5 Tips for Surviving Communal Dorm Bathrooms
As if leaving home and venturing off to university isn’t enough of an adjustment, the communal bathroom experience can make your few first weeks a bit unpleasant, to say the least. Not only will you be lugging around your bathroom essentials but also navigating a shared space with a bunch of strangers, each with their own unique standards of cleanliness. Is it an ideal situation? Well, not really. But can you take steps to ease the transition and make it all a bit smoother? Absolutely! So, we're here to share with you five valuable tips that will not only help you survive but thrive during your first year of communal bathroom living. Let's dive right in!
Dress for the occasion: While the freedom of dorm life is undeniably appealing, the shared bathroom situation is well, anything but. To be frank, shared bathrooms are gross. And that’s especially true for wet bathroom floors that rarely get the chance to dry. To protect your feet from anything icky lurking on the bathroom floor, you're going to want to invest in some shower shoes or flip-flops. Don’t forget to remove them immediately upon returning to your dorm to avoid contaminating your personal space.
With your feet literally and figuratively covered, it’s time to consider the parts of you that won’t be touching the ground. Although a simple bath towel will keep you covered, a bathrobe provides an extra layer of protection while keeping you warm on those cold morning trips to the bathroom.
Avoid rush hour traffic: Now, let's talk about the morning rush. Making it to your 8 a.m. lectures will be hard enough without battling a long line of bleary-eyed college students for the shower every morning. So, what can you do to avoid this? Plan ahead! Figure out when the morning rush for the bathroom begins and ends and plan your shower accordingly. That might mean waking up a bit earlier or showering the night before. Although it may not be ideal, trust us when we tell you that waiting in line to shower every morning isn’t either.
Keep it clean: Whether you’re a self-proclaimed germaphobe or not, nobody wants to clean themselves in a dirty space. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to control the way your classmates leave the bathroom, but you can ensure your own actions don’t contribute to the mess. While basic bathroom etiquette like replacing empty toilet rolls and cleaning up after yourself is a good place to start, a few additional cleaning steps can make a big difference.
Consider adding an antibacterial spray to your shower caddy. With a quick 30-second spray, you can ensure the shower stall, toilet, door handles, and faucet are germ-free before you use them. Feel like taking this one step further? Pick up a pack of disinfectant wipes to routinely give the vanity a thorough cleaning. Will people look at you a bit strange for doing so? Perhaps, but if it makes you feel better about using a communal bathroom, it’s well worth it.
Come prepared: When it comes to shared bathrooms, you always want to come prepared. Why? Well, it’s a bit embarrassing to do the soaking wet shuffle back to your dorm when you forget your razor or body wash. The solution? Storing all of your bathroom essentials in a shower tote or caddy that travels to the shower with you.
While there are countless options out there, we love the convenience of an over-the-door option like our VENUS 3 Tier Over the Door Shower Caddy. Unlike a compact shower tote, a hanging shower caddy makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and ensures your products have enough space to dry out between showers — so you won’t have to worry about unwanted mold and mildew ruining your favorite products.
Stick to the Basics: Now, our last tip for communal bathrooms is simple: stick to the basics. A shared bathroom is not the place for a prolonged beauty routine. It’s more of a get-in, get-out, kind of situation. That means you should probably obsessively pluck your eyebrows and complete your 12-step skincare routine in the privacy of your dorm room. It may seem less than ideal, but trust us, you’ll want to limit the time you spend in there too.
Whether you’re headed off to university yourself or dropping off a loved one, it’s important to prepare for the not-so-glamorous communal bathroom experience. Luckily with the right footwear, disinfectant, shower essentials, and a bit of mental preparation, you’ll be a shared bathroom pro in no time!