FROM clearing blood-splattered walls, bodily fluids to shattered glass and used needles – crime scene cleaning is a messy business.
And it takes a particular type of person with some very special know-how to tackle such a gruesome job.
Nick Stirrup has worked in the Crime Scene Cleaning industry forover two years and currently works with REACT Specialist Cleaning.
He says: "I’ve scrubbed brains from bedroom walls and pulled teeth out from plasterboard.
"I’ve taken jaws, spines and skull caps and more from underneath trains and I’ve scrubbed and pulled pints of blood from sofas and carpets.
"Horror movies are much more dull nowadays, I must admit!
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"All that being said, I see that I provide an often-unseen essential service that helps to keep the world turning.
"It gives me a reason to get up and go, every single day.
"Once you can take these positives, from the worst situations, this job can be incredibly rewarding."
HOW TO REMOVE BLOOD STAINS
To get blood out of a carpet, you just need to follow four simple steps.
If there is any excess blood on the carpet, remove it with a white paper towel or cloth.
Make sure that you do not rub it in even more, or else it might spread, instead dab the blood stain.
Then apply cold water to the stain using a white paper towel or cloth and this should help in removing the stain.
Make sure not to use warm water, because this makes the blood stain bigger and more permanent into the carpet.
If the stain is not removed by simply applying water, then add some potato starch to it and leave it to dry for 24 hours.
Vacuum the carpet after that, and if the stain is still there, use a carpet stain remover on the blood stain.
The remover should come with its guidelines on how to use it.
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'Every day is different'
Nick first landed the job after seeing a job ad for a crime scene cleaner.
He says: "I don’t shy away from the fact that I’m very particular about cleaning, which just spurred me on, with a semi-natural human intrigue to try my hand at it.
"My colleagues and myself fulfil a wide variety of biohazard decontaminations that require a bit more problem solving than most.
"As the name REACT may suggest, our work is ad hoc and reactive.
"Every day is different, and you have to be really mentally prepared for your leisurely day of facility deep cleans to be turned on its head, when any of us could be called out to a fatality."
As you would expect, the 'before' and 'after' transformations are dramatic, and the job is hugely rewarding.
Nick says: "I love this job, clients and being able to communicate what I will do and what I have done.
" I love seeing the dramatic transformations I can deliver.
"Granted, it can be grim work sometimes, and the situations can often be appalling, but handing over your completed works to a genuinely grateful customer makes it all worthwhile.
"It’s special just to know you’ve made a genuine difference somewhere."
Not for the faint-hearted
While training is provided, a naturally strong stomach is also a must.
Nick says: "I spent around two to three weeks, completing necessary paperwork and buddy-working with a colleague.
"Within this renewal period, being put in every conceivable working circumstance, to test my strengths; my weaknesses, my competency and I would argue, the strength of my stomach.
"This is definitely not the career for the faint of heart or those who can’t stand unwelcome sights or smells."
Top tips to remove any stain…
A favourite among bargain hunters looking to remove stains such as curry or chocolate is Elbow Grease spray, which costs just £1 in most shops.
For difficult stains on walls and carpets including felt-tip pens, many have found success with the Pink Stuff, which costs £1 from Home Bargains.
Magic sponges, also known as magic erasers, are rapidly gaining popularity – and they’re available for as little as £1 at discount stores. They can be particularly effective for stains such as crayon and paint.
Professionalism and a strong stomach
To excel in the job takes a special kind of individual.
Nick says: "Some of the biggest attributes sought are a strong stomach, an ability to adapt and a strong sense of professionalism.
"You come across some pretty graphic occurrences in this line of work, and the ability to segregate that and home life is an absolute must.
"It helps that we all have a pretty close knit team and support each other when it’s needed the most.
"It’s definitely challenging when you have to attend a fatality on the road network, in a domestic environment, or on a train carriage.
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"The detailed tactile cleaning at a crime scene – the smells, the textures, the sights, the sounds even, have a massive impact on you.
"It changes how you see the world and how you approach your work."
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