Martha Suggests These 10 Housecleaning Resolutions for the New Year


New Year's resolution devotees are quick to dive into a detox diet and declare themselves disciples of mindful meditation come January 1st, but what of the cozy space they call home? Conventional wisdom dictates that a clean and cared-for home begets success in all of life's spheres, and here at Martha Stewart, we're inclined to agree. If you're in pursuit of perfectly kept living quarters, test-drive our top 10 cleaning tips for the New Year straight from the pages of "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."

01 of 04

Pay Attention to pH

Cleaning Supplies 101 Collection
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When choosing your cleaning products, pay attention to the listed pH level. The pH scale occupies a range from 0 to 14. If the pH of your cleaning solution is equal to 7, the solution is neutral. A pH level of below 7 indicates acidity, and a pH level between 7 and 14 indicates an alkaline composition. Laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, and household cleaners fall under the label of alkaline, as alkaline substances counteract dirt, grease, and other organic grime. Bathroom cleaners such as tile scrub, tub spray, and toilet cleaner are primarily acidic, as acids work wonders on dissolving inorganic substances such as calcium residue and rust. Cleaning products labeled as “gentle” are often balanced, with a pH of 7.

02 of 04

Give Dirt the Brush-Off (Literally!)


If you’re under the impression that a soft-bristled toothbrush’s only function is to keep your teeth pearly white, think again. Keep a toothbrush on hand to treat oil spots on fabric, restore luster to jewelry, remove grit and grime from small spaces surrounding the sink, and polish up metallic hardware.

03 of 04

Declutter the Closet

James Ransom

Many homeowners view closet cleaning as a seasonal activity rather than a weekly ritual. However, closets accumulate dirt and dust just like every other space in a home. Martha recommends dusting shelves and vacuuming floors on a weekly basis to better preserve and present your clothing. Give your closet a deeper cleanse on a biannual basis.

04 of 04

Clean Your Cleaning Supplies


Counterintuitive as it may seem, your cleaning products themselves require a deep cleanse now and then. Care for your wooden broom by shaking out dust and debris from its bristles or gliding bristles along a firm edge. Refrain from standing your broom on its bristles to prevent breakage. Mop heads must be rinsed in hot water after each use and stored in a well-ventilated area to dry. Scrubbing brushes should be gently rinsed after usage and dried throroughly before subsequent use. Vacuum cleaners require more attentive care due to their myriad parts, including emptying vacuum bags as needed, wiping dirt from casings using a damp cloth and mild detergent, gently cleaning the belt with dry towels, and replacing paper filters as needed. Refer to your vacuum's instructions to ensure proper care for your machine.

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