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Ah, college, that thing adults refer to as “the best years of their lives.” For the thousands of young people finally returning to campus, though, getting back to student living may not spark the same sense of wonder. The pandemic is still going on, and moving back into the dorms doesn’t change that. To help sterilize their spaces for the coming semester, we compiled a few products that can be readily shipped to schools and combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Freshen Up Without Febreeze

an air purifier
Air Purifier, LEVOIT ($90)

In the average university residential building, there are more than a hundred 18- to 22-year-olds, all sharing bathrooms and common areas, and potentially polluting the air. Levoit’s unit sits in the background, pulling the dirt particles out of the air while the sheets get fitted around the twin XL mattresses.

Nobody Said There Weren’t Chores Here, Too

a mop
Full Circle 2-in-1 Wet/Dry Microfiber Mop, The Container Store ($25)

It doesn’t matter if the floors are linoleum or hardwood, they could probably use a thorough mopping. The odds of your kid asking friends to remove their shoes  before coming into a 10-by-10-foot dorm are unlikely, even though people can accidentally bring all kinds of things to their personal space. This wood mop stores easily in closets or can hang on the wall. The reusable microfiber pad is more eco-friendly, too. Every few days they can take it out for a spin and feel free to go barefoot again.

Light Is the Best Disinfectant

a sanitizing box
Sanitizing Box, Beyond UV+O3 ($75)

Undergrads’ phones are constantly out, whether to schedule a time for the study group or to see if the professor canceled the Euro Civ class. If they’re not texting, they’re pressing it up against their face on a call. Beyond UV+03’s disinfecting device flashes a UV light, killing any germs, but also doubles as a wireless charger for certain models. The basin is sized to fit a key ring or ID card—anything regularly being handled. Do UV zappers actually kill all bacteria? Maybe. Will it hurt to add one additional step to a daily routine? Definitely not.

Mark Your Own Zones

a shower curtain
Beacon Pine Shower Curtain, Quiet Town ($198)

Students are going to fall sick. It’s just a fact. Even in the largest housing, staying 6 feet apart is tough. Hanging a graphic shower curtain across the center of the room can act as a sanitary barrier. (Hospitals don’t have these just because they enjoy them.) 

Wash Your Face (Masks)

a hand-crank washer
Wonderwash Mini Washing Machine, The Laundry Alternative ($58)

Most of us use a few face masks interchangeably, which means they need to be cleaned more frequently then the rest of your clothes. Since school laundry areas are always either fully packed or broken, a smaller setup is crucial. Wonderwash, from the Laundry Alternative, saves water and uses a hand crank to churn its contents. Rinse, hang to dry, and off to Zoom class they go.

Get This Out of Your System Now

fairy lights
Fairy Lights, Ariceleo ($7)

Fairy lights won’t stop the spread of the coronavirus, but college is one of the only times they are an acceptable design choice. Tell your kid to go for it.