Day Porter vs Janitor

October 20, 2023

Day Porter vs Janitor - How They Are Different?

Table of content

Any commercial space needs to have an impressive appearance to work well. Cleanliness is a critical part of firms- without which many suffer innumerable losses. It is a fact!

Maintaining an uncluttered and well-organized atmosphere is paramount for the smooth functioning of any facility. It can be for gyms, housing complexes, offices, schools, hospitals, or other commercial slots.

The terms 'Day Porter' and 'Janitor' are often used interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences between these roles.

They play a significant part in the space's overall sterility and upkeep. In our blog, we explore the responsibilities, skill sets, and benefits of a day porter vs janitor. We shed light on how they contribute uniquely to preserve a squeaky-clean and pleasant atmosphere in diverse commercial settings.

Who Are Day Porters? 

Wondering what's a day porter? Day porters are primary members of a property management team. They are responsible for maintaining cleanliness, security, and overall hospitable ambiance of commercial locations. 

Day porters work closely with property managers to ensure a property is consistently in excellent condition. They play a pivotal role in recognizing and addressing the various maintenance needs of a building. Commercial properties survive because of them because they are an indispensable member of a property management team.

The commitments of day porters are multifaceted and dynamic. They go beyond traditional janitorial roles and contain a wide range of duties. For example, day porters may scrutinize the property's cleanliness, ensuring that common areas, lobbies, and bathrooms are well-maintained and inviting for everyone. 

They may also carry checks and handle problems on the property, such as sidewalk cleaning, graffiti removal, or trash collection.

Who Are Janitors? 

If you are curious about what's a janitor we have the answer. Janitors are the ones who groom commercial facilities and maintain safety for people who live, learn, work, or shop. They work hard to clean the interiors of the commercial facilities. Janitors also perform deep cleaning work depending on the structural requirement. 

They may work on a contract via a commercial cleaning company or be a part of the janitor crew within the commercial building maintenance department. 

These dedicated professionals play a vital role in various settings, from retail stores to the sterile environments of healthcare facilities. Their after-hours efforts often go unnoticed, but they're instrumental in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of these spaces. 

Janitors work attentively behind the scenes, ensuring people have a fresh, tidied setting each morning. They eliminate dust and trash, sanitize high-touch surfaces, and ensure the floors gleam.

Day Porter vs Janitor: Exploring The Key Differences

Many of us get confused between janitors and day porters. The difference between day porter and janitor is very subtle. There are three primary differences between day porters and janitors. We’ll discuss it here- 

1. The Hours 

Day Porters

Between day porter and janitor, day porters work during the daytime or office hours. Their shift is during the open business hours. If the commercial space is locked, porters would not work for that day. The time varies according to the situation and business timings. 


Janitors generally have night hours of cleaning duty. This is because janitors need to have less foot traffic. When the commercial building is empty, they have better access to mostly unreachable corners. 
They work independently without much direct supervision unless instructed beforehand. Janitors provide a comprehensive, deep clean but don't give immediate responses to issues. 

2. Service Variety

Day Porters

Another difference between a janitor and day porter is the kind of service they offer. The duties of day porters are multifaceted and dynamic. 

They go beyond traditional janitorial roles and confine a wide range of commitments. They may have to have customer interaction and deal with real-time issue resolution. Day porters are adaptable and interactive. 


Janitors typically have a more focused role, primarily concentrating on interior cleaning and essential maintenance. They are primarily responsible for cleaning (not monitoring) the building interiors, including offices, restrooms, and common areas. Janitors have restricted services compared to day porters. 

3. Equipment 

Day Porters

Between janitors and day porters, day porters are equipped with various high-tech tools and equipment that let them perform different tasks efficiently and effectively. Their equipment is not limited to traditional cleaning supplies. 

Day porters may use industrial-grade pressure washers, high-capacity vacuum cleaners, and specialized grounds maintenance tools. They are also likely to have access to advanced cleaning agents and technologies for inspection and urgent use. 
These advanced tools allow day porters to maintain the property to a high standard and promptly address diverse tasks. 


In contrast, janitors typically work with a more basic set of tools and equipment. They are primarily geared towards internal cleaning. They rely on common cleaning supplies such as mops, brooms, dusters, and standard vacuum cleaners.
While janitors are adept at using these tools to maintain cleanliness, their equipment is generally more limited. Janitors' work often revolves around routine cleaning and maintenance tasks. That’s why their equipment is well-suited to these specific functions.
They are unlikely to have access to the advanced and specialized machinery that day porters may sometimes use. 

4. Customization

Day Porters

Day porters can adjust their services based on immediate facility needs. They can be customized to meet specific requirements, like frequently cleaning high-traffic areas.


Janitorial services often follow a fixed cleaning schedule. It isn't easily customized to address immediate needs. They have to cater to a particular list to give a tick. If told to do something outside of the set list, they may have to consult the manager or supervisor.

5. Customer Interaction

Day Porters

Janitor vs day porters have different levels of customer interaction. Day porters have direct interaction with customers, clients, or facility users frequently during business hours. They can assist with customer inquiries or provide directions on a critical basis. Since they are trained differently, there is more interaction in their routine. 


Janitors typically work when the facility is less busy. They reduce their direct interaction with customers or facility users. They complete the set cleaning task and report to the ground manager or supervisor. 
Day porters vs janitors serve different roles within a facility. Day porters are more focused on real-time cleanliness, immediate response, and a versatile range of tasks during operational hours. Janitors provide a thorough, scheduled cleaning service after hours, emphasizing preventive maintenance and deep cleaning. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and goals of the facility.

Services and Responsibilities of Janitors and Day Porters

We know how important it is to create an immaculate commercial environment to attract clients and customers. Both janitors and day porters are crucial for the maintenance and cleaning of this structure. Let us look at a few day porter vs janitor responsibilities in this section- 

1. Janitors

We have already established that janitor and day porters play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of various facilities. Centered around interior work, here is what they offer -

Indoor Cleaning

Janitors are responsible for cleaning and maintaining indoor spaces. It includes offices, restrooms, common areas, and other interior areas. They perform tasks like dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and wiping down surfaces. Professionals ensure a clean and tidy environment.

Trash Removal

Janitors empty waste bins, collect trash, and ensure proper disposal. It is vital for maintaining cleanliness and stopping odors.

Stocking Supplies

They stock essential supplies, such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and cleaning materials, to ensure that these items are readily available to occupants and visitors.


Janitors are responsible for maintaining hygiene and sanitation. They clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, reducing the risk of the spread of germs and illnesses.

Further reading: Explore the difference between disinfect and sanitize.

Routine Maintenance

While not typically responsible for important repairs,  janitors often perform minor maintenance tasks. It can be changing light bulbs or reporting issues that need attention to building management.

Floor Care

They care for various types of flooring, including carpet, tile, and hardwood. It includes vacuuming, mopping, and occasionally waxing or polishing to keep the floors looking their best.

Further reading: The Ultimate Guide To Commercial Floor Care

Security and Locking

In some cases, janitors may also be responsible for locking doors and ensuring the facility's security after hours.

Notifying property managers

There might be a need for repairs in the commercial property. Janitors are supposed to inform the manager and let them take the necessary steps to fix it.

2. Day Porters

We also know how day porters are extremely helpful for commercial properties. They have a more versatile set of responsibilities and are often highly visible during business hours. Here's a detailed overview of their services and responsibilities:

Comprehensive Cleaning

Day porters perform interior cleaning duties like janitors but are also responsible for outdoor and common area cleaning. It includes tasks like cleaning walkways, lobbies, cafeterias, and exterior surfaces to maintain the overall cleanliness and property appearance.

Exterior Maintenance

Day porters handle several maintenance tasks of the exteriors, including sidewalk cleaning, graffiti removal, landscaping, and parking lot maintenance. They often use dedicated equipment such as pressure washers and landscaping tools for these tasks.

Customer Service

Day porters frequently interact with tenants, visitors, and building occupants. They are approachable, provide assistance, answer queries, and address special requests. They enhance the overall experience of individuals on the property.

Real-time Issue Resolution

One of their key roles is to identify and address issues as they arise. Whether it's an immediate spill cleaning, a safety hazard that needs attention, or a maintenance concern, they do it all. Day porters respond promptly to ensure a secure and attractive atmosphere.

Maintenance Monitoring

Day porters keep a close eye on the property's condition and notify property management of any maintenance needs that require attention, helping to prevent tiny issues from becoming significant problems.


They adapt to changing needs throughout the day and ensure the property remains clean and protected. Their flexibility is the key selling point. It can involve a wide range of tasks beyond conventional cleaning and maintenance. 

Day porters essentially become an extension of a property management team's most trusted and valuable staff. They work hand-in-hand with property managers to ensure the area remains in top-notch condition. Their work is critical to tenant satisfaction as a clean property that positively mirrors property management.

The Benefits of Hiring Day Porter Services

 Day porter cleaning services offer unique advantages that significantly improve the appearance and functionality of various commercial facilities. They can do their services for office buildings, gyms, salons, shopping centers, schools, and medical facilities. Day porters play a substantial role alongside the managers to have a usable property. Here are some key benefits of hiring day porter services-

1. Instantaneous Cleanliness

We know how some things need urgent responses in commercial setups. That is why there are day porters. Day porters are present during the operational hours of a facility. It means they can address several immediate problems for the internal and exterior of a commercial space. It can be regarding damage, messes, or cleanliness issues as they occur. They see that the space remains consistently clean throughout the day. This immediate response can prevent accidents, advance safety, and boost the general user experience.

2. Better Professional Image

Isn’t the whole point of cleaning a commercial area to gain more attraction and create a better professional image? It is what day porters and even janitors try to achieve.  A clean and well-maintained environment reflects positively on your business or institution. Day porters are responsible for tasks like litter removal, washroom care, and ensuring common areas are presentable. These contribute to a professional image that can impress clients and employees. And when people are impressed, there are chances for more revenue and growth. 

3. Personalized Work

Modifications according to situations can happen at any moment. Day porters exist for this reason. There may be requirements for setting up a meeting/event, general tidying up, or lobby cleaning.

They can adapt their work to suit your facility's exclusive necessities. Custom job creates a sense of importance towards the commercial structure. 

4. Customer Satisfaction

If you want to run a superb business, let us tell you that customer satisfaction takes high priority. In commercial spaces, such as shopping centers or office buildings, you'll see higher customer satisfaction if there is a clean and well-kept environment. This, in turn, can boost foot traffic and tenant retention, ultimately benefiting phenomenally. 

5. Versatile 

We already know how flexible day porters can be. Such a cleaning team can perform a myriad of duties, from sanitation to basic maintenance and security-related tasks. 

Their versatility makes them a valuable addition to the team, especially in facilities that require more than just standard janitorial cleaning services. They can follow standard protocol and also go out of their way to cover other assignments.
Such a quality makes them a more beneficial investment. 

6. Specialized Equipment and Expertise

Professional day porters use better tools to do their work, making it advantageous for the property. They often have access to specialized cleaning equipment and supplies to do their task quickly and effortlessly. They are also trained in using these tools effectively, promising deep and thorough effort for the business space. 

The Benefits of Hiring Janitorial Services

Between day porter and janitor, many may shake away the question of what is the role of a janitor. Janitors may have limited tasks, but one shouldn’t underestimate their presence. Since janitorial services solely focus on maintaining overall hygiene and cleanliness, many disregard them.
People must know how they present a range of benefits that guarantee the continuing well-being of the space and those who use it. Here are some key advantages of hiring janitorial services- 

1. Healthier Office, Better Outlook

A well-kept and pristine office space conveys a sense of professionalism. It impacts how the clients and employees perceive businesses. Maintaining a clean office creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. It enhances the widespread corporate image, making it more appealing to potential clients.   

Furthermore, professional janitorial services contribute to the health and well-being of employees by reducing the risk of illnesses. These skilled cleaning professionals are prepared with the essential training and proficiency to effectively disinfect and preserve the office setting, preserving its assets to the maximum standards.

2. Time-Saving

When people say “time is money”, it is true for many. Spending ample time on cleaning and not getting the desired results could be fatal for commercial places. Hence, having a janitorial team is worth it. They save a lot of resources and time. Regular cleanup of the workplace lets there be more productivity in commercial spaces. It also becomes more revenue-driven, rather than always fretting about constant hygiene and cleaning. 

3. Meticulous Cleaning

Janitors are responsible for in-depth cleaning tasks, including dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and disinfecting. They guarantee that all areas of the facility receive proper attention. It includes hard-to-reach spots that people overlook during usual cleaning.

Janitors reach most corners, shelves, windows, and skirting of every room to let people have a fresh atmosphere. It is also beneficial for those who are prone to dust allergies. This is what makes janitors a better option if you have a debate on day porter vs janitor. 

4. Cost-Efficiency

Employing full-time in-house cleaning staff comes with several hidden costs, such as salaries, benefits, training, and equipment expenses. Janitorial services often operate on a contract basis.

It lets you pay for the cleaning services you need when you need them.

This flexibility can be especially advantageous for businesses with fluctuating cleaning requirements or those operating with tight budgets.
Managing a dedicated cleaning staff involves HR and administrative tasks, including recruitment, training, payroll, and supervision. In contrast, outsourcing to a janitorial service eliminates these responsibilities and allows you to focus on your core business operations.
Many janitorial services offer environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. They help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and potentially benefit from cost savings through reduced waste and energy consumption. Reputable janitorial services typically carry liability insurance. It can protect your business in case of accidents, damage, or injuries during cleaning operations. This prevents you from incurring additional expenses in case of unexpected incidents.

In short, both day porter and janitor services offer distinct advantages. The choice between day porter and janitor largely depends on the specific commercial facility. Day porters focus on overall real-time maintenance and a positive impression of the commercial space inside and out. Janitors provide scheduled cleaning for the interiors.
The best approach may involve combining these services to ensure a well-rounded and well-maintained environment for your business or institution.

How to Find Janitors And Day Porters? 

In our experience, every commercial and non-commercial space needs some thorough cleaning, no matter what. It is becoming an increasingly important need as days pass. With so many cleaning companies and independent teams, it can be quite tough to find a reliable and handy team. Here are a few ways to find janitor and day porter as you see fit for the property condition-



1. Cleaning and Maintenance Skills- Janitors should be able to clean and maintain various types of facilities effectively. It includes knowledge of cleaning techniques, equipment usage, and keeping the areas sanitary and presentable.

2. Communication  Skills- No job is complete without the right kind of communication. Good written and verbal communication skills are essential. Janitors should communicate concerns and issues within the team effectively for successful task completion. They should be able to interpret product labels and equipment manuals when necessary.

3. Safety Protocols- Understanding safety protocols related to chemical-based cleaning products is crucial. It contains knowing how to handle and store such products safely.

Day Porters

1. Flexibility- Porters perform a wide range of tasks throughout the day, so being adaptable and flexible is vital. They may need to shift their focus as priorities change.

2. Physical Strength- Porters may be required to lift heavy loads, so physical strength and stamina are important.

3. Interpersonal Skills- Day porters often interact with customers or visitors, especially if they are responsible for checking people in. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are crucial.

4. Positive Attitude- Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial for the work to take place swiftly. It is specifically important when serving as the face of a facility to provide a welcoming atmosphere.


In the quest to find suitable candidates for janitorial and day porter roles, it's important to note that these positions typically don't demand extensive educational qualifications.

While in some instances, a GED or high school diploma may be necessary, advanced education is rarely a prerequisite. Instead, the emphasis is on skills, experience, and certain specific physical attributes. 

These roles require physical endurance and stamina as workers are often on their feet and active for extended periods, sometimes throughout.


Training for janitors and day porters often occurs on the job. It is tailored to the specific needs and protocols of each facility. Training may include -

Equipment Usage- Learning how to operate various cleaning tools and machinery.

Maintenance Tasks- Some may receive training in maintenance tasks such as painting, minor building repairs, and general upkeep.

Specialized Skills- Porters dealing with more complex repairs (e.g., electrical or plumbing) might need advanced training in these areas.
Both janitors and day porters receive on-the-job training to acquaint themselves with the specific cleaning and maintenance protocols of the commercial building. It includes proper usage of specific cleaning supplies and any added skills relevant to the position.

Your Premier Choice for Cleaning Services in NYC

Now that you are acquainted with the difference between day porter and janitor, make your selection wisely! At Sterling Cleaning, we proudly hold the title of the number one commercial cleaning company in NYC. Our committed team is well-versed in the unique requirements of New York City commercial spaces.

We take great pride in consistently delivering cleaning services that meet and exceed your expectations. Whether you need daily maintenance or specialized deep cleaning, we've got all your cleaning needs covered. Allow us to handle the cleanliness of your workspace so that you can direct your full attention to what truly matters- your business.
Our experts will leave no stone unturned to give you a squeaky-clean and mood-uplifting space. Reach out to us today and witness the tangible difference for yourself! We are worth every penny. 

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