Laundry

How to remove blood stains

Blood stains can easily occur. Remove blood stains by following our advice and find out how to keep your clothes or bed clean after accidents happen.

How to remove blood stains from clothes

  1. A blood stain that is dried-in can be helped by soaking it before putting it in the washing machine. Soak the item in a bucket of salted, cold water for several hours before washing as normal. For every litre of water, use one or two tablespoons of salt.
  2. If the stain is persistent, treat it with a lukewarm solution of Omo detergent and water. Then, leave it to soak once you’ve rubbed the edge of the stain.
  3. Another good method of treating clothes that are bloodstained is with a baking soda paste. Make it from two parts baking soda and one part water, apply to the stain and leave for up to thirty minutes.  Once removed, blot the space with a damp cloth and wash as normal.

How to remove blood stains from bed covers or mattresses

  1. Remove pillows, sheets and duvets. Treat any bedding with a stain remover or follow the tips for clothing, allow them to soak for up to 30 minutes before washing as normal in a washing machine.
  2. After soaking a clean cloth in cold water, wring it out and press to the blood stain to saturate. Do not rub or use hot water – both of these would make the stain harder to remove.
  3. Blot the area with a clean, dry towel to mop up extra blood. Carry on until dry, and no blood is coming off onto the dry towel. Continue to soak and blot.
  4. Next create a cleaning fluid such as:
    a.     Half a cup of detergent combined with two tablespoons of water, and mixed until foamy. OR
    b.     Two parts of cold water mixed with one part of baking soda.
  5. Blot the stain with the solution and leave it to soak for thirty minutes, before scrubbing with a clean toothbrush, to push in the cleaner and loosen stain particles. Use a clean cloth for more scrubbing and blotting, which is when you should see the stain breaking up and disappearing.
  6. Dab the area with a wrung-out clean cloth, to remove any residue of blood or cleaner. Blot until gone, before drying with a clean towel.
  7. Leave the mattress to air dry, or ideally overnight. Vacuum, then cover with a mattress protector – if you happen to experience blood stains again, this will be easier to clean and may even be machine washable.

If you have to remove blood stains, you’re now well informed to make sure your clothes or bed can safely be returned to their original clean and neat state.

Top Tip


As soon as possible after the blood spill – or at least when you or your patient have been well looked after – rinse the stain with cold water. If the blood stain has been acquired in the middle of the park and your child is refusing to part with their garment – which is understandable – pat the stain with a handkerchief or paper towel to absorb as much blood as you can.

Key points:

  • Cold water is your friend when dealing with freshly bloodstained clothes – soak them as soon as possible.
  • It’s important to not use hot water until the garment is prepared, as that will encourage proteins in the blood to stick to the material. Be sure to read all the relevant steps to help with your particular bloodstained fabric.