From scraped knees to cuts in the kitchen, bloody messes are an expected and regular occurrence in most households. Accidents happen, but when that bright red blood stains your favorite shirt or beautiful carpet, it’s time to act fast. Knowing how to remove blood stains means you don’t have to panic. As long as you take care of the blood stain right away, your chances for success are pretty high.

Before you attack the stain, blot up what you can with a paper towel or cloth and then use our field-tested tips for how to get blood stains out to finish the job.

How To Get Blood Out of Clothes

When you get blood on your clothes, don’t reach for the bleach or other stain remover with harsh chemicals. All you need are some safe, effective natural cleaners like hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Once you have those, you’re ready to learn how to get blood out of clothes:

  • Immediately soak the clothing in cold water or run cold water over the stain until it fades.
  • Soak a microfiber cloth in 3% hydrogen peroxide and lightly scrub the stain.
  • Apply a pre-treatment of a few drops of liquid laundry detergent to the blood stain.
  • Wash the stained clothing in cold water with a natural bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide, distilled white vinegar, or baking soda.
  • Let the clothing air dry and then see if the stain is gone. Don’t dry your clothing after the wash; the heat could set any remaining stain.
  • If the stain is gone, wash and dry your clothing like you usually would.
  • If you still see the blood stain, scrub it again with hydrogen peroxide and repeat the washing instructions above.

How to Get Dried Blood Out of Clothes

Getting dried blood out of clothes takes a little more time and effort, but with the right ingredients, you can get rid of old blood stains. Here’s how you do it:

  • Soak the stained clothing in cold water for an hour to dissolve the stain.
  • If you can still see the blood stain, turn the fabric inside out.
  • Scrub the stained area with soap and water.
  • Turn the fabric outside in and scrub the stain on that side.
  • Wash the stained clothing in cold water with a natural bleaching agent.
  • Let the clothing air dry so you can determine if the stain is completely removed.
  • If you still see the blood stain, you should use an enzymatic cleaner to treat the stain and then wash the clothing in cold water.

How To Get Blood Out of Upholstery

Many of the same natural ingredients used to get blood stains out of clothes work on upholstery and carpets, too. The following ingredients can be helpful when you’re figuring out how to get blood out of a couch or chair. Just don’t get the stained area too wet and don’t use hot water, as it can set the blood stain.

Salt Water

If the stain is on a piece of clothing, soak the garment in a bucket of cold salt water for 3-4 hours. After soaking, rub the stain with liquid detergent. Then wash the clothing item as usual. If it’s a carpet or a piece of furniture that’s stained, combine the salt with a small amount of water to create a paste. Apply it to the affected area and rub gently until the stain has been removed.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Because of the possibility of manipulating color, it’s best to test patch this option before using it on the stain. After the successful patch test, dab 3% hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain, starting with a very small amount. Continue dabbing until the stain dissolves. Then, rinse with cold water.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is arguably the most versatile and effective cleaning ingredient there is, and stain removal is no exception. Mix ¼ cup of water and four tablespoons of baking soda to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes. Remove the remaining dried pieces, and rinse with cold water.

Vinegar

This technique is ideal for a fresher stain. Pour white vinegar over the area and let it soak for up to 10 minutes. Then blot with a dampened cloth. Repeat as necessary until the stain has disappeared. Then, launder the item (if possible). 

Cola

Two main ingredients in cola- the carbonation and phosphoric acid both work to fight stains from setting. Grab a can of the soda, and soak the fabric to break up the dried particles. Then, rinse with cold water and wash the item in the machine as usual.

Cornstarch

Mix cornstarch with water to create a paste, and apply it to the stain. Allow it to dry completely before using a blunt edge or butter knife to scrape off the excess mixture. Repeat as necessary until the stain has been eliminated.

Now that you know how to get blood out of clothes and fabrics, you can find more pro stain-fighting tips to help around the house. Whether you use our DIY housekeeping guides or by using our popular cleaning services, The Maids wants you to have a cleaner, healthier home more often.

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