There are only a few causes of a filthy bathroom: excess moisture, messy products, or messy people. Magazines and blogs thrive on giving advice on how to clean this room, but here’s the thing—expert cleaning words of wisdom often don’t apply in the real world. The swish of a brush and lit candle can’t keep a space clean when there are multiple people using it anymore than bathing in only cold water will prevent shower mold growth (advice I did actually once read). As I am a fan of working smarter rather than harder, I have compiled a list of my favorite DIY home bathroom cleaning ideas and tips that work for everyone in the real world.

1. Easy DIY Shower and Counter Spray

According to WebMD, most American bathroom counters hold 452 bacteria per square inch, while bathroom faucet handles have a whopping 6,267 bacteria per square inch. In my house, we make a natural disinfectant spray and keep it on the counter with a roll of paper towels to combat the problem. With such ease of accessibility, our bathroom has never looked better. Here’s how to make the spray:

In a spray bottle, combine a 50/50 ratio of white vinegar and water. Then, add a tablespoon of the essential oil of your preference for scent and shake well. To use, simply spray on a bathroom surface and wipe down with a towel. It’s perfect for disinfecting, but also cuts down on mold and mildew, so don’t be afraid to use it in your shower as well!

2. Rid Excess Moisture

Moisture in abundance is known to cause many issues in a bathroom, most notably in the form of mold and mildew. As anyone who has encountered such things can testify, both are rather hard to get rid of, so here are a few bathroom hacks to rid one’s room of too much moisture and make cleaning simpler.

Experts agree that the least complicated way to get rid of moisture is to give it a means of escape. In most homes, this means a fan or vent that leads to your home’s exterior. Although such things may be turned on, moist air may not actually be sucked out of the room at all. The paper towel test is a great assessment of this: one simply turns on the fan and places a paper towel against the vent. If it stays up by itself, then the fan is working to capacity. If the paper towel falls down, the system should be replaced.

3. Proper Towel Bar Placement

Have you ever noticed how tidy a hotel bathroom looks, even after you’ve been checked in for a few days? A quick tip that can be shared from the housekeeping pros is the use of multiple towel bars and hooks where used towels can be hung to dry. This means one bar for a bath towel, one or two for hand towels, and even a spot on or behind the door for extra space. The logic in this trick is that because towels are given a designated place to be, they are less likely to be designated to the floor/counter/elsewhere, which makes the room appear tidier.