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How to get Blood out of Clothes

How to get Blood out of Clothes

Wondering How to Get Blood Out of Clothes? We’ve Got You Covered.

Maybe you cut your finger prepping dinner last night. Maybe Aunt Flo made an unexpected visit. Maybe you’re secretly a vampire. Whatever the reason, you want to know the secret of how to get blood out of clothes.

And we — as makers of eco-effective cleaning products — are here to answer all of your questions about this sometimes daunting laundry challenge. 

Yes, you can get blood out of clothing. And no, you don’t need to use harsh chemicals.  With a little know-how, you can keep your clothes (and sheets) in good condition. We’ve outlined how below. 

General guidelines on how to remove blood from clothes

When it comes to blood stains, your best bet is to deal with it as soon as you notice it. The faster you act, the better your chances of getting it out.

That’s because blood is an organic stain that is full of proteins which bind together and set into fabric fast, especially when heated. For that reason, you should always rinse in cold water — never warm or hot — to avoid setting the stain.

In addition to rinsing right away with cold water, run the water through the back of the fabric (i.e. not the side the stain is on) to help remove as much blood as possible. If there’s no time to rinse, soak the stain in cold water and come back to it later.

man spraying laundry with stain removeer

A step-by-step guide to removing a blood stain

If you have time to work on a stubborn blood stain, here’s what you’ll need:

Step 1

Remove as much of the blood as possible. Rinse the affected area in the sink with cold water, running the water through the back of the stained fabric. Dab smaller stains with a wet sponge or cloth.

Step 2

Cover the stain with acidic white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and then blot it with a clean sponge or cloth. Note: Hydrogen peroxide is actually a mild bleach, so test it on a hidden part of your clothing to make sure it won’t lighten the fabric.

Step 3

If the stain is still visible, cover it with a stain remover or laundry pre-treater. Stain removers that break down proteins in stains like blood, grass, or pet urine work best. (Good news: we designed our stain remover to work on set-in stains even after they’ve been washed.) Let it sit for as long as the package directions indicate.

Step 4

Wash the clothing or bedding in cold water in your washing machine, adding in a little bit of color-safe bleach. (For all-white fabrics, you don’t need a color-safe bleach.)

Step 5

If the stain is still visible, repeat the steps above. Do not put the clothing in the dryer until the stain is removed, or the heat will set the stain permanently. 

One final note: For delicate fabrics like silk or cashmere, proceed with caution, doing a spot test before trying any kind of stain remover. When in doubt, take these items to your local dry cleaner.

Laundry room with plants
Man looking at a fresh clean towel out of the dryer

Which cleaning products are best for removing blood

For blood stains, look for stain removers that are either an oxygenated bleach or an enzymatic cleaner — both are all-purpose stain treatments that can work wonders with blood stains.

How to remove fresh blood

If you act quickly enough, sometimes all it takes is a quick rinse in cold water to remove fresh blood stains. If you still see some staining, grab an ice cube and rub it across the stain to cool things down even more. If the stain is still visible, start the process described in the step-by-step guide above.

How to get dried blood out of clothes

Removing dried blood stains takes a little more elbow grease. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove any caked blood with a wet sponge or cloth

  2. Fill your sink with cold water and add a teaspoon of stain remover or laundry detergent—look for one that breaks down enzymes

  3. Soak the fabric in this solution for four hours

  4. Squeeze out excess water, and if you still see the stain, apply more stain remover or laundry detergent and scrub it with the sponge or cloth

  5. Wash it with cold water in your washing machine 

  6. If the stain is still there, repeat the steps above, adding a teaspoon of ammonia to the solution in step 2. (Note: Never combine ammonia with chlorine bleach — it’s dangerous to inhale the fumes.)  Again, avoid the dryer if the stain is still visible.

The best way to get period blood out of sheets

Period blood isn’t all that different from blood that moves through your veins, but it does seem to stain clothing and bedding more frequently. Leaks happen, especially overnight.

Here’s how to remove blood from your sheets:

Step 1

Strip your bed immediately to prevent the blood from seeping into your mattress or transferring onto your comforter.

Step 2

Rinse the stain with cold water to flush away as much of the stain as possible. Don’t scrub the stain yet.

Step 3

If the stain persists, apply a stain remover or liquid laundry detergent and let the sheets sit for 15 minutes. At this point, feel free to scrub at the stain with a cloth to loosen up the blood.

Step 4

Put the sheets in the washing machine and wash them with your usual laundry detergent and a little bit of color-safe bleach. Is the stain still visible after you run the wash? Repeat the entire process again, making sure to let the sheets air dry until you’re sure the stain is fully gone. (Remember, the dryer will set the stain.)

Is the stain still visible after you run the wash? Repeat the entire process again, making sure to let the sheets air dry until you’re sure the stain is fully gone. (Remember, the dryer will set the stain.)

A cheat sheet on how to remove blood from clothes

In summary, removing blood stains is all about three things:

Acting fast

Always using cold water

Knowing which products work best on these types of spots (Keep arbOUR’s super-duper effective stain remover and laundry detergent at the ready.)

Life is certainly messy, but we hope these tips will help you become a master blood strain remover and clean it up as best you can.

Curious about what makes arbOUR different from standard cleaners? 

Ew alert: Most detergents leave a residue that builds up over time. Ours was formulated to clean buildup — not just dirt, and to make your towels and clothes softer after just a few washes. 

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