How to remove blood stains

How to Remove Blood Stains

Blood is a vitally important body fluid, that keeps us alive. However, when our bodies bleed, the blood stains are unwanted and can often be very difficult to remove. That's why we've created this handy guide to show you how to remove blood stains.

Why Is It So Difficult to Remove Blood Stains?

Haemoglobin causes blood to clot when exposed to air. This helps heal wounds quicker and helps prevent profuse blood loss.

Clotted blood also binds it to any surface on which it is spilled, making it difficult to remove, particularly from fabric, carpets, mattresses, sheets and clothing.

Removing a fresh blood stain is easier than removing a dried one so, if you can, jump on the issue as soon as you are able.

It is important not to cook the blood stain by using hot water. This could set the stain making it more difficult to eradicate. Generally, a rinse or soak with cold water (for up to around one hour) will do the trick before the stain sets in.

To Remove Fresh Blood Stains From Clothing, Bed Sheets, Carpets or Upholstery

Tools for the Task

  • A microfibre cloth
  • Cold water
  • Washing Up Liquid or bar of soap
  • A good quality laundry detergent (after pre treat, for laundering clothes)

Technique

  1. First, rinse the stain under cold water if you can or dependent on where the stain is, soak the area with cold water with a microfibre cloth instead.
  2. Apply washing up liquid or soap directly onto the stain and gently work in using a cloth. Take care not to rub too much and risk damaging the fabric.
  3. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary. For carpets and upholstery, blot the stain with cold water once the washing up liquid has been applied.
    For carpets and upholstery – repeat as above until the stain has gone. For removing blood stains from clothes, continue with the technique below.
  4. For clothes and bed sheets, wash with a good quality biological laundry detergent, containing enzymes to break down the stains. If you have sensitive skin use a non-biological detergent. Select a regular cycle on a cool setting.

Are Dried-in-Blood Stains Harder to Remove?

Yes, unfortunately they are, and this task often needs something stronger than soap and water. The most effective method is to use hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing agent that removes old blood stains via a chemical reaction, breaking it down.

To Remove Dried Blood Stains From Clothes, Bed Sheets, Carpets, and Upholstery

Tools for the Task

  • Blunt knife or spoon
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Paper towel
  • Cloth

Technique

  1. Remove any solid deposits using a blunt knife or spoon.
  2. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain.
  3. Leave it for five minutes and then blot with a paper towel.
  4. Rub gently with a clean, damp microfibre cloth until the stain has gone.
  5. Rinse the area with cold water until all the hydrogen peroxide has rinsed out.
Washing machine filled with clothes

Below are a few alternative methods for removing blood stains:

  • White Vinegar - Pour directly onto the stain, and gently rub it in before laundering clothes as normal.
  • Milk - Soak the stained area for several hours before rinsing with cold water and laundering clothes as normal.
  • Lemon - Rub half a lemon over the stain and then scatter table salt on top. Leave for around fifteen minutes before dabbing with damp cloth and laundering clothes as normal.
  • Aspirins – Make a solution of water and two crushed aspirins. Soak the problem area in this mixture before rinsing after 30 minutes.
  • Salt - Dissolve some table salt in cold water before gently sponging the solution onto the stain until it disappears. Saline solution typically used to clean contact lenses can also be used.
  • Baking Soda – Make a paste, mixing one part baking soda with two parts cold water in a bowl. Dab onto the blood stained area, leaving for half an hour before wiping away the remaining deposits. This is a particularly effective treatment on mattresses.

They may not be suitable in all cases and you should always test a small area of your surface first before applying.

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