Your bathroom is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, so it needs regular cleaning to stay germ-free. Fortunately, there are a few easy tips that will make the task of disinfecting your bathroom much simpler.

Begin your cleaning journey by clearing away all unnecessary items from the bathroom so you can begin the actual task of cleaning. Doing this will give you a fresh start and prevent bacteria from spreading from one area to another.

Gather all your cleaning tools, such as a bucket, mop, cleaning solution and towels or rags. Make sure each area of the bathroom has its own designated cloth to reduce cross-contamination.

First, spray all countertops and fronts of cabinets, drawers, toilet paper holders, towel holders and other standalone surfaces with a cleaning solution or warm soapy water. Then wipe these areas down using a clean damp cloth. If you have extra time, try to scrub corners and grout lines with a brush for extra shine.

Once all surfaces have been cleared, it’s time to mop up the bathroom floor. Use a damp microfiber cleaning cloth and begin at the edges of the room, working your way toward the door.

Tile may be cleaned using a DIY solution of white vinegar and water (50:50 ratio), but for tougher grime and mold you might need to invest in an effective cleaner designed for this task.

Kelly Reynolds, PhD and MSPH – professor and director of the environment, exposure science and risk assessment center at the University of Arizona – recommends that depending on how often you use your shower and bathtub, it is beneficial to deep-clean these surfaces at least once a month. Doing this helps keep the area clean and prevent mildew buildup in the future.

Karakaian recommends adding baking soda and a small amount of water to your shower floor in addition to scrubbing the walls for stubborn water stains and dirt. Spread this paste over grout lines, let sit for at least half an hour, then rinse with hot water.

Another helpful tip is to squeegee the shower walls after each use to reduce water marks on them. Not only will this make the bathroom appear neater, but it also helps reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth.

Keep a hand-held vacuum handy to pick up hair and other debris on the floor. Doing so can help prevent mildew buildup on surfaces, saving you from having to empty out an entire bucket of cleaner each month.

Finally, keep a bathroom fan running to help dry the area after each shower or bath. This will prevent mold growth and minimize your major cleaning sessions.