Maybe you keep your dorm room cleaner than your room at home. Or maybe not. But chances are that your dorm room and the entire dormitory that you reside in are cesspools for infections and germs.
In order to stay healthy in college this year, follow these five key hygiene practices:
1) Kitchen Appliances: It is very convenient to have a microwave and mini fridge in your dorm. But as unclutterer explains, these appliances are also vulnerable to bacteria growth which can send you or your roomie to the student medical center. Like the website www.kitchenistic.com recommends, once a week, clean your microwave, mini fridge and/or hot-pot with kitchen soap and warm water. Also, get in the habit of tossing out leftovers within 24 hours and definitely do not leave opened containers around the dorm room or else you run the risk of opening up your living quarters to pests like rodents, cockroaches and other fun creatures.
2) Showers: Since you’ll likely be sharing a shower with 20 or so other students, it is a wise idea to invest a few dollars in a pair of shower shoes. Fungi that cause athlete’s foots and plantar warts live on bare surfaces like the floor of the shower, so protect yourself and your fellow dorm-mates and slip on a pair of shoes before sudsing up.
3.) Cosmetics: As tempting as it may be to test out your roomie’s new lip gloss or mascara, do refrain from sharing make-up and save yourself the risk of developing a cold sore or pinkeye.
4.) Hand-washing: You’ve heard your mom tell you this every day of your pre-college life, but there is great reason to heed her request. Most germs are passed from common encounters like shaking someone’s hand, touching a door knob, handling money and countless other actions that we engage in numerous times over the course of a single day. Protect yourself by washing your hands with soap and water every time you return home from class, before each meal, after each bathroom break and following a workout session.
5.) Bed Linens: Even though you no longer have mom around to do your laundry every week, it is so important to wash your bed sheets, pillows and comforters regularly. Bed mites, also called dust mites, are a common allergen that love the dark environment of your mattress. Prevent the allergies and rashes that can come from a serious bed mite infestation and designate one day as laundry day and clean your bed linens in hot water with laundry detergent each week.
Also read: Swine Flu: Protecting Yourself on Campus