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Cleaning Equipment Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates or tends machines to wash or clean products, such as barrels or kegs, glass items, tin plate, food, pulp, coal, plastic, or rubber, to remove impurities.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Operates or tends machines to wash and remove impurities from items such as barrels or kegs, glass products, tin plate surfaces, dried fruit, pulp, animal stock, coal, manufactured articles, plastic, or rubber.
  • Adds specified amounts of chemicals to equipment at required times to maintain solution levels and concentrations.
  • Drains, cleans, and refills machines or tanks at designated intervals, using cleaning solutions or water.
  • Measures, weighs, or mixes cleaning solutions, using measuring tanks, calibrated rods or suction tubes.
  • Draws samples for laboratory analysis, or tests solutions for conformance to specifications, such as acidity or specific gravity.
  • Observes machine operations, gauges, or thermometers, and adjusts controls to maintain specified conditions.
  • Sets controls to regulate temperature and length of cycles, and starts conveyors, pumps, agitators, and machines.
  • Examines and inspects machines to detect malfunctions.
  • Records gauge readings, materials used, processing times, or test results in production logs.
  • Adjusts, cleans, and lubricates mechanical parts of machines, using hand tools and grease guns.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Clean in Places Operator (CIP Operator) --
  • Equipment Cleaner --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Pickle House Operator --
  • Sanitation Technician --
  • Sanitizer --
  • Tank Washer --
  • Tub Wash Operator --
  • Tub Washer --
  • Wash Crew Person --