You empty the trash in your dorm bathroom before it overflows. Most of the time, at least. But there's one final step before it's really clean. The trash can needs to be cleaned, too.
After you've removed the garbage, place the receptacle in the shower and rinse it inside and out (scrub the bathtub well afterwards). Then, using a mixture of two tablespoons white vinegar to one quart hot water -- or an over-the-counter disinfectant cleaning spray -- spray its surface. If you use the trash bin as a catchall (takeout boxes, yogurt containers), opt for a cleaner meant for pet messes. It will contain enzymes that break down organic molecules, kill bacteria and freshen odors. Scrub the trash can with a brush, rinse it and allow it to air-dry. Then, before you put a trash liner into the clean trash can, place a couple of fabric softener sheets (the kind that are ultra-scented) to help eliminate odors [sources: Apartment Therapy, Real Simple].
Author's Note: 10 Spots in the Dorm Bathroom Everyone Forgets to Clean
From faucets to trash cans, this is a fairly ambitious cleaning list -- especially for college students whose concerns are sure to lie elsewhere. I know mine did during those few heady years of dorm life. Still, there's no harm in setting yourself up for success by keeping mold, mildew -- and a general yuck-factor -- at bay. After all, it can be hard to concentrate on finals when you're battling a staph infection brought on by a filthy bathroom.
- Allday, Erin. "100 Trillion Good Bacteria Call Human Body Home." San Francisco Chronicle. July 5, 2012. (June 20, 2013) http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/100-trillion-good-bacteria-call-human-body-home-3683153.php#next
- Alliance for Consumer Education. "Stopping Germs in the Bathroom." (June 20, 2013) http://www.stopgerms.org/bathroom.html
- Apartment Therapy. "Bathroom Cleaning Tips." (June 20, 2013) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/bathroom-cleaning-tips-from-so-77761
- Apartment Therapy. "How to Clean and De-Fog Bathroom Mirrors, Toxin-Free." (June 20, 2013) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-and-defog-bathroo-109438
- BreathMD. "How to Clean and Store a Toothbrush." April 29, 2011. (June 20, 2013) http://www.breathmd.com/how-to-clean-and-store-a-toothbrush.php
- Butler, David. "The 21 Germiest Places You're Not Cleaning." Greatist. May 24, 2012. (June 20, 2013) http://greatist.com/health/21-germiest-places-youre-not-cleaning#footnote-1296-20
- Design My Space. "5 Dirty Places You Forget to Clean in Your Bathroom." May 7, 2013. (June 20, 2013) http://designmyspace.org/5-dirty-places-you-forget-to-clean-in-your-bathroom/
- The Maids. "The Maids Offer Tips to Fight Bathroom Bacteria." Jan. 19, 2012. (June 20, 2013) http://www.maids.com/blog/the-maids-offer-tips-to-fight-bathroom-bacteria/
- Martha Stewart. "Homekeeping Solutions." (June 20, 2013) http://www.marthastewart.com/275411/bathroom-cleaning-tips/@center/277000/homekeeping-solutions#275411/235512
- National Science Foundation. "Top Ten Germiest Places in the Home." (June 20, 2013) http://www.nsf.org/consumer/newsroom/fact_top10_germiest_places.asp
- Reader's Digest. "9 Bathroom Cleaning Problems Solved." (June 20, 2013) http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/9-bathroom-cleaning-problems-solved/
- Real Simple. "The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy." (June 20, 2013) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/worst-cleaning-jobs-made-easy-00000000032847/page6.html
If you're not dusting regularly, you're letting all kinds of gross things drift around your living space. Get tips on keeping your dorm dust-free.