Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Home Cleaning + Burning Calories = The Perfect Win-Win!

home cleaning + burning calories = win win custom graphic

How many of us lack motivation when it comes to exercising or doing any form of cardio? For those of you that screamed ‘ME’, yes, you are certainly not alone in this! No matter how hard one tries to stick to a workout routine, certain things or situations make it much harder.

So, what if there was a way to get other responsibilities taken care of while burning a lot of calories at the same time? It may sound like a dream but studies have shown that the amount of movement and elbow grease involved in household cleaning and chores is equivalent to a 40-60 minute home exercise routine!

For many, burning calories has always been perceived as something one can truly achieve at the gym or while working out, however, with a daily, regiment cleaning routine, you will be keeping fit while keeping a spick and span house; it’s a real win-win!

Now, let’s get right to those household chores and cleaning tasks that will help you burn more calories than you thought possible!

1. Vacuuming or Sweeping the Floor

Little girl help her daddy cleaning

The fact that movement alone can burn calories is enough to convince you that vacuuming or sweeping the floor is a great workout! It involves a lot of moving around including back and forth movements which are beneficial for your arms and legs, too. Moreover, when using a vacuum cleaner, you end up pushing and pulling the appliance around while also moving furniture or bending down to vacuum under tables and chairs; all of this contributes to burning calories.

Did you know? You can burn 124 calories when vacuuming for 30 minutes.

If you have a smartwatch or phone with an activity tracker, you can even check how many steps and calories you have burned just by cleaning your floor. Of course, much like working out, vacuuming the whole house is a tiring affair and therefore, we recommend completing the task over the course of 2 days (unless you have enough time and energy to get it all done along with other household chores).

2. Dusting Furniture and Household Surfaces

Housemaid woman is cleaning

Again, there is a lot of moving around, walking from one room to another, and bending and stretching involved when dusting furniture or household surfaces. In fact, squatting to wipe down lower shelves can feel like an actual workout because you are tightening your core and leg muscles to hold yourself in that position. Similarly, clearing and wiping surfaces and furniture can burn several calories simply because it requires constant movement.

If you do, however, feel like you aren’t burning enough calories, or live in a smaller space that does not require taking that many steps, consider incorporating a little extra movement to your dusting routine. For example, you can put on some music and keep your body and hips moving to get your heart rate up and sweat a little more. This makes the entire task of dusting a lot more fun and effective in burning calories!

3. Cleaning Windows

Front view smiley woman cleaning

Another great arm workout and a slightly more strenuous task that will make you break a sweat is cleaning windows. It requires more elbow grease to really get your windows gleaming while the step-by-step process involved will keep you on your feet and active. From wiping the window panes down with a dust cloth to washing them thereafter; window cleaning can actually feel like you’ve just lifted some light weights!

In case you thought cleaning windows is a straightforward task, here are some key steps you may be overlooking, all of which aid in burning unwanted calories:

  • Gather drop cloths to soak up water spills
  • Clear the surrounding area to avoid knocking things over
  • Make a homemade window cleaner (if you choose not to use store-bought chemical cleaners)
  • Spot clean stubborn stains or dirt such as insect or bird droppings
  • Clean up the window tracks thereafter

Of course, these are just a few steps involved in cleaning windows; from start to finish, you can burn over 200 calories doing this task.

4. Top to Bottom Bathroom Cleaning

Lady cleaning bathroom mirror

Cleaning a bathroom thoroughly takes quite a bit of time and effort because each component must be scrubbed and cleaned. It requires elbow grease, a lot of back and forth movements, and bending, too. In fact, the amount of calories one can burn from cleaning a bathroom is equivalent to about 20 minutes of cardio! Moreover, it keeps you on your feet and moving around for a while, especially if you are cleaning from top to bottom.

Although your main focus is to get the bathroom cleaned up while burning calories, there is yet another bonus that comes with a top to bottom cleaning of a bathroom – it is a great way to give your arms and legs a workout! When compared to other household cleaning tasks and chores, bathroom cleaning tops the list for working out your arms and legs simultaneously.

5. Washing Dishes by Hand

Woman wash up dishes

While the convenience of using a dishwasher is undeniable, washing dishes by hand is not only beneficial in burning calories, but it also saves water! Scrubbing a sink full of dishes and rinsing them out can burn over 150 calories due to the amount of activity involved. It may not be the most strenuous household chore to do, however, it is definitely a good workout for your arms.

Apart from washing the dishes, drying each item and putting them away also contributes to burning calories. There is constant movement involved and that’s all that really matters when it comes to increasing your daily calorie burn.

6. Overall Kitchen Cleaning

A modern, interior designed kitchen

Typically, there is much to do when it comes to cleaning and organising your kitchen. The floor needs thorough cleaning to remove stains, appliances need to be deep cleaned now and then, the counters must be wiped 2-3 times a day, and other areas require tidying up because things are often left out of place. Yes, kitchen cleaning is a real calorie burner and must be done on a daily basis or else, chaos ensues!

Considering the fact that there are multiple areas in your kitchen that require daily attention where cleaning is concerned, it is best to go about kitchen cleaning in a systematic manner so that you don’t tire yourself out before getting it all done.

Here is what we suggest:

  1. Tidy up counters/tables; put everything back where it belongs
  2. Do the dishes
  3. Clean the gas stove
  4. Wipe down other kitchen appliances such as the oven and microwave
  5. Clean the sink
  6. Wipe the counters
  7. Sweep/vacuum the floor
  8. Mop the floor

Remember, no matter what you are doing, the goal is to stay active, on your feet, and keep moving because that’s all it takes to burn calories! So, with this information from our house cleaners in your back pocket, you will never forget that house cleaning is a win-win routine for your cardio goals!


Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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