Cleaner Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022


A Cleaner, or Custodian, is responsible for keeping offices, homes, hotels or other public areas neat and organized. Their main duties include sweeping, mopping and vacuuming floors, dusting countertops, ceilings and furniture and sanitizing bathrooms, kitchens or other public areas.

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Cleaner duties and responsibilities

Cleaners perform a range of duties to keep your business clean, such as dusting, mopping, sweeping, waxing floors and vacuuming. They’re also responsible for performing routine inspections to check that spaces like restrooms are always sanitary. Cleaners are also responsible for:

  • Coordinating with other Cleaners to keep your business clean
  • Cleaning spills, broken glass and other messes up as quickly as possible
  • Performing maintenance activities related to cleaning (e.g. maintaining cleaning machinery)
  • Refilling supplies, such as toilet paper and paper towels
  • Ordering new cleaning supplies as needed

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Cleaner Job Description Examples

What does a Cleaner do?

A cleaner works to keep an organization tidy and orderly by taking stock of cleaning supplies and completing small cleaning jobs throughout the day like emptying trash cans, washing windows and scrubbing any dirty areas. They’re often given a certain set of tasks to complete before their shift and must have them finished by the end of the day. Cleaners are responsible for the safety of patrons or office workers by ensuring areas are properly sanitized and cleaning up any spills or messes that may harm customers or other employees.

Illustration of assorted cleaning supplies. Text reads:

Cleaner job description intro paragraph

When writing a Cleaner job description, start by introducing the job and company to prospective Cleaners. Briefly highlight the work environment, what sets your company apart and why the role is important to your company.

For example:

“Company ABC is looking for a Cleaner to join our growing team. If hired, you’ll play an integral role in keeping our building in a clean and orderly condition. You’ll also help us make a great first impression for our customers.

As a Cleaner at Company ABC, you’ll be part of a team that values diversity/inclusion, flexibility and autonomy. We’re proud to have a 4-star rating on Indeed Company Pages and an above average ​​Work Happiness Score from our employees. If this sounds like the work environment and job for you, apply today!”

Cleaner skills and qualifications

A good Cleaner needs the right skills and qualifications. Being able to handle cleaning chemicals safely is good and Cleaners must be able to multitask and stick to their schedules while also responding to incidents as they occur throughout the day. Other essential Cleaner skills include:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Proactivity
  • The ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • The ability to follow health and safety standards
  • Time management

Cleaner salary expectations

We’ve collected Cleaner salary data from more than 65,000 people over the past three years. On average, Cleaners make an average of $11.42 an hour, with the lowest amounts being reported at $7.25 an hour and the highest amounts coming in at $22.95 an hour. Cleaners typically stay with an employer for less than one year.

Cleaner education and training requirements

Cleaners are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED. Many cleaning jobs are entry-level and ask that employees have some prior experience. Team leaders may be expected to have some college education or several years of experience as a Cleaner. Depending on the role, Cleaners may also have to complete additional training requirements. Industrial Cleaners, for example, may have to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration chemical safety standards.

Cleaner experience requirements

The experience required for a Cleaner depends on the role you’re filling. If you’re hiring entry-level positions, zero to three years of experience is standard for a Cleaner. For mid- and senior-level positions, expect workers with three or more years of experience. The industry is also a factor in experience requirements. A Cleaner at a hotel, for example, will have a different experience than an industrial Cleaner. You may also require experience with certain types of equipment, such as powered scrubbers or waxing machines, for your role. Be sure to mention these unique experience requirements in your Cleaner job description.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this job description sample isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you might find inspiration with other positions. Cleaner duties overlap with several other positions, such as:

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Frequently asked questions about Cleaners


What's the difference between a Cleaner and a Housekeeper?

Housekeepers usually travel to different houses and perform light cleaning tasks several times a week. They primarily work in someone’s house or in a hotel setting completing several projects like washing and drying dishes, changing bed linens and picking up clutter. 

A Cleaner can work not just in houses or hotels, but also in many workplace environments performing both light and deep cleaning services. If a Cleaner works in someone’s home, they usually come over less than a Housekeeper and provide more deep cleaning services like wiping and sanitizing entire kitchens, scrubbing down bathrooms and shampooing and vacuuming upholstery and carpets. 


What are the different types of Cleaners?

Cleaners can work in a variety of settings and may hold different tasks depending on the place they work in. Some cleaners may work in a Janitor or Custodian role within an office. Their tasks typically involve emptying trash cans, mopping and buffing the floors, scrubbing and disinfecting restrooms and vacuuming carpeted areas. They may also be responsible for taking stock of the inventory and reporting any cleaning items they’re running low on. 

Cleaners may hold similar responsibilities in a hospital setting, but may be required to follow more strict guidelines, like constantly keeping hallways, bathrooms and patient rooms clean and sanitized and ensuring the hallways are constantly free from obstacles that may harm patients or hospital employees. Some Cleaners may also perform groundskeeping duties for hospitals and offices, like watering plants, shoveling snow and mowing lawns.


What makes a good Cleaner?

Strong Cleaners are often responsible as they’re in charge of making sure a facility is tidy and keeps people safe from getting sick due to excess bacteria and germs. They must also pay close attention to the requirements and rules they’re given and should constantly be on alert to ensure they’re following necessary cleaning guidelines and are keeping designated areas clear from breakages or slippery floors.

Effective Cleaners should also be able to stand and move around for long periods of time as they’re regularly on their feet and bending over to clean certain items, so being in good physical shape is important. Good Cleaners should also be independent and able to complete their tasks each day with little to no supervision.   


Who does a Cleaner report to?

The person a Cleaner reports to usually depends on the organization or industry they work in. If they’re working at a large company, there may be several Cleaners on staff who may have a Cleaner Supervisor they all report to. Smaller companies usually require the Cleaner to report to the building’s owner or manager. If the Cleaner is experiencing any problems or is running low on cleaning supplies, they may report to their manager or building owner to resolve any issues.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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