Suicide Cleanup: Who Cleans Up After a Suicide?

by | Sep 13, 2022

When tragedy strikes, it can send anyone reeling. While you are trying to navigate the waters of unfortunate events, it’s even more important to understand the logistics of the situation to prevent yourself from taking unnecessary risks. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about who cleans up after a suicide, helping you make informed decisions during this difficult time.

Who is Responsible for Cleanup After a Suicide?

The number one question someone asks when they start tackling the logistical side of the problem at hand is typically “Who cleans up after a suicide?”

In decades past, it may have been whoever found the body, or even the relatives of the deceased. Unfortunately, this has a significant mental toll on these individuals, and it can be dangerous to their health.

Now, the responsibility falls to the property owner, and there are checks in place to ensure that they don’t personally have to clean up after the event. Homeowners insurance or personal insurance can all help you determine who cleans up after an event like this, hiring outside third-party professionals trained to handle these cleanup situations.

At Florida Emergency Cleaning, we are a certified biohazard cleanup company that can help you start the emotional healing process sooner, without getting involved in the nitty-gritty details.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Cleaning After Suicide?

Yes, most homeowners’ insurance policies do cover cleaning services after a suicide. These services typically fall under the terms “remediation and restoration” which will help return the home to its previous state before the event occurred.

While this is true of most large insurance policies, it’s important to always check the underwriting for specific details or call your insurance company to clarify what you are responsible for and what they will cover. Smaller insurance companies may not cover the same services, and every policy is unique based on the quotes given and services opted into at the beginning of the policy term.

It’s also important to understand that the benefits may be affected by waiting periods. If the insurance policy is relatively new, it’s possible that they won’t cover these services until a certain amount of time has elapsed. The best thing that you can do is call the insurance company for specific details on your policy.

Why You Should Hire a Professional

You should always hire a professional for cleaning up after a suicide. Not only is it a modern benefit that these companies exist, but these professionals have the equipment to keep themselves safe while ensuring the entire building is cleaned and disinfected to safety standards. By hiring a professional, you are ensuring the safety of yourself and your family, as well as anyone who enters the building after the event. Not only that, but it removes the psychological toll that cleaning up after a suicide event can leave on the loved ones of the deceased. Seeing the aftermath of a death can be psychologically scarring no matter who you are, and without the proper training or support to handle these events, it can affect your well-being for years after the event.

5 Guidelines for Handling Suicide Cleanup

While the psychological toll of death cleanup services is difficult even for trained individuals, it’s even more burdensome for the family or friends the individual has left behind. While it’s never recommended that the family of the deceased cleans up after a suicide event, some individuals still prefer to take on the task themselves. (1)

“In most cases, [] post-mortem cleanup is quick and simple — wiping down blood-splattered walls, ripping out soiled carpet — but it is a job that would undoubtedly prove burdensome to grieving relatives.”


To safely clean and disinfect a biological hazard zone, 5 guidelines will ensure the safety of everyone involved in the cleanup:

  1. Wear protective clothing and equipment designed to withstand biological hazards.
  2. Use biohazard bags, and dispose of contaminated materials appropriately.
  3. Set up contamination zones to ensure the safety of the cleaning zone and prevent spread.
  4. Clean the area with broad-spectrum kill disinfectants, and either dispose of or disinfect equipment after cleaning.
  5. Seek medical attention immediately if any part of your body is exposed to biological zones, especially if it is an open wound or similar injury.

Following these steps can ensure the safety of anyone involved in the cleanup.

Establish 3 Zones: Control, Buffer, and Clean Zone

As a part of basic biohazard cleanup training, professionals learn that three essential zones should be set up before any cleaning begins. These are, in order of interior to exterior, the Control, Buffer, and Clean zones.

The first Control zone is any area with biological material. The scene of the crime, so to speak.

The Buffer zone is the area where personal protective equipment is put on and taken off, and where disposal items are kept.

The Clean zone is where equipment and tools are stored to prevent cross-contamination.

The Dangers of Biological Fluids

It’s difficult to assess the dangers of biological fluids if you haven’t worked in an industry that deals with them directly. Many layers of safety go into creating a safe environment for individuals. Any type of bodily fluid, particularly after death, should be treated with care as it could contain bloodborne illnesses or dangerous pathogens that could cause illness in living individuals. Blood is a particularly dangerous bodily fluid for disease and illness that should be avoided at all costs. Even if the individual was not noticeably sick with any kind of transmissible virus or disease, they could be a carrier, or the blood could be infected post-mortem.

The Dangers of Suicide Cleanup

Particularly in the case of self-cleaning by untrained individuals, it’s incredibly risky to visit the scene of a crime and perform a clean-up. Not only is there a lower chance of the location being properly cleaned and disinfected to biological standards, but there is an extraordinary risk to the personal safety of individuals involved in the cleaning.

Beyond that, performing suicide cleanup yourself exposes you to unnecessary grief and trauma, even if you were only briefly acquainted with the individual. The details and process of death can leave an irreversible psychological scar on the human psyche that can worsen over time if not properly addressed.

Additionally, few people who attempt suicide cleanup themselves have the appropriate safety equipment. This equipment is specifically rated to protect the wearer from biological hazards, and unfortunately, this equipment can be costly, preventing individuals from purchasing it for a one-time cleaning.

How Much Does Suicide Cleanup Cost?

The cost of suicide cleanup varies depending on the level of saturation, the circumstances of discovering the body, and the location in which the death occurred. Some cleanup jobs are relatively clean, contained, and recent which lowers the cost significantly. The starting costs for these types of jobs typically start at around $1,000.

In more complex, messier, or more extensive cleaning jobs, however, it can range into multiple thousands of dollars for clean-up, particularly if foundational parts of the property are saturated with biological materials in the case of an unattended death. This can result in the need for a complete renovation of the building as well, depending on the extent of the damage.

It’s always ideal to contact the cleaning company that will be handling the case and request an estimate after an on-site evaluation.

Who Pays for Suicide Cleanup?

In a suicide case, the newly deceased individual is not often thinking about the aftermath of the situation, nor the effects it has on the friends and family left behind in such an event. This can make an already complicated situation messier when discussing who is responsible for the logistical costs.

In most cases with proper coverage, insurance companies will cover the cost of cleanup after a traumatic event. The coverage amount will vary depending on the insurance company and individual policy, but it will typically be covered by the property owner’s insurance. If the property is not insured, it falls to the owner of the property to pay for the expense. There are, however, relief funds available in certain circumstances, particularly if the cleanup is related to a crime. If the property owner is not discovered, or if the property owner is now deceased, it may fall to the individual next responsible for their debts and inheritances.

Florida Emergency Cleaning Is Here For You

At Florida Emergency Cleaning, we understand what it’s like to lose a loved one and our team of specialists is not only there to help ensure the safety of your family and whoever else enters the building, but also to provide support in this difficult time. With a courteous staff with discreet services, we’ll help you take the first step in rebuilding your life after such a traumatic experience. Give us a call today to learn more about our services and book a cleaning that can help you on the path to healing today.


  1. NYTimes, Cleaning Needed, In the Worst Way,

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