Cleaners had mechanical arms that could be used for various functions. They could be used in an offensive manner, by grabbing humanoids, typically around the neck if the intention was to kill. Each cleaner had a drill and saw tool for use in their duties. The cleaners had detachable carts that they used as bins. When ordered to, they were capable of emitting poisonous gas.
An aquatic variant of the cleaner was able to fully submerge itself and operate underwater. It had a pair of pincers which could be used offensively.
After Kroagnon was imprisoned in the basement of Paradise Towers, the Chief Caretaker had the cleaners take him the bodies of the dead. However, Kroagnon himself was also using the cleaners to kill Caretakers, Kangs and Rezzies. This resulted in the Yellow Kangs being wiped out. As they prepared to kill Melanie Bush, both Tilda and Tabby were dragged through a waste disposal unit by a cleaner and killed.
On Floor 304, Mel was attacked by an aquatic cleaner while swimming. It tried to drag her under but she made it to shore and used Pex's gun to destroy it. While in the basement, the Seventh Doctor was attacked by a cleaner which grabbed him round the neck. He was pulled free by some Kangs and managed to escape. Kroagnon had cleaner 479 bring the Chief Caretaker to him. Using corpoelectroscopy, he transferred his mind into the Chief Caretaker's body and had the cleaners work up Paradise Towers floor by floor, gassing each level as they progressed.
The Caretakers, Kangs and Rezzies joined together and attacked the cleaners. The Rezzies impaired their movement by entrapping them with tablecloths while the Kangs destroyed them with explosives and arrow guns. After the death of Kroagnon, any remaining cleaners became peaceful. (TV: Paradise Towers)