In crime fiction, a cleaner is a person who destroys or removes any incriminating evidence at the scene of a crime, typically a murder, as if the crime never happened.
Cleaner is also a slang term for an individual (usually a member of a crime organization or a covert government agency) who disposes of a corpse after a hit.
In real life, there is a legitimate industry of cleaning up after crime scenes. This involves removing blood and other biohazardous material, or dangerous chemicals used in an illegal drug lab.
Movies and television
Later, in the film Léon: The Professional (1994), Reno played the title character, an assassin who referred to himself as a "cleaner", demonstrating the second sense of the term as well. Luc Besson has stated these two characters are related.
The film Curdled (1996) is about a woman who takes a job cleaning up crime scenes after the police investigate.
The short documentary film Family Values (2002) documents a suburban lesbian couple who run a "mom and mom" business cleaning up gory crime scenes, and won a Student Academy Award for Best Documentary.
In the film Underworld: Evolution (2006), there existed a secret mercenary group called the Cleaners, led by Alexander Corvinus, tasked with destroying/hiding any evidence of Vampires and Lycans, and the war between them, from human awareness.
The fiction film Sunshine Cleaning (2008) is based around the business of crime scene cleaning, strictly in a legal manner, not the aforementioned illegal methods.
In season 2, episode 3 of the television series Human Target, two cleaners are mentioned, one codenamed "Mr. Chicago". Mr. Chicago was hired along with another cleaner by a gang leader to kill off all the other team members of the heist after it was completed.
- Carl, from the film Munich
- Frederica Sawyer, a.k.a. Sawyer the Cleaner, from the manga series Black Lagoon
- Garcian Smith, from the video game Killer7
- The Cleaners, from the videogame Max Payne 2
- The Watchdogs, from the video game Manhunt 2
- Wolf, from the film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem