Cleaning and Maintenance

3 Ways to Remove Blood Stains from Sheets and Clothes

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This article is part of a series on how to remove all sorts of stains from your clothes, in this case, blood. So if you want to remove other types of stains from your clothes check out the following articles:

How to Remove Rust Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Grease Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes

Small cuts and scrapes can inevitably stain your sheets and clothes. Blood stains dry fast and they became very tough to remove. Given that these are organic stains, you will need to be careful about heat which can make the blood proteins stick together. In other words, you can make things worse if you use hot water to wash out blood stains. It’s important to approach this problem correctly to restore the clean look to your clothes or sheets. With enough patience and effort, you can get excellent cleaning results.

1. Emergency Action

When the spill happens you need to quickly rinse the stained area with cold water. If you don’t have the possibility to do that, try to at least absorb some of the blood from the stain using something like a paper towel. Be careful not to spread it further through excessive rubbing.

2. Dried Blood Removal

Treating the stain as fast as possible is essential regardless of the stain type. Sometimes you can’t act quickly enough and the blood stain sets in becoming dry. While this poses some challenges, there are various methods you could try to eliminate the stain completely from your clothes. We’ll describe the best techniques in the following section. These only work well after the stain has been properly cleaned from clotted blood parts so you only have to deal with the blood that’s attached to the fabric.

  • Soap and Water

Linen and cotton fabrics can be easily cleaned with the help of soap and water. It’s one of the simplest methods possible, but it does require some generous amounts of scrubbing to get the shirt clean. More delicate fabrics will be trickier to handle with this technique as you will need to rub the stain gently for an extended period of time.

A good tip to try is to work on the other side of the stain by turning over the clothing item. Rinsing from the back can have a superior cleaning effect. Remember to only use cold water to push the blood out from the fabric and lather the stained area with plenty of soap. Liquid detergent may work even better for stubborn stains.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

A highly effective method to get rid of blood stains from clothes requires hydrogen peroxide. This antiseptic can be successfully used as a cleaning agent, but it seems particularly well suited to deal with blood stains. While it works much better for fresh stains, dried ones can be loosened from the fabric as well. Use a hydrogen peroxide spray to cover all the individual stains from a blood spill. Get a brush and lightly scrub to make sure the peroxide penetrates deeper into the fabric.

The next step involves a period of waiting of around 15 minutes for the hydrogen peroxide to fight the stain. Finally, it’s time to rinse the garment with cold water and check the stain. If it’s still quite visible, try to repeat the scrubbing process before tossing the clothing item into the washing machine.

  • Lemon Juice and Sunlight

This method can work nicely without requiring special ingredients. You will need plenty of sunlight though. It will also take longer compared to other techniques. In any case, to remove blood stains using lemon juice you will first start by soaking your garment in cold water.

Get a ziplock bag and place the soaked clothing there, after excess water has been removed. Put two cups of lemon juice inside the bag with some salt. Assuming the bag has been sealed, you can start a gentle massage to allow the seeping of the ingredients into the stained area. Then simply let the garment sit for 10 minutes.

After you remove the fabric from the bag, it’s time to take it out in the sun for drying. Don’t leave it for too long, just until it starts to feel stiff. The final step is the water rinsing stage to get rid of all traces of lemon juice and salt mixture. This method works best only for smaller garments, but you can skip the ziplock bag if you need to clean a larger clothing piece.

  • Meat Tenderizer Powder

Great for all the non-delicate fabrics, meat tenderizer powder is a highly accessible cleaning agent for blood stains. To use this method you will need some unseasoned meat tenderizer and combine it with water to create a thick paste. Make sure you avoid seasoned meat tenderizer as it can affect the fabric. We like this all-natural unseasoned meat tenderizer from Adolph’s that’s available on Amazon.

With the paste formed you can start to apply it gently on the stained area. Rinse thoroughly with cold water after about an hour and don’t forget to wash the clothing item as you normally would.

  • Enzymatic Cleaners

If you want a more powerful solution, consider using enzymatic cleaners. They can be very reliable when it comes to breaking down blood stains and you don’t necessarily have to get a cleaner with highly toxic chemicals.

One of our favorites is the Puracy natural stain remover that uses a strong enzyme-based formula to handle all kinds of stains, blood included. Find this enzymatic cleaner on Amazon. To use it correctly, you only need to follow the instructions and your blood stains should disappear.

3. Preventing Blood Stains

We’ve seen the best methods to remove blood stains from sheets and clothes, but it’s also important to consider the best ways to take precautions to minimize the risk of this type of stains. Extra secure bandages are highly recommended in this regard, and make sure you switch them with new ones more frequently.

Another tip to try is to use fewer colored fabrics in places where it’s likely to encounter small injuries like knife cuts in the kitchen. When it comes to blood stains on the sheets, you could try getting a washable mattress pad which could be helpful in preventing menstruation stains.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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