How to Get Blood out of Clothes

We’ve all done it! We’ve all cut ourselves and then realized that the blood has stained our clothes.

How annoying! How are you going to get the blood out so that it doesn’t ruin your clothes?

Never fear, we have all the answers! Read on to find out just how easy it is to rid your clothes of both fresh and dried blood.

How to Remove Fresh Blood Stains

There are many reasons for getting fresh blood on your clothes. Maybe you’ve cut yourself, scraped yourself badly, or sometimes as a result of your period. The best thing to do is to clean up the injury or source of the blood first, then deal with the marks on your clothing straight away.

You can solve all your fresh bloodstain problems by following this simple method.

What You Need

A sponge
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) or bar soap
Stain remover or washing liquid
Fabric-safe bleach

What to do

1. As soon as possible, soak the soiled area or run it under cold water to wash out most of the blood.
2. Rub the stain using a bar soap or use a sponge that has been soaked with hydrogen peroxide.
3. Use the stain remover or a few drops of washing liquid to cover the stain.
4. Wash the garment in cold water with fabric-safe bleach, either by hand or in the washing machine.
5. Leave the garment to air dry. If the stain has gone, then wash the garment in a normal wash cycle and dry. Be careful about using a tumble dryer, as they have been known to set stains, so do make sure that the stain has been removed beforehand.

How to Remove Dried Blood Stains

What if the stain has dried? This is a little more difficult, but it can still be done.

What You Need

Access to a sink
Washing liquid
Bar soap
Enzyme-based cleaner

What to do

1. Leave the garment soaking in a basin of cold water for about an hour. This should help to disperse the stain.
2. Wash the garment in cold water and leave it to air dry. Avoid using a tumble dryer as they can cause the stain to set into the fabric.
3. If you can still see the stain, turn the garment inside out to help break it up from behind and push it out from the fibers. Then scrub the stain using soap and some water. However, this should only be done on durable fabrics, for instance, anything made from linen and cotton. Delicate fabrics need a little bit more care (see below).
4. If the stain is still there, you could use an enzymatic cleaner which will biodegrade the dried blood.
5. Once you are sure that the stain has gone, wash the garment in a normal wash cycle and dry.

How to Remove Blood Stains from Delicates

Delicate fabrics like silk or wool need slightly more special treatment.

Silk

This method can be used for fresh or dried stains:

1. Mix 250 ml of cold water with 1 teaspoon of salt.
2. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray onto the stain.
3. Use a clean cloth to rub the stain very gently and leave it for 10 minutes.
4. Rinse the garment with cold water and wash it according to the directions given for silk on the care label.

WARNING: enzyme-based cleaners MUST NOT be used on any delicate fabrics, as they are far too harsh and will damage the fabric. Use a gentle laundry detergent instead.

Wool

This is an easy method for removing those horrible stains from your woolen garments:

1. Pour a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide on the stained area of the garment and rub gently with a clean cloth.
2. Leave the garment for five minutes and then rinse it in cold water. Repeat as necessary until the stain has gone.
3. Wash the garment according to the directions given for wool on the care label.

What Else Are Good Blood Stain Removers?

So far we have recommended soap, washing liquid, or a stain remover to help with the removal of bloodstains, but some other things will help, too.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide is the best option, as it is commonly used around the house for general-purpose cleaning, yet isn’t strong enough to cause damage to your clothes by bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide is made up of bleaching agents that break down the blood to remove stains. However, there is always the chance of some color loss, so it is best not to use this on darker colors.

Method:

1. Use a cloth or sponge soaked in hydrogen peroxide to dab at the stain.
2. Rinse the stained area under cold water.
3. Repeat the last two steps as necessary until the stain has gone.

Vinegar

Most people know that vinegar is acidic, but did you know how amazing it is as a cleaning product? Distilled white vinegar should be a household must-have, as it can be used for almost any household cleaning job.

Method:

1. Pour the vinegar directly onto the stain and leave the garment for 10 minutes.
2. Use a paper towel to blot the stain.
3. Repeat the last two steps as necessary until the stain has gone.

Toothpaste

You may be surprised to know that toothpaste often contains baking soda which also acts as a natural cleaning product. So why not use it on those annoying blood stains?

Method:

1. Squeeze the toothpaste onto the stain and leave it to dry.
2. Rinse the toothpaste off with cold water.
3. Wash the garment in the washing machine on a cold wash.
4. If the garment is made from a delicate fabric, wash it by hand with soap and cold water.

Alcohol

Alcohol is often used as a solvent, so there’s no reason why it can’t be used to break down and get rid of those stubborn bloodstains.

Method:

1. Pour a few drops of alcohol onto a clean cloth and dab gently onto the stain.
2. Soak up any excess liquid using a paper towel.
3. Using a separate cloth, rub the stain in a circular motion, working your way from the outside to the inside.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for laundry as well as baking, as it contains cleaning properties, but it’s also excellent for stain removal as it is naturally absorbent.

Method:

1. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste.
2. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for at least 30 minutes.
3. Wash the garment in cold water and the stain should have miraculously disappeared.

Manufactured Products

There are many products that have been manufactured especially for stain removal and they are really useful because they can often be used on both whites and colors.

Method:

1. Read the instructions on the packet and mix the product with the required amount of water until it has dissolved.
2. Put the garment into the mixture.
3. Leave to soak for anywhere between one to six hours, checking occasionally to see whether the stain has disappeared.
4. Wash as normal.

Other Options

If you don’t have any of these items in your cupboard, don’t worry! Here are some other things that you could also try.

Sprinkle some salt and cold water onto the stain and leave for about 10 minutes before washing the area with cold water.

Lemon juice works particularly well on lighter colors. Squeeze some juice onto the garment and use a paper towel to dab the stain until it’s gone.

If the blood is still fresh, rub it with an ice cube. It should be gone in a matter of minutes.

And if all else fails, just use your saliva. It contains a special enzyme called amylase that breaks down starches and erases the blood.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Here are just a few more tips to help you with those stubborn stains.

Care labels: always read the information on the care label of a garment so that you don’t do anything that will damage it further.

Spot test: all of the solutions mentioned here contain chemicals that could react with your clothing, so it is always advisable to carry out a spot test on an area of the clothing that won’t be seen if something goes wrong.

Find a professional: sometimes stains are just too big or too stubborn to remove by yourself and that’s when you may have to give up and take it to a dry cleaner. They are, of course, professionals and they will know exactly what to do.

Don’t waste time: it’s much easier to remove a blood stain when it is still fresh, so try to work on it as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to remove it.

Cold water: warm or hot water will actually set the stain, which makes it almost impossible to remove, so always use cold water.

Stain-Free Clothing?

So, there it is!

Now you know what to do the next time you have an accident.

However, it is a good idea to try some of these ideas out first so you know what works best for your particular clothes. Then you will be able to act quickly and with the knowledge to save your clothes in the event of an accident.

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