How To Get Blood Out Of Clothes

How To Get Blood Out Of Clothes

Accidents, kids with scraped knees, an early period or an unexpected nosebleed; there are a whole range of reasons you may find yourself with one of the trickiest stains to remove from clothing or fabrics – a blood stain.

Blood stains aren't always the easiest to shift, but don't worry, it can be done!

Here we're revealing top laundry tips to remove old blood stains and leave your clothes looking as good as new.

Why are blood stains so tricky to remove?

There's a scientific reason blood stains are so difficult to remove. Blood stains are organic, which means they contain proteins that bind together when exposed to heat.

A common mistake people make when trying to clean blood from clothes is instantly putting it on an intense, hot wash. This can actually have the opposite effect, binding the proteins together and making them even more difficult to remove.

How to remove blood stains

If you have an accident and get blood on your clothes, try to tackle the stain as soon as possible – ideally straight after it has happened. You should begin by dabbing at the stain with an absorbent material like a cloth or paper towel. Work from the outside of the stain in, and always dab rather than scrub or wipe, which will spread the stain and set it in the fabric.

Once you've blotted up as much excess as possible, you should rinse the stained area in cold water. For more stubborn stains, you can fill the sink with cold water and soak the stained clothing for up to 30 minutes.

Does salt or bicarbonate of soda remove blood stains?

Yes, both salt and bicarbonate of soda can be effective in helping to lift blood stains.

Salt has excellent absorption properties, meaning it can effectively absorb liquids such as blood. A salt paste applied to a blood stain can help draw out moisture and the blood from the fabric.

Baking soda, or bicarb of soda, has mild abrasive and alkaline properties, which help its effectiveness in breaking down and lifting stubborn stains, such as blood. Creating a paste with baking soda and water can help loosen the particles in the blood and lift them from the fabric.

How to get dried blood out of clothes

If the blood stain has already dried or the above methods haven't removed it, you can move on to the next step.

Begin by thoroughly soaking the blood-stained item in cold water with a small amount of salt added. This helps break down the proteins in the blood, making the stain easier to lift.

For more stubborn stains, you can pre-treat clothing by making a paste of salt or baking soda and cold water, applying it to the stain and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.

You can also find highly effective enzyme-based detergents that break down biological stains such as blood. These can be applied directly to the stain to soak before washing. We'd recommend double-checking any product-specific instructions and the care guidance for your clothes before applying.

Once you've pre-treated the stain, you can put it through the wash on a cool cycle. Be aware that the stain may not lift instantly, and you may need to repeat the process to lift stubborn stains. For persistent stains, or stains on especially delicate items of clothing, you should consider taking them to a professional dry cleaner

Tips for cleaning blood from cotton, wool, denim, silk and other fabrics

While the above methods are relatively universal, some fabrics may need more care when you're trying to remove stains.

  • Cotton is a generally durable fabric, so it can be treated with the methods detailed above – a cold water rinse, a salt or baking soda paste, or a detergent for more stubborn stains.
  • Silk fibres are delicate, so you should take extra care removing stains from silk. Act as quickly as possible to dab and soak the stain with cold water. For stubborn stains on silk, take the item to a dry cleaner.
  • You should avoid rubbing wool as the fibres are delicate and can become damaged. Gently dab the stain and visit a dry cleaner for more stubborn stains.
  • Denim is a durable fabric, so it can take a thorough spot clean, but you should still take care to ensure you don't set blood stains. As with other fabrics, don't wash blood-stained denim in hot water, and don't use the tumble dryer as it can set the stain.
  • You should make sure to avoid any products containing bleach when dealing with stained linen, as it can weaken the fibres. While linen is reasonably durable, you should stick to a cold-water soak and rinse.

Getting a blood stain on your favourite item of clothing can seem like a disaster, but with plenty of patience and care, most stains can eventually be lifted.

If you're looking to upgrade your washing machine and make cleaning even more seamless, be sure to explore the full collection of washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers at Hoover.