Entering dorm life has its adjustments, with one of them being the sometimes-dreaded communal bathroom. But it’s not so bad as long as you know what to expect and consider some best practices.
What Is the Layout for Most Dorm Room Bathrooms?
Depending on the layout of your dorm building, bathrooms will be set up in one of a few ways. The most common is a set up of one or two bathrooms per floor of the building. For coed dorm halls, restrooms and showers are separated by gender on each floor.
Each communal bathroom will have multiple showers and bathroom stalls, but never enough for everyone to shower at the same time before morning classes.
That said, there are, of course, exceptions to this traditional bathroom layout. Here are some other bathroom setups you will find in campus housing:
- Private bathrooms for the lucky ones
- Suite bathrooms to share for more than two roommates like a small apartment
- Gender-neutral bathrooms in addition to boys and girls communal bathrooms
How Frequently Are Bathrooms Cleaned and Who Cleans Them?
University housing employs custodial workers who clean bathrooms and showers in the dorms. But this doesn’t mean you can make a huge mess whenever you please. It’s important to respect the workers who clean your facilities and to do your best to clean up after yourself.
These employees also may not work on the weekends or after hours, so you could be on your own for a bit until the following day.
Do’s And Don’ts: The Communal Shower
- DO: Bring shower flip-flops to avoid any nastiness and slipping or falling.
- DO: Invest in a shower caddy, so you’re not fumbling your toiletries on your way to the bathroom.
- DO: Remember your change of clothes, or at least wear a robe on your way back to your room. This way, you’re less likely to accidentally flash someone.
- DON’T: Assume a shower will be ready and available at the exact time you need it. You might be late for class.
- DON’T: Leave your hair everywhere. It’s gross, and people will know it was you, or at least they will go by a hair color process of elimination.
- DON’T: Take long-ass showers. Your hallmates have lives, too, and have been waiting!
Other Essential College Bathroom Tips And Etiquette
- Bringing sanitizer with you is a lifesaver. The bathroom could be out of soap at any given point. For easy access, place mini sanitizers in all your bags and your shower caddy. That’s one less thing to remember!
- Take advantage of what you’re paying for. Some students may prefer to bring their own hand soap and toilet paper. That’s totally okay, but remember that you’re paying to live in those dorms, so enjoy the “free” stuff while you can.
- If you clog the toilet, unclog it. Not much else to say about that one.
What about Laundry Facilities?
There will most likely be a laundry room on your dorm room floor as well. These facilities are typically in one room that’s shared by the entire floor, regardless of gender. Here are some ideas to help you navigate the laundry situation in the dorms:
- Use your phone as a timer so you can keep track of when your stuff is done.
- If you don’t, you might end up seeing all your clean clothes on the floor when you finally remember you’re in the middle of a laundry cycle.
- Be mindful about how often you’re doing laundry and being on time with taking out your clothes. There may only be one or two washing machines and dryers.
- Set aside money in advance. If your dorm room laundry facility takes quarters, uses a key card, or deducts meal points, it’s important to set aside your money in advance. Otherwise, you might forget at the worst possible time and be left without that one business casual outfit you have (or, let’s be honest, your favorite go-to going-out dress!).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do college dorm rooms have private bathrooms?
Some dorm rooms have single bathrooms, but it’s fairly uncommon. The truth is that unless you’re living alone off-campus, you’ll probably have to share a bathroom.
Does each dorm have a bathroom?
If you plan to live in a dorm room suite, you will likely have your own bathroom for you and your suitemates. Otherwise, it’s the communal shower for you. Many dorm rooms have their own sinks, however!
How do you survive a dorm bathroom?
Surviving the communal bathroom experience in college comes down to cleanliness and taking precautions. These are the three best things to have with you:
Avoid slipping and falling and any of that grossness on the floor. And don’t let anyone borrow your shower shoes if you can help it.
You can never be too trusting of a communal toilet.
You’ll be thankful you keep sanitizer with you in case the bathroom runs out of soap.
Do college dorms provide toilet paper?
Yes, dorm rooms supply toilet paper and other essentials like paper towels or hand dryers, and soap. And do your hallmates a favor by replacing the toilet paper roll if you’re the last one to use it.
It may be an adjustment to enter the territory of college living and communal bathrooms. But remember these tips, and you’ll be well equipped!