How many calories do you burn cleaning your house?

Happy mature couple having fun with vacuum cleaner and remote controller in bedroom

Have you ever felt like you need an excuse to clean your bathroom or it simply won’t get done? Maybe you put off scrubbing the kitchen or have been planning on dusting the house from floor to ceiling for months. Whatever your vice, we’ve got some serious motivation.

Cleaning can burn calories.

Yep, it turns out an hour or so of housework can burn as many calories as walking for three kilometres. Or using an elliptical machine for 24 minutes, jogging for 20 minutes or biking at a vigorous pace for 15 minutes.

For the sake of examples, we’ve based all these estimates on an average 68kg adult. Of course, like any form of exercise how many calories you burn during housework depends on a host of variables. You’ll need to factor in your weight, as well as the intensity and duration of the activity.

Here’s a glimpse at what you could burn:


Mopping is something that so often gets overlooked, mostly in favour of vacuuming or sweeping. But with every hour of moping shedding around 150 calories, there’s never been a better excuse to get your floors squeaky clean.

Washing floors

Do your floors really need a little elbow grease? From spills to caked on food, getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing the floors by hand can burn up to 190 calories in just 30 minutes.

Scrubbing the bathtub

It’s one thing to spritz the bathtub with cleaning spray and give it a good wipe down. But to really get rid of that grime and soap scum you’ll need to give it a good scrub. The good news is that just 15 minutes of scrubbing burns over 90 calories, and gives your arm muscles a great workout. Need some tips on cleaning your bathroom? Check out our guide to the ultimate deep clean.


Depending on the size of your house, vacuuming could help you find your 30 minutes of daily exercise. It burns around 120 calories every 30 minutes which equates to a 10-minute CrossFit workout.


Between crumbs, dust and dirt, sweeping can be a daily chore for some homemakers. As well as keeping your floors looking spick and span, sweeping can also burn around 135 calories per half hour. So why not throw on your favourite tunes and enjoy a 30-minute twirl session with your broom?

Polishing windows

Keep that sunlight streaming in by giving your windows a good clean. As well as sparkling glass you’ll also burn 167 calories in 30 minutes which makes it a great workout. Plus, it’s a great way to tone up those arms.

Getting your 10,000 steps

You can intensify this mini workout by deliberately not working through the house methodologically. Instead, pick up a few things from the lounge room, then switch to the bedroom, and back again. This will force you to get moving and boost your step count.