Decomposition odors can be overwhelming. Organic material begins to decompose right after death, so what you can do depends upon when you can get into the space. If the area is part of an active crime scene, you can’t do anything right away, but if the cause of the odor is an animal that had hidden in a space of your home and died there, you can begin cleaning just as soon as the remains are removed.

Once you’re able to get into the space where there are odors due to death or decomposition, ventilate! Open windows and doors to provide as much fresh air flow as possible, turn on nearby ceiling fans, and also use portable fans.

At this point, consider whether you should hire a death scene cleanup company that will have the skills and experience and the appropriate gear to protect themselves from biohazardous materials left behind, safely cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids. Plus, a qualified death scene cleanup company will have specialized, commercial- and hospital-grade products specifically designed to thoroughly clean up, sanitize, disinfect, and deodorize after a death occurs.

If you’re going to do the cleaning yourself, cover yourself with protective garments and equipment, including a face mask, goggles, and gloves, as well as a smock. Then, remove whatever cannot be restored to a safe condition. This could include furniture, carpeting, sub-flooring, and drywall. Until you remove items that are part of the problem, you can’t really begin to effectively restore the space.

Choose your cleaning products carefully, using a product that’s registered as a disinfectant. Use caution, however, because some chemicals that are created through decomposition can cause dangerous interactions with ammonia, for example, or chlorine.

Then, begin cleaning the area from the outer limits of the malodorous area to the center. Once done, you might choose to use a white vinegar/water mixture as an additional cleaning step. Wet the area and let it air dry before patting it with a lint-free cloth. See how well this works, but keep in mind that the reality is that store-bought products are not always effective enough to eliminate death or decomposition odors.

Also set out a bowl of vinegar by the cleaned area to see if it will absorb more of the smells, keeping it out of the reach of children or pets. You can also place boxes of opened baking soda around the area.

Here’s the Reality

To be blunt, death and decomposition smells can be pretty horrific. This is nature’s way of letting us know that something potentially dangerous is lurking—in this case, biohazardous fluids, and tissues, as well as potential germs and viruses.

So, what you really need to do goes beyond simply trying to remove death or decomposition odors. You must clean, disinfect, and deodorize the area, returning it to its previous condition.

Professional Death Scene Cleanup Companies

We invite you to contact the professional Advanced Bio-Treatment team for your death scene cleanup services. You can talk to a live operator, 24/7, by calling 800-295-1684 today. We promise a prompt and compassionate response.

FAQ About Death Odor Removal

  • How long does it take for the smell of a dead person to go away?
  • Can you get sick from the smell of a dead person?
  • Can you smell death before a person dies?
  • Do dead bodies smell right away?
  • Why does my house smell like death?
  • How long does it take a dead body to turn blue?
  • Will vinegar get rid of dead animal smell?

Posted in Death Cleanup
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment