6 Cathartic Cleaning Tasks to Tackle When You're Angry

Your grout will never look cleaner.

If people use exercise to cope with anger, anxiety, and sadness, why can't cleaning your house provide the same release? The key to working out your frustrations is to choose a task that falls into one (or both) of these categories: instant gratification or physical exertion. Pushing yourself physically forces you to focus on the task at hand, instead of dwelling on negative thoughts. So the next time you're feeling a little heated, make that emotion work for you and cross a few things off your to-do list.

Scrubbing Grout

Fun fact: Most grout can get cleaned effectively with hot water and a stiff-bristled brush. But really, the big draw here is that cleaning grout takes effort, and since you're sort of oddly bent over the tub, your core is usually engaged. Hello, physical challenge! Use all that bottled-up rage to get your grout back to its original glory.


The heavier your vacuum, the better. Pushing a large, loud machine around the carpet can be surprisingly cathartic. To pick up the most dirt, alternate directions. The dirtier the floor (and the more you can hear the vacuum sucking up), the better you'll feel.

Beating Rugs

Sometimes an upholstery attachment or a quick vacuum won't cut it. Taking small to medium-sized rugs or sheepskin throws outside and giving them a good shake not only removes a ton of dirt and pet hair, but it also releases some pent-up energy.

Mopping Your Floors

Are you so angry you feel like pushing someone? Don't do that. Instead, push something slightly heavy across the floor and then bend down to do a thorough floor scrub here and there. A no-touch mop that distributes cleaner makes the physical exertion go even smoother.

Vacuuming the Furniture

Pulling up the couch cushions to access all of the dirt and dust underneath allows you to toss them around and give them a good karate chop here and there. Then you really have to brush vigorously with an upholstery attachment. Whew, we're getting tired just thinking about it.

Cleaning Your Mattress

Take your frustration out on your mattress. You should be turning or flipping it every six months, anyway. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda; let it sit for an hour, then vacuum vigorously with an upholstery attachment. The same principles as the couch cushions apply here: So long, pent-up anger. Time for a nap.

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