College Life

5 DIY Dorm Room Items

Living in a college dorm can be more costly than you would think. Constantly paying for laundry, supplies to clean your room, and snacks can quickly add up. But the good news is that there are many simple ways to save money just by making your own DIY dorm room items! Read on to learn how to make 5 great items, perfect for dorm life.

1. DIY Laundry Detergent

Save money by making your own detergent to do your laundry– it costs only $1.76 to make and is enough for 128 loads of laundry (you only use 1 tablespoon per load). It’s better for the environment, too! Boil 4 cups of water over high heat. Meanwhile, mix 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax with 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda!) in a bowl, mixing well. Shave an entire bar of Fels Naptha, and add the shavings to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring until all of the Fels Naptha is dissolved (this should take no more than 15 minutes). Make sure to keep the heat low enough so that it does not boil over. Once dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the borax and washing soda. Once dissolved, pour the mixture into mason jars for storage. Close the jars and invert them for a few hours so it settles in layers. Then, blend together in a blender until the mixture is light and fluffy. Pour back into the mason jars, and store until needed!

2. DIY Toothpaste

Save 60% off store-brand toothpaste and make your own! To begin, combine 2 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay in a non-metal bowl, and mix with a non-metal spoon (the clay should never come into contact with metal). Add 4 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of liquid stevia, and 10 drops of peppermint oil. Mix in a bit of salt and taste. Add more stevia, water or peppermint oil to taste and texture. Over time, the flavors will blend more, so wait 48 hours before making any major adjustments. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. You can also make other flavors with different oils, like lemon or spearmint!

3. DIY Moisturizing And pH Balanced Shampoo

It’s so easy, and so good for your hair! Ditch the store-bought chemicals and have smoother and softer hair. Combine 1 can of full-fat coconut milk with 2 tablespoons of liquid raw honey, 1 teaspoon jojoba oil, 1 teaspoon castor oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of an essential oil of your choice (lavender, rosemary, peppermint or tea tree are suggested) and mix together well. Other than making sure to shake before using each time, that’s all you have to do! If you find your hair is very oily and needs to adjust to the all-natural route, try rising with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water after each use. Your hair will look better than ever in no time!

4. DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets

These dryer sheets will save you time, money, and keep your skin from being exposed to harsh chemicals! Cut an old shirt into large pieces– there should be about 16 strips for a large or extra large shirt. Mix together ¾ cup white vinegar with ¼ cup water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I suggest lemon or orange!) in a mason jar. Stuff in the strips of your old shirt until the jar is filled. Close the jar, and shake well. It’s ok if the mixture doesn’t immediately wet all the strips– it will eventually even out in the jar. As soon as the mixture has fully dampened all of the cloths, you are all set to go! Use 1 strip per load of laundry, and set it aside once you have used it. Once the jar is empty, it’s time to make some more!  

See Also

5. DIY Room Spray

If your dorm room gets a funky smell every once in a while, ditch the store-bought chemicals and freshen it up with DIY room spray! Find some cute glass spray bottles, and fill them up ¾ of the way with distilled water. Add a total of 25-30 drops of essential oil to the water, combining scents based upon your personal preferences (suggested combinations: orange and rosemary, cedarwood and tea tree, lemon and sage). Add approximately 1 ounce of vodka, cap the bottle, and shake well. For a pretty touch, add a sprig of dried flowers to the bottle afterwards.
Do you know any other DIY dorm room items for our readers? Comment below and share this article with a friend!
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Kimberly Meneo

Kim Meneo is a student at Connecticut College studying English and environmental science. In her free time, she volunteers at a local equine rescue and produces freelance articles for several companies. During the summer, she can usually be found relaxing on the beach with a good book. Any questions, concerns, or general inquiries can be emailed to her at

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