A bad roommate can make living in even the most beautiful apartment horribly unpleasant. When your roommate exhibits bad hygiene, you have to balance avoiding hurting his feelings with getting the point across.
Is Poor Hygiene a Consistent Problem?
Everyone gets bad breath occasionally. Workouts can make even the sweetest-smelling flower smell a little less than fresh. However, if you notice a consistent smell coming from your roommate or an overly greasy head of hair and face, you may also observe that your roommate doesn’t shower enough or brush his teeth. Perhaps your roommate never seems to visit the laundromat or doesn’t own a stick of deodorant.
Life Issue or a Habit?
What are your roommate’s cleanliness habits in general? When your roommate is the furthest thing from a clean roommate, you start to feel like you’ve become the apartment’s designated maid. Does your roommate pick up after herself, or does your roommate expect you to pick up after her?
If your roommate used to be generally clean and then turned into a bad roommate, he may be going through some life issues that are causing him to neglect his personal hygiene or the cleanliness of the common area. See if he’d like to talk about his issue with you, a family member or close friend. You can also offer support and be more understanding during this time if it seems temporary. If the issue is at a larger scale such as depression, encourage him to seek professional help.
If Poor Hygiene Is a Habit…
Here are the best ways to address a bad roommate’s poor hygiene if you believe the bad hygiene is just a habit (as a result of his or her upbringing or pure laziness):
- Leave or send a polite anonymous note – Send an e-mail or leave a printed-out note somewhere where your roommate can see it that explains that your roommate’s poor hygiene is affecting the people around him or her and can lead to unpleasant social situations.
- Give a personal hygiene gift – Give your roommate a gift basket stuffed with personal hygiene products or a gift card to a store that sells shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, etc., saying you would love to see your roommate pamper him or herself.
- Offer to go with your roommate to the laundromat – Tell your roommate that it’d be economical for you to do laundry together and schedule it into your weekly plans. Insist your roommate comes.
- Tell your roommate the truth -Unless your roommate is the very worst kind of bad roommate, he or she may appreciate your honesty. Be sure to tell your roommate that you’re only discussing hygiene with him or her because you want the both of you to live in a healthy and fair environment. Highlight that it’s better to hear something like this from friends than strangers, potential employers, and potential girl/boyfriends.
Are There Other Roommate Problems?
If your roommate proves uncooperative and/or bad hygiene is just one of the many problems that makes you think you have a bad roommate, it may be best to look into other living options.
Follow these tips to address your roommate’s bad hygiene and cleaning habits if you are already in a living situation with him. The best way to avoid this sort of issue in the future is to have a discussion about personal hygiene and cleanliness expectations with your potential roommate. The more aligned your hygiene and level of cleanliness are, the more compatible you will be as roommates.