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Removing blood stains – everything you need to know

Wondering how to get blood out of clothes, sheets, or upholstery? Follow this step-by-step guide to find out what takes out blood stains and how to remove old blood stains from fabric.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

Blood stain on white shorts behind a hand with a plaster on the index finger
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Whether it’s from paper cuts, scraped knees or a nosebleed – blood stains can happen anywhere at any time. But while it has a bad reputation for being tough to shift, removing blood stains from clothes and sheets, fresh or dried, can be surprisingly simple. Our guide will show you how to get dried blood out of clothes and sheets, as well as removing any fresh stains, using easy and effective methods with great results.  

Act fast when treating blood stains – the quicker you start to deal with a stain, the easier it will be to remove. Once you’ve treated the stain, wash on a normal cycle with a high-quality laundry detergent until it’s fully removed.

Removing blood stains

This simple method works well to remove blood stains from clothes, sheets, carpets and upholstery. For best results, we recommend treating the stain as soon as possible and always test on a small area first before starting work on the stain removal.

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RequiredPersil Bio & Persil Ultimate Non-Bio
Persil Bio & Persil Ultimate Non-Bio Bottle
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Cold water
  • Soap
  • Washing up liquid
  • Laundry detergent

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How to remove blood stains from clothes

  1. Rinse the stain with cold water.

    This will make sure that the stain does not dry and become more difficult to deal with. Larger stains will need to be submerged in a bowl or sink, while smaller ones can just have water applied directly to them – you can hold the stain under a stream of cold water from the tap.

    Never use hot water to remove blood stains, as it will set in the stain and be much harder to remove.

    Step 1: Rinse under cold water
  2. Apply soap to the stain.

    Hand soap or a bar of soap is fine, or you also could use washing up liquid. Gently work the soap into the stain. Then, rinse the soap away in cold water, and reapply more soap if necessary and repeat the process. You should be able to see a difference immediately, particularly if the stain is fresh

    Step 2: Apply washing up liquid
  3. Rinse and repeat.

    Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.

    Step 3: Rinse with cold water
  4. Wash as normal

    Wash with laundry detergent for clothes and sheets. We suggest using a good quality biological detergent that contains enzymes to break down stains or a non-bio detergent if you have sensitive skin, such as Persil Non-Bio Liquid. Select a regular cycle on a cool setting.

    Step 4: Clothes into washing machine

How to get blood out of sheets

The process for removing blood stains from sheets is like the method for cleaning clothing.

  1. Soak the sheets.

    It’s best to soak the sheets in cold water as soon as you see the stain. If the stain is fresh, you can flush it out by running it under cold water.

  2. Apply detergent.

    If you have coloured sheets, apply some liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain, working it in with a cloth.

  3. How to get blood out of white sheets.

    If you have white sheets, then apply a little hydrogen peroxide to the area, working it in with a soft bristled brush (this chemical can cause discolouration to coloured sheets). Finally, put the sheets on a cool wash and air dry.

Knowing how to wash bed sheets and remove blood stains will help keep them looking new and feeling fresh.

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How do you remove old blood stains?

We’ve covered how to get blood out of clothes and linen when the stain is fresh, but do you know how to remove dried blood from sheets and other fabrics? These stains are a lot harder to remove, so require something stronger than soap and water. The most effective method is to use hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing agent that removes old blood stains via a chemical reaction that breaks down the discolouration. While it’s safe to use, hydrogen peroxide can cause discolouration to some fabrics and can irritate skin, so always wear gloves, test on a hidden area first and check the care label to make sure it’s suitable.

How to get dried blood out of clothes and sheets

  1. Remove any solid deposits using a blunt knife or spoon.

  2. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain.

  3. Leave it for five minutes and then blot with a paper towel.

  4. Rub gently with a clean, damp cloth until the stain is gone. 

  5. Rinse the area with cold water until all the hydrogen peroxide has rinsed out.

With this simple, step-by-step guide you should now know how to get blood out of clothes and sheets and remove old blood stains in no time.

Common questions on removing blood stains

What takes out blood stains naturally?

Did you know that baking soda is a natural method for removing blood stains, as well to help clean the rest of the house? Simply mix one part baking soda with two parts cold water in a bowl and dab onto the stain using a cloth. Leave for thirty to forty minutes, or overnight if it’s particularly stubborn, then wipe off all the remaining residue with a clean, damp cloth.

How do you get a period stain out of your mattress?

The best way to get rid of blood from a mattress is to use a hard-hitting bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide. Simply apply the hydrogen peroxide to a sponge (you will need something porous) and dab it directly to the stain using pressure, but not rubbing. Continue this until the stain has been removed, then rinse the area with cold water using a clean, damp cloth. Leave enough time for your mattress to completely dry out before you use your bed again.

Can you remove old blood stains with vinegar?

Vinegar is especially effective at removing stains from white clothes, although it works best if used before the blood stain dries out. Apply some vinegar directly onto the stain and leave it to soak for ten minutes. Use a clean, damp cloth to blot away the stain, repeating this step as necessary and washing the item on a cold wash.

Originally published