Cleaning Up A Suicide Scene: The General Process

Posted on: 29 November 2018

Some suicides leave behind more than just family members grieving. After the police have removed the body and taken all of the photos and evidence they need, it is time to call in suicide cleanup services. Here is a glimpse at the general process, and how each step is handled. 

​Tweezing Out the Hard Bits

Walls and floors cannot be scrubbed if there are hard remnants of bullets, shotgun shot, or bone remaining. The cleanup crew combs over the site, using tweezers to extract these hard bits. These bits are all accounted for, cataloged, and if the police require it, bagged and labeled. If the police do not want these crime scene remnants, the cleanup crew will place them in the proper type of disposal bag. 

Cleaning Up Blood, Vomit, and Body Fluids

There are different cleaning agents for each of these excretions or body components. For blood, the cleaners use hydrogen peroxide first, because hydrogen peroxide destroys blood cells. Then bleach is used to sanitize the scene. Vomit is saturated with a powdery orange chemical that makes it easier to clean and sweep up into a dust pan and into the garbage. Another sanitizing cleaner may be used to clean this area as well. Other bodily fluids, such as urine, mucus, and vaginal and seminal fluids, are all cleaned up with bleach, or its equivalent. 

​Replacing Anything That Was Broken or Damaged

Although cleanup crews do not have to replace anything that was damaged at the crime scene, each company is different. Some examples of things that a crime scene cleanup service may replace are:

  • Broken tiles
  • Holes in the walls and/or ceiling 
  • Broken fixtures or beams
  • Replastering and repainting
  • Anything not covered by a homeowner's, renter's or business insurance policy, which would pay to fix most everything else

​If the service chooses not to fix any of the above or all of the above is covered by an insurance policy, then it becomes the responsibility of the property owner and/or the insurance company.

​Cost of the Services

The cost of the services are often absorbed by taxpayers. When the costs are not absorbed by taxpayers, the surviving family members are the ones that have to pay. If the latter is your current lot, know that the costs are going to be a couple hundred dollars, but then you can get back to either living in the same place or selling the home. If the lost relative rented an apartment or house, then the cost of services may fall to the proprietor, who may take the cost from the deceased's security deposit.