How Many Calories Do You Burn While Cleaning Your House?

You can burn serious calories while cleaning your house. |

Burning calories at the gym is great, but sometimes it’s not always possible to make it there as often as we’d like. Work runs late, kids have soccer practices, and household chores need to get finished sometime. Sitting at your desk for an extra hour won’t burn off calories, but thankfully, helping out with housecleaning will.

According to one study, conducting a thorough spring cleaning can burn up to 3,655 calories — more than the 2,500 to 3,500 calories spent running a marathon. If you’re lackadaisical about your dusting, vacuuming, and cupboard cleaning, you probably won’t reach those levels, but if you approach your cleaning more as a workout than simply a chore, there’s a potential to burn some serious energy along the way.

Of course, the number of calories you burn will depend on your weight (heavier people burn calories faster) and potentially your height. It will also depend on the intensity with which you scrub your floors and bathtub. But no matter what, you’ll burn a decent amount of calories if you’re giving your home a deep clean. As Livestrong reports, a 150-pound person will burn approximately 99 calories doing 30 minutes of housework. Someone who weighs 200 pounds will burn about 131 calories in that same timeframe.

Weight Loss Resources points out certain cleaning activities will help you work out certain areas of your body. “In particular, polishing, dusting, mopping and sweeping are great for keeping arms shapely. Bending and stretching, for example, when you make the bed, wash windows or do the laundry are good for toning thighs and improving flexibility. And constantly running up and down the stairs as you tidy is a good aerobic workout,” dietician Juliette Kellow writes for the publication.

Want to know an estimate for how many calories you’ll burn doing everyday household tasks? Take a look at some of the options for getting in a workout in your own home.

Washing windows

Cleaning your windows will give you a serious arm workout. |

It’s time to get the winter grime off your windows — both inside and out. Washing them will give your arms a good workout, as long as you switch arms so one doesn’t get all the exercise benefits. Shape estimates you’ll burn about 167 calories in 30 minutes. Health reports it could be more like 100 calories in that time, but this will depend on how vigorously you’re working to make those panes sparkle.

Cleaning the bathroom

Torch calories by scrubbing your bathroom. |

Soap scum might be your enemy in the bathroom, but it’s your friend in terms of getting a decent workout while cleaning it off your shower or bathtub. Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns an estimated 200 calories, FitDay reports. Scrubbing the entire bathroom for 35 minutes from top to bottom will burn about as many calories as walking on a treadmill for the same amount of time, according to Health.


Dusting is easy, but it still burns calories. |

There aren’t many chores easier than dusting, but even freshening up your home for 30 minutes with a duster will help you spend about 50 calories, says FitDay.


Vacuuming will give you a cleaner home while you’re getting a workout. |

Pushing your vacuum around will not only give you cleaner carpets, but it can also burn between 50 and 119 calories per 30 minutes of activity, Health, FitDay, and Shape report. Clearly, this depends on how long you’re vacuuming and how hard you’re working to push the vacuum around your floors.

Loading the dishwasher

Burn even more calories by washing your dishes by hand. |

Moving around your kitchen to unload and reload the dishwasher for 30 minutes will burn about 105 calories, according to FitDay. If you wash them by hand, you’ll burn about 160 calories.

Other chores

As long as you’re moving, you’ll be burning calories. |

You can expend 130 calories over 30 minutes of making beds in your home, burn 70 calories while ironing clothes for 30 minutes, and use 100 calories to rearrange your furniture for 25 minutes. Because it tends to be a little more vigorous, outdoor work like gardening, mowing the lawn, and other things on your to-do list can also take the place of a gym workout for a day or two.

If you’re serious about getting a workout while you tidy up your home, Kellow suggests planning strategically to get the most out of your chores. When you polish your furniture, for example, use the wax polish in a tin instead of a spray. You’ll have to rub much harder and longer to get the shine you want, but you’ll burn more calories in the process. When you’re ironing, keep the laundry basket on the floor so you need to bend and stretch for each item of clothing. And finally, complete your tasks in an order that will keep you going up and down the stairs as much as possible. “Empty the dishwasher in the kitchen, then make the bed upstairs, then vacuum the living room downstairs, then clean the bathroom upstairs — and so on,” Kellow writes.

Not only will you have made your home sparkling clean, you’ll also have burned off some calories along the way. Two birds, one stone.

Follow Nikelle on Twitter @Nikelle_CS

Very few of us can say we enjoy housework – cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, doing the laundry and slaving over the ironing board are hardly the definition of fun.

But, if you thought you might be benefiting in other ways from doing the housework – burning calories and getting fit, say – might you feel more motivated?

Research by Wren Kitchens reveals we burn over 50,000 calories every month, just by doing household chores! That translates to burning 1,478 calories every day.

Needless to say, some chores provide more of a workout than others. These are the tasks that will get you in great shape in no time…

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Wren Kitchens estimates we spend 138 minutes every week mopping floors, which burns 405 calories. This is equivalent of doing 340 squat thrusts, and you’re being productive at the same time!


All the chores that burn the most calories are great for toning arms and shoulder muscles. Vacuuming comes in just behind mopping, with 132 minutes of vacuuming your home each week burning 387 calories.

Unsurprisingly, sweeping the floor is also great for fitness. Spending time cleaning your floor by mopping, vacuuming and sweeping could burn over 1,000 calories every week! Not bad results and not a gym in sight…

Robert DalyGetty Images

Unloading the car

Any motoring enthusiasts will be happy to hear loading and unloading the car can offset over 300 calories each week.

Whilst lifting shopping bags out of the car is good for fitness, just remember to be safe. The NHS offers guidelines to help you avoid any back injuries when lifting heavy objects.


Always moving things around your house? Whether it’s finding a new home for a plant or shifting furniture, decluttering can get you fit in no-time.

As you run up and down the stairs, moving things around, it’s estimated you’ll burn 240 calories a day!

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Doing the laundry

Doing the laundry can be a long and tiresome process. By the time you’ve loaded the washing machine, unloaded it, ironed your clothes and put them away, you probably feel like you’ve done a workout!

The good news? You have completed a workout. Doing laundry, ironing and putting away clothes can see you burn over 700 calories every week. So, you can sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a treat, guilt-free!

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10 Chores that Burn 100 Calories

What if I told you that you’re burning calories throughout the day just in your regular activities? If you can up the intensity of everyday chores, you can burn more calories throughout the day AND have a clean house! Here are 10 chores that will burn 100 calories:

1. You could catch up on your DVR episodes of Mad Men, but spending that 60 minutes washing and drying a sink full of dishes like a Betty Draper-esque housewife will be much more beneficial to your calorie count. Try multitasking entertainment and chores to burn 100 calories.

2. Bored of your morning beauty routine? Pinterest a new hairstyle, because holding your arms up to blow dry, straighten & style your hair for 35 minutes will burn off 100 calories of breakfast.

3. You really should call your mother more often. Talking on the phone while walking around the house for 35 minutes will get you brownie points and burn enough calories for a 100 calorie brownie.

4. Wouldn’t that couch look better on the south wall? Moving furniture around your living room for 25 minutes is a great 100 calorie workout, especially if you have an uber heavy hide-a-bed in your living room.

5. Mowing the lawn for 20 minutes can burn more calories than a power walk, but there’s a catch; you have to mow with a push mower. You may feel like you’re living on the frontier, but a push mower will turn your backyard into a bootcamp!

6. Can you even remember the last time you cleaned the bathroom? It’s time. Scrubbing down the bathroom from floor to ceiling for 35 minutes burns as much as a 35 minute walk on the treadmill, and it’s much more productive.

7. Wash the inside and outside of your windows for 30 minutes to burn off 100 calories. If you lived in the Empire State Building, for example, you’d burn 4,200 calories cleaning windows. That would be nearly a pound and a half of calories burned off!

8. It may scare the dog for the rest of the day, but vacuuming burns about 100 calories per 60 minutes. Go for every rug an upholstered surface in the house to burn calories and help with your seasonal allergies.

9. Moving laundry from washer to dryer, folding and organizing your closet for 45 minutes will actually help your clothes fit better. If you use an old-timey clothes wringer instead of a machine you can really get your arms working, but good luck finding one that isn’t in a museum.

10. Lighten up! Tidying up activities such as changing out light bulbs, shredding junk mail, hanging pictures, reorganizing books for 30 minutes will work on your waistline while de-cluttering your house. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax if your own home, and relaxing helps bring down levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that holds on to fat in your body. Clean, burn calories, and de-stress–what could be better?

Want to burn even more? The American Council on Exercise promotes the use of weights to increase exercise benefit. You can add this to your everyday life by using ankle or wrist weights. Just adding weights can burn 25-50% more calories during your everyday activities – no gym required!
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.

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Does housework burn calories? Here are 3 ways to burn calories when you’re stuck inside

Stuck indoors because the weather is too cold or hot right now and a trip to the gym is not going to happen? You may be wondering – does housework burn calories, and if so, how many calories can I burn with simple chores? This post gives you the top chores and the amount of calories you can burn with each.

Does Housework Burn Calories & What Chores Burn the Most?

There are times when the weather is just so cold or so hot that I don’t even want to drive to the gym let alone go outside and exercise or do yard chores. To stay active on those days, I remind myself that there are activities that I could do while also getting my indoor chores completed. This saves me both time and money while I burn calories. I don’t routinely replace planned exercise with home chores but I do use them for back-up calorie burners as well as supplemental calorie burners.

Websites often list activity intensity levels by their Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) level. One MET is the amount of energy or calories you burn at complete rest. Of course, when you log an activity in MyNetDiary, the tracker calculates the calories for you.

I am sharing indoor chores that I typically have to do every week to keep my home in some resemblance of order and cleanliness. You might have different goals or chore requirements for your home and you may be wondering, does housework burn enough calories to compensate for exercise. To learn more about what household chores burn the most calories, see the Compendium of Physical Activities. If you are trying to reach “moderate-intensity” level, choose activities between 3 – 5.9 METS and perform them for 30 minutes of net time (that is, actual move time not including breaks). Moving more is beneficial, so even lower MET activities are helpful. Higher MET activities have the benefit of greater calories burning per minute, but they might be harder to perform for long periods so be sure to keep an eye on actual net minutes when you log your exercise. All activities are available for tracking in MyNetDiary.

Here are 3 ways to burn calories when you’re stuck inside

Vacuuming is a decent energy burner at 3.3 METS. If I just do the second floor of my home, it takes me about an hour. Based upon my weight (130 lb), MyNetDiary calculates that I burn 139 calories for one hour of vacuuming. I’m not killing myself with this vacuuming effort – I’m basically walking slowly and pushing a device that is powered while occasionally leaning forward. You might think that the calories burn is not very much but consider that my outdoor walk burns only 155 calories per hour. And the bonus is that I have clean floors after I am finished burning those calories.

I don’t enjoy cleaning the bathroom but it needs to be done. The good news is that it is a moderate-intensity activity at 3.5 METS. When I log this item in MyNetDiary (“Scrubbing floors, on hands and knees, scrubbing bathroom, bathtub, moderate effort”), I burn 155 calories in one hour. That might feel like a bit of a cheat given the nature of the chore, but consider that it burns the same amount of calories as my one hour outdoor walk. When I am done, the bathrooms are clean and I have saved a boatload of money by not hiring someone to do it for me.

Moving furniture, household items, carrying boxes

Carrying loads of boxes or household items is a very good calorie burner at 5.8 METS. If I log 30 minutes of this activity, MyNetDiary shows that I burn 297 calories. Wow! This is a great motivator for me to work on finishing the reorganization of my home office or keep difficult rooms organized.

When I have to carry those boxes or loads up and down my stairs, then I burn even more calories since the MET level increases when stairs are involved (9 METS for carrying loads up and down stairs). Reorganizing a room and getting rid of unwanted items by carrying each load to the garage or basement will help you rack up the calories. Word of advice – use good lifting and carrying technique so you don’t injure yourself.

There are many other common household chores that burn a fair number of calories: window washing (3.5 METS), mopping floors (3.5 METS), and painting walls or furniture (3.3 METS).

Tip: the more you can use stairs and/or increase your weight load, the more calories you will burn for any activity.

When I rethink regular chores as opportunities for supporting my health while saving money, I find that they are less burdensome to perform. This tactic might not work for everyone but it has certainly helped me frame it in a more positive way. And afterwards, I feel good – my home is cleaner, less cluttered, and looks nicer. And a clean and organized home can be better for your health – read The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness at Psychology Today. Give it a go!

Originally published on 5 February 2019,
Updated: 2 December 2019

Exercise->Aerobic & Cardio Exercise->Tips Weight Loss->Weight Loss Tips & QuipsKatherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDE – Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

DIY Home Projects

Washing Dishes

Start with a classic: the familiar chore of standing and doing dishes. Cleaning dishes for just 15 minutes may burn up to 25 to 29 calories.

Break out your BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH™ Cordless Lithium 2-IN-1 Stick Vacuum for the next step in your cleaning workout. A 15-minute vacuuming session can burn up to 47 to 55 calories and leave your floors and carpets extra clean. Melt away a few more calories by using the hand-vacuum attachment to vacuum the curtains and upholstery.

Now that your floors are dirt-free, it’s time to burn more calories as you steam and shine them up with the BLACK+DECKER 10-n-1 Steam-Mop ™ with Fresh Scent. It’s safe for your tile, stone and sealed hardwood floors, and uses the power of steam to clean up while releasing a fresh lemon scent. Just like vacuuming, steaming your floors helps burn up to 47 to 55 calories per 15 minutes.


Take your calorie-burning cleaning routine outside and leave no corner untouched by sweeping your garage, patio or walkways with a BLACK+DECKER Angle Broom. A 30-minute sweeping session in these bigger spaces can burn up to 113 to 133 calories.

Scrubbing the Shower

As you might expect, bigger cleaning jobs make for more of a workout and more calories burned. When you want to get detail-oriented and scrub those tiled corners and grout lines, your BLACK+DECKER Steam Shot grout brush can help you burn up to 53 to 62 calories per 15 minutes.

Washing the Car

Your calorie-burning cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to the house. Grab an easy-access BLACK+DECKER Rectangular Bucket and wash, scrub, rinse and shine your car. If you spend one hour cleaning your car, you can burn up to 151 to 177 calories.

Picking Up

Once everything is fresh, shiny and clean, take some time to put things away and organize your house. In a 30-minute session of picking up, organizing, taking out the trash and changing the linens, you can burn up to 56 to 66 calories.

Spring Cleaning: How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing Chores?

Getty Images

While it still may not feel like spring, winter has, at least officially, come and gone. We’re hoping for warmer weather any day now, and in the meantime, getting ready to celebrate the season.

Spring cleaning might not be the most exciting way to “celebrate,” but consider the upsides: airing out the sheets and sweeping away the dust bunnies can help you manage seasonal allergies and keep germs at bay-not to mention burn a few extra calories.

Of course, just because you mopped the floors today doesn’t mean you can skip your workout. But, if you’ve got spring cleaning on the agenda already, you might be surprised by how many calories you could burn. Check out the calorie counts for these common spring cleaning activities.

(All calorie counts are estimates based on a 150-pound person, and will vary with intensity, body composition and weight.)

1. Mopping: Take care of those dusty, dirty floors with an hour of mopping and you’ll shed 153 calories.

2. Washing floors: If your floors require a little extra elbow grease, you can shed as many as 187 calories in just 30 minutes.

3. Scrubbing the tub: It might not take you as long as those floors, but some similar umph is required to ditch that soap scum. In 15 minutes, you’ll burn more than 90 calories-and you might feel it in those arms, too!

4. Vacuuming: Depending on the size of your home, vacuuming could make a significant dent in your 10,000 recommended steps a day. In the process, you could burn 119 calories per 30 minutes.

5. Sweeping: A 30-minute dance with the broom will burn off 136 calories.

6. Washing the car: Winter road salt still covering your car? Skip the drive-thru and scrub it by hand to burn 153 calories.

7. Cleaning windows: Get the grime off the inside and the outside and let the springtime sun shine in. You’ll burn 167 calories in 30 minutes.

8. Rearranging the closet: Ready to put away those sweaters and your heavy winter coat? Moving around some lighter options can burn about 85 calories.

9. Redecorating: Painting your bedroom a springy pale green? Knock off 167 calories in 30 minutes of indoor remodeling.

10. Moving: Got any furniture to move? You’re in luck: You could burn another 100 calories in just 15 minutes, and even more if you have to move anything up and down stairs!

More on Huffington Post Healthy Living:

Beauty Secrets from Grandma

The Real Reason Fast Food Chains Are Going Healthy

6 Healthy Reasons to Love Spring

  • By The Editors of Huffington Post Healthy Living

If you think doing household chores will save you a trip to the gym, you might want to think again.

A new study from Northern Ireland finds that people who report housework as part of their weekly exercise tend to be heavier than those who get their exercise through more traditional means.

In fact, the more time people said they spent performing housework as exercise (which they considered moderate to vigorous physical activity), the heavier they tended to be.

The findings are counterintuitive, the researchers said, because more physical activity — no matter what the form — should be linked with a lower weight, as long as people keep their calorie intake in check.

The researchers speculated that people who say they exercise by doing housework are overestimating the intensity or duration of the activity. Or, it could be that people overestimate how many calories they burn doing chores, and eat too much, the researchers said.

The findings suggest that housework “may not be sufficient to provide all of the benefits normally associated with meeting the physical-activity guidelines,” the researchers wrote in the Oct. 18 issue of the journal BMC Public Health.

Housework as exercise?

In recent years, public health messages regarding physical activity have shifted from a focus on traditional exercises, such as running, to activities that can be performed as you go about your day, such as cycling to work, or gardening, the researchers said.

However, these messages should instead emphasize the importance of practicing many different kinds of physical activity, and make sure that housework “is not seen as the main method” of exercising, the researchers said.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Ulster, analyzed information from more than 4,600 people who were interviewed about their weekly physical activity. Participants were asked to report traditional physical activity, as well as activities they did at home that raised their breathing rate.

About 42 percent of participants met the current physical-activity guidelines (150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week). Of those people, nearly two-thirds said that at least 10 minutes of their weekly activity was spent performing housework.

Women and older people tended to report more time spent doing housework as part of their physical activity. If the researchers excluded housework as a type of physical activity, just 20 percent of women met the physical-activity guidelines.

Cycling vs. vacuuming

Richard Cotton, an exercise physiologist and national director of certification at the American College of Sports Medicine, agreed that people need to incorporate a broad range of physical activity into their exercise routine.

However, Cotton said that it would be hard to lose weight just by doing housework. You’ll get the most reward for your time if you do more traditional physical activities, he said.

For instance, 30 minutes of vacuuming or sweeping floors burns about 130 calories, while 30 minutes of vigorous cycling on a stationary bike burns 400 calories, according to the Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide, which lists the calories burned during many different types of physical activity.

But some housework does give you a bit of a workout. For instance, 30 minutes of mowing the lawn with a hand mower burns 215 calories, close to what you would burn in 30 minutes of combined jogging and walking.

“The combination is really ideal,” Cotton said.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

The Housework Workout Is A Myth — Here’s How Many Calories You’ll Actually Burn Cleaning

Have you been dusting the house every day, keeping the bathtub sparkling and still not getting six-pack abs? I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Housework doesn’t really qualify as a workout. Gasp! It’s shocking, I know (you mean Cosmo lied to us?). But a new study confirms that household chores probably aren’t the best form of exercise.

In the study, from Ireland, the more time people spent performing housework, the heavier they tended to be. The findings are somewhat counterintuitive; even if mopping and tidying aren’t the most intense workouts, they do require physical activity. But the researchers speculated that people who think they’re getting a good workout via housework are overestimating the intensity, duration or calorie-burning potential of these chores. This may lead them to eat more or do other exercise less.

It’s easy to scoff at these misguided souls, but let’s remember that people have been pushing the housework-as-exercise bull on women for quite a while. Here’s an illustration from a 1950s book called The Charming Woman:

Here’s an excerpt from a Daily Mail article published in February 2013:

We have long been told that our unhealthy diet is why we are all too fat. But now, when it comes to women at least, researchers have a rather more controversial explanation for rising obesity – they are not doing enough housework.

And here’s an Apartment Therapy article on “how you can get your house clean and burn some fat at the same time!” It was published earlier this week.

I think part of the problem is that when people emphasize the exercise benefits of housework, they tend to note the number of calories burned per half hour or hour. You can burn 240 calories per hour sweeping the floor! Okay, but who sweeps the floor for an hour? Providing you don’t live in a palatial castle, it probably will take you 10 minutes. Tops. Three if you live in a city apartment.

If we apply these calorie-burning stats to the amount of time chores actually take to complete, here’s what we get.

Vacuuming and Sweeping

Burns: 40 calories per 10 minutes (and that’s sweeping vigorously)


Burns: 43 calories per 10 consecutive minutes

DustingBurns: 33 calories per 10 minutes

CookingBurns: 50 calories per 20 minutes (this is provided you don’t nibble your way through meal prep like a normal human being)

Making the BedBurns: 11 calories per 5 minutes

IroningBurns: 39 calories per 15 minutes

Loading the Dishwasher Burns: 17.5 calories per 5 minutes

In conclusion, maybe you should go to the gym?

Image: Fotolia

How many calories can you burn while doing housework?

No one really likes doing housework, but now you can take comfort in the fact that cleaning and doing chores doubles up as a mini workout.

While the results can’t compare to a full-on gym session, it’s still nice to know that an hour of mopping the floor burns as many calories as a 30-minute jog.

And it’s definitely better than just vegetating on the sofa, which burns you zero calories. Go on and volunteer to do the following household chores.

Calorie calculations are from Calorielab, and based on a 55kg woman.

1. Mopping the floor

After 15 minutes of mopping the floor, you’ll burn 34 calories.

After one hour of mopping the floor, you’ll burn 138 calories.

2. Washing the dishes

After 15 minutes of washing dishes, you’ll burn 18 calories.

After one hour of washing dishes, you’ll burn 72 calories.

3. Vacuuming

After 15 minutes of vacuuming, you’ll burn 34 calories.

After one hour of vacuuming, you’ll burn 138 calories.

4. Doing laundry

After 15 minutes of doing laundry, you’ll burn 14 calories.

After one hour of doing laundry, you’ll burn 55 calories.

5. Ironing clothes

After 15 minutes of ironing, you’ll burn 18 calories.

After one hour of ironing, you’ll burn 72 calories.

6. Packing and walking around

After 15 minutes of putting away things, you’ll burn 28 calories.

After one hour of putting away things, you’ll burn 110 calories.

7. Gardening

After 15 minutes of gardening, you’ll burn 41 calories.

After one hour of gardening, you’ll burn 165 calories.

8. Bathing the dog

After 15 minutes of bathing the dog (or another pet), you’ll burn 34 calories.

After one hour of bathing the dog (or another pet), you’ll burn 138 calories.

9. Scrubbing the floor

After 15 minutes of scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees, you’ll burn 39 calories.

After one hour of scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees, you’ll burn 154 calories.

This article was first published in Shape.

Every Saturday I wash my car. It’s a ritual. I know most people who wash their own car like to do it on Sundays. But me, it’s all about having a nice gleaming car over the whole weekend. What’s the point washing a car otherwise right?

Well, it was first thing Saturday morning and I was cleaning my car before the Miami sun beat down on the whole city. In fact, and without showing off, I’ve actually timed my 2 hour ritual car wash to finish exactly when the sun comes out to help a little with the drying. I mean in my head it’s all very scientific.

Anyway, a few Saturday’s ago, my wife’s friend came round at exactly the same time I had started washing my car. And left roughly when I was putting away all my car cleaning equipment. She made a joke on the way out

I bet you lose a bunch of calories doing that each week

A smile, a wave to us both and she was off.

It hadn’t even occurred to me. I hit the gym, like most healthy people at least one a month. That’s right. And if I knew for one moment that washing my car would count as exercise, I’m not even sure that I’d do that one time in the gym.

But I wanted to know. I actually wanted to know how many extra beers and burgers I could get away with eating. Now in order to do this fairly, I guess I had to wear one of those Fitbit things, or whatever. Nah! That doesn’t work for me. In fact wearing a watch when cleaning your car can even accidentally cause it scratches if it were to hit the paint.

How many calories do you burn washing a car for an hour?

So I wasn’t going to do that. However, a friend pointed out that not only did people wear these sorts of watches, but many even shared their results.

I turned to google for guidance and very quickly got pointed to. My Fitness Pal. NO I’m not affiliated with them. I’d never heard of them until researching this post. Well, they have this calculator and it averages out the total calories burned for the activity of car washing.

It turns out that for my weight, a 60 minute wash lost me about 204 calories and a 2 hour wash lost me 450 calories.

Wow!! I mean washing a car never felt like exercise.

SO then I got to thinking – how many calories in a bottle of Bud. Turns out it’s about 120. And McDonald’s fries are about 320.

Guess that’s a win for me.

And that’s just my regular wash. If I’m doing my once a month wax (see my favorite carnauba wax), polish and buff, washing down and cleaning the fabric of the convertible roof, cleaning out the dog hairs from the day before road trip – then let me tell you, we’re talking even more calories being lost. We’re talking even more Buds and fries.

Now who said washing cars didn’t have its advantages.

Calories Burned Washing/Cleaning A Car

You are probably well-aware of the fact that exercising is important for your body, as it improves your overall health and functioning. Yet, there are many people who do not exercise, mainly because of their busy and hectic schedules. However, the lack of time should never be cited as an excuse for leading a sedentary lifestyle. Did you know that you can actually burn calories doing everyday activities, like ironing, dusting, mopping, sweeping, cooking, washing the dishes, and so on? The number of calories burned washing and waxing car is also quite high, as compared to many household chores.

In case you are a car-lover, or are the proud owner of a fairly new set of wheels, you probably do spend a couple of hours each week, just washing your car. When you engage in this task, do you bear in mind the calories burnt while washing a car? Activities like rinsing the car with water, rubbing the surface to loosen dirt, scrubbing each section with a soapy sponge and rinsing away the soap and dirt are bound to burn a considerable amount of calories. Of course, a good car owner will also take the time and effort to wipe off the excess water from the surface of the car, to prevent the formation of water spots. As you can see, all these activities require a significant amount of time and energy.
Here is an incentive for you to start washing your car more often, if you are one of those, who clean their cars no more than 3 or 4 times a year. The approximate number of calories burned while cleaning a car can go as high as 250 calories in an hour. However, the cleaning car calories burned could go a bit higher or perhaps even slightly lower, depending upon the physical intensity with which you perform the task.
Therefore, you can choose to wash your car no more than a couple of times a year, drive to a car wash and spend a lot of money, or you could have a clean car at all times and get in a fair amount of exercise at the same time, by making sure that you give your car a thorough washing at least once or preferably twice a week. Do bear in mind that going to a drive-in car wash a couple of times a week does not count as a calorie burner.

Calories Burned Waxing A Car

After learning about the number of calories your body burns while washing a car, you are now probably wondering how many calories are burned waxing a car. Of course, waxing the car is a more strenuous activity than washing it and therefore it is only natural that the car waxing calories burnt are higher. You can burn up to 325 calories in an hour, if you wax your car for that much time. The amount of time you spend waxing your car depends upon your skill, as well as the size of your car. It can take you anywhere between 2 and 4 hours to complete the entire job. You will also need to wash your car thoroughly before and after waxing it. Most people end up sweating profusely while waxing their cars, which is one of the signs that their bodies are burning fat and calories. Therefore, you can lose anywhere between 600 and 1,000 calories while waxing your car. Of course, you cannot wax your car every week or even every month and therefore this activity is not a substitute for regular exercise. It is best for you to wax your car once every 3 months or so. If your car is exposed to harsh conditions on a regular basis, you may be asked to wax your car more often.
The number of calories you burn while performing any form of physical activity depends on several factors. First of all, the type of activity, the speed and intensity with which it is performed as well as the duration needs to be kept in mind. Some of the other factors that affect the number of calories you burn include age, metabolism, level of physical fitness, body weight and so on. The calories burned figures mentioned above are all of an average person, who weighs 150 pounds. Therefore, the number of calories you burn while washing or waxing your car may vary, depending on these factors.
Both washing and waxing a car are fairly safe activities and can be performed by people of all ages. However, it is best for you to check with your doctor before engaging in these activities, especially if you are elderly, or are suffering from any preexisting medical condition. In case your health care provider asks you to refrain from these activities, do not lose heart; there are many other household chores that you can engage in, to burn additional calories during the day and these are not as strenuous as washing and waxing a car.

How Many Calories Do I Burn in a Day?

The Harris-Benedict formula or Harris-Benedict equation was first published back in 1918. It was revisited in 1984 and again in 1990 to improve the accuracy. In its basic form, you multiply your BMR by your daily activity level to get the number of calories you need to consume each day to maintain your weight.

How do you get these numbers?


To calculate your BMR, you’ll use your sex, age, and weight. The original formulas for calculating this number are as follows, using pounds for weight, inches for height, and years for age.

  • 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age) = BMR for men
  • 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age) = BMR for women

A 40-year-old, 150 pound, 5 foot 6-inch-tall woman, for example, would be 655.1 + (4.35 x 150) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7×40) = 1,429.7.

A 40-year-old, 180 pound, 6-foot-tall man would be 66 + (6.2 x 180) + (12.7 x 72) – (6.76 x 40) = 1,829.8.

Activity level

From there, you must figure out your activity level. The activity level number is defined as:

For example, let’s say a woman is a postal worker and walks all day. Her activity level would be set to 1.9. Now let’s say a man works at a desk and walks for exercise several times a week. His activity level would be set to 1.55.

Full equation

Putting everything together, the Harris-Benedict equation is: BMR x activity level = calories to maintain weight

The 150-pound woman who is “extra active:”

  • 1429.7 (BMR) x 1.9 (activity level) = 2,716 (calories/day to maintain current weight)

The 180-pound man who is “moderately active:”

  • 1829.8 (BMR) x 1.55 (activity level) = 2,836 (calories/day to maintain current weight)

Online calculators

To make this whole equation even easier, there are online calculators that do the math for you.

Calories burned vacuuming calculator

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