Do You Get All the Ashes After Cremation?
Cremation has become an increasingly popular way of laying loved ones to rest. Most people prefer this option because it’s cheaper and highly flexible. But after the cremation process, families receive a few pounds of the ashes, leaving some wondering, is this all there is? Do they give you all the ashes after cremation?
Understanding how cremation works can help answer that question. Which factors determine the weight of cremated remains?
Here’s what you need to know:
Do They Give You All the Ashes After Cremation?
The simple answer is yes. The work of a crematorium is to reduce the human body into ashes by passing it through intense heat. Cremains belong to the family, so the crematorium can’t keep the ashes, and they have no reason to do so. If a cremation provider retained some of the ashes, such a deed would be unlawful.
But it’s understandable why some people get concerned about the volume of ashes they receive.
But that’s not always the case. All flesh evaporates under the intense heat of the crematorium chamber. Therefore, if a short person weighs more due to more body fat, that doesn’t mean you’ll get more ashes. Arguably, taller people can have more ashes because they have larger bones.
So, how much should cremains weigh?
How Much Should Cremated Remains Weigh?
On average, cremated remains should weigh about 3.5% of the person’s original weight. The actual weight of ashes can range between 2 to 10 pounds (0.9 to 4.5 kg), depending on whether one is a child or an adult.
Let’s say an average-sized adult weighs 150 pounds. After the cremation process, the weight of the cremated remains will be around 3–7 pounds, representing 2-5% of the original body weight. If the person weighed 250 pounds, the weight of the ashes would still be around 3–7 pounds. That’s because the amount of ash produced is not directly proportional to the body weight.
Understanding the amount of ash you expect can help you choose the right size of an urn. A standard urn has a volume of 200 cubic inches. That can fit the cremains of an average person. But if the ashes are more than that, the crematorium can select a larger urn or use two of them. Whatever the case, they’ll ensure you get all the ashes.
If you get more ashes, you can divide them according to the number of families who want to keep them. And if you get a smaller quantity, you can make ornaments or put some in jewelry.
Which Factors Determine the Volume of Ashes?
The average weight of cremated remains varies depending on the following factors:
- The weight and size of the body – Generally, the heavier and larger the body, the more ashes you get. The cremation process breaks down the organic matter in the body, leaving bones. Therefore, it’s the size of the bones left that determines the amount of ashes resulting from cremation.
- The type of cremation chamber – Modern cremation chambers are more efficient. They can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving behind less bone matter. Older cremation chambers are less efficient and may leave more bone matter, leading to more ashes.
- The duration and temperature of the cremation process – Hotter cremation chambers can reduce the body significantly, leading to fewer ashes. Less-hot chambers need to operate longer to reduce the body in the same way as the hotter ones. So, if they run for less time, they can lead to more ashes.
Even though some of the ashes may get lost in the cremation chamber and post-processing activities, that is negligible and often unavoidable.
Contact Florida Family Cremations for Cremation Services
Cremation providers have no reason to keep ashes after cremation unless the family members fail to pick them up. Many factors can determine the volume of ashes you get. These include the body’s weight, type of cremation, temperature, and duration of the cremation process. Whether you get less or more ashes than you expected, you can be sure that the crematorium doesn’t keep any portion of the ashes.
If you have more questions about the cremation process, don’t hesitate to ask Florida Family Cremations. We’re a reputable funeral home providing affordable cremation services in Clearwater. Our packages include direct or simple cremation and veterans’ services.