These streets must be cleansed. To save our city, we must burn away this disease. Every trace of it. Only through the power of fire can we be free.
- Unknown Cleaner
The Cleaners are former New York City sanitation workers (garbage men, janitors, custodians, etc.) who lost everything during the outbreak. Formed by Joe Ferro, they are convinced that the only way to save the city from the virus is to burn everything down, including the people still living in it. They are one of the major enemy factions in The Division.
After the death of Joe Ferro and the loss of more than half of their man power and their main source of napalm supply and production, the Cleaners were weakened to the point that they are no longer a threat to the JTF.
A roaming faction, the Cleaners can appear in many districts; all agents should proceed with extra caution, especially in Cleaner-occupied territories. The faction consists of construction and sanitation workers that felt abandoned when the government and JTF pulled out and left them to defend for themselves and die.Trapped in the quarantine zones, they decided to take matters into their own misguided hands. Armed with flamethrowers, fire axes, and fire bombs, they travel from one area to another hoping to cleanse the city of the virus. They will burn anything they deem to be contaminated. Their terror spreads quickly like the fire they wield. They are brutal and unfeeling, and hold the belief that the sick are already dead. A video recovered from the napalm production site or HQ shows footage of a civilian's phone which shows that she is burnt alive by a Cleaner when she was caught at the site. To identify their territories, agents are advised to keep a lookout for yellow colored garbage trucks.
Relationship with other factions
Although it is never stated in game and with little interaction (aside from skirmishes). the Cleaners would have mostly likely thought of the other warring factions as a detriment to their goal of cleansing the city of the virus.
In regards to the JTF, they believe the JTF are weak and soft and thus unable to handle the situation. Compared to them the Cleaners believe they are capable of making the hard choices and doing what needs to be done for the greater good. At the end of Dragon's Nest, Roy Benitez admits he understands their intentions and goals but still views their methods as sick and twisted. He is also genuinely impressed and disturbed by their resourcefulness.
Any animosity they have with the other factions would have likely been resolved by the time of Resistance as they joined forces with remnants of the Rioters, Rikers, and Last Man Battalion to combat the JTF and Division agents as well as to hunt down Aaron Keener.
Known Cleaner Crews
Swing Shift - Daily HVT 3*
Early Shift - Daily HVT 3*
Ivie's Crew - Daily HVT 3*
Night Shift - Weekly HRT 4*
Bargaining Unit - Daily HVT 2*
Zetticci Bros. - Weekly HVT 4*
Siciliani's Crew - Daily HVT 3*
Derby's Crew - Weekly HRT 3*
Robinson's Crew - Weekly HRT 3*
Almanza's Crew - Weekly HRT 4*
Marconi's Crew - Daily HVT 1*
Davenport's Crew - Daily HVT 3*
Kotowski's Crew - Daily HVT 2*
Quintanilla's Crew - Weekly HVT 3*
Canvas Duty - Daily HVT 1*
When fighting Cleaners, agents should keep a distance from them, as Cleaners are equipped with flamethrowers and can easily burn and kill with them. Using long range weapons is recommended. If a member of the Cleaners is shot enough in the gas tank backpack, it will explode and damage them severely, or kill them depending on their level. However, not all Cleaners wear gas tanks such as Mechanics and Shields.
The Sweeper class will usually pin down their targets while another Sweeper rushes up to burn them. The Fumigators, being the Grenadier archetype, will lob incendiary grenade, and at higher levels (31 and 32), gas grenades at enemies in cover and will sometimes assist in pinning down the target. Mechanics will rush to cover when combat starts, and will place a crude turret on top of the cover. Once the turret is down, the Mechanic will then engage with his Shotgun. If the Mechanic is killed, and the turret isn't destroyed, the turret will fire at enemies randomly until stopping, which it is then destroyed. Shield wielders will rush the target with a shield and fire axe, and won't stop until they are killed. Incinerators are rare, but they are the toughest enemy that can be encountered in Cleaner areas. They slowly shamble towards their target, or will run up to it if not close enough to attack. The flamethrowers they wield have pretty far range and can dish out a lot of damage in a single spew. Controllers used to be encountered only in the Amherst's Apartment and the Napalm Production Site missions, but since the Clear Sky update, they are now a more common sight - particularly in Search and Destroy missions and High-Value Target Ops.
Cleaners Enemy Types
Sweeper - Armed with AK-47s with home-made flamethrowers attached to them. Identified by their fuel tanks, which can be shot to deal massive damage to them. If shot in the tank, Sweepers will normally try to take their tank off and flail around before exploding.
Elite variants have a more powerful and farther flamethrower, and will run up to you to try and blow the agent up if their tank is shot at.
Fumigator - Grenadier enemies who throw incendiary grenades, and are armed with an M9 (regular) or an MP-7 SMG (Elite/Veteran) as a backup weapon. Identified by their white/gray hazmat suits. They have a weak point that is the red satchel on their waist. If shot in the satchel enough, they will explode and leave fire behind where they died.
Elite variants will throw Poison Gas grenades; these grenades have a shorter fuse than the standard Incendiary grenades.
Shield - Melee enemies armed with a bullet-resistant shield and a fire axe. They have 2/3rds the amount of health and (if Veteran/Elite rank) armor compared to regular Cleaners. Note their shield can break after being shot many times.
Elite variants run faster and attack between shorter intervals compared to their Veteran/Normal counterparts
Collector - Dressed similar to Shields (work overalls, gas mask, high-vis vest and hooded jumper), but are armed with AK-47s. So far, seen only in Dragons Nest. While similar in appearance to Shields, their jacket is actually a more yellow-ish shade of green, as opposed to the Shields flat green jacket.
Controller - Enemies armed with classic M1A (Regular) or Socom M1A (Veteran/Elite) sniper rifles and M9 pistols for close-range. Identified by their blue boiler suits and radio backpacks, similar in appearance to a Cleaner Mechanic. They have 2/3rds the amount of health and (if Veteran/Elite rank) armor compared to regular Cleaners.
Mechanic - Enemies who can deploy and repair Turrets. They are also armed with M870 Shotguns and PF45 pistols.
On Challenge difficulties and the Incursion Dragon's Nest, they control modified Remote Controlled cars carrying a mix of explosives, Napalm B and tear gas which is rigged to explode in close proximity of its target.
Incinerator - Large, heavily armored boss enemies armed with flamethrowers and incendiary grenades that explode on impact (molotovs), they have 3 times the amount of health and armor as regular Cleaners of the same rank. They wear three fuel canisters on their back that can be shot and detonated, which deals a good amount of damage to them and other enemies near them. Another variant acts like a Rikers Guard armed with an M249 Para appears in heroic difficulty in Hudson Refugee Camp or in the incursion, Dragon's Nest. They also have a weak point, the red ammo box on their backpacks which fires everywhere damaging NPCs or Players while they are distracted. When in combat with the Incinerators, keep your distance, keep walking backwards while shooting them. Aim for their fuel canisters for a quicker kill.
Fire Truck (Boss only) - Armed with flamethrowers and incendiary missiles seen in Dragon's Nest
For those who want to get a close look at a Sweeper, Fumigator, or Shield, play the Mission Napalm Production Site. When exiting the elevator to the hazmat area before the player(s) encounter Joe Ferro, there will be a Sweeper and a Fumigator (a shield may spawn on harder difficulties) on the other side of a glass window directly to the left of the elevator. They will react to the player(s) in a sequenced animation, then run off. Plotwise, this is the Cleaners discovering the Agent coming to kill Ferro, then running off to warn others (others being the first group of Cleaners that run down stairs on the left and right sides of the final room).
Despite being dedicated to burning out the virus, Cleaners are rarely seen anywhere near Contaminated areas outside of the Dark Zone.
Sometimes, when a civilian goes near a group of Cleaners, said group of Cleaners will threaten them, if the civilian doesn't leave the area, the Cleaners will open fire and kill them.
Although the Cleaners' leadership and source of napalm have been eliminated, the leftover Cleaners seemingly have an infinite supply of it [napalm], although it's most likely for gameplay purposes.
A phone call collectible between two cleaners intending to produce napalm found mentions styrofoam as a an ingredient, probably alluding that the napalm the cleaners are using are nothing more than a styrofoam/gasoline mixture, a low-grade easy-to-obtain variant.
A Scribble on a wall in the refugee camp which may possibly be by a cleaner, instructs how to make napalm by mixing equal parts gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate, which is a reference to the popular book Fight Club.
If the player purchases the Cleaner Faction bundle from the Premium Vendor, they will get the Shield outfit.
In the North American version factions trailer lines used for the cleaners is:
"These streets must be sanitized. To save our city, we must burn away this disease. Every trace of it. No matter the cost."
For the European version of the faction trailer the line used is:
"These streets must be cleansed. To save our city, we must burn away this disease. Every trace of it. Only through the power of fire can we be free"