Whether they’re from a paper cut while flicking through some files, your little one falling over in the playground, or just a persistent nosebleed, blood stains are a fact of life. They do not, however, have to mean the end of your favourite piece of clothing or bedding as, with the right preparation and techniques, blood stain removal can be a relatively simple and easy process.
Please note that these tips are designed to get rid of a blood stain on common fabrics such as cotton and polyester. For other, more delicate fabrics, such as silk, please refer to the label on inside of the clothing, as professional cleaning may be required. Always test a stain removal strategy on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
How to Get Blood Out of Clothes
The sooner you can start to treat a blood stain, the more successful the outcome will be.
- Wet the blood stain thoroughly 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. Make sure not to use hot or warm water, as this will only make the stain worse. (If you’ve had a mishap on the move – such as at certain times of the month – use a damp cloth instead, and blot carefully.)
- 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.
- Once the stain has faded, the garment can be washed regularly. You may want to add a stain removal product to the stain before laundering; be sure to read the directions on the label.
- Remember to avoid applying heat to a blood stain – whether this is hot water, or heat from a tumble dryer or an iron. Because blood stains are protein-based, heat will set the stain, making it impossible to remove.