Raine’s Guide: Removing Blood Stains From Clothing
Last time we talked about removing dye stains, this time we are talking about the other sort of bleeding. I’m sorry if you have to reference this guide, but hopefully we can get the stain lifted. Content warning: we talk about various bodily fluids in this post, but there are no photos of such things.
Blood stains are easiest to remove if addressed promptly, and if you can’t wash it right away, at least try to rinse it with cold water if possible. Some fabrics will fade or become a little worn from the scrubbing if the stain is really set. If this is a concern, I would try an enzyme pet stain cleaner earlier on, but I personally haven’t tried that method, so I can’t really speak to it, I’ve only used enzyme pet stain cleaners on throw rugs.
Method 1: Ivory Soap
My go-to method is to use cold water and a bar of ivory soap. I prefer using cold water for stains, just because I’m always worried about hot water setting them.
You want the old school bar of Ivory brand soap that looks like this, it’s sold wrapped in a white paper and several bars will be packaged together in a plastic package. One bar will probably last for years if you are just using it for laundry. You might be able to get single bars at the dollar store.
First, rinse the stain with cold water. Next take the bar of soap and rub it into the stain on the front. We want to make a thick lather that permeates the whole stained area. Repeat this on the back. If a lot of stain is lifting, rinse right away so that the stain can’t migrate to untouched areas.
Agitate the fabric, rubbing the stain against itself from the front and back and/or use an old soft toothbrush to agitate the fabric. Usually, this is not a surface stain, so we have to get down in between the fibers.
Continue to apply soap, agitate and rinse. It may take several applications of soap and a bit of work, but as long as it’s a recent stain, it should lift. I have 100% success with white cotton fabric with this method about 97% of the time.
I will sometimes apply more Ivory soap to the area and then chuck the item into the washing machine if it’s machine washable. In general whenever you spot treat something like this, you do want to wash the whole item after, however you normally would wash it as well.
Method 2: Hydrogen Peroxide
This method is popular just because people tend to have it on hand. Spray (if you have a spray bottle) or pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain and blot with paper towels. It should foam up and the stain should lift.
I have had instances where it foams up and the foam hits somewhere else, and creates another stain, so make sure you dab up that foam and keep applying, don’t let it bubble out of control.
Rinse at the end.
Launder in the normal way for the the item.
I honestly just don’t have a good track record with this method with most fabrics. It does lift some of the stain, but it also sometimes lifts some color, and it’s not super effective in my opinion. It works on some things, but on white cotton, I find it usually leaves some stain behind.
Method 3: Spit
Yes, I mean spit. This is an old grandmother’s remedy for if you prick your finger while sewing. Spit on the spot and your own spit will take our your own blood.
It… works, but like, for small stains. Like if you prick your finger while sewing. Basically spit on it, let it sit a minute or three agitate a bit and then wash out. It’s also good for furniture. You can dab with a paper towel, and the stain should lift.
And then you know, wash it, because it has spit on it!
Method 4: Enzyme Pet Cleaners
I haven’t tried this method, just mostly because I’m pretty good with my Ivory soap and the pet enzyme cleaner I have smells. Like not bad, just, punch-in-the-face strong. I have been using Nature’s Miracle Dog Set-In Stain Destroyer Oxy Formula for actual pet messes on throw rugs and I’ve been pretty pleased with it’s ability to remove cat odors.
Follow the directions on the cleaner, but in theory, it should break down blood the same way it breaks down other bodily fluids. I just don’t know how good it is at removing visual stains, again, I haven’t actually tried it, but in theory this should work.
Do you have any tried and true methods for removing blood stains? drop them in the comments. Also, would you all like me to continue this series on laundry tips?
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French laundry soap