What happens after someone dies in a room?
Once the police have CSI-ed the place, a crime scene cleaning crew comes in to assess the damage. Usually they throw away anything with a permeable surface: sheets, blankets, mattresses, wooden tables, lamp shades, or anything else that would get wet if you threw water at it. So don’t worry that you’re sleeping on a dead man’s mattress.
Most electronics also get tossed, since small amounts of blood and other matter can get into the devices’ crevasses, making them nothing you’d want to plug in and turn on. “You can’t let them heat up and start to stink,” Vegors says. “Hotels have stockpiles of the exact same stuff to replace it.”
Carpet gets ripped out too, as does any permeable linoleum or other flooring. Headboards, artwork, also gone. Pretty much all that’s left are the bathroom fixtures, the walls, the ceiling, and maybe some metal furniture. At which point everything gets sanitized and cleaned with solutions not available to the general public, like synthesized bovine enzymatic cleaner (the stuff they use to sanitize slaughterhouses) or industrial-strength hydrogen peroxide.
Once that’s done, someone has to sand down or fill holes in walls that may have caught a bullet or other debris. Wallpaper gets torn down and replaced, or the room is repainted.
“Everything has to basically look like new construction,” Vegors says. “If the cleaning is done right, you’ll probably never be able to tell if someone died in your hotel room. We do it right, but not everyone does.”
And if they don’t, they might leave behind these signs that your room played host to some foul play.