People who enjoy cleaning the house are happier, more relaxed, survey finds

OAKLAND, Calif. — Need to inject some positivity into your home? A little spring cleaning might just do the trick, a new study finds.

Clorox, the household name in the cleaning industry, recently released findings from a multifaceted study it conducted in which the findings suggest that keeping a neat living space promotes empathy.

The study’s first component consisted of an online survey of 2,000 American adults which found that those who enjoyed the act of cleaning were 25% happier that those who did not.

Person cleaning house
People who keep a clean home are not only happier, but more relaxed and focused than those who are messy, a new survey finds. What’s more: children in cleaner home study more and show greater empathy.

Furthermore, those who frequently spruced up the house didn’t seem to experience diminishing returns: for each extra hour of cleaning a week, the average respondent’s happiness increased by 53%.

Regular cleaning was also associated with other positive health outcomes, including improved relaxation (indicated by 80% of respondents), heightened focus (77%), better sleep (72%), and increased productivity (72%), the researchers found.

Respondents who also happened to be parents were asked additional questions about how they believed their kids benefited from cleaning their room.

Nearly 60% of parents said their kids studied better when their room was clean, and about half (49%) indicated that their child’s behavior saw marked improvement.

On a related note, teaching cleaning habits from a young age conferred great benefits: children who were assigned cleaning as a chore were 64% more likely to exhibit empathy, and 60% more willing to help others in their community as an adult.

“There’s nothing more important to me as a dad than making sure my kids grow up to be kind and resilient adults and I think that’s something that connects all parents,” comments actor Sterling K. Brown, a celebrity spokesman for Clorox, in a press release.

The study’s second component had 20 participants take part in an experiment that was intended to help validate the survey’s prior results.

Participants, who were filmed and equipped with biometric sensors, were asked to enter two rooms that were nearly identical. The catch? One room was filthy and the other spotless.

Using the tools at their disposal, the researchers found that participants saw a 45% and 44% increase in “liking” and “attraction” (correlated with improved happiness); a 20% improvement in critical thinking ability (correlated with increased productivity); and 127% decrease in disgust (correlated with stress) upon entering the clean room.

For all of you slobs out there, there’s now actual proof that keeping your house a mess has real consequences.

Clorox’s survey was conducted online in late September of last year. The study’s experimental component was conducted in early November, and a statistical modeling technique was used to analyze its results.


  1. Uhhhh….no. I’d be MUCH happier if everyone in this house would pick up after themselves, my wife included. I only sleep better because I am exhausted!

  2. “People who don’t get upset cleaning, tend to not get upset as much as people who get upset cleaning.”

    1. That’s absurd! I think maybe rather subjective as well. Some of my most focused thinking occurs while doing mindless routine pickup and cleaning around the house.

  3. I don’t mind cleaning and do so weekly. I don’t know that I feel happier or better as a result but I do think it gives me the illusion or false sense that everything is in order in the universe for a brief time. Which probably does have a positive effect on my overall mood. But this article overstates the benefits beyond the obvious of just having a clean house.

  4. Well…….. It is spring cleaning time and I am well over due and I got 40% more foot space back in my room and it means nothing to me since the dog now lays in the free spot. #Grrrrr

  5. I love to have an orderly home. When I finish organizing and cleaning I treat myself to a bouquet of flowers and a relaxing drink on the sofa. Heavenly.

  6. Cleaning up is common sense.

    Germophobes, on the other hand, are unbearable as&shysholes. No need to conduct studies for that. You just have to meet one.

    1. When it comes to hygiene and behavior, women tend to be a lot nastier than men. Ask a female friend or relative about what they see in public restrooms.

      My wife said she has seen plenty of pads with blood on the floor.

  7. Buying a good vacuum cleaner designed to do the task would be a start to making it all a lot easier. A vacuum cleaner is a tool like a chop saw or a mixer. And people spend money on things they like to do such as vacations and cell phones. And pay as little as possible on things they dont like to do like cleaning which makes the work even harder. You dont see a carpenter with a crap chopsaw expecting good results. But a $100 vacuum is a good idea? No wonder people hate to clean.

  8. I confirm the findings. When my 89 year old mom goes around cleaning up after me as she’s done all her life, I feel so much nicer!

    1. Don’t listen to SUSTAINABILITY. You know your Mom loves it and I admire your ability to step back and indulge her passion!

  9. I feel I have to point out that, as with most studies like this, they imply a causal relationship where none likely exists. Cleaning does not make people “happier”, rather people who keep clean homes generally tend to exhibit these other positive traits.

  10. To BE (not to ‘do’) is to CAUSE. To BE happy is to HAVE happiness, hence if one ‘pursues’ happiness, one never finds it…

      1. Fact.

        Every individual is born for a certain role in God’s plot- not just temporarily ‘cast’ like in a mere human 2-hour movie.

        (Just search the bible for “be ye/thou perfect”, for instance- and you erase yet another doubt…)

  11. This poll was paid for by clorox. It is useless. I heard that Burger King ran a poll that said people that eat are happier

  12. Another bogus study funded by a company that sells cleaning supplies.
    I too can take 20 subjects and create a study to give anyone the results they want. What ever happened to honesty?

  13. The unfortunate thing about this study is that the results are likely accurate but will not be accepted due to the inherent conflict of interest.

  14. You could dust 24/7 in Phoenix and hours later it already looks the same. I dread housecleaning because it’s like a bottomless pit of hell and never really done. What would make me happy is to be able to afford a maid

    1. I have a house keeper and she isn’t very good but she doesn’t steal and doesn’t break anything, good at cleaning bathrooms but nothing else but she is a keeper. When she leaves I am the happiest!

  15. It’s so obvious why slobs and dirty people are less happy and successful. Bad habits show lack of self-respect, bad breeding, bad etiquette, lack of respect for others, reflect low self-esteem, and negatively infect every aspect of life.

  16. That SHOULD make my mother the happiest most relaxed person in the world… SHOULD…….but it doesn’t.

  17. I hate to clean, but I do sleep well! Sometimes, after an extra long nap, I am better than ever before!

  18. I’m only 20% happier, not 25% – what am I doing wrong?

    I wash the dishes, sweep or mop the floors, do the laundry, take out the trash, all those things a bachelor must do. And then, as if that’s not enough, 6 months later I do it all again!

  19. I’m a guy. Cleaning is not my responsibility. I said it, I meant it, that’s it. I do stuff that disgusts my main squeeze – like her bathoom plumbing. What in the Seven Gates of Hell do they put down there? She rots faucet cores.

  20. And every-time I wash the car, it seems to run better. And I think I can pick up more chicks which is probably a myth but it does feel better. DUH!

  21. My grandmother always kept a very clean and tidy house in the event that visitors would come by unannounced, perhaps for coffee or to share a meal, and she believed that her home was a reflection of her. At the very least her kitchen and bathroom were always spotless. She accomplished this while raising five children on a Midwestern farm, cooking three big meals a day for about a dozen people, tending huge gardens in the summer (vegetables, fruit, flowers), canning hundreds of jars of tomatoes, green beans, pickles, etc., doing everyone’s laundry (including IRONING the sheets!), and taking every Sunday off to go to church and socialize (she cooked ahead for Sundays, except holidays). She accomplished more in a day than most people do in a week, and she was very happy and immensely popular. Let THAT sink in.

  22. Just another self-serving study from a big corporation. Cleaning makes me totally cranky and the chemicals give me headaches. I would much rather be out riding my bike.

    1. Then don’t use chemicals. I clean with vinegar, mostly, or just warm water with a couple of drops of dish detergent. I do admit that I have to use scouring powder in the bathtub, though. I also ride a bicycle often, but it’s more fun coming home to a clean abode.

  23. That’s a lie! I HATE cleaning, yet I still manage to sleep great AND I am happy.
    I am sure all those cleaning ladies around the world would be much happier if someone cleaned for them, just saying.

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