Maybe there are folks out there who enjoy doing chores. If there are, I haven’t met them–and frankly, I don’t trust them. But like it or not, the housework still needs to get done. Luckily, the right playlist can transform any task into a party. Or at least make folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, or scrubbing the bathroom less unpleasant.
This is the ultimate cleaning playlist, spanning multiple genres and decades. You can do anything with the right soundtrack!
9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
If we were all 10% more like Dolly Parton, the world would be a much better place. You can start by adding her classic workplace anthem from the movie 9 to 5. Pour yourself a cup of ambition, roll up your sleeves, and start scrubbing. It’s time to clean your house!
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
If you don’t think “Call Me Maybe” is a fun song, then there’s something wrong with your ears. Ten years ago, Carly Rae Jepsen scored the second-biggest hit of the year. (The best-selling song of 2012 was “Somebody That I Used to Know.”) “Call Me Maybe” will perk you up when you need a boost during a cleaning marathon.
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
Is “Uptown Funk” a little bit cheesy? Yeah, but it’s still a great song. The perfect cleaning playlist keeps things uptempo, and “Uptown Funk” is basically impossible to listen to without dancing. The secret is that the song is written in 4/4 time, which matches the classic Hollywood dances in the video above. If you’re cleaning with younger kids, just make sure to add the radio edit to your playlist.
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Speaking of cheese, the fromage is strong with this one. “Eye of the Tiger” is the ideal song to play if you want your chores to feel like a training montage from an 80s movie. Fun fact: Sylvester Stallone wanted to use “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen for Rocky III, but when that fell through, he commissioned Survivor to write this song instead. Now that I think about it, the two songs do sound a lot alike.
Groove Is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
For those of us who grew up in the 90s–the best decade–“Groove Is in the Heart” is pure nostalgia. I love this song, and it makes me smile even when I’m digging into the most gnarly household chores. One… two… three… brrrrr!
Lady Miss Kier wasn’t just the singer for Deee-Lite; she was also a major player in the fashion world. Remember those chunky rings and 60s-inspired headbands we all wore? That was at least partially her fault.
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
MC Hammer presumably didn’t have to scrub his own gold toilet, but when you’re cleaning the bathroom, “U Can’t Touch This” is a great track. It’ll keep your heart rate up as you do your chores–especially if you pause for a dance break. Do you remember how to do the Hammer dance? Don’t worry–it’s like riding a bike!
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
The haters gonna hate–but at least you can finally tackle that pile of dirty dishes with a little help from Taylor. “Shake It Off” will help keep you motivated as you clean the kitchen. This song is a great reminder that you don’t have to be perfect or live up to anyone else’s standards. Just do your best and have fun!
No Diggity – Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen
Sometimes you start off listening to a song ironically only to discover that you actually love it. That’s my relationship with “No Diggity,” the 90s R&B groove produced by Dr. Dre. The backing track is adapted from Bill Wither’s song “Grandma’s Hands,” a title that doesn’t exactly match the swagger of “No Diggity.”
If you needed more reasons to love “No Diggity,” know that it was the song to dethrone “Macarena” from the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996.
Toxic – Britney Spears
To be honest, it was a challenge to limit myself to just one Britney track on this list. “Toxic” earned a spot because of its hypnotic beat. Plus you can get into the groove while making your home less toxic by cleaning it up. C’mon, hasn’t Britney been through enough? You owe it to her. Chores are self-care!
No Scrubs – TLC
TLC might not put up with any scrubs, but sometimes you’ve gotta scrub down your kitchen. This anthem from 1999 cleaned up at the Grammys and cemented TLC’s reputation as one of the greatest girl groups of all time. Add this one to your playlist when you need to get into the groove of cleaning tile grout or washing dishes.
Lose Yourself – Eminem
Not only does this track have an irresistible hook, but the lyrics are really motivating when you’re facing an overwhelming mountain of chores. If Eminem can overcome the odds, then you can definitely tackle the laundry.
Fun fact: Eminem recently opened a restaurant in Detroit called… Mom’s Spaghetti. Seriously.
Hey Ya! – Outkast
Shake that duster like a Polaroid picture! Outkast’s 2003 hit will take you right back to high school dances or college discos. And don’t worry–it still slaps. This song is perfect for high-energy chores that keep you moving such as dusting, sweeping, or raking. Just plan for extra time because you’ll need to take dance breaks.
That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain
You know what would impress Shania Twain? A tidy, decluttered living room. This 90s pop-country anthem is still as fun and sassy today as it was in 1998. Even if you don’t have a full-length, leopard-print hooded coat, you can get that 90s Shania vibe with a bathrobe and some red lipstick. Just remember that you don’t need to settle for anything less than the fabulousness that you deserve.
Umbrella – Rihanna
Did you know that “Umbrella” was originally written for Britney? Her label said no, and we were gifted with Rhianna’s iconic performance instead. RiRi and Jay-Z scored a massive hit with this song, which is still just as great today as it was in 2007. If you’re doing dishes or laundry with your significant other, feel free to turn the chore into a dance routine.
Weapon of Choice – Fatboy Slim
Remember when this video came out and everyone lost their minds? A dancing, flying Christopher Walken was weird enough that the internet didn’t recover for years. I’ve got a soft spot for this song as well as the video, which was directed by Spike Jonze. And if you were a fan of Timothee Chalamet’s Dune, it might amuse you to know that the lyrics of this song are totally a reference to the sandworms of Arrakis.
Hold On, I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave recorded a ton of soul classics during their heyday, including “Soul Man.” But for pure, funky adrenaline, “Hold On, I’m Comin'” is where it’s at. The song was first released in 1966 and sold over a million copies. From the horn-heavy intro to the gospel-tinged soul of Sam Moore and Dave Prater’s voices, you can’t help but feel uplifted when you spin some old-school R&B.
Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte
99% of people under the age of 45 only know of Harry Belafonte because of Beetlejuice. While the scene featuring “The Banana Boat Song (Day O)” might be more famous, I fell in love with “Jump in the Line.” The song plays at the end of the movie after Lydia and her family have made peace with the ghosts living in their house. You might not be able to levitate while you listen to it, but it’ll lift your spirits during chores.
Low Rider – War
There’s no better time to listen to corny classics than when you’re cleaning the house. And when you’ve got to detail your car? the song has gotta be “Low Rider” by War. This 1975 funk song has been featured in more than a dozen movie soundtracks, so you’ve definitely heard it before.
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
There’s no shame in admitting that you’re a Twilight fan. We’re all friends here. Author Stephenie Meyer listened to Muse while she was writing, and “Supermassive Black Hole” was used for the soundtrack during the iconic baseball scene. Is this goofy as heck? Yes. But it’s also kind of great. This song is fantastic in its own right, but I can’t hear it without picturing vampires playing baseball. That image will get your mind off even the most unpleasant chore on your to-do list.
You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall & Oates
You’ve almost reached the end. You just need one last jam to get you through the last three minutes of deep cleaning. Daryl Hall and John Oates are here for you, my friend. You’re making your own dreams come true by tackling your to-do list. Power through it with this high-energy classic from 1980 that’s been featured in countless movies, TV shows, commercials, sporting events… basically everywhere. There’s a reason it’s so popular!