17 Podcasts That'll Make The Time Fly When You're Cleaning

by Syeda Khaula Saad
Young woman listening to music while cleaning her flat

Let's be honest, cleaning can be a drag. Even though having an organized and cleanly home or space is refreshing, the process of getting there isn't so glamorous. Plus, it takes a long time. According to 2019 survey conducted by Yelp, the average person spends up to 690 hours a year on housework. And while you could spend all those hours complaining and thinking about how much you hate it, you could also take advantage of that time by listening to podcasts while you clean. The minutes will fly by and chances are you'll learn something new.

As of February 2020, there were more than 820,000 podcasts available to listen to. This adds up to a total of more than 28 million different episodes, which means that whether you like news, entertainment, art, science, history, or virtually any topic in the world, a podcast that covers it probably exists. And while you can always listen to music during your cleaning session to distract you, incorporating podcasts might make you feel twice as productive — you'll be cleaning and learning new tidbits of information all at once!

Here are 17 podcasts you can listen to next time you have some serious cleaning to do.


This American Life

This American Life is an hour-long podcast that you can listen to while cleaning if you're interested in basically anything and everything. The podcast features different themes every week, and then releases episodes based on those themes. For example, one of the episodes, "Small Things Considered" talks about all things tiny, including small numbers and medications to "cure shortness." Each episode is entertaining and interesting in ways that are sure to make you forget that you're scrubbing behind a toilet.


99% Invisible

If you're interested in design and architecture (or just think it'd be cool to learn about) 99% Invisible is a great podcast choice. The show considers how design is all around us even when we don't notice it, and uses this basis to talk about the different places where design exists and how they came to be. With more than 30,000 reviews, the podcast has a 4.8-star rating. You'll be so engrossed that you might start to notice the designs around all the places you're cleaning.



If you've heard all about the famous podcast Serial but never found the time to listen to it, now's the time. The show features the 1999 story of Hae Min Lee, a high school senior whose disappearance and murder was blamed on her then-high school boyfriend Adnan Syed, who has since maintained his innocence. Each episode reveals more about the available clues and how Syed came to be a suspect despite his own denial of the crime. There are also two additional seasons that focus on the story about a U.S. soldier held captive by the Taliban and the inner occurrences of an American courthouse. Because there are plenty of episodes, you'll find yourself getting excited for the next time you can spare 40 minutes to clean the kitchen.


2 Dope Queens

2 Dope Queens is just the content you need if you want to laugh out loud while getting all the dust bunnies off your shelf. The show features best friends Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams who bring other comedians on their show to talk about everything from race to sex and relationships. Although the podcast already aired its finale, there are plenty of episodes for you to laugh along to.


Sex With Emily

Though sex may be the farthest thing from your mind when you're cleaning the toilet, it could be fun to listen to a sex podcast while doing your daily chores. Sex With Emily is a podcast featuring Dr. Emily Morse who tackles everything about sex and relationships in a super open-minded way. She covers a variety of sex-related topics including stigmas, fetishes, and how mental health plays into your sex and dating life. In her episode "From Whatever To Best Sex Ever" Dr. Morse discusses how fear and anxiety about sex can hinder people from enjoying it.


The Reality Check

The Reality Check is a podcast that exposes you to several different controversies and popular myths and then talks about the truth behind them. This ends up leading to different fascinating conversations about topics like the Home Alone booby traps, the longest word to exist, and the effectiveness of active shooter drills. The possibilities are endless, and The Reality Check tries to cover them all.


2 Black Girls, 1 Rose

If you're a fan of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, then you will love Natasha Scott's and Justine Kay's 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose. The hosts talk about the popular TV series and what they think it gets wrong. Whether it regards problematic conversations or concerning behavior, the hosts don't leave anything off the table. In the most recent episode "Could Have Been The Subject Line Of An Email," the hosts discuss how terribly unnecessary they think the last episode of The Bachelor was. The banter alone will have you forgetting you were even cleaning in the first place.


Love And Radio

Referred to as the "Sundance of public radio," Love and Radio is a show that focuses on in-depth interviews with some of the most interesting subjects you can think of. Some interview subjects include crime scene cleanup specialists, rogue taxidermists, and undercover strip club attendees. You don't know what you'll get with each episode so there's no doubt you'll be entertained.


The Argument

If you think cleaning is an opportune moment to think about the different sides of politics, The Argument is the podcast for you. This podcast challenges you to listen to opposing views and try to understand where their arguments come from. While it may be frustrating for some (because you can't bicker with a podcast), it's a good chance to just listen. One of its most popular episodes is "The Abortion Debate."



Even if science and medicine aren't your thing, Bodies is a great podcast to have under your belt. The show provides information on how the medical system often forgets to include women when it comes to treatments and studies. The host, Allison Behringer, brings in her own medical complications and the feedback she's received from doctors to direct the conversation and give first-hand experience. Her first episode, "Sex Hurts," discusses this experience and how she feels medical professionals overlooked her problems.


Cautionary Tales

If you can clean out your fridge while learning about how to make wiser decisions, you might be less hesitant to clean your fridge. Cautionary Tales features different people's individual stories and the ways they've slipped up, made mistakes, and gotten things wrong. And while it's interesting enough to just hear about other people's missteps, the show also provides really great insight into how to make wiser decisions going forward. One of the latest episodes, "Lala Land: Galileo" discusses how events like The Oscars show us how far we've fallen from Galileo's teachings.


10 Things That Scare Me

Ever wonder what famous people are afraid of? Well, 10 Things That Scare Me has got the inside scoop. The podcast brings in people from different fields — Hollywood celebrities and public figures — and has them talk about their greatest fears. And usually, discussing these fears brings up great stories that give you better insight into these people you see on TV but don't really know.



If you're looking for a new wellness podcast to listen to, Forever35 is the way to go. Because the hosts preface the episode with the fact that they're not experts, the show becomes that much more honest and relatable. Forever35 discusses the ways in which women can take care of themselves, both physically and mentally.


The Racist Sandwich

The Racist Sandwich is a podcast that discusses how the foods we eat, the chefs that cook them, and the kitchen they cook them in can all be political. The hosts of the show talk about food media and how class, gender, and race all play a part in it. From episodes about the cultural significance of bodegas to the gentrification of tacos, the show will bring up conversations about food you never thought about before.


Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness

If you're a diehard Queer Eye fan, you'll love host Jonathan Van Ness' podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. The podcast features several different guests who talk about almost everything. From serious and informative episodes like "What Does Inequality Have To Do With HIV" to silly ones like "How Do Plants Get Their Freak On?" Van Ness covers every subject you probably could think of.


The Moment

If you want to listen to a feel-good podcast about falling in love, The Moment fits the bill. The podcast features interviews of people from all age groups and backgrounds and focuses on the moments before the couple realized they wanted to commit to each other, including all the uncertain times they've experienced. Each 40-plus-minute episode will have you feeling all warm and mushy on the inside (and probably put you in a better mood to clean).



If you're cleaning during the daytime and don't mind a few scary stories, Spooked can be a fun choice. The show features thrilling and unnerving ghost stories told by the people who experienced them. One of the latest episodes features the granddaughters of someone involved in one of America's best ghost stories. You'll go along with their frightening adventures as guests describe them in detail, and probably be so nervous and excited that you'll forget you were ever cleaning.