Written by Grove Collaborative

Stain Busters: How to get blood out of clothes

Last Updated: October 23, 2020


Learning how to get blood out of clothes can be frustrating. Keep reading for our best tips to help you salvage your favorite clothes!

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Spills happen, but Grove Collaborative has you covered with Stain Busters. Each week, we’ll tell you how to tackle a different tough stain around the home or on your clothes. Red wine, grass stains, ink ... no stubborn stain is a match for our grime-busting guides.

Trying to get blood out of your clothes has to be the worst. It’s hands down one of the hardest stains to remove, but that doesn’t mean impossible. Keep reading for some of our best tips to help you salvage your favorite clothes without making yourself crazy.




How do you get blood out of clothing?

Due to hemoglobin that’s present in blood, it stains very easily. This is because hemoglobin and other coagulating agents bond with anything they can when exposed to air — including fabric fibers. Yes, this can make removing blood stains tough, but fortunately, we’re in the business of challenging “tough.”



The truth is, there are multiple ways of getting blood out of clothes, depending on the size and depth of the stain, as well as the fabric material.




Method 1 — hydrogen peroxide

How to do it:

Step 1:

Dampen the towel with cold water and dab at the stain to remove as much blood as possible.


Step 2:

Fill up the big bowl with water along with your detergent. You can also use a stain remover instead of the detergent.


Step 3:

Soak the affected fabric in this solution for at least an hour. You may require a longer soaking time depending on the severity of the stain.


Step 4:

After soaking, blot the stain with hydrogen peroxide using a dish towel, or apply it directly and then rinse.


Step 5:

Thoroughly rinse out the hydrogen peroxide and let the fabric air dry.


Step 6:

If the stain has not come out completely, repeat these steps until you see success.

Method 2 — ammonia

How to do it:

Step 1:

Use a knife or scraper to remove as much of the dried blood stain from the fabric as possible.


Step 2:

Make a solution with water and a small amount of liquid hand or dishwashing detergent, along with 1 teaspoon of ammonia.


Step 3:

Soak the clothing in this solution and wait at least 15 minutes before taking it out.


Step 4:

After removing the fabric, gently rub the stain from the opposite side to loosen the blood.


Step 5:

Soak in the cleaning solution again for another 15 minutes and then rinse with clean, cold water.


Step 6:

Spray an enzyme-based stain remover on the stain until it's completely soaked and wait for at least 30 minutes. Older stains may require a longer soaking period.


Step 7:

Once it has soaked, launder the fabric, preferably with an enzyme-based laundry detergent.

Method 3 — dishwashing detergent

How to do it:

Step 1:

First, mix a tablespoon of dish detergent with cold water.


Step 2:

Take a clean cloth, preferably white so it doesn’t transfer color, and dampen it with the cleaning solution.


Step 3:

Dab the stain with your damp cloth until the stain disappears.


Step 4:

Clean the area with a cloth dampened with cold water, or launder the item if it is machine-safe.


Step 5:

If the stain does not come out, try using an enzyme-based cleaner, as it will help to dissolve the blood proteins.

Grove Tip

Removing period blood and dried stains

There’s no doubt that the best way to remove blood stains completely is to clean them right away while they are still fresh. Dried stains may require stronger cleaning products, which may, in turn, damage delicate fabrics such as silk and wool. For period stains, scrape or wash out the excess blood before cleaning.

What is the best blood stain remover?

There are several options you can try. For natural stain removers you can find in your kitchen cabinets, give these a whirl:


Vinegar

White Vinegar is one of the most accessible blood cleaning items. It works best on fresh stains, as well as on mattress blood stains. Simply pour the vinegar on the blood stain and let it soak for 10 minutes. Blot with a damp cloth and repeat as necessary.

Salt

Salt is a strong dehydrating agent. Therefore, it can easily lift up the water and blood from fabric. Make a thick paste with salt and water and rub directly onto the stain. Allow it to dry and then scrape it off. Rinse with cold water.

Meat tenderizer

Meat tenderizer is designed to break down protein within the meat. When applied on blood stains, it breaks down the proteins in the blood, making it easier to get them out of fabrics. Make a paste with unseasoned meat tenderizer and cold water and soak the stain with this paste for 30 minutes. Rinse and launder in cold water. This technique works efficiently even on old, dried blood stains.

Baking soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleaner. Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply directly on to the stain. Let it sit for an hour, or longer, depending on the depth of the stain.

More stain removing products



Figuring out how to get blood out of fabric is harder than the average stain, but thankfully with the right products, it’s very doable. Whether you’ve stained your fave pair of undies, soft, high thread count sheets, or have gotten blood on your best winter sweater, take heart, there is hope. Just remember to get to scrubbing — fast — before that stain sets!

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Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on germs, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the cleaning tools to tackle the job.

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