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Back to School: The Dorm Room Essentials

Fresh in a flash

In all the time spent finding the perfect dorm décor, it’s important not to neglect other essentials: like everything you’ll need to stay fresh and clean this semester.

If this is your first time facing the perils of shared showers, public laundry and other common college conundrums, we’re here to help with ways to save time, money and, of course, cut down on plastic. Grab your shower caddy and let’s get started.

For shared showers

Carrying an armload of leaky bottles to the shower day after day isn’t ideal. Naked products are easy to store, easy to carry and cut down on unnecessary plastic waste. If you don’t have particularly dry or curly hair, Godiva Shampoo Bar works as a great two-in-one shampoo and conditioner thanks to plenty of cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil. Similarly, naked body scrubs like Buffy are a great way to scrub up and moisturize in one go. But we still recommend attacking the necessary bits with a great bar soap like the cleansing citrus of Sexy Peel first.

When you get out of the shower, pat on a little solid deodorant like Aromaco, and be on your sweet-smelling, waste-free way. One low-waste note: if you get a portable shower caddy to hold your supplies, we recommend going for something that lets everything drain and dry between uses.

For fresh-smelling rooms

Your parents aren’t here to nag you, and you don’t want to hike to the laundromat every day, so now and then laundry piles up: it happens. When you need to get fresh in a flash, there’s no shame in giving a t-shirt and jeans a quick spritz with a body spray before class.

And while we have plenty of sweet scents, for a quick clothing pick-me-up we recommend classic clean smells like the spearmint and thyme of Dirty, or the sunshiney citrus lemon oil and bergamot of Dad's Garden Lemon Tree.

Body sprays also work as a quick room freshener and a good way to mask post-gym sweat if you need to run to class right after your workout.

Remember to brush up post-bash with minty-fresh toothy tabs.

A man brushes his teeth with a bamboo toothbrush and a Miles Of Smiles Toothy Tab.

For post-party panic

You’ve stumbled back to the dorm after a great night out but want to get to bed as fast as possible. We hear you. But you’ll still thank yourself (and us) in the morning if you try to do the bare minimum before you hit the sheets.

First, take off any makeup without leaving your room with a solid naked cleanser. We recommend Like A Virgin because its gently cleansing lemon oil won’t irritate your skin, while rich extra virgin olive oil wipes away dirt, oil and layers of mascara. Spritz with an equally gentle toner, like Breath of Fresh Air, then grab a face cloth (ideally damp, but dry will do in a pinch) and gently massage it away. When your face is clear and clean, add an extra spritz of toner and then apply the Like A Virgin all over your face again, this time as a quick moisturizer to keep skin from looking dry the next day.

Next, try to brush your teeth. If your room doesn’t have a sink, we gently encourage you to make your way over to the bathrooms, chew up a toothy tab and get scrubbing. Miles of Smiles is a good triple mint choice for added next-day freshness, while Boom! will give your mouth a thorough charcoal scrub. And if things still don’t feel super, following up with a mouthwash tab like Brave gives you a little more breath confidence.