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!

Photo courtesy of Ollie Crafoord

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Always Use Cold Water To Pre-Treat

by Sharon

Sharon says:

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.

Taylor says:

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.

Photo courtesy of LMRitchie

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Remove Blood Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide

by Charleen

Charleen shared this great tip for how to remove blood stains from fabric, which I've used myself several times!

Charleen says:

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.

Taylor says:

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

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

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?

Taylor's answer:

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.

Do you have other uses for hydrogen peroxide to share, such as for cleaning or stain removal? If so, you can share your uses for hydrogen peroxide here, or read other tips that have already been submitted.

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When Hydrogen Peroxide Fails I Use Biz Stain Fighter

by SR101 Reader

SR101 Reader says:

I have been using BIZ for years. I am a registered nurse, and my hubby is an Ob-Gyn doc.

As most of you know blood is one of the hardest things to get out. I usually use hydrogen peroxide first, but when there is a persistent stain BIZ is my to go product.

BIZ stain fighter uses
It has an enzymatic action, and I think it's the best. I have tried Oxyclean... but . . .

I had a front loader, and went back to a top loader, just because of wanting to be able to soak/pre soak certain things.

Taylor says:

Thanks for this tip. Lots of people love Biz, and I know why. It works quite well, and is actually one of my personally recommended stain removers.

You can read more reviews and uses for Biz here!

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Fels Naptha Is A Wonderful Laundry Pretreater

by Cheryl

Rosemary says:

Fels Naptha works on blood stains. I use it! I was totally amazed!

Karen says:

Very fresh blood stains. Apply Hydrogen peroxide first, let the bubbling stop and then wet the Fels Naptha bar soap.

Rub the bar of soap on the stain several times. Apply more hydrogen peroxide, leave on until the bubbling stops and scrub with a good strong tooth brush. I

have been using this soap for at least 40 years. It takes out a lot of other stains. Just experiment.

Cheryl says:

Fels Naptha soap uses
Fels Naptha soap is wonderful in removing laundry stains.

I use it to pretreat sweaty shirt collars and underarm stains as well as blood and grass stains.

It also works quite well on baby formula stains.

In addition when I consider the cost of other laundry pretreaters Fels has all of them beat.

I keep a bar in the baby's room as well as mine, and of course the laundry room.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

Taylor says:

Yes, yes, yes, so many people have suggested this laundry soap for removing blood.

None of you are the first person to sing the praises of this laundry soap bar for removing this type of spot. In fact, I've created a whole page of uses for Fels Naptha here.

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Presoaking With Oxiclean Worked Beyond Expectations

by Anne

Anne says:

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.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

Taylor says:

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.

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Removing Blood Stains From Fabric With Ammonia

by Kathy

Kathy has also shared her tip for how she removed these spots from clothing, and she uses ammonia.

Kathy says:

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.

Note: Do not mix ammonia with bleach as they create a toxic gas.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

Taylor says:

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.

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Table Salt To Remove Blood From Clothes

by Cal

Cal says:

I have always used table salt to get rid of blood stains.

I wet the blood stain with cold water and then I add salt to cover the area of the blood stain and let it sit overnight and then I wash it. Stain is gone.

Taylor says:

uses of salt around your home
Thanks for this suggestion Cal.

I've heard similar tips, including one for using a salt solution in one of the videos below. Typically I hear to soak in salt water, but this method might work as well.

I'd love to hear from others who've tried using salt to tell me how you did it as well.

You can read even more uses for salt around your home here.

Photo courtesy of Dubravko Sorić

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Additional DIY Tricks For Removing Tough Stains From Laundry

by SR101 Reader

SR101 Reader says:

In addition to ammonia for presoak of blood stains, here are a few suggestions for tough ones:

1. Meat tenderizer works to remove the protein components of blood.

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.

Taylor says:

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!

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How To Get Out Blood Stains Caused By Small Pin Pricks

by Pam

Pam has shared her tip for how to remove fresh spots from clothing or other fabric with your saliva.

Pam says:

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!

Taylor says:

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.
***End Update

Photo by SDCDeaCerte

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Removing Blood Stains From Fabric - Tips And Video

Removing blood stains from fabric is something we have all had to try to do from time to time.

Below is a video which gives suggestions for removing these stains.

In fact, they give some additional and alternative hints and tips besides the ones also given by my in my guide for blood removal.

Some of the similarities include using cold water, and a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.

Instead of dishwashing liquid this video suggests a bar of soap, which is something other readers have suggested as well.

Finally, the additional suggestion this video provides is to use a soak of salt water to help remove the spots.

The video suggests using 1 cup of salt with 2 quarts of cold water to use as a presoak for the fabric, and to soak the fabric for at least thirty minutes.

Photo by Mike Weston

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Removing Blood Stains From Laundry

The video below gives several suggestions for removing blood stains from fabric.

The first of these is to create a solution of one cup hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and apply this to the blood stain.

Let this solution sit on the blood stain for a couple of minutes and then blot.

Then, throw in the washing machine and wash as normal.

Before drying the clothing or washable fabric be sure to make sure the stain has been removed, or the dryer will set the stain.

If the blood stain is not gone, she next suggests using a solution of equal parts ammonia and water to soak the clothing in.

After soaking wash again, as normal.

Photo by aldenchadwick

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Home Remedy: Soak The Fabric In Milk

I've gotten this same tip from two different readers, so I'm throwing it out there.

Linda says:

unusual uses of milk
The best and fastest thing I have used to remove blood from washable items is milk. Just let the item soak in milk for a couple of minutes and the stain will come right out. Works great!

Rosa says:

Milk gets blood stains off of clothes. Soak the clothes in milk and then wash it as usual in the washing machine and the stains come right out!

Taylor says:

Thanks ladies for this tip!

Huh, it isn't one I've ever heard of but when two people tell me independently, I do pay attention.

I know that milk removes other types of stains, and I've collected those tips at the link.

I'd love to hear from others telling me whether this method worked for them as well!

Photo courtesy of NickPiggott

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How To Remove Blood Stains From Clothes And Sheets

by A.J.
(Washington, D.C.)

A.J. says:

I am away at college this semester in D.C., and my body has not yet acclimated to the winter weather. I have been getting nose bleeds on a regular basis.

I hadn't really bought any special stain removers yet and decided to improvise with what I had.

I treated my fresh blood stains with Dawn Direct Foam dish soap for 10 minutes (adding more foam whenever it looked like it might be drying).

I then put my bloodied clothes into the washing machine, and used SunBurst detergent.

All I could do at this point was hope for the best.

When the load was finished I checked on my sheets and clothing, and found them looking like new and smelling extra fresh. I was completely surprised.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

Taylor says:

A.J., thanks for sharing your tip.

Of course, any time you treat the stain when it is fresh it is easier to remove, so I'm sure that helped, at least some.

This is a good example of using dish soap to at least help remove a stain. I've collected several dish soap uses for homemade cleaners and stain removers here that you can look at to learn even more uses. I'd love it if people shared even more ideas and uses too!

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Stain Removal Blood Tip For Clothes - Use Shampoo

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!

Plus, speaking of soap being soap -- did you know that some readers have suggested using bar soap to remove these stains?

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.

You can submit your own tips here, and read others already submitted for other surfaces.

***Update: A SR101 reader wrote in with this comment: "I have so many blood stains all over my laundry. I needed to get them out fast. Thank you for your help. You have proven useful."

Well, I hope it has helped, since that is the whole goal of this site! Take care! ***End Update

Photo by Clean Wal-Mart

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Comments for Stain Removal Blood Tip For Clothes - Use Shampoo

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Jergen's Bar Soap Removes Blood Stains on Cottons
by: Anonymous

I have used Jergen's Bar Soap (referral link) to remove blood stains on cottons for years. Simply dampen the blood stain with cool water, rub the soap bar on the blood stain and rub for a minute or so, then let it sit for 5 or so minutes, add a bit of cool water, rub until the stain disappears and rinse in cool water. Once the stain is gone, wash the item in the washer as usual. A very inexpensive stain remover that works very well.

by: Anonymous

My doctor told me to spit on blood stains and it works as your antibodies in your spit breakdown your blood. It breaks up the stain and removes it. Apparently all doctor's and nurses know this trick.

Give it a try, sounds gross but when you think about it, it makes sense.

quilter tips
by: Anonymous

Quilters have 2 tricks for blood stains from pricked fingers:

1. Spit on it. Saliva instantly dissolves the blood stain. Then blot it, and spot clean when appropriate.

2. Meat tenderizer. Works for the same reason it works on meat.

Simple Green
by: Anonymous

I have always used Simple Green to remove blood stains. Works well and I can use it for other stains & general house cleaning.

Ice Ice Baby
by: Beth

I always melt an ice cube on blood stains. It's amazing how much that alone will do. Then I wring it out and do the peroxide thing.

The most gross blood stain removal tip that works!!!!
by: Linda

I fell over some Christmas decorations 2 years ago and landed on my tv unit. I knocked myself out, loosened a tooth, and bled all over my brand new light aqua sweater. I looked up blood stain removal tips online and found this bizarre remedy. I still can't believe it works, but I am still wearing that sweater, with no stains.

First, soak the blood stained item in cold water, I did this over night. Then spit on it. I know, I know, gross. It actually works, something about the enzymes in saliva. I spit on that puppy every time I walked by the bathroom all day long, until I had no spit left. Unbelievable, but, in the end the freaking sweater was clean, I could not believe it. So, if you are desperate give it a try, it is free, after all, and I am NOT insane.

Spit on it
by: Ron

The spit of the bleeder will remove blood stains better than soap. After hearing about it I first tried it on a brand new $45 tuxedo shirt I bled on - right on the front. I did't notice the stain until after I had washed and dried the shirt and then, having tried to get out blood stains before, started to just throw it away. Then I decided to try spit. The stain was about the size of a dime and after washing was dull brown in color. I dribbled a good wad of spit on it and let it dry, then another spit and dry. I did that 3-4 times a day for three days and the stain was nearly gone. Then I scrubbed it with peroxide and baking soda and a toothbrush and voila!

A few weeks ago I was changing a flat tire and somehow cut my arm and bled on my favorite jeans. It took a week of spitting 3 times a day but the stain faded completely.

It works like magic. Obviously you don't want to spit after eating chocolate or blueberries. And don't scrub the spit in - just saturate the area. I heard it has to be the spit of the bleeder, something about enzymes. Maybe someone else's spit would work as well. Who knows. But it's one of my favorite tricks.

question about the video
by: Jennifer

I was watching the video on how to remove blood stains on clothing. They started with household detergent and cold water, then moved onto a salt soak, then mild soap scrub, and the 3% hydrogen peroxide soak. I want to know, were these done one right after another if one didn't work, the fabric was still wet and you did the next challenge? If that one didn't work, then you tried the next?

It didn't specify if the clothing was still wet, and then move onto the next challenge to remove the blood.

Hydrogen peroxide on blood
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for this solution. It worked perfect!

Hydrogen Peroxide
by: Najala

You are absolutely right.😀 I just used the hydrogen peroxide on a two weeks old blood stain in my clothes and it got it out. Thanks! I was using apple cider vinegar with no success.

by: Tina T

Hydroperoxide is the best for removing blood stains on clothing, bed sheets and any other fabric.

I can vouch for the saliva remedy
by: Nanette

I can vouch for the saliva remedy. Once when some women were helping tie a quilt for me, one pricked her finger and got blood on the quilt. We had her spit on the stain and we went on tying. After we took the quilt off the frame we looked for the blood stains, but they were completely gone.

your own saliva
by: Wiliam

Your own saliva. The saliva used has to be from the same person whose blood you're trying to remove. If it's a large stain I would say throw it out.

salt solution
by: Ferotex

So far, best blood stain remover is chlorine and salt solution. Gon'na try hydrogen peroxide and salt though.

soaking in a bucket of cold water
by: Anonymous

I'm a dialysis patient and blood stains are a regular issue with which I have to deal. I've never had good luck with peroxide. As soon as possible I put the item in a bucket of cold water. I usually just leave it there for a couple hours or even overnight. Every time I've done it this way the stain is completely gone when I take it out of the water.

"ZOUT" it out!!
by: Yolanda

I pretreat blood stains with ZOUT, my favorite commercial stain removal product and just toss it in the washer and wash as I normally would. Cold, warm or hot water plus my regular detergent. I've never had any problem with getting the stains out, first time, every time!!

Peroxide vs blood stain
by: Anonymous

I tried hydrogen peroxide on my pillow case, and it turned it brown. I added more, now I have a permanent ring, only the center disappeared! Weird!

lemon juice for dried blood
by: Anonymous

This is the result I got when I tried to remove the dried blood stain on my shirt:

I spat on it and rubbed... blood stain still there
Tide To Go stick... blood stain still there
Tide With Bleach Alternative... blood stain still there
Purex Plus Oxi and Zout... blood stain still there
Water and salt... blood stain still there

I was feeling SOOO frustrated and was ready to give up when my friend told me to buy a lemon, cut it in half, and rub it all over the dried blood stain. She says for sure it will get it out. She's done it a million times.

So I did what she said, and LITERALLY, 30 seconds later, the dried blood stain was COMPLETELY GONE!!!! I LITERALLY saw it disappear right in front of my eyes!!!! As if it was never there!!!

That's my experience anyways! Hope this helps!

nurse recommended peroxide
by: Mariam

My husband had severe nose bleed which took him to the hospital. During the release I mentioned to my husband, in front of the nurse, that he had just lost his favorite shirt. The nurse replied, pour hydrogen peroxide straight on the blood stains, or soak over night. I did and he still wears that shirt.

Hydrogen peroxide to remove from lambs wool blanket
by: Joyce

I recently had eye surgery and I stay cold all the time and my daughter bought me a beautiful lambs wool blanket that I take with me everywhere. When the nurse removed the IV blood went everywhere! Coating half my treasured blanket. She suggested hydrogen peroxide. Great but I was a hour and half away from home. When we got home we poured an entire bottle on it and washed in cold water. Every drop of blood came out and it was like new. Tip - always wash blood stains in cold water. Now I keep 2 bottles in kitchen and bath and three in laundry room.

A Combination of Peroxide And Fels Works Well
by: Mandy

Cold water is the only way to handle blood stains. I like pretreating with the peroxide first then rinsing and applying a good rub of the Fels noted in your website, before throwing it into the washer. Both of these products are really effective and also extremely inexpensive, as each can be purchased for less than a dollar each. I also note that when I had to deal with formula stains the Fels was awesome!

homemade blood stain remover
by: Danielle

Get an empty spray bottle fill half of it with Mean Green, and the rest of it with peroxide. It works wonders to get out blood even if it has set in clothing for days. It does NOT take out the color like bleach will either.

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