How To Get Blood Out of Clothes

Let’s face it, getting blood on our clothes is one of life’s common, messy, and unwanted incidents that happen nearly to everyone. Kids, and adults, will experience it from time to time. On the other hand, it is more difficult for women since they have to manage periods from teen to adult years. Let’s not forget a bloody nose can be the sole reason our white tee looks like we were a participant in a murder mystery. Sports can be one of the biggest culprits to a uniform gone wrong. 

But it happens. The question is: How do we get blood out of our clothes? Some will learn more about how to get period blood out of clothes, while others will need a solution for dried blood. Regardless of what we are working with, let’s go over some of the methods, DIY tricks, and resources to fix this icky situation. 

removing blood out of clothes

Why Is Blood So Hard to Get Out of Clothes?

Blood is one of the hardest things to clean especially when it comes to getting out of fabric. It seeps into porous materials and stains fairly easily because of its binding properties. That’s why following the process of getting the information, cleaning, and sanitizing is the way to go when you think about getting blood out of clothes:

  1. The first step is to think about how long the blood has been stained on the clothes. How to get dry blood out of clothes is going to be slightly different than fresh blood. Anytime blood has got on the clothes the best process is to try and get it up as quickly as possible. The longer it sits in these clothes the harder the clean-up process is going to be. Wearing gloves is never a bad idea. 
  2. We will get to what kinds of cleaning materials and processes you can use to approach getting the blood out of your clothes. The important thing is that your cleaning process may differ slightly depending on the answer to the questions listed above. One thing to know is that you can skip the bleach. Most people think this is the answer but it doesn’t offer much help. It can also cause skin and eye irritations. 
  3. Don’t forget that sanitizing is different than cleaning. When you clean the shirt, you will try to rid the blood of its appearance it has on the shirt. When you sanitize, you are trying to get rid of the microorganisms that may not be visible to the human eye. Sanitizing is a slightly deeper level of cleaning. 

With these three steps in mind, we can go about getting blood out of clothes the right way. Now different clothing materials may also call for different methods. Let’s talk about it. 

How to Get Blood Out of Clothes

Having blood stains on our clothes can set off panic. We know it’s hard to get out, and there’s a chance that it may ruin our favorite t-shirt. This panic usually leads to people making a few mistakes that worsen the incident. For instance, using hot or warm water is never a good idea. It actually sets the stain. Cold water is always the way to go. And because we can’t delay, we may just quickly throw bleach on it and put it in the wash. Don’t! Some clothing like fine material can’t be washed by machines. So following manufacturer guidelines is best. 

Different situations call for different approaches such as dealing with a white cotton tee or a pair of jeans. Let’s approach the most common issues we will face with blood on our clothes. 

Dealing with Fresh Blood on Colored Clothes

There is some good news! You can use household items like vinegar when trying to figure out how to get blood stains out of clothes. This is also one of the best ways to approach dried blood. You will see that vinegar is incredibly powerful because it helps when you don’t know how to get dried blood out of jeans. Jeans are one of the trickiest materials to work with. 

Here is how to use vinegar to get blood stains out:

  1. Apply the area that has been stained with vinegar. You can put it directly on as opposed to some other cleaning agents. 
  2. Let the vinegar soak into the material for at least 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Now you can start blotting the area with a towel and notice the stain starts to lift. 
  4. Once the stain has been removed, you can throw it in the washer if you are working with clothes. For other items like couches, mattresses, etc. you can use cold water to get rid of the vinegar odor. 
best cleaner for blood stains

Dealing with White Clothes 

Most of the methods above can be used for jeans, white clothes, or other materials. However, if you are going to try an order choose:

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide
  2. Ammonia 
  3. Cold Saltwater 

These treatments tend to be the most effective when it comes to getting blood stains out of your white clothes. However, any of the listed above is good to sue because the importance of getting out quickly is more important than what you are using. 

Materials Matter

As a quick tip of advice, we almost will never recommend scrubbing. Most of the instructions will advise you to blot gently with a towel. There are a few reasons for this. 

  • Scrubbing can be abrasive to the material you are working with. Cotton naturally will thin out. 
  • Scrubbing can also spread the stain rather than clean it up. When dealing with blood you want to lift the stain not push it around. 
  • Scrubbing doesn’t allow for the cleaning material to soak in.
using hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from clothes

Other Household Items That Can Help:

  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Cola
  • WD-40
  • Cold Salt Water
  • Talcum Powder

Some of these materials and ingredients are filled with a lot of chemicals. It’s important to wear protective gear like gloves or eye materials when using them. 

Blood Stains and Ammonia

Ammonia can be used for some of the most stubborn blood stains. To use it just combine one tablespoon of ammonia with ½ cup of tepid water. Use a towel to dab the mixture onto the effective area and let it dry. Then take a towel and use cold water to blot the area and remove the stain. 

Blood Stains and Cola

Because Coke has a lot of carbonation and phosphoric acid, it actually does a wonderful job in getting blood stains out of your clothes. Most people will just pour a bit of the Coke onto the blood stain and let it sit before blotting it with a towel. Depending on just how set the stain is, this can take an hour or two for it to start to lift. Use cold water afterward to blot. 

Blood Stains and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly used to get rid of blood stains because it works for both fresh and dried blood. The process is easy. You only need to apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to the affected area and let it sit for five minutes. Now grab a towel and blot to absorb the material. Keep repeating this pattern until the stain has come out. Afterward, you can throw it in the wash or go by the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning. 

how to remove blood stain from clothes with WD-40

Blood Stains and WD-40

You can pre-treat the blood stains with WD-40. This process is also simple as you just need to spray the affected area before throwing it in the wash or hand washing it yourself.  WD-40 is also great because it has low oral toxicity and is relatively safe to use. 

Blood Stains and Cornstarch

If you are having trouble finding something to get rid of a blood stain on your clothes, mixing cornstarch and cold water will do the trick. This will create a paste like formula that you can apply directly to your clothes. Keep in mind not to use warm water. You can rub this solution into the area and then leave it out in a sunny space to absorb before throwing it into the wash or hand washing the clothes. 

Blood Stains and Talcum Powder

Similar to cornstarch, you can mix cold water with talcum powder to create another paste formula to help get rid of your blood stains. This is one of the best home remedies to get blood stains out of clothes and looks a lot like toothpaste when you make it. Apply the paste to the area and let it dry out completely. Then take cold water and a cloth to remove the paste and stain. 

Blood Stains and cold Saltwater

Cold saltwater is commonly used to remove rust, blood stains, and grease. It’s actually an incredibly effective remedy when done right. Make a very thick paste of a lot of salt mixed with cold water. It should be like a paste similar to cornstarch and talcum powder. Apply it to the stained area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Salt helps to dehydrate the blood and lift the stain out. Rinse well with more cold water and repeat to get the stain out. 

how to get rid of blood stains with cold salt water

Don’t Panic!

Blood naturally sets off panic mode in our heads because it is a sign that something is wrong. When we realize that it is seeping into our clothes immediately, we understand it has the potential to ruin them. We may run for the bleach or try to use hot water to get the stain out, but these aren’t the solutions. In fact, you can cause more harm than good. That’s why any of the above-mentioned household items are good to use. 

One of the commonly overlooked mistakes is that we forget to read the manufacturer’s label. Not all clothes can be washed the same such as your jeans, blouses, or white undergarments. But our initial treatment process is going to be similar no matter what material or colors you are working with. When you finish this step, it’s important to go back to the label and wash by hand or by machine as instructed. 

Most importantly, while there are some great products out there on the shelves of Target, Whole Foods, and other markets, not all of them actually work. And they are usually costly. Save money by using homemade or common household items first. A bottle of Coke will be cheaper than an organic cleaning product that has no strength. 

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