There are a lot of ways you might have gotten a drop or two of blood on your clothing (or other fabric like a towel or rug). Rather than mull over the “how” the blood got there – this article is going to give you advice on the best way to get that stain out of your clothes. It may seem like removing blood is impossible, especially if it is a super light (or even white) fabric – but fear not, you can probably save most of your clothes.
As with all stains, it is best to address them as close to when they happen as you can. Dried blood is going to be much harder to remove than fresh blood.
Method One: DIY
The best blood-removal method probably involves items you already have in your home. You’ll need hydrogen peroxide and an old toothbrush (or some other scrubby brush.) Optional items that can help make the stain removal more effective, but aren’t always needed, are Dawn dish soap and/or baking soda.
You’ll start by applying hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Then you’ll scrub it into the fibers of the fabric with the toothbrush. After scrubbing, you’ll want to let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll probably see some fizzing, and this means it is working. After it has sat, you’ll want to rinse the blood stain. If it is mostly gone, you can throw it in the washer.
If the stain is still dark, you’ll grab your dish soap and baking soda. Put a drop of Dawn onto the stain, then sprinkle baking soda over the top. Scrub it again with the toothbrush, and rinse it. After rinsing, you’ll toss it directly into the washing machine and wash as usual. You’ll want to do this quickly so that you can avoid discoloration from the peroxide.
This should be enough to get the blood stain out. When hydrogen peroxide is mixed with blood, it reacts with an enzyme called catalase. This breaks down the compounds in blood that cause stains, and then they are washed away by the water.
If you don’t have peroxide, baking soda, or Dawn soap, and you’re just interested in making a quick dash into the store for one product, keep reading.
Method Two: Detergent
There are plenty of strong detergent options at your local grocery store that can lift lighter blood stains from clothes (like Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid). Pick up a good detergent, rinse the blood-soaked item with cold water, and then pour a mixture of cold water and detergent over the stain (or soak the clothing in it.) You’ll want to soak it for about 5 minutes. Then wash the clothing as you would normally.
Check for the blood stain again once the clothing comes out of the dryer. If it is still there, repeat the process before you put it in the dryer. Once it goes into the dryer, the stain will be set.
These tips may be useful on other types of stains as well. Remember, by treating the stains as quickly as you can, and making sure you get to them before they hit the dryer, you can keep your clothes stain-free.