How To Clean A Hoarder House After Death

Friday 3rd March 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Room in a hoarded property CONTENTS



Clearing out a loved one’s property after they die can be an upsetting, overwhelming, and time-consuming process. Should they have suffered from hoarding disorder, it could be much harder.

At ICE Cleaning we offer rapid response trauma cleaning services, including undiscovered death cleaning. Our technicians are accredited by a number of organisations, like the National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners, and can be on site in a matter of hours in an emergency.

Keep reading to find out what to do when a hoarder passes away.

Bring in trauma cleaners

If the resident passed away in their property, you must hire trauma cleaners to make the affected area clean and safe, again. This might not be totally possible in a hoarder’s property due to the presence of biohazards, but they can tackle the immediate dangers.

  • They will start by removing biohazards, like blood and bodily fluids: blood spillage clean up, for example, is essential as it may contain harmful pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
  • Then, they will decontaminate the scene: some pathogens, like HIV, can live for a long time outside of the body.
  • Trauma cleaners will finish by restoring the scene: they will remove stains and deodorise any unpleasant odours so it looks and smells how it did before.

You must not attempt trauma cleaning yourself

It is very dangerous to enter a trauma scene without personal protective equipment due to the presence of biohazards. There also may sharp objects and drug paraphernalia which could injure you when you touch them or pick them up.

Should you try and clean up the scene, you will come in much closer contact with these dangers. Professionals have the PPE to safely clean up any harmful substances and objects.

You might lack the knowledge of trauma cleaning, like how to clean blood, and might not do it properly, either. Without specialist products and equipment to remove all biohazards and decontaminate the scene, you could leave behind a dangerous environment.

In hoarded properties, trauma cleaning is much harder, too. The biohazards could have contaminated possessions and may be concealed by them. Professionals will have experience with tricky scenarios, and can remove any biohazards related to the trauma scene.

They should know the regulations associated with trauma cleaning, as well. Our technicians, for example, are trained experts in the handling and disposal of biohazards, and can take care of the complex process for you.

Clear out their possessions

It can be hard to know where to start when cleaning a house after a death, particularly if it is full of possessions. First, wait for the will to be read. This will outline any bequests, like certain items going to specific people. Then, allow loved ones to pick out any items they would like to keep.

You must not attempt to retrieve these belongings yourself, however. Entering a hoarded property, let alone going through the disorganised piles of possessions, is very dangerous as they could collapse on top of you. Professional cleaners know how to safely sort through the items.

After any specific items have been removed, you can tackle the rest. Although it is tempting to clear the property out yourself, only professional hoarder cleaners should do this.

The dangers of hoarder cleaning

Firstly, there are likely to be pest infestations in the property. Some pests, like mice and rats, carry diseases including Salmonella and Listeria, and could put your health at risk.

Sometimes their possessions can block exits and make moving around the property difficult, too. In the event of a fire, escaping could be impossible, and some items, such as newspapers, could make a fire spread very quickly.

It may also be difficult to see items on the floor, and you could trip and get injured. There might be lots of health hazards in the property, as well. Mould, for example, can trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and lead to respiratory problems. You can find out more in this blog.

Professionals will have the experience of hoarder properties and PPE to safely deconstruct piles of objects, clear the possessions, and clean the property.

They also can provide additional services like mould remediation, pest control, and odour removal, should they be required.

Get in touch

Our technicians are fully trained experts in both trauma cleaning and hoarder cleaning. We operate nationwide, 365 days a year.

Contact our friendly team today on 0208 066 0360 or at to book our trauma cleaning services.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

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