Friday, 19th April 2019


Cleaners are employed by many different types of client in order to clean and tidy up areas in variety of settings. Regardless of where they are employed to clean, they have to complete similar cleaning tasks. There are only two main differences in the role: people can either work as domestic cleaners, working solely in private homes and flats, or as commercial/industrial cleaners working in places such as hospitals, schools, gyms and offices.

A cleaner may be responsible for a range of different tasks, depending on the requirements of the client. Some cleaners may take on extra duties on top of cleaning, such as laundry, ironing or polishing glass and silverware. These days it is not uncommon for most cleaners to be multi-skilled, able to take on all sorts of responsibilities.

Domestic cleaners will work mainly in private homes, tidying all the rooms and removing dirt and dust. Each homeowner will expect different tasks to be completed and have their own standards of quality.

Typical household cleaning duties might include:

  • Tidying surfaces and rooms
  • Sweeping and mopping the floors and vacuuming the carpets
  • Cleaning and dusting the furniture
  • Bleaching sinks and toilets
  • Disinfecting kitchen and bathrooms surfaces and appliances
  • Dusting surfaces such as shelves, tables and windowsills
  • Polishing silver or other valuable items
  • Washing and ironing clothes

Commercial cleaners will work in different settings, such as schools, hospitals, offices, gyms, shops and factories. In these cases there may be a lot of ground to cover, so cleaners may work in teams of two or more people.

Commercial and industrial cleaning duties will involve most of the above, plus:

  • Working outside normal office hours
  • Placing warning signs to alert people to potential hazards, such as wet floors
  • Emptying waste bins, bagging up rubbish and disposing of
  • Thoroughly cleaning desks around objects, making sure things are left as found
  • Removing graffiti and chewing gum
  • Ensuring cleaning products and equipment are stored correctly and safely
  • Restocking toilets and kitchens with supplies of toilet paper, soap, paper towels
  • Monitoring levels of cleaning products and re-ordering when necessary
  • Completing timesheets

Both types of cleaning require great responsibility and trustworthiness. Some homes and businesses may trust the cleaner to let themselves in and out with a spare set of keys, so a reliable nature is a plus. Commercial cleaners may find themselves working around important, confidential or delicate objects and information so they must respect their client’s privacy and belongings.

The majority of cleaner are self-employed or work for a small independent business. Contract cleaning companies do take people on and normally specialise in industrial and commercial cleaning projects. Contract cleaners may specialise in more specific areas such as carpet and upholstery cleaning, house and squat clearance or clearing up buildings after fire or weather damage.