We’ve all been there: to-do list written out, cleaning cupboard fully stocked, Marigolds at the ready – and yet you just can’t find the right song to start your cleaning spree.
After all, a suitable soundtrack can help you breeze through even the most cumbersome cleaning chores. But are there certain songs that are better suited to cleaning than others? Do we fall back on old reliables or seek something new while dusting the far corners of our living rooms?
To unravel the mysteries of the perfect cleaning playlist, we analysed the 10 most followed cleaning-themed playlists on Spotify to identify the most popular songs, artists and albums to clean to.
Continue reading, below, to find out who made the squeaky-clean cut.
What is the ultimate cleaning song?
|Ranking||Song||Artist||Year Released||Total instances|
|#1||September||Earth, Wind & Fire||1978||6|
|#2||Bad Habits||Ed Sheeran||2021||5|
|#3||Bad Romance||Lady Gaga||2009||5|
|#4||Billie Jean||Michael Jackson||1982||5|
|#6||Shut Up and Dance||Walk the Moon||2014||5|
According to our research, September by Earth, Wind & Fire is the ultimate cleaning song, appearing in 60% of the cleaning playlists in our dataset.
Notably, September and the other most popular cleaning songs are all pop/disco tunes, suggesting that people mostly look for familiar high energy tracks to motivate them to tackle their to-do list. The iconic seventies song is closely followed by five other popular cleaning songs: Bad Habits, Bad Romance, Billie Jean, Levitating, and Shut Up and Dance.
There is a little more variation when it comes to the music eras these songs originate from, however. The top six most popular cleaning tracks were released across five different decades (70s, 80s, 00s, 10s and the 20s), showing that generational music boundaries are blurred when it comes to cleaning the home.
Who is the most popular artist to listen to while cleaning?
As for the most popular artist that people love listening to while tidying up, Justin Bieber takes the crown. There are 37 instances of his songs across our cleaning playlists, from classics such as Baby and What Do You Mean? to more modern releases like Peaches and Hold On.
Much like the most popular songs in our dataset, the top 10 cleaning artists are almost exclusively pop artists. There is certainly a trend across the cleaning playlists that favours pop and chart music, with people wanting these familiar sounds scoring their spring clean.
As such, chart topping songs from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift help to maintain the genre’s dominance of popular cleaning playlists. For example, Sheeran’s Bad Habits and Shape of You made five and four appearances across different playlists, respectively, while Swift’s Shake It Off also racked up four appearances. All of these songs spent considerable time at number one in the UK charts.
What is the most popular cleaning album?
|Ranking||Album||Artist||No. playlists featured||Total Instances|
|#3||Future Nostalgia||Dua Lipa||6||10|
|#4||Heaven & Hell||Ava Max||3||10|
|#5||One of the Boys||Katy Perry||5||8|
|#6||Good Girl Gone Bad||Rihanna||4||8|
|#7||Made in the A.M.||One Direction||2||8|
|#8||Happier Than Ever||Billie Eilish||2||8|
In terms of albums, cleaners just can’t get enough of Olivia Rodrigo’s debut release, SOUR. Recorded during the height of the pandemic, the 2021 album has certainly found a loving audience among the followers of our cleaning playlists, appearing 16 times across our dataset. This popularity is no doubt spearheaded by ‘good 4 u’ and ‘driver license’, which feature in 40% of the chosen playlists.
Joining SOUR on 16 instances is Kesha’s 2010 hit album, Animal, which introduced us to such hits as TikTok and Your Love Is My Drug. The only different between these two albums is that SOUR has been included on six different cleaning playlists compared to Animal’s five. It’s a small detail but one that gives Rodrigo the edge over her competitor.
Our data also shows that, notably, the list of most popular cleaning albums is very female-focused. Including list-toppers Olivia Rodrigo and Kesha, 70% of the top 10 albums are led by solo female artists with Dua Lipa, Rihanna and Katy Perry all sharing in the success.
Conversely, only Justin Bieber, One Direction and fun. carry the flame for male artists in this category – yet none of their albums still cannot breach the top five most popular.
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