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How to Make Your Dorm Room Smell Good

Updated on February 27, 2013
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A good-smelling room is a happy room..

I have had the stinkiest roommates these past two semesters. Sometimes they may skip showers after a workout, leave dirty clothes all over the place, collect 8-10 grapefruits shriveling up on the shelf, to very pungent foreign perfume of the sort, to food that smells like farts- you could say that me and my nose have been through a lot. I have also been a culprit of the smells from late-night ordering of Dominoes bread bowls and parmasean bread bites..

However, I've found some things that will actually help your tiny, contained dorm room smelling fresh. May take a little of your hard earned money, but these little investment goes a long way. I've devised a list of items that will work to get your dorm or apartment smelling fresh.. I've also devised another list of products that you should never even think about buying.

Try A Scentsy Warmer

What's Scentsy?

It's an easy way to fill your room with fresh, clean smells. Scentsy is a product that uses a 25 Watt light bulb to warm up scented wax cubes. You turn the light on, place one cube in and let the cube melt and the scent diffuse through your room. You can get Scentsy brand wax cubes, but you are not limited to that option. Many other companies sell cheaper or more expensive versions of scented wax. When you're done, turn the lamp off. You use only one block at a time (using more won't make your room smell better). One block lasts anywhere from 60-80 hours.

Examine the Scentsy site for more options. If you're not ready to invest the 20-30 dollars into a Scentsy warmer, you should look at there room sprays. These sprays are not like Febreeze, which by the way does a terrible job at making my room smell good.

Glad Scented Plug-Ins

These are a little more on the discrete side, if you want something in your room, but now very decorative. These do actually work. If you do decide to try this option, go to your nearest store that sells Glade and smell their scents to see which one suits your taste best. Do NOT buy the plug-in and refills in the stores. You will be able to find them much cheaper online (50% cheaper).

Try an oil warmer

The Lamp Stand has cute oil diffusers as low as $16, and you can find fragrance oils cheap on places like Etsy or just go into your local walmart. This is an excellent way to diffuse fragrance throughout your room. This is a very affordable option, and is a little bit cheaper than the Scentsy warmer and just as easy to use.

Look into Bath and Body Works

The queen of smells, bath and body works is an awesome place to get your room smelling good at an affordable price. As well as having oil warmers, for as low as 10 bucks (plus, you could probably get 20% off your total purchase!), they have these plug-ins similar to Glade called Wallflowers.

So, if they're similar to Glade Plug-Ins, why list them?


These plug-ins are way cheaper, and you can either get them plain looking, if you want nothing fancy, or they have a novelty section where you can get something super cute. You can either buy one of these a mere $6.50 or get 4 for $20 or 6 for $24. This means you could buy a few of them for a deal and have them plugged into several areas throughout your room at a fraction of the price of Glade.


Products to steer clear from

Here's a list of products that just don't cut it:

  1. Solid Air Fresheners- these are the products with the twist tops. You twist them open and let them sit on your desk or wherever. They don't last, and you're wasting money. They don't really do anything. These may be appealing because you can buy them for as low as a buck. (You're getting your moneys worth though, you can be sure of that!)
  2. Febreeze products- I've only tried the sprays (the classic Febreeze spray and the Aloha Hawaiian Febreeze). These just do no work. You spray them in your room and it masks the odor for a minute or two and before you know it, your room stinks again.

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How to get your room smelling better without buying products

  1. Take out your garbage, recyclables.
  2. Wash sheets, blankets and dirty clothes.
  3. Clean your room- sweep floors, wash desk and stands, etc.
  4. Open windows and open doors.
  5. Throw out anything that's bad in your refrigerator.
  6. Make sure you're always clean yourself.

Taking out the garbage and leaving the door and windows open for awhile really helps to rid your room of any bad smells.


Is it your roommate? Do none of these tricks work?

Though, if the problem is severe enough where your roommate is just not hygienic, you need to sit down and have a talk with him/her. If that doesn't do the trick, mention something to your RA. If an authoritative figure mentions something about it to your roommate, your roommate is more likely to take some positive steps in their hygiene and making your room smell good.


Happy Smelling!

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  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I don't think anything could have made our dorm room smell good back when I was in college. LOL We had serious issues in that room.

    Great suggestions!

  • mariexotoni profile image
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    mariexotoni 4 years ago

    Yeah. Some dorm rooms just have that "funk"!

  • DIYmommy profile image

    Julie 4 years ago

    These are great options for tackling bad dorm room smells! When I was in college, we used the Glade plugins, and they seemed to have worked well. I'm not sure if ALL colleges are this way, but, where I attended the rooms were VERY small. To me, that kind of potentiated the impact of smells. Thanks for the great hub!

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