Blood stains can be especially difficult to remove because the hemoglobin in the blood acts as a binder when it hits the air and binds with the fibers in your clothing. As with any stain removal technique, you will want to try a test application on a small, inconspicuous spot to be sure it does not damage the color or fibers of your clothing.
Blood Stain Removal
It is easiest to remove blood when it is still wet. Dried blood stains are notoriously harder to remove. Also be sure throughout the process to blot the stain, not rub it, as this will only push the stain further into the fabric. Use the following steps until the stain is removed.
You Will Need:
- Cold water
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Mild bar soap
- Clean white towels
- Large mixing bowl
How to Remove the Stain:
- Begin by blotting with a clean cloth to remove as much of the blood as possible. It’s very important to BLOT throughout this entire process DO NOT SCRUB. Your goal is to “lift” the stain, not rub it into the fibers. Working from the outside of the stain towards the center will keep the stain from spreading. Use a white cloth so that it can be bleached if needed.
- Fill the mixing bowl with cold water.
- Let the stained clothing soak in the cold water. After the stain has soaked for a while, agitate it around to loosen the stain or you can even add a little bit of detergent.
- If the stain is still present, you can try soaking it overnight in cold water. If that doesn’t work, proceed to the next step.
- Make a saline solution from 1 cup of salt with 2 quarts water. Let the stain soak in the solution for 30 minutes.
- If the stain still remains, rub the stain with a mild bar soap and rub the fabric together with your hands to rub out the stain.
- If the stain still persists, try dabbing a little bit of hydrogen peroxide on the stain and rinse. Be careful with the hydrogen peroxide as it can wear down the fibers of your clothing similar to the way bleach does. It shouldn’t remove the coloring, but can make the fabric weak.
- When the stain is removed, wash the clothing in cold water following detergent recommendations on the care tag.
- You may want to air-dry the clothing to be sure the stain is not noticeable when it’s dry. If you place it in the dryer and it’s not completely gone, it will be set from the heat and impossible to remove.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If the blood is your own, one of the most effective methods to remove it is to rub some spit into it, wait a minute, then rub in some hand soap and rinse with cold water. Repeat as many times as needed to remove the stain. This method may still work if it isn’t your blood.
- The following common household items can be used to remove blood stains: baking soda, white, unseasoned meat tenderizer, salt, or hydrogen peroxide along with cold water.
- For baking soda and meat tenderizer, make a paste using cold water and apply to the stain. Let it set for 15-30 minutes and rinse with cold water.
- Pour salt on the stain and blot with a towel dampened with hydrogen peroxide solution (2 parts water to 3 parts hydrogen peroxide). Rinse by blotting with a clean, damp towel.
- Spray the stain with Windex and rub with your fingers. Wash as usual and the stain will be gone.
- Soak the stain in milk overnight and wash as usual.
- Place the clothing on a towel and spray with saline solution.
- Avoid using warm water, it speeds up the setting process and makes the blood stain more difficult to remove.