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Posted: 7/3/2015 5:17:48 PM EDT
Need advice please.
I am tasked with cleaning out the apartment of a deceased family member.

Body had decomposed for approximately 10 days before being found in her bed.
Will much of anything be salvageable in the apartment or will the smell have ruined everything?

I won’t bother with clothing and such but what about things like wood furniture and electronics?
Will they smell forever? Will the electronics stink every time they are used and warmed up?

Also, any advice if some sort of mask or respirator from Home Depot might make this task easier?
Would the apartment have had the mattress she died on removed right away? I cant imagine the smell it alone would be providing if still there.

Thanks for any help.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:20:30 PM EDT
[#1]
Clorox
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:23:15 PM EDT
[#2]
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:24:13 PM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:


Need advice please.

I am tasked with cleaning out the apartment of a deceased family member.



Body had decomposed for approximately 10 days before being found in her bed.

Will much of anything be salvageable in the apartment or will the smell have ruined everything?



I won’t bother with clothing and such but what about things like wood furniture and electronics?

Will they smell forever? Will the electronics stink every time they are used and warmed up?



Also, any advice if some sort of mask or respirator from Home Depot might make this task easier?

Would the apartment have had the mattress she died on removed right away? I cant imagine the smell it alone would be providing if still there.



Thanks for any help.

View Quote
Vicks.



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:24:24 PM EDT
[#4]
Renting a couple ozone generators might help.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:24:30 PM EDT
[#5]
Leave what you don't need. You'll definitely need some sort of a mask. Nothing else put Vicks in a cheap cloth mask
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:25:32 PM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.
View Quote

x10
solid advice
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:26:31 PM EDT
[#7]
I'd expect most hardwood furniture to be ok, especially if it was finished with a coat of urethane or varnish
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:26:50 PM EDT
[#8]
Rent a construction dumpster, place it under a window and get to shoveling.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:26:51 PM EDT
[#9]


One word . . . SERVICEMASTER

.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:27:31 PM EDT
[#10]
My cousin had a similar situation with a rental house he owned.

He sold off all the contents. During the sale, a used furniture guy was haggling with him about the price of the bed. My cousin finally gave in and threw in the mattress to close the deal.
He said the guy walked away with a smug look on his face, knowing he won
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:28:01 PM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


One word . . . SERVICEMASTER

.
View Quote


This



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:29:07 PM EDT
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Renting a couple ozone generators might help.
View Quote




Not might, it will help. Had a similar situation but think July in west Texas and no a/c in the house. Took most of the smell out of everything fabric and getting rid of the carpet got rid of the rest.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:29:30 PM EDT
[#13]
Furniture and electronics should be fine after airing out. Clothing / linens will be fine after laundering (obviously except the stuff off the bed itself). Things like books might be ruined.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:30:13 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'd expect most hardwood furniture to be ok, especially if it was finished with a coat of urethane or varnish
View Quote


any thoughts on electronics?

We plan on just leaving most everything for the apartment to dispose of.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:30:18 PM EDT
[#15]
If any of the electronics smell, put them in a trash bag with a dryer sheet.
Leave them until they smell like a dryer sheet.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:30:51 PM EDT
[#16]
I recently had to clean out my brother-in-law's house after he died. Body was in the house for 6 days before his body was discovered. Wasn't that bad - some lemon pledge on the wood stuff and you'd never know, wouldn't worry about the electronics.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:31:20 PM EDT
[#17]
Roll up 2 pieces of gauze. Dip one end in Vicks then insert the other end in each nostril. Now you're doing it old school.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:31:48 PM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Renting a couple ozone generators might help.
View Quote


This is your best bet.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:32:38 PM EDT
[#19]
Burn some coffee grounds in a pan.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:33:15 PM EDT
[#20]
NO VICK'S!!!!!! It opens up the nasal passages, and after an initial period of covering the smell, it will make it even worse. Seriously, go to a hardware store and buy a cheap disposable respirator mask like painters wear for fumes. Trust me on that. As to things like wood, no the smell will fade and using a good wood cleaner will make it good as new (except where blood or urine might have soaked in). Cloth? May be salvageable, just use an industrial washer (or a public laundry) for the first washing or two. It helps if you can open the windows for a while, let the sun shine in (actually kills a fair amount of bacteria that produces odor). Welcome to my world.

EDIT: the mask will also help protect you from anything floating in the air. Go to a surplus store for some of the old NBC long gloves for use when working near nasty stuff.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:33:41 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


One word . . . SERVICEMASTER

.
View Quote



This. To hell with walking in there
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:34:56 PM EDT
[#22]
Apartment? Why is this your problem?

In any event I would seriously consider hiring a company that specializes in these things.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:35:46 PM EDT
[#23]
Depends on how bad the decomp was...was the A/C on or no? 10 days without A/C is a much different animal than 10 days with A/C....

I deal with decomp on a weekly basis....you honestly get used to it....hell I don't even use Vicks...I do however have a washing machine in my garage where I strip down after a particularly gory day....

If she turned into a primordial soup and popped then trash everything except the pictures and heirlooms....if she just melted into the bed...it's a case by case basis...

Service master.....solid advice...
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:35:56 PM EDT
[#24]
A $15 czech gas mask works fine and will shield your eyes and mouth too
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:37:40 PM EDT
[#25]
Call a company to do it, insurance will cover it.

Trust me I used to clean hoarding and crime scenes up, it's not fun and screws with your mental state after a awhile. And the smells, you never forget the smells
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:38:11 PM EDT
[#26]
Fabreeze the shit out of everything with fabric. Then ventilate the hell out of it with big box fans exhausting out windows. Especially "the room"... As others mentioned.. Vicks..
Get some good gloves and at least a painters paper coverall & a decent mask.
If it appears you're stirring up much dust...go out for a few min's & let fans work.
Clorox is your friend here!! a 50/50 cut will kill about anything..
Oh yes.. one other thing.. It sux to be you.. how do I know this... BTDT so good luck.
Fresh air & sunshine for a few days will take the odor out of a lotta things..

Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:39:25 PM EDT
[#27]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Put some Vicks on your upper lip.
View Quote




This^



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:39:37 PM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Call a company to do it, insurance will cover it.

Trust me I used to clean hoarding and crime scenes up, it's not fun and screws with your mental state after a awhile. And the smells, you never forget the smells
View Quote


Do this.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:45:17 PM EDT
[#29]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
This^

 
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

Put some Vicks on your upper lip.




This^

 


And in my experience the Vicks doesn't prevent you from smelling the decomp, as it gives you something stronger to focus on. Smear a little inside a basic face mask.



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:47:24 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Apartment? Why is this your problem?

In any event I would seriously consider hiring a company that specializes in these things.
View Quote


Thankfully we are only taking items we want along with bank records and such - We are not having to empty the place out.
The apartment can deal with what we leave.

Just had no idea how bad the stink might linger on things we do choose to take like a tv or computer and whether it was even worth it.

thanks for the help. will check into a respirator if its as bad as I fear.


Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:51:20 PM EDT
[#31]
I would go to an automotive paint supply store and get a 3M paint mask. You wont smell anything. You have to be CLEAN shaven though. If your face is fat and or round, get the XL. If it doesn't fit right, you'll have leakage.






Link Posted: 7/3/2015 5:56:04 PM EDT
[#32]
Heavy rubber gloves, mask from Home Depot with organic filters and  Tyvek suit.  Your problem is flies. EVERYTHING will have fly crap on and in it. The pupae end up everywhere and in everything. I've found maggots at death scenes in every room of a 5 bedroom house, even with the body on a different floor.

Any hard surface stuff will be fine with a cleaning, clothes ect in the closet  will be fine with a  few trips thru the heavy wash cycle.  Anything pupae can hide in I'd leave in a storage unit for a few days till they hatch out.  
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:01:05 PM EDT
[#33]

Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:01:11 PM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Renting a couple ozone generators might help.
View Quote

Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:04:47 PM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

And in my experience the Vicks doesn't prevent you from smelling the decomp, as it gives you something stronger to focus on. Smear a little inside a basic face mask.
 
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.


This^
 

And in my experience the Vicks doesn't prevent you from smelling the decomp, as it gives you something stronger to focus on. Smear a little inside a basic face mask.
 



Yeah, it opens your nasal passages and all that blah blah blah. But you still won't be able to smell anything else.
If you do, you are doing it wrong. The Vicks is too strong to smell anything else.

.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:15:48 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

x10
solid advice
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice

As a guy who has been around a fuckton of decaying folks, don't do vicks. It opens up your sinuses.
Blow cigarette smoke through your nose several times. I don't smoke and it deadens your sense of smell some.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:17:08 PM EDT
[#37]
get a few gallons of white vinegar, dump out a few inches from each and dump in a closed sink to evaporate, cut an opening in the top of each plastic gallon container above the vinager line and set around in the place with the windows closed and maybe a fan circulating the air. this works and works fast.  i had a skunk spray in a cabin, did this and the smell was gone fast. my grand daddy always said you can't win a pissing match with a skunk, but after loosing, this works!

mattress and clothes go to the dump or donate!
.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:19:17 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.
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Worst idea EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:20:17 PM EDT
[#39]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

x10
solid advice
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice


Who told ya'll that this is a good idea?
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:25:17 PM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


One word . . . SERVICEMASTER

.
View Quote



this.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:29:49 PM EDT
[#41]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

As a guy who has been around a fuckton of decaying folks, don't do vicks. It opens up your sinuses.
Blow cigarette smoke through your nose several times. I don't smoke and it deadens your sense of smell some.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice

As a guy who has been around a fuckton of decaying folks, don't do vicks. It opens up your sinuses.
Blow cigarette smoke through your nose several times. I don't smoke and it deadens your sense of smell some.


Jako know's whats up. I prefer grape cigars. Just a few tugs, let the smoke go out the nose and then let them burn in an ashtray.

I've worked 5 unattended inhome deaths since mothers day. One was a mild stinker, the others were full on decomps.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 6:57:45 PM EDT
[#42]
Electronics and metal goods should be okay.


Get a cheap gas mask, I bet the place reeks.
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 7:02:51 AM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Who told ya'll that this is a good idea?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice


Who told ya'll that this is a good idea?


After working for just over 30 years as a paramedic for  departments that runs just shy of 140,000 calls a year, I figured it out for myself.
For you guys that do body removals or whatever,just remember,  EMS was probably there first.
As a retirement job, I still work part time as a paramedic at two different small ambulance companies that actually do body removal.
Not to mention that I have been in the back of an enclosed ambulance with people that were alive that smelled just as bad many times.

You got any other questions ?

Link Posted: 7/4/2015 7:29:33 AM EDT
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


After working for just over 30 years as a paramedic for  departments that runs just shy of 140,000 calls a year, I figured it out for myself.
For you guys that do body removals or whatever,just remember,  EMS was probably there first.
As a retirement job, I still work part time as a paramedic at two different small ambulance companies that actually do body removal.
Not to mention that I have been in the back of an enclosed ambulance with people that were alive that smelled just as bad many times.

You got any other questions ?

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice


Who told ya'll that this is a good idea?


After working for just over 30 years as a paramedic for  departments that runs just shy of 140,000 calls a year, I figured it out for myself.
For you guys that do body removals or whatever,just remember,  EMS was probably there first.
As a retirement job, I still work part time as a paramedic at two different small ambulance companies that actually do body removal.
Not to mention that I have been in the back of an enclosed ambulance with people that were alive that smelled just as bad many times.

You got any other questions ?



My experience is the police and ems respond, get 1 whiff and call it. I've been asked by a cop to look for trauma and a wallet when removing the body because he and EMS didn't want to mess with it and knew we would have to.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 7:39:48 AM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
NO VICK'S!!!!!! It opens up the nasal passages, and after an initial period of covering the smell, it will make it even worse.
View Quote

Our morgue wagon guys always said Vicks made it worse.
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 7:48:29 AM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
any thoughts on electronics?

We plan on just leaving most everything for the apartment to dispose of.
View Quote

How considerate.

Link Posted: 7/4/2015 7:50:58 AM EDT
[#47]
mopp gear
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 8:03:30 AM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


My experience is the police and ems respond, get 1 whiff and call it. I've been asked by a cop to look for trauma and a wallet when removing the body because he and EMS didn't want to mess with it and knew we would have to.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Put some Vicks on your upper lip.

x10
solid advice


Who told ya'll that this is a good idea?


After working for just over 30 years as a paramedic for  departments that runs just shy of 140,000 calls a year, I figured it out for myself.
For you guys that do body removals or whatever,just remember,  EMS was probably there first.
As a retirement job, I still work part time as a paramedic at two different small ambulance companies that actually do body removal.
Not to mention that I have been in the back of an enclosed ambulance with people that were alive that smelled just as bad many times.

You got any other questions ?



My experience is the police and ems respond, get 1 whiff and call it. I've been asked by a cop to look for trauma and a wallet when removing the body because he and EMS didn't want to mess with it and knew we would have to.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile



I've been in EMS for close to as long & this is wrong! Vicks will not help. Coroner's learned many moons ago that our olfactory system is one of the strongest for imprinted memory. We were told stories of detectives who used Vicks only to have mental breakdowns when they smelled Vicks in later years because it brought back all the memories on the death scenes they were on. Whether or not that's true, I've been on plenty on decomp calls. No one EVER has used Vicks. Not PD, not EMS, not Fire & definitely not the M.E. .
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 8:14:06 AM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


One word . . . SERVICEMASTER

.
View Quote



This x 1000
Link Posted: 7/4/2015 8:16:27 AM EDT
[#50]
I don't have any advice about the clean-up, but seeing as this is about the death of a family member, I certainly would move this to Team.





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