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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Main image courtesy of Dormify on Pinterest.

Let’s be real– a small space filled with two or more girls who are trying to work, party, and get through life does not always smell the best. Making a room smell good is more than just about adding something that smells better into the space to mask the smell. There are things you can do to make your dorm smell better without purchasing tons of candles and wall inserts (although, those are great, too). 

How to make your room smell great - our top 10 options

  1. Clean your room– like, seriously.

The first step to making any space, big or small, smell good is to deep clean. An occasional deep clean mixed with a frequent quick clean will keep your room from having strange odors that are created by dirt, dust, mold, or mildew. Even if your dorm has people come into clean spaces like your bathroom, it is still best if you give it a once over to make sure that everything is all well and good. 

Finding the right cleaning products for the surfaces you are cleaning can also make a world of difference. Glass cleaner for windows, dusting spray, and wood cleaner can all be helpful in a dorm room for keeping away the grime on all of those surfaces while preserving the material it is made of. Also, keeping a cleaning schedule with your roommates is a great way to make sure that things are being properly cleaned and that the bad smells are staying away. 

  1. Get some fresh air, because you probably need it

Dorm rooms get pretty stuffy pretty fast, which can create weird smells that you don’t want to have lingering around. You can prevent this by opening up your windows (if you have them) and letting some fresh air in. This will also let in sunlight, which will make you feel better mentally– and that is a proven fact. 

If you do not have windows for whatever reason, you can always leave your door open to let some air in. Having your door open can also create the opportunity for new friendships with the people that live around you on your floor. Having your door propped open also gives you a chance to show off your amazing decor in your room, which can be a conversation starter!

Flower scented diffuser
An air purifier is a great option to keep your room fresh smelling and actually clean.  Image courtesy of Dormify.
  1. Buy an air purifier 

Not only will an air purifier make your room smell better, but it will also suck all of the germs out of the air (don’t pretend like they aren’t there– we’re in college). A good air purifier can help protect you from mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses that might be flying around your room. In turn, it will help the room smell better and make you feel better. A win-win!

There are air purifiers that look like decoration rather than a large, ugly machine, so these can look a bit nicer in a dorm room. They also have very small ones that are great for small spaces. There are many options to choose from, just make sure you get one that has a HEPA filter in it. 

  1. Wash your sheets frequently

We understand that it sucks to have to pay for laundry when living in a dorm, but you should realistically be washing your sheets once a week, and your pillow cases more than once a week, to keep things fresh and clean. Not only will this make your room smell better because you are getting rid of the dust and bacteria that lives inside your bed, but it will also make you feel better and your skin will get clearer. 

If the smell of your room does not make you want to wash your sheets more often, the idea that you should never put your face on the same pillow case more than once should persuade you. The bacteria that collects there can cause acne and illnesses that could be otherwise avoided. 

  1. Invest in plants

If you are able to sustain life in your dorm room, purchasing a plant or two can be a great addition. Purchasing fragrant plants can help produce a natural smell to make your room smell a bit better, but just purchasing plants in general will help to clean the air in your room and create a freshness– like a natural air purifier. 

Not only will plants make your room have a fresher scent, but they also add color and nature to your room that you wouldn’t otherwise get in a dorm room. This can be important to uplift mental health due to the benefits from having the flowers, but also taking care of them!

Pink bed with wooden bedside table and flowers in a vase on the table
Pick a scent family and stick to it– this way your room will smell good, and coherent. Image courtesy of Unsplash.
  1. Pick a scent and stick to it

If you are going to fill your room with artificial smells (which is great, if you choose to do so), you want to be sure that you decide on one scent theme and stick to it. You do not want to end up overwhelming the senses with many different types of smells. This doesn’t mean that you have to burn one candle for the rest of your college career, but if you like the smell of flowers, then focus on florals. If you prefer warmer scents, go for vanilla or baked good type smells. The world of candles and wall plug-ins is your playground– find what you like, and use it to your advantage!

  1. Opt in for natural scents

If artificial scents aren’t your thing, looking into purchasing an essential oil diffuser is a path you may want to go down. Essential oil diffusers are generally more widely accepted in dorm rooms than candles are, they are safer (if you leave it on, you won’t catch anything on fire), and they have a lighter smell if you or your roommates are people who are easily irritated by strong odors. Essential oils also tend to last longer than their flame-wicked counterparts, so you are ultimately spending less money in the long run– and that is what we love. 

Settling on a scent for a diffuser can be difficult, so feel free to put your mixology skills to the test to make blends that suit you and your lifestyle. If you like to study in your room often, maybe a blend of lavender, sandalwood, and frankincense will be up your alley. Or, if you get sick often, tea tree, peppermint, and oregano are all great options to keep your breathing clear. 

  1. Take out the trash

Although it may seem like you are wasting a lot of trash bags, taking the trash out as soon as you put smelly food in it can make a world of difference in such a small space. Food is not meant to be left out in the open, especially produce and other fresh foods, so getting those out of your room will improve the smell a bunch.

You may also want to look into scented trash bags, as these can help mask the smell of food odors so that you can use less trash bags (and spend less money– can you see where we are going with this?). They come in a variety of scents and in a small space, they usually make the whole room smell good. 

  1. Vacuum often

This goes with cleaning as well, but it is so important that it deserves its own spotlight. Being in college, it is likely you have many people coming in and out of your dorm room throughout the day and into the evening. Now, think about what you see on the ground around your campus. We don’t have to go into specifics here, but I am sure you are imagining a very gross, dirty surface that is then stuck onto the bottom of shoes. For this reason, and many others, it is important to vacuum all of that dirt and grime regularly to keep your space clean and keep the outside on the outside. 

If you don’t have carpeting or a rug in your room, it is still good that you clean your floors often to keep away unwanted smells, germs, and whatever else may be laying around. A Swiffer is great for this and is perfect for small spaces because it can be stored in tight places. 

  1. Check your fridge

Mini fridges are small, but can pack a mighty punch if you are not careful. Sometimes, our food gets away from us (literally and figuratively), and it starts to stink. Your dorm refrigerator does not have enough space for the odor to spread through, so it bursts out everytime you open the door, making your room smell like whatever you had for dinner last night. Or two nights ago. Maybe three. 

Whatever it may be, adding an open box of baking soda to your refrigerator will help to take away any existing odors, and keep others away over time. It is not in any way harmful to your food, and it lasts much longer than fancy refrigerator air fresheners. In addition to this, be sure to clean out your fridge at least once a week, and be honest with yourself– are you really going to eat those leftovers, or do you just feel guilty for not eating them? Help yourself declutter, and just throw it away. 

Bed with white bedding and flowers on the side table
A good smelling room tends to make you happier and more confident. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

There are many small ways to make changes in your dorm room to help it smell and look better. These changes will also help to make you feel more confident in your room, and help you to love it. If you love your room, it can be a home away from home for you and a safe space to go when you are feeling sad, excited, studious, or whatever it may be. So get the stink out and start your splendid smelling journey.