Dormitory life is great fun, but there’s one major downside that comes with living in a university dorm. When you’re packed into a building with small rooms and living with hundreds or thousands of other students in a cramped environment, the smells in that building can start to become a little unpleasant.
Are you tired of coming back to your room after classes and being greeted by the scents of stale smoke and stinky feet?
Here’s the good news: even on a tight student budget, there are several easy ways to keep your dorm room smelling fresh and make it a place that you actually want to return to at the end of the day. Let’s begin!
Add Some Plants to Your Dorm Room
There is no easier or cheaper way to clean the air in a small space than by adding a plant. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, so they purify the surrounding air naturally. In 1989, NASA conducted a study about how to alleviate indoor air pollution.
They found that a plant fitting in a container of about 6-8 inches is large enough to purify the air in a room with 100 square feet of space. If your dorm room has an area of 300 square feet, then, three large plants should do the trick.
Spread them around your room for maximum effectiveness. If you think that you might have trouble remembering to keep your plants watered, try succulents such as cacti and aloe vera. Succulents don’t require as much water as leafy plants.
Switch from Smoking to Vaping
Does your university allow smoking in the dorms? If it does, then you probably know that smoking is just about the worst thing you can do for indoor air quality. Trapping smoke in a small space doesn’t just make your dorm room smell bad; it’s also unhealthy for you and the others around you.
Try switching to vaping instead by buying an inexpensive e-cigarette starter kit from a company like V2 Cigs UK. The healthfulness of vaping remains a topic of debate among medical researchers. Some experts believe that vaping is up to 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
Others believe it is a gateway to nicotine addiction. If you’re already addicted to nicotine, though, it seems extremely likely that vaping is a less harmful alternative – and there is no doubt whatsoever that vaping smells better than smoking.
If you have other friends who smoke, try to get them to switch to vaping along with you. You might be the catalyst who improves the smell of your entire dormitory!
Place Activated Charcoal Bags in Your Room
The pellets of charcoal inside an activated charcoal bag may be tiny, but each grain has as about the same surface area as an entire football field. The extremely high surface area allows the charcoal to absorb and trap the minute particles that harm indoor air quality.
Once those particles are trapped in the charcoal, they aren’t going anywhere – and the only thing you need to do to keep a charcoal bag working its best is leave the bag in direct sunlight for a couple of hours every month or two.
An activated charcoal bag is an extremely simple product; it’s just a canvas bag filled with pellets of charcoal. The charcoal usually comes from a sustainable source such as bamboo. No matter how tight your budget may be, you can probably afford at least one bag of charcoal, and a single charcoal bag can purify the air in a fairly large space.
Install an Exhaust Fan
One of the most effective ways to get stale smells out of a dorm room is by removing the air carrying those smells – and the best way to do that is by placing a box fan in your window and using the fan to blow stagnant air out of the room.
You can also place a second fan in your doorway to create a corridor of moving air. If your room has two windows, that’s even better. Install a second fan in the other window and point that fan so it brings fresh air into the room.
If you can get other students to coordinate with you and install fans in their rooms, you can create a much larger air column that keeps the entire dormitory floor smelling fresh while helping everyone feel more comfortable on hot days.
Use an Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oils are plant-based compounds extracted from flowers, herbs and spices. Essential oils of gardenia, jasmine, rose, clove, cinnamon and vanilla smell spectacular. Many essential oils also have calming and relaxing properties, which you might find helpful when crunch time is on, and you really need to get some studying done.
To use a reed diffuser, you’ll mix a bit of essential oil with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil. The capillary action of the reeds draws the oil up and allows it to spread naturally throughout the room. An oil diffuser is a much healthier option than a commercial air freshener.
Air freshening sprays use artificial scents and chemicals that dull the olfactory nerves.
Buy an Air Purifier
Air purifiers vary greatly in quality and price, so do your research before buying one. The best air purifiers are often fairly expensive. If a good air purifier isn’t within your budget, just try the other tips in this article instead.
If you try all of them in combination, we can just about guarantee that your dorm room will smell incredible. If you want to go the extra mile, though, an air purifier can definitely get you there. Air purifiers typically work in one of two ways.
The first type of air purifier is an ionizer. It creates an ionic charge that makes the small particles in the air heavier and causes them to drop to the floor. The second type is a filter that uses a fan to force the air through a series of filters that remove minute particles. An air filter may also have a charcoal stage that makes activated charcoal bags redundant.