Laundry

How to get rid of period stains

Aunt Flo on an unexpected visit? Period stains are common, but they don't have to be permanent. Find out how to remove period stains here.

Key Steps:

In a hurry? Here’s how to remove period stains in a nutshell:

  1. Act fast! Place the garment under cold running water right away.
  2. Carefully rub hand soap into the stain, rinse and repeat.
  3. Wash as usual.
  4. Dry naturally.

Aunt Flo’s visit, surfing the crimson wave, or having the painters in – whatever you call your period, it’s probably not your favourite time of month. What can make it worse are period stains: easy to get, and (if you don’t know the trick) not-so-easy to remove.

But never fear. Our handy tips on how to get rid of period stains will let you take whatever Mother Nature throws at you in your stride. Forget Code Red, it is green lights all the way from now on.

How Do You Get Period Stains Out of Clothes?

Step 1: Act fast! Place under cold running water right away.

Holding the stain under a cold running tap can remove the worst of the mark. If you’re doing this on-the-go and don’t want to get your garment too wet, blot carefully with a wet cloth. Just be sure it’s cold water – hot or warm water can set the stain.

Step 2: Carefully rub hand soap into the stain, rinse, repeat.

Since Aunt Flo waits for no woman, it’s just as well that the best remedy is something you can find in almost any public bathroom: soap! When at home, washing up liquid can also work well on period stains; just rub the soap into the fabric using a circular motion and rinse off. Repeat as often as is needed until the stain has faded or been removed.

Step 3: Wash as usual.

Once you’ve done your best to remove the stain from your clothes or sheets you’ll still need to wash them as normal in your washing machine, or by hand. If you’re going to apply a stain removal product at this stage then make sure you read the labels on both the product and your clothing to make sure they’re compatible and that you’re using it correctly.

Check the washing instructions on your clothing label for maximum temperature, and aim for a mid to low temperature wash (under 40 degrees) if there are any stain remnants, as heat can set a stain like blood. Using a washing detergent designed for better stain removal, like Persil small & mighty, can also improve your chances of removing all traces of blood.
Step 4: Check the stain, and repeat the above if necessary.

If you think there’s anything left of the stain, repeat the above before you let it dry out. If the coast seems clear, dry naturally, avoiding any extra heat – no tumble dryer, no iron – until it’s certain the stain is history.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of period stains on jeans then this method should work as well as it does on other materials or clothing items. Always check the clothing care label first though, and test any new stain removal method on a small, unnoticeable area.

Read our articles on removing dried blood stains and removing blood stains from clothes to find out more about blood stains on fabrics. For delicate fabrics like silk and anything dry-clean only, though, it’s best to consult a professional.

How Do You Get Period Stains Out of Sheets?

Of course, period stains don’t just affect our clothes and it’s not a nice feeling to wake up to marked bed sheets. Whether your sheets are white or another shade, the steps above will work just as well as they do on clothes.

However, if you do want to give white sheets some extra attention to ensure there are no residual marks then you can take the additional step of adding a little bleach to your final wash or even use it as a pre-treatment in the initial cleaning stages.

Remember to follow all safety precautions when using bleach, such as wearing safety clothing and only using it in a well-ventilated area. You should not apply bleach directly to fabrics either but instead soak the material in a bleach and water solution. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure you use it correctly and do not mix bleach with other cleaning products as it may cause a chemical reaction.

How To Get Rid of Period Stains on Underwear

For most underwear, the steps above will work fine. Just adapt your wash cycle to a delicate setting, and check the care label to be certain – for things like silk, you might have to tread a little more carefully.

So there you have it: simple period stain removal in no time. Perfect.

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With any kind of bloodstain, checking the care label of the garment should be your first step. Place the affected area under cold running water as soon as possible, avoiding hot water which can set the stain further. A good laundry detergent is also a given – we recommend Persil.