what is a cleaner?

As a cleaner, you clean offices and residential areas. Specialized cleaners develop systems for detailed cleaning in professional settings. It is important to know which products and equipment work most effectively for different spaces and surfaces. Your duties are confined to inside the building. Some tasks you are likely to handle include cleaning restrooms, sweeping or mopping floors, vacuuming carpeted areas and scrubbing surfaces. Dusting, emptying trash bins, polishing wood surfaces, cleaning windows and disinfecting restrooms are some other typical cleaner duties.

what does a cleaner do?

As a cleaner, you conduct various cleaning and maintenance tasks. Aside from keeping public spaces tidy, you maintain cleaning equipment and procure supplies. Sometimes, your job involves scrubbing private or public toilets and reporting repairs or replacements needed in a facility.

As a cleaner, you know which stain removers leave surfaces clean. After cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms or restrooms, you restock the supplies and ensure the office is ready for the next workday. Aside from knowledge of chemical supplies used in cleaning, you require attention to detail and physical strength to perform your duties.

Would working as a cleaner suit your career goals? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a cleaner role.

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average cleaner salary

According to Job Bank, cleaners in Canada earn $33,032 annually — or an hourly rate of $16.27. The minimum take-home salary for cleaners is $29,250 per year. Most experienced cleaners make up to $42,707 annually.

what factors influence the salary of a cleaner?

As a cleaner, your average salary varies based on various factors. For instance, if you clean residential houses, your earnings differ from those working in commercial settings. Cleaners in industrial settings also need additional training to obtain higher salaries. The size of the company or the facility also influences your earnings. Large offices pay cleaners more than smaller ones, as the role often involves additional duties like cleaning high-ceiling windows.

Your experience and qualifications may also influence your earnings. For instance, additional training in health and safety requirements improves your salary expectations. When you have minimal experience, your hourly rates are low compared to cleaners with years of experience and some training.

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types of cleaners

As a cleaner, you work in various settings, including hotels, gyms, restaurants, banks and commercial offices. You also work in residential households where private services are requested. Some types of cleaners include:

  • janitors: janitorial cleaning services are completed at specific time intervals, depending on the type of business, usage volume and traffic patterns. As a janitor, you tidy commercial settings, from wiping down windows to mopping floors and cleaning walls.
  • project-related cleaners: project-related cleaning services are after specific events or projects. This type of cleaning is for a specific time and may require you to clean particular floors or high-traffic areas. As a project-related cleaner, you often clean carpets and hard floors.
  • commercial cleaners: commercial cleaners charge one-time fees — with no requirement to use their services again in the future. As a commercial cleaner, you often use power washers to clean the windows and exterior of an office building.
  • industrial cleaners: as an industrial cleaner, you clean hazardous areas that require specialized cleaning procedures. You also clean up after fires, floods and even crime scenes.
woman washing hands in restroom
woman washing hands in restroom

working as a cleaner

Working as a cleaner requires physical strength and attentiveness to detail to ensure you are meticulous in your work. Check out the specific tasks of cleaners.


cleaner skills and education

Some of the requirements of becoming a cleaner include:

  • on-the-job training: you don't require formal education, but most employers provide on-the-job training. The training equips you with knowledge in using the equipment and handling complex tasks, like disposing of hazardous waste or cleaning industrial settings.
  • work experience: having work experience as a cleaner improves your competitiveness. You gain experience through volunteer work and internship opportunities.

competencies and characteristics of cleaners

Cleaners require knowledge of operating cleaning equipment, but they also need soft skills. Examples include:

  • physical fitness: fitness is a crucial factor for most employers. You should be able to bend over to clean under desks, tables and other types of furniture. Flexibility is necessary to ensure you can reach and clean the ceilings or corners of the room.
  • handling cleaning solutions: it's important to know specific cleaning solutions to ensure you use them correctly. You should also store the items properly for added safety.
  • attention to detail and teamwork: attention to detail is handy to ensure the rooms are thoroughly cleaned. Employers might look for cleaners who have shown they can successfully work in a team; you'll work closely with other cleaners to ensure efficiency. Hence, your interpersonal skills ensure you get along with your supervisor or manager.
  • time management: time management skills are necessary to ensure tasks are completed promptly and satisfactorily. As a cleaner, you may have multiple offices to clean within a short time frame. Hence, good organization and time management skills help you ensure your tasks are completed on time.

FAQs about cleaner jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a cleaner.


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