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Hogwarts castle is quite big as far as I know (7 or more floors plus all the Towers). How could Filch alone clean up the whole castle provided the fact that he is unable to use magic? Maybe Mrs. Norris helped a bit (joke)?

4 Answers 4

42

He couldn't have done, but that's not an issue because he didn't have to take care of the entire castle by himself. He was the caretaker of Hogwarts school, and some of that included janitorial type duties, but he wasn't the only person responsible for keeping the castle clean. So, who else was involved?

House Elves

It's revealed in Goblet of Fire that House Elves were responsible for cleaning the Gryffindor common room and dormitories, in addition to their cooking and cleaning duties in the kitchens. I think we can reasonably assume that this applies to the other three Houses, at the very least. They may also have assisted with cleaning duties in other areas of the castle. Staff may not necessarily have wanted Filch bustling around cleaning their private studies, but an almost entirely unnoticed House Elf wouldn't have been an issue.

Students

Ron serves detention with Filch polishing trophies in the Trophy Room in The Chamber of Secrets. There are other examples of relatively menial tasks being delegated to students who have received detentions. With at least 200 students enrolled at the school during any particular year there'd likely be a reasonably ready supply of free labour during detentions.

Teachers

For the messes that simply couldn't be removed using non-magical methods - the swamp created by Fred and George before leaving the school in Order of the Phoenix, for example - he would have had to request the assistance of a member of staff.

Mrs. Norris

I know you were joking about it, but having thought about it I'm not sure it's that far-fetched. If you consider the weird bond Argus Filch has with his cat it's not entirely implausible that she'd be able to assist with identifying areas of the castle that need particular attention. If she's capable of alerting him to troublemakers and those making a mess in the hallways (e.g. Harry coming back from Quidditch practice) then I don't see why she couldn't also communicate that there is, for example, a leaking toilet in one of the bathrooms.

8

Anthonys answer is great, but as an addition we also have magical cleaners which could speed up, or help Filch with otherwise impossible messes.

Mrs Shower’s All-Purpose Magical Mess-Remover: No Pain, No Stain!... -Goblet of Fire

Filch kept it fresh in everyone’s minds by pacing the spot where she had been attacked, as though he thought the attacker might come back. Harry had seen him scrubbing the message on the wall with ‘Mrs Skower’s All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover’, but to no effect; the words still gleamed as brightly as ever on the stone.

as well as movie/movie companion related cleaners such as

EaziKleen Self-Propelling Scourers

Everklena

Madame Glossy's Silver Polish

Winky Crockett's Elbow Grease

Magical Cleaners

So its clear he's using at least one of these in the books, so if others existed we could expect him to also be employing them to help clean up the school.

4

Filch wasn't the only one cleaning. The House-Elves at Hogwarts did a lot of the cleaning after the students went to bed, as discovered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Hermione had created S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare) and started leaving small knitted hats covered with trash in hopes of freeing some of the elves.

1

As caretaker of Hogwarts he probably had house elves helping in the background. Given that he didn't have magical ability the school was probably charmed as far as structural maintenance was concerned.

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  • 1
    Hi, welcome! You know, a lot of these answers are really best left at comments. You've posted a lot of answers and presumably that's taken you a bit of time and effort, but you're not getting any upvotes - in fact you're often getting downvotes. And the reason for this is that, here on StackExchange, we expect complete answers, ideally with textual references, or other supporting material, and compulsorily with a solid explanation of your reasoning. Anything else, such as a nice thought, or a bit of a stab - while potentially useful - should be a comment, or expanded into a full answer
    – Au101
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 20:26

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