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A cleaner or a cleaning operative is a type of industrial or domestic worker who cleans homes or commercial premises for payment. Cleaning operatives may specialise in cleaning particular things or places, such as window cleaners. Cleaning operatives often work when the people who otherwise occupy the space are not around. They may clean offices at night or houses during the workday.
The 2000 film Bread and Roses by British director Ken Loach depicted the struggle of cleaners in Los Angeles, California, for better pay and working conditions and for the right to join a union. In an interview with the BBC in 2001, Loach stated that thousands of cleaners from around 30 countries have since contacted him with tales similar to the one told in the film.
Types of cleaning operatives
The cleaning industry is quite big as different types of cleaning are required for different objects and different properties. For example, cleaning an office space requires the services of a commercial cleaner whereas cleaning a house requires domestic cleaning services. Depending on the task, even these categories can be subdivided into, for example, end-of-lease cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, window cleaning, car cleaning services etc. Cleaners specialize in a specific cleaning sector or even a specific task in a cleaning sector, and one cannot expect a window cleaner to be able or willing to clean a carpet. Some types of cleaners are mentioned below.
These cleaning operatives are quite easy to find due to their large numbers, and they are usually denoted as maid service providers, janitors, and domestic cleaning operatives. These type of operatives specialize in house cleaning services such as spring cleaning, end-of-lease cleaning etc. Most house cleaning operatives are known to pay good attention to details, but due to their large numbers, there is no guarantee that one will find one who is trustworthy and works effectively. The cost of this type of service depends on the demand for the service and the number of providers. In Australia, one can hire a household cleaner from anywhere between $20 to $30 an hour. In countries like India, China, the Philippines, etc., where the labor rates are quite low, people can afford a full-time maid or domestic cleaner.
Typical cleaning equipment
The following are some items used by cleaning staff:
- Buckets with water/cleaning solution
- Cleaning agents
- Floor polisher
- Garbage bag
- Hand feather duster and/or microfibre floor duster
- Mop and Mop bucket cart
- Towels used to wipe desks
- Vacuum cleaner
- Wet floor sign
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