24 Animals that Clean (A to Z List with Pictures)

Animals that Clean

Examples of animals that clean include Albatrosses, Angelfish, Ants, Butterflyfish, and Cats.

Maintaining a clean environment is essential for both our health and the well-being of the animals that share our space. Interestingly, there is a range of pedantic little creatures that play an important role in keeping our spaces clean.

In this article, we will explore some animals that are known for their cleaning abilities. We will also discuss how they either clean themselves or how they clean the environment around them.

Examples of Animals that Clean

1. Albatrosses

Scientific NameDiomedeidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAntarctica to Australia, South Africa, and South America

Albatrosses are large seabirds that can be found near the coasts of the Southern Ocean. These birds have a wingspan of up to 3.5 meters and can weigh up to 11 kg. Albatrosses are known for their long-distance flying abilities and can cover up to 10,000 km in a single journey.

Albatrosses feed on small fish, squid, and other marine life. They also help to clean up the ocean by eating dead animals and rubbish that they find floating in the water.

Read Also: What is the Color of Albatrosses?

2. Angelfish

Scientific NamePterophyllum
Type of AnimalFish
Rangetropical South America

Angelfish are one of the many animals that help to keep our environment clean. These beautiful fish are known for their ability to eat algae off of rocks and other surfaces in aquariums. This helps to keep the aquarium clean and free of harmful algae growth.

In the wild, angelfish also play an important role in keeping coral reefs clean. They do this by eating the algae that can grow on and damage the coral. This helps to keep the reefs healthy and vibrant.

3. Ants

Scientific NameFormicidae
Type of AnimalInsect

One of the most well-known animals for its cleaning abilities is ants. Ants clean their environment by removing food and waste. They do this by carrying the food back to their nests and eating it there. They also remove dead insects and other animals from the area.

4. Butterflyfish

Scientific NameChaetodontidae
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecoral reefs of the western Atlantic Ocean

Butterflyfish is one of the many animals that help keep our coral reefs healthy. These beautiful fish eat the algae that can grow on reefs and damage them. Since butterflyfish spend most of their time near the water’s surface, they are also able to help keep the water clean by eating small floating particles of food.

Read Also: Can Butterflyfish Glide?

5. Cats

Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal

Cats are known for their cleanliness, and they spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves. In the wild, cats groom themselves to remove any dirt or debris that could attract predators. domesticated cats still have this instinct, and they will often groom themselves after eating or using the litter box.

6. Cleaner Shrimp

Scientific NameLysmata amboinensis
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecoral reef caves

Cleaner shrimp are a type of crab found in saltwater environments. These helpful little creatures remove parasites and dead tissue from other animals. They often live on coral reefs and can be found cleaning fish, turtles, and even sharks.

7. Cleaner Wrasse

Scientific NameLabroides dimidiatus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeIndo-Pacific from Southern and Eastern Africa

The Cleaner Wrasse is a small fish that lives on reefs. These fish are known for their cleaning abilities and will often clean other fish of parasites. The Cleaner Wrasse has two dorsal fins and a long tail. They are usually brightly colored and can range in size from six to twelve centimeters.

These fish have a symbiotic relationship with the fish they clean. The Cleaner Wrasse will remove parasites from the other fish, and in return, the other fish will provide the Cleaner Wrasse with a meal.

8. Dogs

Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal

Dogs have long been known as man’s best friend. But did you know that they also make great cleaners? Dogs are constantly licking themselves clean. This not only helps to remove dirt and grime but also helps to spread their own natural oils around their fur, which keeps them healthy and looking shiny.

Related Article: 27 Dogs that Protect Sheep

9. Dolphins

Scientific NameCetacea
Type of AnimalMammal

Dolphins are some of the smartest animals on the planet. They are also known for their ability to clean both themselves and their environment.

When it comes to cleaning themselves, dolphins will jump out of the water to remove any dirt, debris, or growths.

10. Eastern Bluebird

Scientific NameSialia sialis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern North America and south as far as Nicaragua

The eastern bluebird is a small thrush that is found in eastern North America. These birds are known for their beautiful blue plumage. The males are especially vibrant, with deep blue feathers on their backs and heads. The females are more subdued, with gray-blue feathers on their upper parts and paler underparts.

The eastern bluebird will gather the poop of her chicks and then fly away with it disposing of it somewhere else.

11. Gobies

Scientific NameGobiidae
Type of AnimalFish
RangeEurope’s Black and Caspian Seas

Gobies are small, freshwater fish that are known for their cleaning abilities. These little fish help to keep the water clean by eating algae and other small organisms. Gobies also play an important role in keeping the substrate clean.

The substrate is the material that makes up the bottom of an aquarium or pond. It can be made of gravel, sand, or even rocks. Gobies help to keep the substrate clean by sifting through it and eating any small particles they find.

12. Naked Mole Rats

Scientific NameHeterocephalus glaber
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern Africa

Naked mole rats are rodents that live in underground burrows. They are native to East Africa and get their name from their hairless bodies and small, wrinkled faces.

Naked mole rats are excellent cleaners. They groom themselves frequently and use their long front teeth to keep their fur clean. In addition, they use their tails to sweep debris out of their burrows.

Naked mole-rats also help keep their burrows clean by eating their own feces. This behavior, known as coprophagy, helps to prevent the spread of disease in their underground homes.

13. New Caledonian Crows

Scientific NameCorvus moneduloides
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Caledonia in the Pacific

These crows are known for their use of tools to help them with various tasks, including cleaning up their nests. When they build their nests, they will often use leaves and twigs to create a “shelter” from the sun and rain.

They also use these same materials to line the bottom of their nests, which helps to keep the area clean and free of debris.

Related Article: Dead Crow Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

14. Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes

Scientific NameCrotalus oreganus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth America

Use their triangular heads and muscular necks to sweep aside messy grass on their hunting grounds and to get to potential prey hiding beneath the surface.

15. Parrotfish

Scientific NameScaridae
Type of AnimalFish

These fish are known for their ability to clean coral reefs. They accomplish this by eating the algae that grow on the coral. Without parrotfish, the coral would eventually be killed by the algae.

16. Polar Bears

Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Arctic

Polar bears are one of the animals that people are most familiar with when it comes to cleanliness. These bears have a thick coat of fur that helps protect them from the cold weather and keep them dry. The fur also has an oily substance that repels water and keeps its fur clean.

Polar bears typically stay clean by grooming themselves with their paws. They will also roll in the snow to help remove any dirt or debris that may be on their fur.

17. Rabbits

Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculus
Type of AnimalMammal

Rabbits are one of the most popular house pets and for good reason! They are intelligent, social creatures that bond well with their human companions. In the wild, rabbits live in burrows where they keep everything neat and tidy. When it comes to cleaning their own bodies, rabbits groom themselves much as a cat does. They use their tongue and front paws to clean their fur and remove any dirt or debris.

18. Raccoons

Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Raccoons are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. These same qualities also make them excellent cleaners. Raccoons typically live in wooded areas where they build dens.

Dens are usually located near a food source, such as a river or stream. In the wild, raccoons use their dexterous paws to clean their food before eating it.

Raccoons also regularly groom themselves. They will often wash their hands and face with water from their environment.

Related Article: What Eats Raccoons?

19. Rats

Scientific NameRattus
Type of AnimalMammal

Rats are often thought of as dirty animals, but they are actually quite clean. They groom themselves constantly and will even eat their own feces if they think it will improve their hygiene.

Rats also play an important role in cleaning up the environment. They are known for eating garbage and other things that people have thrown away. This helps to keep the area clean and free of disease.

20. Sea Cucumbers

Scientific NameHolothuroidea
Type of AnimalEchinoderms

These echinoderms are often found on the ocean floor and are known for their ability to clean up the sediment that has accumulated there. Sea cucumbers consume the sediment and then expel it through their digestive system. As a result, the area around them is typically free of debris.

21. Sea Snails

Scientific NameLiparis
Type of AnimalGastropod

Sea snails are one of the many animals that help to keep our oceans clean. These creatures eat algae and other small organisms that can cause harm to the coral reefs. Without sea snails, the coral reefs would eventually die off.

Read Also: Do Snails Eat Flowers?

22. Sponges

Scientific NamePorifera
Type of Animalphylum Porifera

Sponges are small, aquatic animals that have the ability to filter water. They do this by using their bodies to pump water through their system and they capture food and other particles in their spongy body.

While most people think of sponges as being dirty, they actually play a vital role in keeping our oceans clean. By filtering water, they remove harmful bacteria and other particles that could contaminate the water.

23. Surgeonfish

Scientific NameParacanthurus hepatus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeAtlantic Ocean

Surgeonfish are a type of fish that are known for their grazing habits. They feed on algae and other small organisms that grow on coral reefs. By doing this, they help to keep the reefs clean and free of debris.

24. Tigers

Scientific NamePanthera tigris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAsia and Russia

These large cats are one of the most efficient cleaners in the animal kingdom. Tigers spend a great deal of their time grooming themselves. They use their tongues to remove dirt, debris, and parasites from their fur. In addition to cleaning their fur, tigers also use their claws to clean their teeth.


Cleaning animals play an important role in keeping our environment clean and healthy. They help to remove food, waste, and other debris from their surroundings. This helps to keep our ecosystems healthy and free of harmful pollutants.

Skip to content