That Dirty Dorm Room Could Be Making You Sick
Remember when your mother would throw a fit if you left dirty dishes in the sink for hours, yet your only job was to put them in the dishwasher. Or maybe when she always asked you to clean your room, but you felt it was a bother. Eventually, you began the countdown to be on your own finally, and college presented the ideal opportunity.
You should have listened to her because now that you are slacking on cleaning your dorm room, you expose yourself to health risks. Luckily, we can help you take charge of your cleanliness through a few tips, but first, let's share what you might not know about the dangers of living in a dirty environment.
So how to tell if you are living in a dirty dorm room? Let’s see the checklist below:
The building may not have any issues with leakage, but your failure to keep the floors dry could facilitate mold growth. It is mostly found in bathrooms and kitchens due to the high humidity levels. Therefore if you spot a greenish substance on your walls, shower curtains, and floors, you can be sure that you are putting your health at risk.
Infections and allergies
Usually, with mold comes allergic reactions, and anyone with respiratory issues such as asthma will be adversely affected when the spores enter the respiratory system. You will experience never-ending flu-like symptoms in mild cases, whereas in severe cases, you could have so much difficulty in breathing that you end up in a hospital. Moreover, in shared bathrooms, especially, you will notice that your feet develop athlete's foot that is characterized by red, flaky skin that could become itchy. In extreme cases, it could form pus and blisters in between the toes.
Cockroaches and rats are evidence of poor hygiene since they like feeding on food crumbs.Dust mites find a dirty mattress as the perfect breeding ground, and once you sleep on it, you can develop skin diseases. On the other hand, rats are known to cause more than 35 diseases in humans once we come in contact with their urine, feces, or saliva.
And how do you keep your room clean?
Clean the bathroom
Germs will continue to multiply unless you take action; therefore, it is your responsibility to keep the bathroom clean. By ensuring that it is not damp, you eliminate the possibility of multiplication of bacteria. Besides, sharing the bathroom means you are at risk of contracting any fungal diseases they may have. Thus, regular disinfecting will help protect your body against any infections since germs can enter your body through open cuts on your feet.
Wipe surfaces and mop floors
It is rare to find people washing their carpets, yet with time they harbor so much dirt and dust that you will be exposing yourself to lots of health risks. Therefore once in a while, shake out the rug. Although we are advised to wash them yearly, given the high traffic in dorm rooms, you could do yourself a favor by having it thoroughly cleaned at least once every three months. Mopping your floor and wiping the surfaces will ensure dust does not accumulate to cause allergies. Whether laminate, carpet, or vinyl plank floor, just make sure you have the right mop for your floors.
After spending your day in the classroom, and the partying in the evening, the energy to wash the dishes may seem non-existent. Therefore you will opt to pile up the plates in the sink as you wait for the hangover to end. Unfortunately, that acts as an open invitation to pests in your room, so if you find that you lack the energy to wash large amount of dirty dishes, the trick is to wash utensils as soon as you use them.Besides, since sharing glasses can cause bacterial meningitis, you could be saving your life.
Wash clothes regularly
You might reason that you are the epitome of cleanliness because you are wearing clean clothes every day. However, the fact remains that if you pile your sweaty clothes in the laundry basket, you are no different from those who sleep in their workout gear after visiting the gym.Sweaty clothes and wet towels that sit in the basket unwashed develop mold due to their dampness. Consequently, washed clothes should be allowed to dry completely.
Change your bed sheets often
Even if you make your bed every morning, as long as the sheets have not been changed for weeks, you are only putting up a façade of cleanliness.Dirty sheets attract Staph bacteria, which can kill you if it gets into your bloodstream through any cuts on your body. Additionally, since we shed skin cells that are food for insects, the dust mites will cause skin irritation and other reactions. You should, therefore, wash your sheets at least once every week.
How to protect yourself against diseases caused by unsanitary conditions?
Unlike cleaning your home, dorm rooms have so many people living under one roof, enabling infections to spread fast. You can, therefore, be proactive in maintaining your health by getting vaccinated before you join college. Bacterial meningitis can be fatal; since germs cause it, you may be unable to stop the spread of germs by other people. You can take charge of your body so that you will be safe even if they are infected.
Wash hands frequently
Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has shown how quickly a virus can spread if we fail to observe general hygiene. Regardless of how clean your dorm room is, you will still be at risk of contracting diseases unless your hygiene is at maximum levels. Health experts' message to flatten the coronavirus infection curve is to wash hands thoroughly with running water and soap, and the same measure can be used in dorm rooms. Touching a dirty surface is enough to have you carry the germs, but if you regularly wash your hands as you visit your friends in their respective rooms, you will avoid being a germ-carrier.