Undress the body. The embalmer takes the utmost care to respect the body covering private areas when possible and gently working with the body. Removing the clothing will help not only simplify the process, but will also reveal the skin for observation to ensure that the embalming process is going correctly. The body should be face up because gravity pulls the blood within the body down ,which causes the face to become discolored.
Wash the body. This ensures that the body is clean and ready to be re-clothed after the embalming process.
Relieve any signs of rigor mortis. Rigor mortis is when the muscles tense up after a person passes. The embalmer will have to move the affected muscles until the muscle relaxes. Leaving the muscles in a state of rigor mortis will cause the veins within that muscle to be blocked. A blocked vein will then divert the embalming fluid from where it needs to go.
Ready the face for viewing. This means closing the eyes, closing the mouth, and most important, setting the head so that it is facing directly forward. If the embalmer forgets this step the body will look as if it is looking directly at those attending the funeral. Most embalmer clients prefer that the body looks toward the ceiling rather than at the attendees.
Choose the injection site and drainage site. Most embalmers choose the common carotid artery for the injection site, because it is so close to the heart, and the right internal jugular vein as the drainage site, because it is where all venous blood meets. The embalmer will then insert the canulae into the sites.
Turn the embalming machine on. Since there is no pressure or resistance, the embalming fluid should push the blood out while filling the arteries and veins with the embalming fluid. The embalmer will then massage the muscles to help coax the blood out and the embalming fluid in. Once the embalmer runs out of fluid or the body looks fully embalmed, turn the machine off.
The embalmer will also clean out the insides of the body using an aspirator. Otherwise, the body can end up “purging” where the fluids will end up eventually oozing out of the eyes and nose.
Close up the entry points. The embalmer will suture any points he used to enter the body and use a sealing powder to make sure that the body doesn’t end up with any leakage.