bleach Packs

Dorm Suite shared bathroom:

  Clorox® Scentiva Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths


Steps to deep clean a dorm room

  1. 1

    Wash bedding and towels

    Strip your bed and machine wash the sheets along with your towels. Use detergent and, the appropriate bleach depending on the color of the laundry: either Clorox 2® For Colors or Clorox® Zero Splash™ Bleach Packs. While the laundry is in progress, clean the rest of the room.

  2. 2

    Wipe surfaces down

    Starting at the top of the room, use Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes to clean dust and grime off of hard, nonporous shelves, desk tops, chairs, bed frames and dressers. Don’t forget high-touch surfaces like TV remotes, door knobs and light switches, as well as computer monitor, laptop, phone screen and case.*


    Surfaces must remain visibly wet for 4 minutes to disinfect.

  3. 3

    Clean the mini-fridge

    If you have a small refrigerator, remove the contents and check the expiration dates; discard anything that’s out-of-date. Wipe the shelves out with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, then restock the refrigerator with the containers of food you are keeping.

  4. 4

    Clean the floor

    If the dorm room is carpeted or has a rug, vacuum it now. Sweep out rooms with vinyl, linoleum or tile flooring.


    Use the vacuum, broom and dustpan available for dorm residents for this so you don’t have to store these all year in your (probably very small) shared space.

  5. 5

    Sanitize soft surfaces

    Use Clorox® Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist to sanitize curtains and couches, as well as blankets, throw pillows, or comforters that weren’t washed with your sheets and towels. Lightly spray onto soft surfaces until visibly wet, but do not saturate.


    To sanitize, soft surfaces must remain visibly wet for 2 minutes before air drying.

  6. 6

    Empty the trash

    Empty the trash can, then wipe it out with a disinfecting wipe before lining it with a fresh trash bag.

  7. 7

    Remake your bed

    Put your newly cleaned sheets back on the bed and you’re done! Now back to studying.

For dorm room suites and apartments with a shared bathroom, the roommates will need to clean the bathroom if routine cleaning isn’t part of a housing contract. Don’t wait too long — it will just get dirtier and take longer to clean. The products in the Clorox® Bathroom Essentials Bundle provide everything you need for your shower, toilet, sink, mirror and bathroom fixtures so cleaning is quick and easy.

  • *

    Follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning and disinfecting electronics

Steps to deep clean a dorm suite bathroom

  1. 1

    Clean and disinfect the shower area

    Hold Clorox® Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner 6-8 inches from glass shower doors, ceramic tile or fiberglass walls, and water faucets. Spray over the surface. Wait a few minutes, then rinse. For heavy soap scum, wipe with a scrubber sponge before rinsing.


    If you have mold or mildew in the shower, after cleaning away any soap scum, use Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with Bleach to get rid of mold and mildew stains.

  2. 2

    Clean the sink and countertop area

    Spray the sink, faucets, mirror and countertops with Clorox® Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, wipe with the sponge, then rinse and dry with paper towels or a microfiber cloth.

  3. 3

    Clean the toilet

    Flush the toilet before cleaning. Attach a fresh cleaning head to the Disinfecting Toilet Wand, dip it in the water in the toilet bowl for a 1–2 seconds, then scrub the sides of the bowl above the water line; dispose of the cleaning head when finished scrubbing. Let stand for 10 minutes to disinfect, then flush the toilet again.


    Drop a Clorox® Bleach and Blue automatic cleaning tablet in the toilet tank to keep the toilet clean with fewer routine cleanings.

  4. 4

    Empty the trash

    Empty the trash can, then wipe it out with a disinfecting wipe before lining it with a fresh trash bag.

  5. 5

    Clean and disinfect the floor

    Clear the floor by removing rugs (machine wash them if needed, see step 6), trashcans and anything else on the floor, then sweep clean with the broom. After sweeping, use a Clorox® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloth attached to a sweeper tool to clean the floor. Replace mats, rugs and trash can when the floor has air dried.

  6. 6

    Wash the rugs

    Machine wash bathroom rugs using the hottest water recommended, laundry detergent, and the appropriate bleach product depending on the color of the rug. Tumble dry.

  7. When move-out day approaches and it’s almost time to pack up, don’t lose your cleaning deposit or get charged an extra room cleaning fee because you left the room a mess. Instead, quickly clean the space before you leave (this will also help make sure you don’t accidentally leave anything behind). Download our Move-Out Check List to make it easy.

    Frequently asked questions

    How do you clean dorm room carpets and floors?

    Dorm room carpeting should be regularly vacuumed. Most dorms have a vacuum available for students to use. For smelly dorm room carpeting, spray with Clorox® Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist after vacuuming to sanitize and remove odors. To sanitize, carpeting must remain visibly wet (but do not saturate) for 2 minutes before air drying. Hard, nonporous floors can be cleaned and disinfected regularly with Clorox® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths after sweeping out loose debris. To disinfect, floors must remain visibly wet after wiping for 4 minutes before air drying.

    How can you organize and declutter a dorm room?

    Make your bed daily. This gives you extra space to organize your daily life (loading a backpack before heading to campus, sorting laundry before washing, folding laundry). Get a laundry basket or hamper, and use it: make sure your dirty laundry gets into the basket instead of leaving it around the room. Use clear plastic storage boxes to organize shoes, books, seasonal clothing and other supplies so they are out of the way, yet visible for easy access.

    How often should you clean a dorm room & do you have any tips?

    Daily cleaning includes making your bed, putting away clothes and shoes, putting dirty laundry in the hamper and washing dirty dishes. Weekly cleaning includes wiping down hard, nonporous surfaces with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and for students responsible for a shared bathroom in a dorm suite, cleaning the toilet, shower and sink area with the Clorox® Bathroom Essentials Bundle. Clearly communicating with roommates about expectations for cleanliness and establishing a cleaning schedule will help everyone get along in a pleasant and clean environment.