Music To Listen To While Cleaning

Do you conjure up your inner Tom Cruise from the movie Risky Business, decked out in your underwear, donning the vacuum cleaner and singing “Ol’ Time Rock and Roll?” Or, maybe it’s Mrs. Doubtfire cleaning in drag and singing, “Dude Looks Like a Lady” by Aerosmith that puts you in the cleaning mood. When you listen to Van Morrison’s, “Cleaning Windows” are you compelled to get out a rag and the eco-friendly window cleaner?

What’s my line?
I’m happy cleaning windows,
Take my time,
I’ll see you when my love grows,
Baby don’t let it slide,
I’m a working man in my prime,
Cleaning windows.

Whatever tunes you listen to, these statistics about our love of cleaning are revealing:

From the Natural News in the UK :
o 83 percent of Brits think that happiness is a clean house
o 63 percent claim that happiness is a shiny sink
o 57 percent of the population say the act of cleaning itself gives a sense of satisfaction

On this side of the pond, The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) reveals:
o 60 percent say spring is the best time to rid the house of dirt and clutter
o 98 percent feel good about themselves when their house is clean
o 54 percent of Americans prefer to clean on a daily or weekly basis
o 97 percent believe their families appreciate a clean home

Want to know what the greenest cleaning products are? Look for companies with Cradle to Cradle certification. Cradle to Cradle certification means the product uses environmentally safe and healthy materials; designs for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water and maximum water quality associated with production; and institutes strategies for social responsibility.

I sent a quick email survey to find out some of my family and friend’s musical choices for cleaning. Here’s a sampling of their responses:

Husband: I always crank up the music with anything by the Allman Brothers or from my own “Guitar Greats” playlist–Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Page, Trucks, etc.

Daughter: OK, my top tunes would be Otis Redding, Bob Marley, Amadou & Mariam, Amy Winehouse, Cake, Fiona Apple, John Mayer (only new stuff), and Morcheeba.

Son: I like to listen to Palo Colorado, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Ray Charles, and D’Angelo.

Brother: I like to listen to No Way Out, by the Allman Bros.

Mother: I like to listen to Billy Joel, the Beach Boys and the soundtracks from the movies, Saturday Night Fever and Dirty Dancing.

Sister-in-law: For the last 30 odd years, I have timed my cleaning with Saturday afternoon at the Opera–I strap on the FM radio to my iPod and listen to it that way…and when I don’t like the opera, I listen to our local jazz station which plays Latin Jazz all Saturday afternoon–Cuban jazz is my special favorite.

Another sister-in-law: Hmmmm…. I hate house-cleaninig and I don’t usually play music while I am vacuuming, but maybe I should!!!

Yet, another sister-in-law: My favorite thing to do is to put my iPod onto shuffle. But, if I had to pick a favorite motivating song, I’d probably go with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.

Good friend: I have to say, Ronnie darling, I don’t use music most of the time (a lot of muttering about how things never stay in their place, clean, or where you want them usually fills the air waves), BUT when push comes to shove, and I need real motivation, I would go to Motown first, Jackson Five, Al Green and then James Taylor because he can be soothing when you are doing something monotonous.

Co-worker: I listen to hip hop. I clean to the Black Eyed Peas.

Me: Cleaning puts me in the mood to listen to the blues–BB King, Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson, and Bonnie Raitt.

Who says cleaning has to be a drag. What do you listen to?

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


Heather B.
Past Member 8 years ago

Thanks for a great article, Ronnie. I listen to whatever I'm in the mood for at that time.

Iga Magda
Iga Magda8 years ago

Michael Jackson, George Michael, Bob Marley, Nirvana, ACDC;) I listen to music everyday.

Heather A.
Heather A8 years ago

for cleaning i need techno.. i get very robotic and always end up getting everything done :)

Jamie L.
Jamie L8 years ago

For some reason, the sound track to Top Gun seems to work. :)

Kate K.
Kate K8 years ago

I dont usually play music when I'm cleaning but when I do it's just the regualar stuff on my ipod, which consists of mostly alternitve, rock and pop music.

Christina Maniaci

Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power is a really good cd to clean to. Anything hard 'n heavy gets me going.

Jackie W.
Jackie W8 years ago

I don't really listen while I clean but doing the ironing it's usually some reggae at the moment, old 60s & Bob Marley through to UB40 and early 90s.

Jessica Min
Jessica Min8 years ago

I do not listen to music while cleaning. I feel that it disrupts my concentration on what I am doing.

Kimberly Lewis
Kimberly Lewis8 years ago

George Michael, Sammy Davis, Jr, Savage Garden, Darren Hayes, Time Lifes They're Playing Our Song, Daughtry.

Jeanne Macdonald
Jeanne M8 years ago

Pavarotti, fortissimo. : )