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How to Remove Blood Stains From Your Mattress or Bed Sheets

If you find blood on your clothes, linens, or mattress, you might immediately groan. Blood can be a tricky stain to remove.

Ideally, you would be able to remove the stain before it sets.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to remove the blood before it dries and sets in. This guide will go through some of the best methods to remove blood stains no matter what fabric it is on or how set in the stain is.

A simple solution would be to use fabric and upholstery cleaners like the Woolite Advanced Stain & Odor Remover.

But if you want to learn more about alternatives, keep on reading.

Fresh Blood Stains

Fresh blood stains are by far the easiest to remove. Thankfully, there are several methods you can try to remove fresh blood quickly and easily.

Some methods are better for more delicate fabrics, so keep that in mind if, for example, you need to remove blood from silk.

Check out this video for an overview and follow our steps below.

Method I: Cold Water Rinse

Quite possibly the simplest method, cold water can do wonders for fresh blood stains. There are two variations depending on the size and portability of the stained area.

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: For clothes, sheets, pillow cases, and similar small fabrics where you can easily hold it under your facet, follow these steps:​

  1. Rinse the garment under cold water. Do not use warm or hot water as this might actually set the stain in the fabric.​
  2. Gently rub the fabric together to help rinse the blood away
  3. Place fabric in washer and wash on gentle cycle with cold water immediately

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: Bigger items are impossible (or nearly impossible) to hold under the sink, you can try the following method:​

  1. ​Fill a small bowl or bucket with cold water - do not use warm or hot water. Warmer temperatures will actually help set the stain, not remove it.
  2. Dip a clean cloth or sponge in the water and wring out the excess.​
  3. Dab the blood spot.
  4. Rinse the cloth or sponge and repeat as needed.

You may find that you need to empty the bowl or bucket if it becomes to cloudy. You will only be able to remove the stain if the cloth or sponge is clean.

Method II: Salt Water Rinse​

Very similar to the cold water rinse above, the salt water rinse is best suited for your delicate linens. This method may not be as effective for larger, immobile fabrics like mattresses and carpets.

For best results, do this method within ten to fifteen minutes of the stain.​

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: To use salt, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the spot with lots and lots of cold water.​
  2. Gently rub the fabric together, this will help loosen and remove a lot of the blood from the fabric.
  3. In a small bowl, mix a lot of salt with a very small amount of water to create a salt paste. It should look more like toothpaste then water.
  4. Rub the salt mixture into the stain.
  5. Rinse again with cold water.
  6. Run the fabric through the gentle cycle with cold water.

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: Using a salt rub on larger areas requires slightly different steps:

  1. Fill a bowl or bucket with cold water. If desired, you can add ice to the water to make it even colder.​
  2. Dip a clean sponge or cloth in the water and wring it out of excess water.
  3. Dab the carpet area.
  4. In a small bowl, mix a lot of salt with a very small amount of water to create a salt paste. It should look more like toothpaste then water.
  5. Rub the salt mixture into the stain.
  6. Make sure the sponge or cloth is clean of excess blood and dab the spot.
  7. Remove salt by dipping back in bucket.
  8. Repeat until the stain and salt are removed from the area.

Be sure to let the area dry completely before using it again to avoid mold growth.

Method III: Use Hydrogen Peroxide​

hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be a very effective method for removing fresh blood stains. However, you should use caution and make sure you know how it will affect your fabric before using it.

Some fabrics, it will bleach or weaken the fabric. So you should try dabbing it on a small portion of the stained fabric before applying to large area.​

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: To use hydrogen peroxide on clothes, follow these steps:​

  1. For more robust fabrics, you can pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the fabric. For delicate fabrics, dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water to make a 50-50 mixture before pouring it on the stain.​
  2. The peroxide will foam up some, be careful to not let the foam spread beyond the stained area as this might spread the stain.
  3. Wipe away the foam with a clean cloth or sponge.
  4. Repeat pouring the peroxide on the stain and wiping away a few times until the stain is removed entirely or very faint.
  5. Wash on gentle cycle with cold water.

Alternately, you could soak the garment in a bowl of cold water and hydrogen peroxide for 15 to 20 minutes. Once soaked, you would wash the clothing on the gentle cycle with cold water and normal detergent.

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: Again, before trying hydrogen peroxide on your mattress or other immobile area, test it on small portion to make sure it does not bleach the fabric.

To use hydrogen peroxide on a larger item, follow these steps:​

  1. For more robust fabrics, you can pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the fabric. For delicate fabrics, dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water to make a 50-50 mixture before pouring it on the stain.​
  2. The peroxide will foam up some, be careful to not let the foam spread beyond the stained area as this might spread the stain.
  3. Wipe away the foam with a clean cloth or sponge.
  4. Repeat pouring the peroxide on the stain and wiping away a few times until the stain is removed entirely or very faint.
  5. Allow the area to dry completely for next use.

Method IV: Use Soap And Water

There are times, unfortunately, where you are out and about and don’t have access to salt or hydrogen peroxide. Or maybe you don’t have enough of either on hand at home.

In either case, you can use soap or shampoo to wipe away blood stains before they set either on your clothes, carpet, or mattress.​

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: Whether you are on the go or just don’t have access to other ingredients, you can use soap or shampoo. Here’s how:​

  1. Soak the stained area in cold water, again, not hot.​
  2. Rub a copious amount of your soap or shampoo directly onto the stain.
  3. Scrub the area hard between your hands.
  4. Work up a good lather, adding water as needed to make it very foamy.
  5. Rinse in the soap or shampoo until it is removed completely.
  6. Repeat until the stain is gone.

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: If you need or want to use soap to remove the stain from a large surface such as a carpet or mattress, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a small bowl with cold water and use a clean sponge or cloth to dab water onto the stained area.
  2. Rub a copious amount of soap or shampoo directly onto the stain and work up a good lather on the spot.
  3. Use the sponge or cloth to remove the lather.
  4. Repeat until the stain is removed.
  5. Allow the area to dry fully before using again.

Dried Blood Stains

Dried blood stains, like other set in stains, require a different approach. Typically, these are much harder to remove than stains where the blood is still fresh and wet.

If you did not get a chance to remove the blood stain while it is still fresh, some of these methods will help you to remove the dried blood from your fabrics.​

Method I: Meat Tenderizer or DishWasher Powder​

If you have ever wondered what a non-seasoned meat tenderizer and dishwasher powder have in common, they both have enzymes that break down meats and blood.

But use caution with this method, it is best suited for stronger fabrics, like jeans, as the enzymes that break down blood will also break down fabrics such as silk.​

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: For clothes, follow these steps:​

  1. Fill a small bowl with 1 cup of cold water​.
  2. Place the bloody region of the fabric into the bowl of water.
  3. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the meat tenderizer or dishwasher powder directly onto the stained area.
  4. Soak for anywhere for a few hours up to a full day.
  5. Every few hours massage the paste into the stain.
  6. Wash the clothes as you normally would.

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: Please note, this is not the recommended first method to try. It may be hard to remove the smell of the detergent or tenderizer.

To use this method on a carpet or mattress, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a medium bowl with cold water​.
  2. Using a sponge, add water to stain until it is wet but not soaked.
  3. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the meat tenderizer or dishwasher powder directly onto the stained area.
  4. Rub the stain with a sponge or cloth.
  5. Using a clean sponge or cloth, remove the tenderizer or detergent from the area. Make sure to remove all of the dishwasher soap or tenderizer to minimize lingering smells.

Method II: Toothpaste

As odd as it might sound, toothpaste is an effective blood stain removal. However, this is strongly recommended only for washable clothing and fabrics.

Toothpaste’s odor is likely to stay with a non-washable mattress or carpet as it is very difficult to remove without washing the fabric.​

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: Follow these steps to use toothpaste to remove blood stains:​

  1. Rub toothpaste into the stained area.
  2. Let the toothpaste dry completely.
  3. Rinse the toothpaste away with cold water. You may need to rub the fabric a bit during this process.
  4. Wash the stained area with soap and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  5. Repeat if necessary to remove more blood.
  6. Run the fabric through the wash as you normally would.​

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: As mentioned above, this is not a great method for non-washable cloth and fabrics, such as mattresses and carpets. The smell tends to linger.

Method II: Saliva For Delicate Fabrics​

For linens and delicate fabrics, you can use your own saliva to work out blood stains. Saliva works for the same reason meat tenderizer does, the natural enzymes help breakdown blood.

For Bed Sheets & Clothes: For your smaller fabrics, follow these steps:​

  1. Gather enough saliva in your mouth to spit on the area. You may want to brush your teeth beforehand to remove food particles.​
  2. Rub the saliva into the stain.
  3. Let the saliva sit for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse the area in a small bowl of water.
  5. If the fabric can be washed, follow the care instructions to wash the fabric.

For Mattress, Carpet, or Other Immobile Areas: For larger objects, such as a mattress made of more delicate material, follow these steps:

  1. Gather enough saliva in your mouth to spit on the area. You may want to brush your teeth beforehand to remove food particles.​
  2. Rub the saliva into the stain.
  3. Let the saliva sit for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse the area using a damp, clean cloth or sponge.
  5. Repeat as needed to fully remove the stain.
  6. Let dry completely.

Conclusion

How you treat a blood stain will depend largely on the type of fabric that needs cleaning and how you can treat the fabric after removing the stain.

Typically, for smaller items, it is easy to run them through the wash to fully remove the stain and clean the fabric. For larger items, like mattresses and carpets, it may take a bit more work to get the stain out.

In any case, there are several methods that you can use to help remove the blood stain.​

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