How Often Should I Vacuum My Dorm?

May 16, 2018 Allison Hess


Many college kids don’t vacuum their dorms at all—let alone consider how often they should be vacuuming.

But vacuuming is critical to health and wellness. A dirty room can cause health concerns, like asthma and other respiratory problems. Dust, allergens, and other bacteria can also lead to mental fogginess, minimized focus, and loss of productivity.

Vacuuming is an especially important part of cleaning. People often forget to clean their floors, especially their carpets, because they don’t see the dirt. Vacuuming the floor doesn’t feel like an immediate need like washing the dishes or doing the laundry, so it can easily fall by the wayside.

But the floors are the greatest harbors of bacteria, dust, and mold. Some studies have even shown that dust in dorm rooms contain carcinogens.

Vacuuming and dusting your room once weekly can remove 80% of the dust, bacteria, and harmful contaminants in the room. This leads to improved health, which can make college kids more productive, happier, and more successful.

So how often should you vacuum and care for your floors?

(We’ll even give you other tips to keep your dorm room clean, fresh, and dust-free.)

How Often Should I Vacuum My Dorm? woman vacuuming floor

How often should I vacuum my dorm?

It’s recommended that vacuum your room the same number of times weekly as the people who live in the space. So, if there are two roommates, you should be vacuuming twice a week. If eight roommates share the common area, that space should be vacuumed eight times per week.

This kind of system can make it easier for roommates to keep track of. You each know that you have to vacuum the room once per week as part of your “chores.” This spreads the responsibility (assuming everyone agrees to the same level of responsibility). Create a schedule and a system that everyone agrees to stick with.

If your friends won’t agree to vacuum, talk to them about the health benefits. The dust in your carpet could be worsening your productivity—even lowering your grades. Enhancing your study habits starts with a clean floor.

If this schedule just isn’t feasible for you, you should be vacuuming your floors at least once per week.

How do I vacuum my dorm?

Vacuuming is one of the easiest and fastest cleaning techniques. All you need to do is plug in the machine, turn it on, and run it over the entire floor. Most people will move the vacuum in a push and pull motion to cover the greatest area.

Think of vacuuming like a workout for your arms and abs. You can also dance around to music with your roommates. Workout, cleaning, and bonding all at once!

Learn the proper way to vacuum carpets and hard floors below:

You want to make sure you purchase the right vacuum. You want something compact and portable, so it’s easy to store and use in your dorm room.

We recommend the Dyson V6 cordless vacuum, which doesn’t need to be plugged in while in use—so you don’t have to find an outlet in every corner of your room, under your bed or desk. It also only weighs a few pounds, and it’s great for carpet, hard floors, and corners.

You can also check out our top 5 vacuums on the market here.

How Often Should I Vacuum My Dorm? thumbs up vacuum

Other vacuuming tips

What else do you need to know about maintaining the floor of your dorm room?

  1. Don’t wear your shoes in your dorm room. The bottoms of your shoes are covered in gunk and bacteria from the outside world. This bacteria spreads to the floor on which you walk. This pulls in the greatest amount of bacteria into your room—even more so than what you touch with your hands.
  1. Vacuum last. If you’re doing a full cleaning of your room, you want to do the vacuuming last. As you dust and clean, debris and gunk is likely to fall on to the floor. Vacuuming after cleaning other parts of the room ensures you remove the greatest amount of dust and dirt from the room.
  1. Don’t throw your laundry on the floor. If you throw your clothes on the floor, the sweat, dead skin cells, and dirt on your clothes can spread to the floor of your dorm room. This spreads gunk to the floor, and it can also become a breeding ground of bacteria. Instead, use a clean hamper and wash clothes frequently. Learn the basics of college laundry here.
  1. Make sure you vacuum in all corners, on the sofa, in between couch cushions, and behind your bed. Dust likes to collect in crevices.
  1. Store your vacuum somewhere that’s easily accessible. If you put it in the back of your closet, you’re less likely to pull it out on a weekly basis. If it’s easily accessible, you can make vacuuming a quick and easy part of your week.

Other cleaning tips

Vacuuming isn’t enough to keep your dorm room clean. Here are some of our best dorm dusting tips to make your vacuuming job more effective.

How Often Should I Vacuum My Dorm? cleaning with pink gloves and microfiber cloth

1. Use microfiber for dusting.

“Dusters” are out, and microfiber cloths are in. These cloths pick up and lock in dust to avoid spreading dirt and germs. You can also “damp dust” by wetting the microfiber cloth; this ensures the dust particles get trapped in the cloth and don’t become airborne.

Swiffer or other microfiber mops are also good tools to pick up dirt from hard floors, like tiles, hardwood, and vinyl.

2. Change your sheets.

The average single male washes his sheets four times per year. You should be washing more like four times a month.

Vacuuming removes dust from the floor, but the majority of dust is actually in your bed! Dead skin cells come off while you sleep and get trapped in your sheets. Your body’s natural oils, hairs, and other particles also come off on sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. This can lead to acne, eczema, allergies, respiratory problems, and other health concerns.

When you’re in the process of changing your sheets, you should also vacuum your mattress. Learn about the importance of a clean mattress here.

3. Take out your trash.

Take out your trash when it’s ¾ filled or weekly (whichever comes first). If you don’t, you’ll not only get stinky odors—but you can also get fruit flies and houseflies. These flies can lay up to 150 eggs in a batch—and up to six batches in their short lifespan. Baby flies aren’t flies—they’re maggots. You can get maggots with just a few days of old trash.

Learn how to prevent and get rid of insects here.

You should also clean the physical trashcan. Spray some Lysol down there and run a wipe over it. Trash cans collect bacteria, dirt, dust, smells, and germs—so they need extra attention.

4. Keep your desk organized.

Dust is more likely to accumulate on your desk if you have papers thrown everywhere. Don’t use your desk as a storage unit that doesn’t get any dustings or cleanings. This can also help make sure you don’t lose any important papers, which you end up spending hours searching for.

You should de-clutter your desk weekly to minimize dust and germs. Plus, a clean workspace is a clean mind.

5. Get an air purifier.

One of the best ways to remove dust in the air—before it settles in the carpet—is with an air purifier. These purifiers take in the air and sterilize it, removing allergens and germs. This keeps your space feeling fresh and healthy. It can also help minimize the spread of colds and flus, which are more common in shared dorm spaces.

Consider putting plants in your dorm as well, as these are natural air purifiers.

Bottom line

Dust can be damaging to your health, productivity, and motivation. Proper cleaning and vacuuming practices keep your space fresh and clean to improve health and boost productivity.

What are your vacuuming tips for dorms and small spaces? Let us know in the comments below!

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