Blood stains are one of the most frustrating household stains to contend with. Whether your child returns home with a scraped knee bleeding through a pair of pants or if a shaving nick leads to an unsightly spot on a towel, these organic stains should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Blood stains are much less troublesome when the blood is still wet. However, life is busy, and it is not always possible to treat a blood stain immediately. Luckily, removing dried blood stains is not as impossible as it seems. Here are some tips for removing all types of blood stains from a variety of fabrics if you don’t have a cleaning service.
How To Remove Blood Stains From Regular Fabric
This method works best on fresh blood stains.
- Dampen the stain with cold water. Start by soaking the stain in cold water, as heat can actually set the stain and make things worse.
- Rub the blood stain with a bar of soap. Lightly rub the dampened stain with a bar of soap, and lather gently.
- Moisten the stain with ammonia. Apply a minimal amount of diluted ammonia to the stain with a cotton ball or paper towel.
- Wash the item. Once you are done pre-treating the stain, wash the item using an enzyme-based laundry detergent (most laundry detergents are enzyme-based). Enzyme-based detergents help break down certain protein stains, such as blood. Once complete, check the stain. If the stain was successfully removed, dry as usual. If the stain remains, try again. Once you put the item in the dryer, the heat will further set the stain.
How To Remove Blood Stains From Light-Colored Fabric
This method also works best on fresh blood stains. It does use hydrogen peroxide, which can have a minor bleaching effect on fabric, so it is safest to use on white or light-colored clothing. However, for light-colored clothing, hydrogen peroxide is extremely efficient at removing blood stains. When mixed with blood, it creates an oxidizing chemical reaction that helps break down the stain.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide to the blood stain. Saturate the blood stain with hydrogen peroxide.
- Work the hydrogen peroxide into the stain. Rub the hydrogen peroxide into the stain using an old toothbrush or washcloth. The hydrogen peroxide will start to bubble when it meets the stain, much like it does when applied directly to a cut or scrape.
- Allow the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the stain. After working the hydrogen peroxide into the stain, let the stain sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the stain. Rinse the stain under cold water. If the stain was completely removed, it is ready for step five. If the stain partially remains, repeat the process. Try mixing the hydrogen peroxide with a bit of Dawn dish soap for stubborn blood stains.
- Wash as usual. Once the stain has been satisfactorily removed, wash the item as usual.
How To Remove Dried Blood Stains
While dried blood stains are more difficult to remove than fresh blood stains, they are not impossible.
- Scrape off as much dried blood as possible. Scrape off any loose blood using the edge of a spoon.
- Rinse the back of the stain with cold water. Loosen any remaining blood fragments by holding the back of the stain under cold, running water.
- Soak fabric in cold water. Soak the stain in cold water for 10 minutes to an hour.
- Work laundry detergent into the dried blood stain. Using a soft toothbrush, scrub a small amount of laundry detergent into the stain.
- Rinse and evaluate the stain. Rinse the stain with cold water. If the stain hasn’t been fully removed, repeat steps one through four.
- Wash as usual. Wash the item as usual.
For trickier dried blood stains, try soaking the stain in milk during step three, or rinse the stain with diluted white vinegar or club soda during step five.
How To Remove Blood Stains From Carpet or Upholstery
As with clothing, try to treat blood stains in carpet or upholstery as quickly as possible. Dried blood stains are much harder to remove.
- Mix liquid dish soap with cold water. Add one teaspoon of liquid dish soap (such as Dawn) to two cups of cold water.
- Blot the stain. Using a clean, white cloth, blot the stain with the cleaning solution repeatedly, until the stain is removed.
- Rinse with water. Once the stain is removed, rinse the area with cold water and blot dry. If the spot remains, continue to step four.
- Mix ammonia and warm water. Mix together one tablespoon of ammonia with 1/2 cup of warm water.
- Blot the stain. Using another clean, white cloth, blot the stain with the solution from step four. Continue blotting until the solution has been absorbed, and the stain is removed.
- Rinse with water. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with cold water and blot dry.
Other Ways To Clean Blood Stains
Treating blood stains as quickly as possible is vital to a satisfactory outcome. If you don’t have the previously listed ingredients readily available, there are a few other methods and household items to use.
- Vinegar. Apply a small amount of white vinegar to a fresh stain.
- Salt. Soak the stained fabric in cold, salted water for approximately four hours.
- Cornstarch. Mix cold water and cornstarch into a paste. Rub the paste into the fabric, and allow the paste to completely dry. Brush the excess paste off.
While blood stains can be stubborn, they are not impossible to remove. However, for set-in blood stains in carpet or in upholstery, you may feel more comfortable calling in the experts!