Blood stain removal: What works and what does not

Blood stains are not uncommon. If you are naturally clumsy or fall a lot, or do a lot of sports, you will have to deal with blood stains a lot. If you have struggled with getting rid of them, read this article to find out what are the best methods to use when cleaning such a mess and how to make sure the stain is gone for good.

Blood stains are protein-based and there are some special steps you can take in order to help their cleaning and prevent them from setting deep into the fabric. For example, washing a blood-stained fabric with hot water should be avoided at all costs. The heat will only cook the protein and become hard to remove or even permanent. Here are some of the best solutions when it comes to blood stain removal:

  1. Vinegar – Whether you nick yourself while shaving or get a surprise scratch, it’s essential to address the stains on your clothing as soon as possible; blood stains are relatively easy to remove before they set but practically impossible to wash out after 24 hours. To treat it efficiently, pour full-strength white vinegar on the stained area, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then blot the spot with a cloth or a clean towel. Repeat if needed, then wash as you usually would.
  2. Ammonia – Ammonia is a strong solution that can help you fight off many stains from a number of fabrics. When using household ammonia for cleaning, make sure the room you are using it in is well-ventilated. Make sure that it won’t damage the fabric by testing in an inconspicuous area. Before laundering, rub off perspiration, blood, and urine stains on garments by dabbing the area with a half-strength solution of ammonia and water.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide – Another powerful and extremely efficient product that is commonly found in most households. Keep in mind that this method will only work on a fresh blood stain. Apply some 3% hydrogen peroxide solution straight onto the stain, rinse with fresh water, then launder immediately.
  4. Coke – This one is a bit odd but trust us, it will help you get rid of that blood stain for good. This method is excellent for bloodstains that occur outside of the home. Instead of waiting until you get home to treat the stain, take the nearest bottle of cola, yes, the soda, and begin soaking the stain. For optimal results, soak the stain in cola overnight.
  5. WD-40 – To pretreat blood stains, spray some WD_40 on the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes. When done, launder as usual. The WD-40 will help loosen and dissolve the blood and lift the stain. Again, you want to do this while the stain is still fresh. Once it sets, you may not be so lucky in removing it, even with WD-40. Once you wash it in the laundry machine, the stain will go away. You can use your WD-40 to pretreat other stains too. Use it for lipstick, food, dirt, grease, and ink stains.
  6. Cornstarch – If you manage to start working on the stain removal as soon as it happens, you will have a bigger chance of getting rid of all blood traces. If you got some blood on your linens or tablecloth, use some cornstarch to reduce or even completely remove the bloodstain (that depends on the amount of blood and the type of fabric you have). Mix cornstarch and cold water into a thick paste. Apply it to the stained area and gently rub it with your fingers. Leave the garment to sit in a sunny spot and let the paste completely dry. Once that is done, brush the cornstarch paste away. The stain should be completely gone, if it is not, repeat the process.
  7. Talcum powder – You can remove blood stains from clothing or upholstery by mixing a paste of talcum powder and water. Apply it to the spot and leave it until it’s dry, then brush it away. Once you remove it, the stain should be gone as well. If you don’t have talcum powder, substitute it with cornstarch or cornmeal.
  8. Cold salt water – As we already mentioned, blood should never be treated with hot water. However, you can make the cold water more efficient by adding some salt to it. Soak the piece of clothing in a bucket or tub full of cold, salty water. Let it soak in it for 3-4 hours, then grab a soft-bristled brush and rub the stained area with heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Generally, a blood stain should not be a hard one to get rid of as soon as you treat it immediately. If you are not at home and cannot get to it straight away, turn on a faucet with some cold water. Hold the fabric underneath the water with the wrong side facing up. The force of the water will push most of the blood out of the fabric and make it easier to get rid of.