The Embalming Process...

The embalming process is about preserving the body of the recently deceased, usually for religious reasons during the Ancient Egypt era, and as early as 6,000 B.C. However, in today’s society, embalming can be a personal preference, and is often asked by the family and other loved ones in delaying the funeral service. But how long does a body last after embalming process? 

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, it can affect the family and friends in so many emotions, and one question will always get popped up in conversations – What about the funeral? Unless your loved one had a pre-paid funeral plan, it’s very likely you will need to start from the very beginning, such as, the type of coffin to be used, what music should be played, and how many people can attend (depending on COVID restrictions).

Fortunately, there is no immediate rush to organise the funeral. You can sort out all the important details in your own time, however, only if you choose the embalming service, which is a process to preserve your loved one’s body. But before we begin the embalming process, the body will need to be washed in disinfectant.

How Long does a body last after embalming? Funeral director dressing a deceased body

Then we can start by, massaging the limbs to relive the stiffening of the joints, do any necessary shaving, and close your loved one’s eyes using a special type of glue or plastic eye caps that sit on the eye and hold the eyelid in place. The lower jaw is also secured by wires or sewing. During the surgical portion of the embalming process, the blood us removed and replaced with formaldehyde-based chemicals through the arteries.   

After the arterial embalming, the body’s cavities must be embalmed as well. A small incision is made in the lower part of the deceased’s abdomen and a trocar (a sharp surgical instrument) is inserted into the body cavity. The organs in the chest cavity and the abdomen are then punctured and drained of gas and fluid contents. Formaldehyde-based chemicals are subsequently injected. Once the incision is sutured, the body is fully embalmed.

How long does a body last after embalming?

We obviously encourage you to sort the funeral service as soon as possible, however, there is no strict time limit to this process. But if we were to talk about what happens to the body after embalming, well after three – four months, the yellow-green complexion would have turned to a brownish-black colour because of the blood vessels that have deteriorated to the point that the iron inside of them spills out.


By ten-years, given enough moisture, the wet, low-oxygen environment sets off a chemical reaction that will turn the fat in the thighs and bottom to a soap-like substance called grave wax. However, in drier conditions, the body could also be mummified – that’s mummification without wrappings, or chemicals.


But by 50 years, the tissues will have liquefied and disappeared, leaving behind mummified skin and tendons. Eventually these too will disintegrate, and after 80 years in that coffin, your bones will crack as the soft collagen inside them deteriorates, leaving nothing but the brittle mineral frame behind. But even that shell won’t last forever.

In a hundred years, the last of your bones will have collapsed into dust, and only the most durable part of your body, such as teeth, grave wax and some nylon threads. This may seem like a scary thought, but at least it won’t happen for another hundred years, so don’t worry too much yet.

What Can we do for you?

If you need any more information on Embalming, of any other funeral enquires, you are most welcome to call in for a friendly coffee and chat at any time. Please contact me via the contact page to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs.

This picture is about us, Paul Young Funeral Directors

About Paul, Doncaster Funeral Director

I have worked for over 30 years in the business, offering a competitively priced, friendly personal, reliable and complete service. I am the only family owned funeral directors in the Askern, Campsall, Norton and surrounding areas. I have my own chapel of rest and a fleet of funeral vehicles. You are welcome to call in for a friendly coffee and chat at any time (please contact me prior to ensure I am in the office).

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