Removing Blood Stains from a Variety of Fabrics
How to Remove Blood Stains from Fabrics
So someone had a bloody nose, and now there are drops of blood on the carpet and on their clothes, maybe even the furniture. You’re not alone, this happens to be a common occurrence.
Besides a bloody nose, there are many other ways in which you my end up with a blood stain on clothing, furniture, carpet etc.
There are some simple ways to get blood out of virtually anything. You can do this yourself before spending the money to have the carpet cleaned or tossing blood stained clothes.
As with any other spill or accident, you want to get to a blood stain as quickly as you can. However, even if it’s had time to set in, you can still get your fabrics looking good as new!
Removing Blood Stains from Clothing
The key to getting blood stains out of your clothes is using cold water. So as soon as you’re able, soak the blood-stained item in cold water. As with any stain, the sooner you get to it the better chances you have of easily removing the stain.
Don’t use warm or hot water as this can actually cause the blood to set more. The heat will actually “cook” the blood stain, which makes it harder to remove later.
Follow these steps for fresh blood stains on your clothing:
- Soak the stained area in cold water for about five minutes.
- If you aren’t satisfied with the results, mix two tablespoons salt in about 4 cups water and soak the blood-stained area again for five minutes or longer.
- If the stain is a new stain and you’re getting to it right away, it may not require much scrubbing.
- If the stain has had a short time to sit on the fabric, agitate or scrub the stained area lightly between your fingers.
- Rinse with cold water.
How Does Salt Help Remove a Blood Stain?
The sodium ions in salt help breakdown and push out the iron ions from blood cells. Therefore, helping to remove the color of the blood.
Removing Old Blood Stains from Clothing Using Salt and Shampoo
If the blood has been left to dry, you can try letting it soak in cold water, scrubbing the area occasionally, for 15 minutes or longer. This probably won’t get all of the blood out so lightly wring out the piece of clothing then:
- Lay flat on a clean towel.
- Add a tablespoon of salt to the stain and let soak in a bit.
- Either with your finger or a clean toothbrush (or something similar) use a circular motion and scrub the stain.
- Check the progress but don’t rinse the clothing. If it looks like the blood stain is coming out:
- Either continue with just the salt and water or at this point you can add a little shampoo and work into a lather then add a bit more salt and scrub again.
- When you’re finished, rinse the garment and wash as usual.
This salt and shampoo method will often remove dried blood from many different types of clothing.
Removing Old Blood Stains from Clothing Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide works great for removing blood stains – fresh and old blood stains. If you are trying to remove a blood stain from a colored item, be sure to test the hydrogen peroxide in a small, inconspicuous area first.
- Place the blood-stained item on a clean towel.
- Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide directly on the blood stain.
- Cover with another clean towel.
- Let sit. Depending on how old the stain is will determine how long it will take for the hydrogen peroxide to work. You may have to pour a bit more of the hydrogen peroxide on the stain.
- Wash as usual.
Something I do is place a piece of plastic wrap between the towels and the garment so the stain doesn’t transfer to the towels.
Hydrogen peroxide will also turn to water if exposed to light so that is why you want to cover it with a towel.
Prior to putting any clothing in the dryer, make sure the stain has been removed from the clothing.
Removing Blood from Upholstery
This method can be used on most furniture fabrics other than leather and suede. Blood stains on furniture can be a little more difficult to remove because you cannot completely rinse the area as you don’t want to saturate the underlying cushion with liquids.
If the cushion has a cover that can be removed, do this first. Check the label and see if it can be washed and follow instructions. I typically do not do this as the covers can shrink.
If this is a fresh blood stain, use paper towels to blot up as much of the blood as possible. Blot only! Do not scrub to avoid pushing the stain further into the upholstery. Once you’ve lifted as much as you can:
- Mix in one tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) to two cups water.
- Dampen a clean cloth with the mixture and again, blot the stain. Repeat as needed.
- Blot again with plain cold water.
- Pat dry with absorbent material or paper towels.
- Cover with a clean dry towel and let dry.
This may be all you need to do but if you notice there is still a bit of stain left after it has dried:
- You can try using hydrogen peroxide. Before doing this make sure to test in a small inconspicuous spot first.
The longer the blood stain has been on your furniture the longer it will take to remove. Just remember to treat the fabric gently to avoid fraying the fabric. Blot, don’t rub. The cleaning solution is what will remove the stain, not scrubbing.
Blood Stains on Dry Clean Fabrics
Rinse the stain in cold water to remove as much blood as possible. Dab the stain with a solution of 50/50 cold water and ammonia. Rinse the stain area again in cold water to make sure you’ve removed all traces of the ammonia.Continue this process until the stain has been removed, making sure to rinse all the ammonia out.
If you cannot remove all the stain, take it to the dry cleaner and let them know what you have done to try and remove the stain yourself.
If you happen to get blood on suede or leather, take it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible for best results.
Removing Blood from Carpeting
If there is enough blood that has soaked into the carpet and padding, for sanitary reasons, this should be removed. It is unsanitary to try and clean up a large amount of blood. It is better to get new carpet and make sure the area is clean.
If you are dealing with spots of blood you can get it out with hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first. Pour some 3% strength hydrogen peroxide over the stain and let sit about 15 minutes. Be sure to cover with a towel. Check the stain, repeat if necessary. When the stain is gone, blot as much wetness up as you can then cover with a towel until dry.
While it may seem impossible to remove blood from fabric, with a little patience, you can get blood stains out of those seemingly impossible places.