Cleaner Job Description - Skills, Duties and Requirements
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What Does a Cleaner Do?
A cleaner is someone who performs general cleaning tasks, in either private homes or commercial establishments.
The job of a cleaner is to ensure that all the areas assigned for cleaning are kept clean and hygienic. Cleaners need to be familiar with all the applicable standards of safety and hygiene, use the appropriate cleaning equipment (vacuum cleaners, floor polishers etc.), safely handle and store chemical substances and cleaning products, use personal protective equipment where necessary (e.g. gloves or a face mask) and know how to properly dispose of waste.
A cleaner may find work in a variety of areas, including office cleaning, warehouse cleaning, industrial and commercial cleaning, or may work in restaurants and hotels, apartment blocks, private homes, and public places such as schools, hospitals, museums and trains. Job advertisements for domestic cleaning work are particularly common, often using terms such as “home help”, “housekeeping” and “cleaning lady”. In many cases, the duties will also include doing laundry and ironing.
Cleaners may be self-employed workers carrying out assignments for private customers (often on a part-time basis or on certain days of the week) or be employed by a cleaning company offering professional cleaning services in the public and/or private sectors, where services may include industrial, commercial and domestic cleaning, floor treatment and sanding, disinfestation, and waste transportation.
Depending on the circumstances, a cleaner may work in a team or individually, and may be required to wear specific work clothes when performing cleaning assignments (such as overalls, aprons or tabards) and often safety shoes.
The working hours of a cleaner tend to be flexible, since they are obliged to accommodate the requirements of the client. Cleaners in an office block or museum, for example, may only be able to start their work once the building is empty - i.e. before or after opening hours.
Other common names for this position: Cleaning Assistant
Cleaner: Duties and Responsibilities
The main duties of a cleaner include:
- Cleaning floors using manual or mechanical cleaning equipment (e.g. mops, vacuum cleaners, floor cleaners)
- Dusting and tidying assigned areas
- Cleaning and disinfecting washrooms
- Cleaning/washing doors and windows
- Maintaining standards of hygiene and cleanliness
- Ensuring chemical cleaning products are handled and stored safely
- Keeping work tools tidy and in order
How to Become a Cleaner - Requirements and Training
There are no specific requirements for becoming a cleaner, although often adverts may specify a minimum number of years of experience in the sector or flexibility in terms of working hours.
The use of certain chemical substances or electrical cleaning equipment may, however, require candidates to hold specific certificates or to have attended a professional training course for cleaners.
Cleaner Skills and Qualifications
Cleaning work is a tiring job that requires good physical fitness and stamina. Familiarity and compliance with sanitary and hygiene regulations is an essential requirement, while other key qualities include discretion, a thorough, professional approach, reliability, good organizational skills and punctuality.
Cleaner Career Path
What's the career objective of a cleaner?
A cleaner working for a cleaning firm may progress to positions of greater responsibility, involving the coordination of a team of cleaning operatives.
Top Reasons to Work as a Cleaner
Work in the cleaning sector may be suitable for somebody looking for a job in which no specific professional training is required. The flexible working hours and the possibility of a part-time contract are also added advantages, allowing workers to combine their job as a cleaner with other activities. There is a widespread availability of jobs in the cleaning sector, making it relatively easy to find work close to one’s home.