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20th September 2022

A Fresher’s Guide to: Student cleaning

Planning on making friends at university, or bringing someone back to your place? Do yourself a favour and keep a hygienic home!
A Fresher’s Guide to: Student cleaning
Erin Botten @ The Mancunion

Student life is known for being messy and slightly grim. However, that doesn’t mean you need to live in your own filth of dust and bugs. Especially if you’re looking to bring people home. So, here’s the rundown on how to keep a tidy(ish) home this year!

The Basics

  • Dishmatic: A sponge… on a stick! It makes washing up quick with washing up liquid loaded inside the stick. Warning: Your housemates will likely steal your Dishmatic to wash their own dishes. Replacement sponges are available.
  • Dish brush: Way better and less nasty than those metal scrub balls or a regular sponge. It Helps removes burnt food and the dried nasty stuff at the bottom of the pan.
  • Surface spray and clothes: Any cheap cloth will do, but I recommend the microfiber ones. The same goes for surface spray. If you want to save money, all you need are two sprays: Bathroom and window. That way, you can clean the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, mirror and any screen surfaces you have easily.
  • Toilet brush: Please don’t leave skid marks on your own toilet, have some dignity. UoM provide these in halls, keeping your bowls squeaky clean! If you want to avoid your brushes getting rancid, keep toilet bleach at the bottom of the container. Or, eat less curry. Your choice.
  • Air freshener: Because no one wants to walk into a bathroom stinking of s**t.


Yes, you will be getting up close and personal with Manchester’s wildlife this year in the form of silverfish. They’re vile but avoidable. These creatures thrive off moisture, meaning they’ll usually be found in the bathroom and occasionally the kitchen sink. An easy way to avoid them is to keep these areas clean.

In bathrooms, regularly remove your hair (emphasis on your hair) from plugholes and pour toilet bleach down. Removing the hair airs out the plughole while bleach kills off any bacteria and mould. Keeping windows and doors open also helps create air circulation and reduce moisture that comes from cooking or showering.

Fruit Flies

This issue usually arises in the first few weeks of halls or new homes. Fruit flies are attracted to rotting or overripe fruit and vegetables. They then hatch up to 500 eggs inside rotting fruit and within two days grow into adult flies. That means these creatures can easily spawn seemly out of nowhere. To prevent this from becoming an irritating problem, there are a few easy solutions.

First off, to no one’s surprise, keep your kitchen clean. Wipe surfaces down, tidy up spillages (especially alcohol) asap, and take out the bins regularly. Basically, do what your mother would do.

Wash your fruit and veg before storing them either in a dry cupboard or fridge (if you have room). This will rid your produce of any potential eggs. Also, be sure to throw out any overripe fruit before it starts to rot.

If it’s too late and your home is swarmed, vinegar is your best bet. The main way to get rid of fruit flies is to trap them and let them die out. An easy trap is vinegar and a few drops of washing-up liquid in a small uncovered jar. The concoction attracts the flies, with the soap acting as a surface barrier to trap and kill them. Pouring boiling water is also effective in killing them off. There are various other traps like these available here.


No, it is not okay to wash your sheets once a month. That’s nasty and wrong, and potentially a call for an intervention. Gone are the days when laundry is done with racks in the rivers, thanks to the astonishing invention of washing machines! Thankfully, UoM provides each hall block with its own laundry unit that are also equipped with dryers – how nice of them. That means there are no excuses for crusty bedsheets.

To keep your sheets smelling fresh, or at least hygienic, here’s what I recommend.

  • Laundry pods: Cheap and easy to throw in. They contain detergent (the thing that cleans your sheets) and fabric softener (the thing that makes your sheets soft). Every supermarket sells these and I suggest just going for the cheapest ones.
  • Detergent and softener: I prefer to not use pods. This is because I can get more washes by using bottled detergent and softener, making my washes cheaper in the long run. P.S. Place liquids in the bottle lids before putting them in the drum to avoid staining your laundry.
  • Drying racks: Save money (and the planet) by not using the dryers this year. Instead, buy a cheap laundry rack and let your clothes dry in the kitchen.
  • Laundry beads: These are my favourite! Prevent your clothes from smelling damp by grabbing some of these pellets. Throw them into the drum and your laundry will come out smelling super fresh.

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