After a crime scene investigation ends and the police and other investigators have finished their work at a homicide scene, the mess that's left behind must be cleaned up. This task is not as simple as it sounds, since most, if not all, homicide scenes involve bodily fluids and other matter from the body. A homicide clean up team must come in to take care of the mess that's left over, and the job can entail anything from shoveling up congealed blood to cutting out contaminated carpet and floorboards for replacement. A homicide clean up can last anywhere from an hour to several days, depending on the severity of the crime.
The scene of a homicide can be a very messy place, and it takes a strong stomach to work on a homicide clean up team. Members of such a team often have a background in the medical field and have strong stomachs accustomed to blood and gore. A member of a homicide clean up team may also have a background in carpentry or construction, as the scene of a homicide may need reconstruction. For example, blood can seep through a carpet and penetrate the wood beneath; the homicide clean up team must then tear up the carpet and replace those floorboards to ensure no bloodborne viruses or other illnesses can be transferred to other humans once the clean up is over.
A member of a homicide clean up team must wear special equipment to protect themselves from the contamination at the scene. Respirators and disposable non-porous suits are common, as are gloves and goggles. All these materials must be disposed of after the clean up, and bodily material such as blood, skin, or brain matter must be collected, transported, and incinerated. All these actions require much training and proper permits.
The clean up team uses common and specialized equipment to complete their task. Hospital strength bleach and other cleaners are often used, as are mops, brooms, and so on. For other tasks, such as cleaning up brain matter that can harden quickly, putty knives are often used; when putty knives can't do the job, a special machine must be used to melt the brain matter for removal. Shovels are useful for gathering congealed blood, and a special ozone machine is used to eliminate pungent odors from decomposition. A fogger may be used to ensure cleaning chemicals penetrate a variety of surfaces.