2017’s It is Terrifying, But Not For the Reason You Think

As Halloween draws closer, we’ve been reviewing our favorite 2017 horror and Halloween movies. We couldn’t help but notice how messy some of the buildings and homes can get in these movies. Since we’re always thinking about restoration and cleaning up these types of messes, we thought we’d do a little analyzing and figure out how much just one of these movie cleanups would cost. Particularly, the horrifying blood bathroom scene in Stephen King’s It.

It, 2017

There’s no denying that this year’s rendition of Stephen King’s It was a box office smash. Bill Skarsgård depicts a terrifying clown who feeds off of kid’s fear. The evil clown definitely left a lot of damage in his wake, both to the characters he terrorized, and to the spaces he used as a stage for his fear-inducing illusions. We of course wanted to find out how much time and effort it would take to restore these places to their original state. The main scene we reviewed is the scene in Beverly’s house when Pennywise launches literal buckets of blood into her bathroom and face.

In addition to this scene being the stuff of absolute nightmares, we thought it was a nightmare in another sense: imagine having to clean up that mess. In the movie, the main characters manage to clean up the sticky blood in only a few hours (it’s not clear how long it actually took), and manage to get that bathroom looking the way it did before it was assaulted with blood. We felt like this was a little unrealistic, so the question is: how long would that type of cleanup and restoration actually take? Well, it’s a lot more than you’d think.

A Literal Bloodbath

If this scene grossed you out, the cleanup process will gross you out even more. To start, the amount of blood that Pennywise fills Beverly’s bathroom with is a lot. According to slate.com, about 5 litres of fake blood are used per scene in any given horror movie. However, that stat is in consideration of a typical blood scene involving a person bleeding and dying. Because this particular scene soaked the walls, floor, and fixtures of an entire bathroom, we guessed the amount of blood to be about 15 litres.

That’s so much blood.

So, how do you even clean up blood to begin with? Well, it’s different for every surface. Since It takes place in 1988, we did some research and found that typical bathrooms of that time consist of linoleum tiles and fiberglass tubs and toilets. Assuming Beverly’s home reflects the standard of her time, she would have this kind of bathroom. Here’s a bathroom that looks similar to Beverly’s pre-blood:

(Image Source)

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find an image of what her bathroom in the movie looked like covered in fake blood, but we do know how to clean blood off of these surfaces.

Linoleum Floors

Required cleaning materials:

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • LOTS of towels
  • Buckets to put dirty towels

Based on 1980’s bathrooms, and the scenes in Bev’s bathroom, we can assume this bathroom is likely 6×6 feet. To clean up the layers of blood and then scrub the floor to remove any dried blood, we estimate this task taking about 1 ½ hours.


Typical bathrooms in the 1980’s sported the same material on the walls as on the floors. With that being said, we are going to use the same materials to clean them. We estimate this step in the process taking 3 ½ hours due to their being 4 walls instead of just 1 floor. So far, we’ve been cleaning blood for 5 hours.

Tub and Toilet

The tub and toilet in this bathroom, being made of fiberglass, will require using a mold and mildew stain remover. Yep, you read that right, mold and mildew will be able to remove the blood stains without damaging the fiberglass. Additionally, it works well on dried-on blood stains.

We estimate this step taking another 2 hours due to both bathtub and toilet having uneven surfaces and crevices that Pennywise made sure to get blood in.


This one is a little harder, but we decided to just clean these surfaces using bleach and towels. Because Beverly would need to clean the lights, shower curtain, mirror, window, and anything additional in the bathroom, we estimate this part taking 1 ½ hours. Again, this is because of the crevices and small spaces that would have absorbed the blood.

The total? 8 ½ hours! After this analysis, we have to wonder, just how did those children clean up the bathroom in (what appeared to be) less than an hour? Granted, there were 5 kids, but we still feel like this would be unreasonable just because of how detailed they would have to be. Additionally, we’re not sure what products they were using, but they did an excellent job on that bathroom because it was spotless when they were done. Guess that’s all just part of the movie magic?

We know you probably won’t ever need to clean 15 litres of blood off of your bathroom, but if you have need of any kind of intense cleaning like this (we’re not asking questions), we are prepared to help! We have the materials and experience necessary to perform a little bit of movie magic for you! Give us a call for all restoration needs at 513-214-3879 .