- "You know, you cops got it easy. All you have to do is go to the crime scene and look around a bit. We're the ones that have to clean up the mess, brains and guts and shit."
- ―A cleaner
The Squeaky Cleaning Company works as a false front for a group of contract killers known as the Cleaners. While out on the job, they dress in janitorial jumpsuits and act like light-hearted cleaners.
The Cleaning Company front was started by Vladimir Lem as a way to keep their true identity from being revealed to the smart cops like Max Payne. They are in fact contract killers working for a man only known as the Boss, who is revealed later to be Vladimir Lem.
They house in an abandoned construction site for Castling Insurance Companies, which is the only place they would normally be found without their disguises on. Seeing that may be the last thing you, in fact, ever see. Their main goal is to stomp anything in Lem's way of controlling the mafia underworld.
They are extremely efficient, going in quickly, quietly, and wiping out the targets, before any cops or security raise their eyebrows in suspicion. They often clean up the crime scenes they work in, leaving no trace of any damage, struggle, or even blood. They always disappear into their vans and drive away to nowhere when they are overwhelmed, or found out, leaving no trace that could lead back to their housing.
The Cleaners are the weakest enemies in the game along with the mobsters. Generally three body shots with an assault rifle, two with a desert eagle, or one well-placed shotgun blast is enough to finish them off. They generally sport lower level weaponary such as 9mm pistols and shotguns although a smaller number wield kalashnikovs and (very rarely) M4 Carbines or Desert Eagles. They often have grenades but are not very skilled with them. Cleaners are the most abundant enemies in Part I and II; however by the end of II, they are completely replaced by Commandos.
- Vladimir Lem - Leader and founder. (?-2003)
- Kaufman - Field leader of the Cleaners. (?-2003)
- Mike - Commando. (?-2003)
The Squeaky Cleaning Company has a number of enemies all over New York.
- Max Payne
- Mona Sax
- Vincent Gognitti - A nemesis of Vlad.
- Alfred Woden - One of the chief members of the Inner Circle.
- Inner Circle - Vladimir Lem's chief concern is the extermination of all Inner Circle members.
- Punchinello crime family
- Although the Cleaners technically consist of the same group of contract killers as the commandos, they are often depicted as inexperienced and clumsy, a sharp contrast to the commandos' professionalism and cold efficiency.
- There are a number of actual cleaning companies known to use names similar to the Squeaky Cleaning Company:
- In Australia, there is a carpet cleaning service named "The Squeaky Clean Team".
- In England, "The Squeeky Cleaners, Ltd." are a domestic and commercial cleaning company (who, coincidentally, are owned by an ex-military individual).
- Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne