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How to remove dried blood stains from clothes

Removing blood from clothes is tough to begin with, but what do you do after it's dried? We take on dried blood stains in this article.



Blood stains on clothes are notoriously tricky when it comes to stain removal. Anyone who has ever suffered a nosebleed, or even a particularly deep cut or scratch, knows that in real life – blood is far brighter and far more vivid than the tomato ketchup-like version often seen in Hollywood slasher movies. It therefore follows that blood can be a real nuisance to remove from light-coloured clothing and bedding. To find out how to remove a blood stain from clothes with the minimum hassle and maximum efficiency, read the following guide.

When thinking about how to remove blood from clothes, it is crucial to avoid all types of heat. This is because blood is protein-based, and applying heat (from hot water, the iron, or tumble dryer) will cause the stain to grip the host fabric. Use cold water to soak and rinse instead.

Four Steps to Removing Blood Stains from Clothes

The most important thing to remember when attempting to remove blood from clothes is this: the faster you act, the greater your chances of success! Leaving the blood to dry only complicates your task.

  1. Just Add Water

If the stain is relatively small, apply a few splashes of cold water directly. If the stain is larger, it may be best to soak the garment in a bowl of cold water. Alternative remedies include coating the stain in white vinegar, ammonia solution, or even Coca-Cola! Feel free to experiment, but cold water remains by far the safest option.

  1. Soap

Using a liquid laundry detergent or plain old soap, gently rub the stain until it starts to fade. You should notice an immediate effect.

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  1. Wash

Once the stain has faded, you can wash the garment as normal. It may be worth adding an additional stain-removal product to ensure the bloodstain lifts completely.

  1. Don’t Panic!

If for some reason you are unable to treat the bloodstain immediately, don’t panic! Various stain removal products are available that are specially designed to battle stains that have dried into the fabric – something like Omo ULTRA, for example, is a good choice for pre-wash stain treatment.

remove blood stains from clothes

If you follow these simple steps for how to remove blood stains from clothing, you should find yourself able to do it without too much trouble. However, please note, these instructions are intended for common fabrics such as cotton or polyester – if you manage to spill blood on silks or other delicate fabrics, it is worth referring to the instructions on the clothing label, and washing accordingly.

Originally published