It’s rarely thought about, and when it is, it is glorified, although cleaning up a crime scene is anything but. People see CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and all those other crime scene shows, and think they have an idea of what goes on at a crime scene. But what happens once the evidence is collected, and the police leave? There is blood, gore, fluids, and sometimes bodies left at the scene and the families of the victim are left with a mess that is their responsibility to clean up. This is the moment when the job of a crime scene cleaner come into play and it’s not a profession for the weak.

Many crime scenes are a sight of trauma, and trauma usually entails a good amount of bodily fluids. Crime scene cleaners encounter it all; from blood, urine, mucus, and any other bodily excrement, it is something each cleaner must be prepared for. Crime scene cleaners are specially trained and certified to deal with any situation. From murders, homicides, suicides, manslaughter and more, a crime scene cleaner has to have the certifications to clean these messes and has to know the regulations that come with the territory. Even though their bodies are protected head to toe, and a ventilation mask is worn when one walks onto a crime scene, death is in the air, and they will smell it. A stomach churning, eye-watering odor that is almost impossible to relate. There is no going around the fact that crime scene cleanup is a messy, gross, and sometimes just disgusting job – but it must be done.

Crimes can happen in any environment, and all of them must be cleaned. Crimes take place on the streets, in cars, in homes, apartments, pools, hotels, condos and so on and all require a different set of skills and know-how to handle. Those who clean a crime scene have to adjust to the environment they are working in and understand what tasks come with each. A crime scene cleaner is flexible and can adjust to the varying conditions and clientele.

Each crime scene varies in location and cause but they are all difficult jobs. Cleaning a crime scene is not for the weak of mind, heart, or stomach. The varying crime scenes offer a completely new challenge and with that a completely new image of trauma. There is blood, there is gore, and there is no time for the crime scene cleaner to be faulty in their job. The task of a crime scene cleaner has to be done carefully and effectively. There are pathogens found in bodily fluids that each cleaner must be wary of and properly deal with when the cleanup begins. If done incorrectly improper cleaning can lead to additional trauma for the family and even contracting diseases. A Crime scene cleaner must be able to handle the changing tasks, environments, and difficulty level of each crime scene they encounter.

Crime scene cleaning is not a profession for the weak. Of course, the crime scene affects the family, friends, and community involved, but it also affects the cleaners. It is not an easy nor delightful task to encounter death so often as a crime scene cleaner does. The smells of a crime scene, of rotting blood and human waste are difficult to bear, combined with the sight of a decaying body or bloodied walls, it is something unbearable for many. It is important to realize how difficult the job of a crime scene cleaner is, especially if you are interested in the position. Crime scenes are not something anyone wants to clean, but someone has to do it.