What is Embalming & How Long Does it Last?

The practice of keeping the body of a deceased date back to 6000 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. Mummification is a personal choice in today’s world, and it typically depends upon visitation or service plans made by the family. Embalming is done for various reasons, including religious reasons and sanitation issues. Here’s a rundown of what exactly is the process of embalming and how it is performed.

What is Embalming?

Embalming is the method of preserving skeletal remains by using chemicals to make them decompose more slowly. This is frequently done in order to make the dead more acceptable for formal and informal display or visiting or to preserve the body for medical reasons. If there’s a considerable time gap between the time of death and the burial or cremation process, it usually calls for embalming. The procedure is also required when the body is to be held in observation during viewing or wake.

The Embalming Process

Once you are clear with the meaning of embalming, scroll down to understand the process.

  • A disinfectant is used to clean the body. The tight joints and muscles of the arms and legs are massaged properly, followed by shaving the body if needed. Plaster or plastic eye coverings that fit on the eye and keep the eyelids in place are used to close the eyes.
  • Next is the surgical phase of the embalming procedure. Blood is removed from the body and replaced with formaldehyde-based compounds in this procedure.
  • The chest and abdominal organs are pierced. This drains the liquid from them and releases any trapped gas.
  • The incision is then sutured, marking the end of the surgical embalming procedure.
  • Finally, the body is covered in cosmetics. Hair is cleansed and styled according to the family’s preferences.
  • The body is also dressed in clothes provided by the family members.
  • The body is then fully embalmed and placed in a casket, ready for viewing or service.

How Long Does Embalming Last?

The preservation effects of embalming might last anywhere from a few days to a week. This varies according to the type of compounds employed, their potency, and how they are used in the process. Embalming is no longer the only way to ensure that the loved one’s remains are maintained until cremation or burial, thanks to contemporary methods like refrigeration.

What is Embalming Fluid

Embalming compounds are a group of preservatives, cleaning and disinfecting agents, and additions used in modern embalming to delay decay and restore a realistic aspect to a body after death. Embalming fluid is a mixture of various substances that are used to keep the bodies of the departed alive for as long as possible, usually till the funeral, and other times eternally. One may witness an embalmed body after 1 year, as little as a skeleton buried in the ground or more than a complete body with all of its garments intact. The condition of a decomposing body varies widely depending on what was done to it before the internment and in what conditions it was buried.


While embalming is a common process, it is not required for all funerals. Before spending money or potentially releasing toxic substances into the environment, be cautious and make sure to research the options.

For assistance in the process of embalming and the cremation process of a deceased loved one, connect with our team at Brampton Crematoriums and a Visitation Centre at 289-372-3300, and we will guide you through the same with complete compassion.