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Looking for the best, tried-and-true college apartment cleaning tips? Here are a variety of cleaning tips from a junior in college!

Hi guys!! It’s Shelby here, Sophie’s younger sister! Sophie asked me to give you all my best tips and tricks to keep your apartment clean.   

I’m currently a Junior at UW-Madison and have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to keeping my apartment clean.   

There's no denying that life can get insanely hectic during college and for many, cleaning can become the last priority. But, keeping your apartment clean is insanely important for your mental sanity and your health! I have implemented a few cleaning guidelines into my life that have allowed me to keep my apartment clean and organized six out of seven days of the week (lol).   

This post is all college apartment cleaning tips.


1. The Bed Trick

When I was in high school (and all years prior), I was absolutely horrible at making my bed. The ten minutes, I thought, it took to make my bed could’ve been spent sleeping or scrolling through Instagram. But last year I felt horrible after getting back from classes and seeing a messy bed didn’t help my overwhelmed mental state. As a result, I conducted a little experiment that changed my life. I must warn you; I don’t think this revelation will impact you as much as it impacted me, but I really did change my life.   

The next day after I woke up, I told myself, “Okay I am just going to time myself ONCE to see how long it takes me to make my bed, and then I will see if it’s worth making it or wastes too much of my time.”   

I truly went into this thinking it would take at last ten minutes.... well, I timed myself; two minutes and five seconds. I was SHOCKED. The moral of the story, cleaning does not take you as long as you think! I was being dramatic when it came to how long it took to make my bed.  

I now have a rule - I must make my bed every day besides Sunday or if I’m sick. Now, I have had a nice, well-made bed to come home to everyday for over a year now!  

2. The Minute Rule  

After having my bed revelation, I decided to implement another rule into my life: if it takes under two minutes to do, I have to do it immediately. For example, I throw my coat anywhere besides where it actually goes and I know hanging it up takes less than two minutes, so now I just do it. Yep, Nike has a great tag line which I now implement into my daily life, “Just do it.” Honestly, you’re probably spending more time thinking about not doing it than it actually takes to do it.   

My life is so much more organized since implementing this rule into my life; it may be a pain when you’re doing it, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.  

3. Do this right before you get in the shower...   

Okay, an all-time favorite book of mine, Atomic Habits, gave me one of the best cleaning tips ever. The author, James Clear interviewed a college student who had peers admiring his way of life and the humble college student did not understand why. He believed to be using only common sense. One of his examples was, right before he took a shower, he would quickly clean the toilet, because duh after you clean a toilet you want to/ should take a shower. I thought this was GENIUS. I mean for real, it’s something you want to do and then take a shower, so why don’t you just do it before you take a shower? Changed my life.  

4. Don’t Google it, just do it  

You know how Netflix has those documentaries about killing animals and immediately after you watch them you swear, you’ll never eat meat again?? Yeah, this is kind of like that.   

I promise you - you do NOT want to know what bacteria grow on your sheets during the week, do not Google it, just trust me. Legit, not kidding, wash your bedsheets once a week, for yours and my sanity. Yuck!!  

5. No Questions Asked  

My roommates and I had a rule, every Sunday we cleaned the apartment, no questions asked. I am not kidding you, sometimes we wouldn’t even talk because three out of four of us would be hungover (I don’t drink so I can’t be included). For real, if everybody chips in and helps, it would be done in less than 20 minutes. 

6. Don’t forget the handles (and the screen)  

A college is a gross place, a very gross place, and the number of viruses that go around during the school year and in the hundreds, or even thousands, I’m sure. I feel like everyone remembers to clean the counters, dust, and wash your clothing (obviously). But soooo many people forget to clean your door handles!! You touch those things all the time and I am sure they are grosser than you think. On top of that, some people don’t wipe down their phones; that is not okay. Do not forget to clean these as well!!  

7. I may be crazy... 

I feel like I just need to be honest with you guys and this might sound crazy, but I actually do it: every single day after I’m done with all of my classes and know I’m in for the night, I’ll take a wet wipe and wipe down my computer, phone and zippers on my backpack. I know that sounds OCD, but I don’t have OCD, it’s just for real you don’t understand how gross all that stuff is. I sleep my hands under my head at night and I do not want my gross computer keyboard germs to go from my hands to my face.   

Also, every single week on Sunday I will take a wet wipe and wipe down my charging cords. If you do it just once, the white wet wipe will come out brown, not even kidding you. Now, you do not need to be as crazy as me when it comes to this, but you should probably do it once a week.  

8. Don’t forget about the brushes

SO many people, including me on the regular, forget to clean their makeup brushes. I am trying to get better at this, but most times fail. Makeup brushes can get so gross and should definitely be cleaned once a week, every two weeks, as often as you can. My roommate Kendall is amazing at remembering to do this and thankful I just use her as my reminder. 

9. TubShroom the Revolutionary Tub Drain Protector Hair Catcher 

If you’re a girl, or live with girls, you need this product. Hair always clogs the shower drain and no one wants to stick their hands down the drain to try and unclog it (grosses me out just thinking about it). This handy hair catcher with do just that, catch all the hair. We have one and it’s amazing.

10. O-Cedar Easy Wring Microfiber Spin Mop

I am going, to be honest with you guys, we didn’t have a mop in my apartment for at least a few months. Thinking back now, that is so gross. Your floors need to be cleaned; I mean your shoes are constantly on them. If you don’t wash your floors they’re going to start looking like the sidewalks and you don’t want that. This mop is raved about and I’ve only heard great things. Highly recommend!

11. Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Extender Starter Kit

Don’t forget to dust your fan and lights!! They collect sooo much dust and a lot of people forget to dust them. Super important!!

12. Arm & Hammer 24-Count Sink Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Okay, my sister is obsessed with cleaning the garbage disposal, mostly because she puts gross things down the disposal and it always starts smelling. But, if you have a garbage disposal, you NEED to be cleaning it!! The things that make their way through it are disgusting and completely have the chance of molding. So, you should definitely start cleaning your disposal now, if you haven’t before!

13. Silicone Makeup Cleaning Brush Scrubber Mat

Here's a makeup scrubbing mat! They are legit $5 and are super important to have if you use makeup brushes. If something is going on your face multiple times a day, or week, you should definitely be cleaning them (I am 100% guilty of forgetting). Going to order myself one, right now! 

This post is all about college apartment cleaning tips.

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