How Long After Embalming Can A Body Be Viewed (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 to 2 Weeks

The two most crucial moments in everyone’s life are the birth and death of their loved one, both of these incidents are quite emotional. However, as human beings, both birth and death are inevitable for us. We share our happiness and sorrow in many ways as if like a grand event.



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Be it the entry of a newborn baby or conveying the last goodbye to our loved one by organizing the funeral ceremony. Many times, it seems that there is a time gap between the death and the funeral service, so there are different methods adopted to preserve the body for some time. If processes for preservation are done, then the body starts to decompose.

How Long After Embalming Can A Body Be Viewed

What is Embalming?

Embalming is the modern treatment for preserving the body for a long time. Under this procedure, the bodily fluid is replaced by the chemical solution usually with formaldehyde (1-3.5 %). This makes the body suitable for viewing in public and private places as the body looks healthy.

Embalming is effective in the grieving process and funeral ceremony when the deceased body comes in front of his friends and family. When the body is embalmed it is important to examine that the chemical solution is distributed uniformly in every part of the deceased body. Embalming solution is injected by an embalmer who is familiar with human anatomy & preservation techniques.

How Long After Embalming Can A Body Be Viewed?


Embalming SolutionTime
1% Formaldehyde Solution 1 Week
2% Formaldehyde Solution1.5 Weeks
3% Formaldehyde Solution2 Weeks

How long can you preserve the body after death?

The time gap between death and funeral services is a great matter of consideration to preserve the body for a particular period from decomposing. Decomposition is no longer an issue by adopting the embalming method.

The decomposition process depends on various factors like temperature, cause of death, obesity, body fluids, humidity, air, moisture. Methods of embalming & refrigeration are quite often used for delaying preservation up to periods of 1-2 weeks. On comparing both procedures of embalming and refrigeration, embalming is more effective than refrigeration.

Why Does a Body After Embalming Be Viewed for Longer Time?

The process of body decomposition is carried out naturally by insects, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Natural decomposition of the body takes around 24 to 48 hours to complete decomposition. Embalming delays this natural decomposition.

All the openings of the body are sealed. Blood & other bodily fluids are completely removed. They are replaced with an embalming solution. This embalming solution contains formaldehyde (& some other chemicals) that slows down the decomposition process by repelling the bacteria and other organisms.

Formaldehyde has the ability to affect the tissues on its molecular level. It doesn’t allow the bacteria and other organisms to decompose the tissues. This slows down the decaying of the body which means that the body can be preserved for more than 48 hours.

The embalming treatment does not preserve the deceased body forever. Longer periods of preservation for the embalmed body mainly depend on the strength of the embalming solution injected and the condition of the corpse.

What Are the Reasons Behind the Delay of Cremation & Final Rites?

  1. If one of the family members is abroad or faraway, and it is important that they attend the funeral ceremony as it takes time to plan international travel.
  2. If there is any possible delay in communication to the deceased’s loved ones.
  3. If the death is linked to any crime scene and the deceased is under criminal investigation, the body can be embalmed.
  4. It is sometimes important to delay because the family needs to mentally prepare & face the traumatic event.


Death is uncertain. There may be times where you need to postpone the funeral. The postponement of a funeral depends on one’s situation and there is nothing wrong. Putting everyone together when such a traumatic event happens is quite difficult. Final rites & grieving are the only send-offs one can provide to the deceased one.

So, when you need to delay the funeral, you have to slow down the natural decomposition. Thanks to modern medical science as it offers a solution to this matter. Embalming helps in giving you the extra time that you need. It delays the procedure of decomposition by a week or two.


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