This may look clean, but is it really Mom clean?
Mr.P and I have sent two children off to college. We made all of the financial preparations. Bought all of the college student essentials. Taught them how to do laundry and budget money. Hug, cried, prayed and poured love over them as we left them on their own. And if all that weren't enough, I always spend the better part of a day scrubbing down my college students dorm room before they move in.
Universities generally clean their dorm buildings over the summers, but not necessarily to the point where someone would want to settle right in and start living there. Before you or your student unpacks, you'll want to take advantage of having a completely barren living space to clean without anything getting in your way. Here are a few tips for getting that dorm room to a sparkly clean before your student unpacks.
Floors — There are corners that will be hard to get to later and, of course, large portions that will be covered by furniture, rugs, and other stuff, so clean the floor before they set their room up. Many dorm rooms have linoleum flooring, but some may have carpet laid down. In the case of linoleum, sweep thoroughly (those dust bunnies might be pretty large), and mop or scrub with some serious cleaner. Something with bleach would not be a bad idea. Get some spot carpet cleaner and a vacuum to take care of any carpeting.
Furniture and Appliances — Use some wood cleaner and a rag on any wooden furniture and carpet cleaner on any spots on the upholstery. If the beds come with plastic-covered mattresses, use some kind of disinfectant on them. If your accommodations include a refrigerator, clean it thoroughly and add a box of baking soda to absorb any odors. Be sure to dust any air conditioning and heating vents as well.
Bathrooms — This is probably going to be your most intense battleground. Bring plenty of bleach-based cleaners and disinfectant. Students will need to have these around during the school year anyway.
- Mop and scrub the floor. I always did this on hands and knees — yes.
- Spend plenty of time on the shower: college showers are notorious for spreading things like athlete's foot, mostly because they are used by so many different people and not cleaned often/thoroughly enough. After I clean, I attach an Automatic Scrubbing Bubbles Shower cleaner. My child is more likely to punch the button as they are leaving the shower rather than spend time scrubbing tiles later.
- Use polishing cleaner on the sink and any metal knobs or fixtures in the shower.
- Spray any mirrors with glass cleaner and wipe them down.
- Use a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner. Leave some sort of long-term toilet bowl disinfectant in the tank or bowl for your student. Odds are they will not clean as often as you'd like to think.
Getting the cleaning finished before your student settles in will allow them to make this new space their own. Without the grime from previous residents hanging around, they will be able to make a fresh start in this new life away from home. Make sure to leave behind a basket of cleaning supplies. And DON"T forget the bug spray!