Tips For Removing Blood Stains From Fabric And Clothing
Below I've gathered tips for removing blood stains from fabric and clothing both from around the web, but also with tips that have been sent into me by readers of this site sharing what has worked for them.
Blood is, of course, one of the most difficult types of stains to remove, but people have been using various tips and tricks for doing it now literally since the beginning of human history.
What that means is that there are a lot of different ways to remove blood stains from clothing, many of which actually do work.
If you know of an additional tip you'd like to share that you don't already see below, I would also love to hear from you! You can share your tips here, or read other tips for other surfaces which have already been submitted.
Please note that the tips below are focused on home remedies and other homemade stain removal options. Of course, there are also many commercial blood stain removers available. If you've got a favorite you can share your stain remover review here, to tell me all about it.
Just scroll down to see all the tips already received!
In addition to your website some of the most common places I check for stain tips are the Tide and Shout websites.
Tide indicates cold water throughout the steps while Shout recommends cold water up front, then washing with the warmest water allowed for the fabric, though they also refer to peroxide for really tough blood stains.
I always use cold water for the entire process, no matter what product I am using.
I totally agree with you Sharon!
From personal experience I know that using warm or hot water on these spots sets them while I'm pretreating and then they are much more difficult or impossible to remove.
Therefore, during the pretreating stage for sure only cold water is advisable.
There is more debate about what to do while washing later. If you've basically gotten the stain out in the pretreating phase it really doesn't matter.
Generally, hotter water cleans and removes spots and spills better than cold.
However, if you're relying on a laundry detergent or in-wash bleach to help you get your clothes clean using hot or warm water may not be advisable. I would run that load on cold as you do to keep the stain from setting.
Charleen shared this great tip for how to remove blood stains from fabric, which I've used myself several times!
Hydrogen peroxide is the miracle worker on blood stains.
Pour undiluted right on any blood stain on any fabric. It will usually make the blood disappear in seconds or minutes. Repeat if necessary and launder as usual.
Thanks Charleen for your tip.
You're actually not the only person who has given me a similar tip. In addition, here's what Debbie Klinger, from Logan, OH had to say about it:
Apply hydrogen peroxide directly to fabric that has fresh blood stains Comes out immediately
In addition to these tips I can personally vouch for hydrogen peroxide's ability to remove blood stains, since I've used it successfully myself on several occasions. I suggest using the peroxide available cheaply in drugstores meant for first aid.
Test the fabric first, in an inconspicuous area, to make sure it does not remove the color from the fabric (which is unlikely, it is generally color safe, but better safe than sorry) and then, pour onto the stained area if it's safe to do so.
When you pour the peroxide onto the stain it will immediately begin to fizz and bubble. This is completely normal. Just let it sit for a while, and much of the stain will disappear.
I once had a pretty heavy blood stain and I just set up my stain removal station in my bathroom, and periodically throughout the day I would just pour more hydrogen peroxide onto the stain, and it basically removed it in layers. It kept getting lighter and lighter as the day progressed, until it finally disappeared and then I just washed the clothing like normal.
One thing I really like about using hydrogen peroxide for blood stains is that it is a natural blood stain remover, and is very cheap to boot! Can't beat that!
Question from reader:
Doesn't hydrogen peroxide cause blood stain to turn a permanent brown?
In response to the anonymous reader's question about whether hydrogen peroxide turns blood stains brown, the answer is no, at least not in my experience.
If you've ever put hydrogen peroxide onto a blood stain it will immediately begin to fizz and lots of the stain will begin to lighten or disappear immediately.
It will immediately take out the red looking color, and at first what you may still see is brownish looking. However, it will all eventually get removed, with time, patience, and enough hydrogen peroxide.
I will caution that the longer the stain has set the more soaking in hydrogen peroxide you will need to do to completely get rid of the stain. Patience may be required, but it will typically remove it all.
Presoaking With Oxiclean Worked Beyond Expectations
A friend recently had a serious fall resulting in a very bloody head injury and requiring a med-flight transfer to a major hospital at a nearby major city.
All the while the clock was ticking on the dried blood stains on her favorite cotton summer dress (the hospital staff at her first stop wanted to throw it out).
When I met her after her flight to the second hospital she was groggy but lucid enough to ask me to do my best with her dress.
When I got home several hours later I was appalled by how much dried blood there was but I tried the usual first step of cold RUNNING water to loosen the stain as much as possible and that removed much of the body of the stains but left the margins visible.
My go-to stain solution these days is a concentrated solution of Oxiclean and a soak of at least 24 hours. In this case, to a two gallon plastic bucket of cold water, I added two heaping scoops and stirred it until it was dissolved.
(I am not sure how much of the powder it takes to reach saturation.)
I added the dress, made sure it was covered with water over the next twenty-four hours.
The results were better than expected and only the faintest of stains remained in areas with multiple layers of fabric (button holes etc.).
The final step was a cold water wash in All Free & Clear with a scoop of Oxiclean.
24 hours, good as new. My friend is recovering, but not so quickly as her dress.
Thanks for sharing this tip with me Anne. You're not the first person who has told me they've had good luck with Oxiclean for blood stains, but that is because you're right, it does work.
You can read my ultimate guide to Oxiclean here, which contains lots of uses for this versatile stain remover, plus lots more reviews and experiences with it shared by readers.
Kathy has also shared her tip for how she removed these spots from clothing, and she uses ammonia.
The best tip I ever received was using ammonia to remove blood stains from any color of clothing.
You do not have to worry about the color being removed from the fabric with the use of ammonia like you do with hydrogen peroxide.
If you do not have a bottle of ammonia, you can use Windex spray on the blood stain and let it set for a while and then launder as usual, since the spray has some ammonia in it.
After the wash, if the stain does not come out, then spray it on the stain and wash again.
If it is a difficult stain then you may need to wash the item several times, but I have always been able to get the blood out and normally get them out the first time.
I have also used this on old dried stains and was able to get them out using the method above.
My son has occasional nose bleeds and I do not worry anymore as I have been able to get them out and even use warm water with the use of ammonia.
Note: I always let the load go through the wash cycle and then I stop the machine and let the load soak for at least 30 minutes and then I restart and let the clothes go through the normal wash cycle again.
Also if I am washing some white clothes that are really dirty I add some ammonia to the wash and it really helps clean the clothes. If you do this, then reduce the amount of detergent you use.
We have hard water with some iron in it so I rarey use bleach.
Thanks so much for your tip about how to use ammonia for cleaning up these spots from fabric Kathy.
Ammonia is, as you've said, a great stain remover for lots of item. You're right thought, you've got to be really careful when using it not to mix it with bleach because of the safety concerns you addressed.
Has anyone else had great success using ammonia for cleaning or stain removal, not only of blood, but also for other things in your home? If so, I'd love to hear from you. You can share your ammonia uses here, or read other uses that have already been submitted.
2. Because blood is high in iron, it is usually the iron left in that you see in the spot, so treat as if removing rust works effectively.
***Update: Another reader, Kathie May, seconded the suggestion of using meat tenderizer. She said:
The thing that always works for me and is color safe is meat tenderizer. Just dampen the item of clothing and sprinkle on the tenderizer, working it into the fabric. Let sit for about 30 minutes and launder as usual. Never fails.
Thanks so much for these additional tips.
I would note that if you choose to use meat tenderizer to remove these stains, make sure you use the unseasoned variety. If you use something with seasoning the ingredients in the tenderizer could themselves stain your clothing or laundry!
How To Get Out Blood Stains Caused By Small Pin Pricks
Pam has shared her tip for how to remove fresh spots from clothing or other fabric with your saliva.
I love to do needlepoint and cross stitch, and unfortunately sometimes when I do these crafts I prick my finger with the needle.
If you get a little blood on your sewing project when this happens if you act quickly (and it is just a dot of blood) you can get it out quickly.
All I do is put a little of my own saliva on a different finger (not the bloody one) and rub that gently on the spot on the sewing project.
There is something about your own blood and your own saliva that makes the stain just disappear.
Well, anyway, it works for me!
Thanks Pam for sharing that tip!
I've actually heard about this before. Glad to know it works, since you always have your own saliva around, even if you run out of another stain remover!
***Update: I also got a similar comment to Pam's above from Megan Camp, who shared how your spit will remove these spots. She said:
A person's own saliva will remove fresh blood stains. I usually rinse out as much blood as I can with cold water first. Then, just spit on the area that is stained and allow it to sit. It may take a little time (30 minutes-1 hour) but the stain will disappear. You may need to do this more than once. It's important that the person whose blood it is is the one who spits on the stain.
Below is a video which gives tips for how to remove blood stains from clothing.
The tip is to use shampoo as a blood stain remover.
I have not tried this method myself, and I would really like to hear from you in the comments if this works for you.
I would think it would work better for fresh blood stains than for dried blood stains, because shampoos don't contain any enzymes to help break up the blood stain, at least that I know of.
I also think the tip about only using cold water for removing these spots is very important -- hot water will set it very quickly, making them much more difficult to remove.
Here is the video:
Recently a reader, Cara, wrote in to tell me how using shampoo worked for her. She said:
I usually use peroxide to remove blood, but I was out and tried the shampoo. It DEFINITELY works!! A little cold water and maybe 30 seconds of rubbing and the blood was gone! It was actually just as easy as peroxide with results that were just as amazing!
As you can see, there are lots of different suggestions, tips and ideas for removing blood stains from fabric. I've shared quite a few here, but there are always more to share and I love to hear what has worked for others.
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Comments for Stain Removal Blood Tip For Clothes - Use Shampoo
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.