There is always sadness in learning of someone’s death, but
more so when they die alone and lay undiscovered for
And there are practical matters to consider also – such an
occurrence leaves behind bio-hazardous material from the
decomposing body that requires experts known as trauma cleaners
to remove the waste.
George and Deano are two specialists who have spent seven years
tasked with the gruesome clean-up of blood, bodily fluids and
other infectious matter – jumping into action anywhere from the
scene of a murder to the aftermath of a suicide.
The duo feature in ITV’s Call the Cleaners, in an episode that
sees them called in to fumigate the one-bed flat in which the
man died, with his decomposing body only discovered after
several days had passed.
‘After a murder or a suicide the paramedics don’t clean up –
it’s left to the families or the landlord to get in touch with
people like us,’ George explained on the show.
The outline of a body that was left decomposing is visible on
the carpet which needs to be incinerated and removed
George and Deano are trauma cleaners meaning they are allowed
to clean up blood, bodily fluids and any other infectious
They have to use specialist products to decontaminate any
signs of blood before then removing the carpet
Before they step on site, George and the rest of his team don
forensic style suits and masks and protect their noses from the
smell using a menthol ointment to lessen the putrid
While the body had already been removed by undertakers, because
they don’t yet know the cause of death toxic traces may remain,
such as tuberculosis or typhoid.
They have to treat the carpet with a hydrogen peroxide spray
that foams when it reacts with any traces of blood that remain.
The process leaves the outline of the body clearly visible,
showing the head, torso and limbs.
After that George then marks out the area of the carpet that
needs to be removed and incinerated, leaving nothing
Any biological matter has to be removed separately and
incinerated, and any remaining belongings of the deceased
occupant are cleared out and the apartment fumigated using an
industrial ‘fogger’ to remove any lingering smell.
An industrial spray reacts with any blood on the carpet
allowing the cleaners to pick out exactly where needs to be
They wear protective gear and masks – including wiping a
menthol ointment under their noses to stop the stench – to
stop any cross-contamination
Once the team have removed any biohazards they then clear out
the rest of the flat from any junk left by the tenant
The last order of the day is to fumigate the property with a
fogger that will remove any lasting smells
The professional cleaners also attempt to discover more about
the late tenant who lived alone.
Deducing from the many language books adorning the room they
realise he was into linguistics.
‘You’re not just clearing up all the rubbish, you’re picking up
little clues as to who the person was and what he did.
‘We know he was a linguist, we know he liked music, and we know
he loved to read.
‘We know he was a small built guy, we probably know him a lot
better than a lot of people.’
Call the Cleaners returns next
Tuesday at 8.30pm on ITV