Removing a blood stain especially dried blood from fabric can be a difficult task. This can end up ruining your fabric or forcing you to throw it away. Here is how to remove a blood stain from your clothes.
Accidents occur, whether in the kitchen while chopping vegetables, during a shave, a nose bleed, or even a natural occurrence like periods among others. This can lead to blood spilling on your clothing which can be messy and end up leaving a stain on the fabric. However, there are home methods that you can use to remove the stain on your clothes without destroying the fabric.
To remove blood stains from your clothes, soak the clothes in cold water or place it under running cold water to remove as much blood as possible, rub bar soap or hydrogen peroxide on the stained area and scrub using your hands, pre-treat the clothes and put them in the washing machine. You can also use an enzymatic cleaner, white vinegar, Coca-Cola, baking soda, and lemon if soap or hydrogen peroxide isn’t available or doesn’t work.
Why are blood stains difficult to remove?
Blood contains an element known as platelets which are responsible for the blood clot when exposed to air. Usually, the clotting helps a wound to close faster preventing further blood loss. However, this clotting occurs on surfaces that the blood is spilled on making it difficult for the stain to come off a fabric.
There are two types of blood stains – a fresh blood stain and a dried one with the latter being the more difficult one to remove. The stubbornness of a stain depends on the type of fabric, the extend of the stain, and whether the blood stain is fresh or dried. For example, you may have to throw away a cloth with large amounts of blood.
How to remove a blood stain
A blood stain easiest to get rid of when still fresh. When you notice blood on your clothes, the first step to take is to remove the clothes and soak them in cold water. If the stain is very fresh, place it under running water from a tap with the stain facing down. The water acts on the stain by pushing it from the inside to the outside and flushes out as much blood as possible. You may have to turn your clothes inside-out to be able to do this. Hold the clothe in the running water for several minutes until the stain reduces in size.
If the clothing is made of linen or cotton, turn the fabric over and have the stain facing up then use bar soap to run soap into the stain until it produces a thick lather. TO protect your skin from blisters or abrasion, you can put on tight-fitting nitrile or latex gloves. Grip two areas of the fabric around the stain and rub the stain against itself. Do it rigorously or gently depending on the type of fabric. The friction generated should help remove the remaining stain. You can keep replacing the water and soap depending on the fabric texture and keep rubbing. Use fresh cold water to flush out the stain and then apply the soap once again and keep doing so until the stain is gone. If this doesn’t work out, then try rubbing the fabric around the stain more vigorously or use a different method.
Next, rub in a liquid laundry detergent or apply a laundry pre-treater on the stain and wash the remaining stain in water. You can keep adding bleach that’s safe to the fabric until the stain is gone.
If the fabric color is white or light in color, you can also use hydrogen peroxide as it will bleach the fabric and remove the stain. Pour a few teaspoons of the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and give it a few minutes. After fixing out for a little bit, rub the fabric together using your hands to help remove the stain out of the threads and then rinse the clothing with cold water. Keep repeating these steps until the stain is almost eliminated then put the clothes in the washing machine and run it as usual.
You can also use an enzymatic cleaner as it breaks down the proteins that form the stain which blood stains use to bond to the fabric. However, don’t use it on silk or wool fibres as they are made from proteins and might break apart.
What if the blood stain is dried?
This is the toughest blood stain to get rid of. However, all is not lost, you will need to exercise a little bit of patience and use a heavy-duty stain remover. The first thing to do is to pre-soak the clothes in cold water mixed with stain remover or laundry detergent and then pre-treat the clothes with a safe fabric bleach depending on the fabric and its color. If this doesn’t work, then mix water with laundry detergent and ammonia depending on the number of clothes and let the clothes soak in the solution. Give it a few hours and then pre-treat and launder the clothes.
While a blood stain can be accidental, removing the stain is possible. This guide should help you remove blood stains whether fresh or dried. However, if the stain is too big, then attempting to remove it might be difficult and you may end up throwing away the fabric.
Can I use warm water instead of cold water?
Never use warm or hot water to remove a blood stain. This is because warm water bonds the proteins in the blood onto the fabric making it harder to remove the stain.
What if the clothing is already washed?
If the stained clothing is washed already, then try removing the stain by applying whitening toothpaste to the stained area using an old toothbrush, scrub the stain a little bit and let it rest for at least half an hour before attempting to wash it off.