manager, maintenance or repair person, custodian or janitor
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A cleaner (or janitor) is someone who takes away garbage and cleans surfaces. Cleaners sometimes repair things, and maintain their equipment in good working order, as well as dusting, washing, waxing and polishing.

Two cleaners cleaning at the US Capitol building, 1914

Heavy duty cleaners often move furniture, large containers of recycled materials and waste, and other objects, and operate large buffers and other weighty equipment. "Light" duty cleaners clean chalk boards, windows, shelves, desks, light fixtures, and ledges. Some duties, like using a vacuum cleaner, can be done by either "light" or "heavy" duty cleaners. Cleaners can clean offices, staircases, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, sidewalks, elevators, escalators, and other areas. Cleaners can specialize in washing windows, or in cleaning carpets, hospitals, food processing plants, or construction sites. Cleaners who discover seriously damaged surfaces and equipment on their sites can notify specialists, like plumbers and carpenters, about the need for professional repairs.

Cleaners are also alert for security problems, like vandalism, signs of theft (forced windows or doors, missing computers or stock), blocked fire escape routes, lights or fire alarms not working, or trespassers. When these occur, the cleaners promptly notify their sites' Security Officers and Site Supervisors. Janitors know how to keep themselves and their sites safe,[1] by immediately removing hazards like broken class, spilled fluids, and waste from kitchens and bathrooms, and by checking hand rails, floor mats, stairs, automated doors, escalators, elevators, intercoms, and plumbing.


  1. "Janitorial Safety Training Guide" (PDF). Labor Occupational Health Program of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-05-18.