Maybe it’s a scraped knee that lost its bandage, a nick while shaving or a nosebleed. Whatever the situation is, you’ve got blood stains to deal with. Often, detergent is just not enough. Here are some proven methods for washing away blood spots on clothes.
Tips for removing blood stains from clothes
- Only use cold water on a blood stain. Warm or hot water will cause the blood to clot and it will be much tougher to remove as it becomes engrained into the fibre.
- Dab the fresh stain with a sponge to absorb as much blood as possible before proceeding.
- Be gentle. Never scrub the stain, as it will only damage the fabric and make the stain worse.
- Forget the “one-size- fits- all” approach. Some materials are too delicate and require special attention.
- Whether you’ve opted for an all-natural product (vinegar) or a commercial agent (oxygenated powder), you must be sure to rinse the fabric out thoroughly afterwards.
Quick home remedies
Try your luck with a homemade solution. The steps are always the same: treat the stain, rinse it out and then wash it with detergent. If the fabric is delicate, dry it flat.
- Delicate fabrics (silk, satin, wool): Use cold water and soap. If you have cornstarch, ammonia (diluted) or another natural cleaning product on hand, soak a cotton ball in the solution and then gently dab the stain.
- Sturdy natural fibres (cotton, linen, denim): It’s best to use cold, soapy water. You can also use saltwater or diluted white vinegar to treat the area.
Fresh blood stains
With fresh blood stains you’re in luck, so to speak!
- If you soak the fabric in cold water overnight, it should completely disappear.
- If not, use ice cubes—as they melt it will dilute the blood. Then wash the garment normally, according to the instructions on your box of detergent.
- For delicate fabrics like satin, use flour. Let the powder absorb the blood stain. Then, then use a small attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove the residue. Repeat as needed.
- You can also use baking soda soak up any excess blood.
Dry and embedded spots
Dry and embedded spots require a more heavy-duty approach.
- Soak the stain in a mixture of water and aspirin.
- A “strong-man” mix: saturate the bloodstain with peroxide just before applying a paste of water and starch. Work the solution gently into the fabric, let stand, and rinse.
- If all else fails, try treating the stain with oven cleaner. Oven cleaners are high in alkaline and are effective at neutralizing acids found in blood. This is a heavy-duty product so use it only as a last-ditch effort.
Whatever the situation, a blood stain on your clothing doesn’t have to ruin your outfit if you’re willing to try one of these handy tricks.