Sunshine Cleaning revolves around two sisters, Rose and Norah Lorkowski, who try to get into the lucrative business of crime scene clean-up and slowly find themselves in the process. Rose, a former cheerleading captain, is now a single mother having an affair with the then-quarterback who married someone else. Norah, on the other hand, gets on from job to job without having any form of stability in life.
They encounter gory suicide and murder cases and have to scrub off the blood, body tissue and fluids as well as maggots (big and small ones). These physical messes are incomparable to the psychological ones, and they find meaning in helping those who have lost someone in those suicides or murders. Along the way, their relationship improves and they finally come to terms with the loss of their mother when they were both kids.