Are you wondering how to get blood stains out of clothes, sheets or carpets?
Blood can find its way onto your sheets, clothes, carpets, and furniture in a variety of ways. Whether you’ve cut your finger, had a bloody nose or had a period mishap, we’ve got solutions.
The blood on your fabric may seem like its be there to stay. Especially if it’s dried or been washed.
Instead of just giving up the item as a lost cause, we’ll show you how to get the stain out.
We tested 11 different methods to get dried blood out of fabric.
We’ll share several different common household items that you can try. We’ll include an approximate cost and effectiveness.
Based on our tests, some of these methods are very effective, some are fairly effective and others simply don’t do much.
Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page. We show you exactly how we tested the blood stain removing solutions AND the results.
Be Persistent To Get the Blood Out
It is important to note that you may need to try multiple methods in order to remove the stain. In fact, you may even need to repeat methods until the stain is completely gone. Effectively removing a bloodstain may require patience and perseverance.
Blood and Protein
Blood is a protein type of stain. Because of this heat is your biggest enemy. If a blood stain is ironed, or soaked in hot water it will be much harder to remove. Protein sets with heat – it’s basically cooked into the fabric.
Hopefully, your first attempt will completely remove the stain. However, it is possible that you’ll merely lighten the stain. As a result, you’ll need additional attempts to completely remove the stain. It will largely depend on the type of fabric and the amount of blood.
Be persistent, and don’t give up after your first try.
11 Ways to Get Blood out of Sheets and Clothes
There are many ways to remove blood stains. We’ve listed them in order of cheapest to most expensive.
No matter which methods you choose, it will be more effective if you use it quickly. Once a stain has been created, you should start working through the removal process as soon as possible.
The sooner you are able to work on the stain, the better. Keep reading to find out the best tricks!
1. Hydrogen Peroxide and Cold Water (cheap)
Cost: $ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
The simple solution will only cost you a couple of dollars at your local pharmacy. Although it is an easy cleaning solution to find, it can be very effective for blood stains. The cold water will likely not cost you more than a few pennies added to your water bill.
Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Lab for Home Appliances and Cleaning Products and Textiles, offered this advice to the Today show. She said, “Of course, you’ll want to try the peroxide in a hidden spot first. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach and, like the “oxi” products on the market, it is usually color-safe, even safe for silk and wool.”
First, run some cold water over your sheets. Or you can just soak the stain in cold water before you started. Rinse out what you can from the stain before using the hydrogen peroxide.
- Light Colors: If your sheets are white or light colored, then you can add the hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. Depending on the size of the stain, just a teaspoon or so should be enough to remove the stain.
- Dark Colors: If your sheets are darker, then you will need to dilute the hydrogen peroxide with some water to avoid accidentally bleaching your sheets. I would recommend using the hydrogen peroxide and water in a one to one ratio. However, you will need to make this decision based on how dark your sheets are.
Let Fizzle & Then Rub
After you have added the hydrogen peroxide, let it fizzle for a minute. Then rub directly on the stain for a minute or two. You should start to see the stain disappearing.
Now you should be able to rinse off the stain with cold water. It is likely that you will need to repeat the process a few times before the stain is completely gone.
This method will cost you less than 5 dollars to remove blood from your fabric. It works well for cotton sheets, shirts, spandex, and more.
As you can see from the photo above this is one of the most effective ways to get blood out of clothes.
Related Article: Hydrogen Peroxide Personal Care
2. Dawn Dish Soap with Hydrogen Peroxide (cheap)
Cost: $$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆
Another cleaning solution that will only cost you a few dollars to mix together. If you had to buy everything from the store today, it would likely cost you less than 7 dollars. However, it is very possible that you already have these ingredients lying around the house.
First, you will need to mix up the solution.
Stain Killing Formula
The formula is 2 ounces of Blue Dawn dish soap plus 6 ounces of hydrogen peroxide. If you want to produce less or more of the solution, the ratio is three to one.
Once you have mixed up the solution well, you should put it into a spray bottle for easy application. Or you can also just dab the solution onto the stain with a rag. After you have applied the solution, gently scrub the stain with a rag.
Next, you just have to wait. You can leave the solution on the stain and watch it vanish. The solution should not damage any of your fabrics. Finish by rinsing or dabbing the area with clean water or a rag with water.
This method should only cost you a few dollars, but it will potentially save you hundreds of dollars in carpet cleaning costs. The cost to mix up 8 ounces of this solution is about 50 cents.
Steve & Annette from MoneySmartFamily.com have had success using this DIY Stain Remover mixture for stains on their carpets, clothing, and other linens. They have even found success with this method on washed and dried blood stains. It is definitely worth giving it a try!
Related Article: Cleaning Tips and Cleaning Products Money-Saving Tips Page
3. Club Soda and Salt (cheap)
Cost: $ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
This unlikely method is surprisingly effective at removing bloodstains from your fabric.
First, sprinkle some salt onto your stain. Second, pour the club soda onto the area. Now, you need to wait. It is a good idea to leave the solution overnight, but if you are in a rush then just leave it for at least an hour.
After the solution has dried, rub it with water and a clean cloth. You may need to vacuum the area to remove the salt.
You likely have salt on hand. The cost of a bottle of store brand club soda at Kroger grocery store is less than $1 (we found it in the liquor section). We were suprised at how effective this was at getting blood out of sheets.
If you’re interested in the science behind Club Soda’s stain removing power, read this Scientific American article.
4. Dawn Dish Soap (cheap)
Cost: $$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆
You can also remove tough stains with just dish soap, instead of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide mix. You will need to dilute the dish soap with water. The formula is one teaspoon of dish soap for every two cups of cold water.
Once you have mixed up the solution, sponge the stain with a clean cloth. Keep blotting until the stain disappears. Next, dab the stain with just cold water. Finally, blot the stain until it is dry.
This method works well for delicate fabrics that you are unwilling to test hydrogen peroxide on. Dawn dish soap works best, but you can just use the dish soap you already have in the kitchen. The total cost of this method should be less than 2 or 3 dollars.
You should try this method when attempting to get dried blood out of clothes.
Learn why Dawn Dish Soap is a good stain remover.
5. Vinegar (cheap)
Cost: $$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆
Vinegar is another effective cleaning product that you likely already have on hand.
Just add the vinegar to your fabric and allow it to soak into the stain. You may need to leave it for several hours. After it has soaked in, you will need to rinse the area with water.
After the process, your stain should be completely gone. However, if it still there then you should attempt repeating the process.
You likely have vinegar on hand, but if you don’t a bottle from your local grocery store should cost you less than 5 dollars. It is another cost-effective way to remove blood from your fabric.
6. Bleach (cheap)
Cost: $$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
If you are attempting to remove blood stains from pure white fabrics, then bleach is a great option. I have successfully used this method multiple times on my white shirts. For extremely tough stains, this is worth a try. If bleach will not remove the stain, then is unlikely that any other method will work.
All you need to do is add a small amount of bleach to the stained area. Let the bleach work its magic on your stain for a minute. Then rinse the area with water.
Anytime you are using bleach, you need to be extremely careful about where the bleach goes. It can easily ruin any fabrics that are not white. I would recommend wearing old clothes that you do not care about anytime you are using bleach.
Bleach is a very strong cleaning agent, so it should be able to effectively remove your bloodstains from any white fabric.
A bottle of bleach from target costs less than 3 dollars. Ths stain should only take a few drops of the bleach to remove it completely. It is a great and cost-effective method for any bloodstains on white sheets or clothing. You may want to test the bleach on an inconspicuous spot on the fabric before attempting it on the stain.
I have seen instances where applying bleach directly to a cotton fabric weakens the cloth and results in a hole.
Clorox has published an article on how to use bleach safely on clothes.
7. Oxi Clean Products (moderate)
Cost: $$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Oxi Clean products are known for their powerful stain removal. It is effective on many kinds of tough stains, including bloodstains. The brand has several options to choose from but the two main choices are an Oxi Clean spray or an Oxi Clean powder.
The Oxi Clean max force spray is $4.99 at Walmart. The Oxi Clean versatile powder is $8.99 at Walmart. You will need to choose which option will work best for you. If you choose the powder option, then you will need to mix up the solution as needed for your stains. It is very easy to mix the powder with water, but it is an extra step.
If you prefer simplicity, then the spray is probably the best option for you.
Either way, the product should be able to get out some of your toughest bloodstains.
Step 1 – Rinse
First, rinse the stain with cold water. You can even soak it if your stain has been dried for a long time.
Step 2 – Soak with Oxi Clean
Next, you will need to apply your Oxi Clean product. Follow the directions based on the product you chose. It will likely require you to soak the stain with the product for several hours. I would just leave it soaking for the maximum amount of time to let the product work on your stain. Otherwise, you might need to repeat the process multiple times.
Step 3 – Wash & Check
After soaking for a while, you can just wash the item. Before you put it into the dryer, make sure the stain came out. Otherwise, repeat the process before you dry it.
This method is very easy and proven to work well. It is more expensive than other home methods, but it may be worth it for extremely tough stains.
8. White Wine (moderate)
Cost: $$$ Effectiveness: ⋆
White wine is another method that will really only serve to lighten your bloodstain. However, it can be a very useful method in a pinch. Especially if you are out of the house with an uncomfortable stain with no change of clothes. Access to white wine could be your saving grace.
Just dip the stain into a little bit of white wine. Wait a little while, then rinse the area with water. It should lighten the stain considerably.
It can help you get through the day. Or prevent the stain from setting before you can get to your laundry room.
The cost of this treatment is the price of a glass of white wine. That price varies widely based on your location.
As you can see this is the least effective way to get blood out of sheets. If you try this method, you may end up using the wine for other purposes … purely medicinal.
9. Contact Solution (expensive)
Cost: $$$$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆
If you have contact solution at home, then this is worth a try. It should only take a few drops, so it will not cost you more than a dollar. However, if you need to buy a bottle of contact solution in order to try this method, the previously mentioned solutions are less expensive.
I would recommend just getting a travel size bottle of contact solution, which you should be able to find a pharmacy for under 7 dollars.
All you need to do it apply a few drops of the solution, then wait a few hours. Although it may not completely remove the stain, it should lighten it.
It is a good method to have use while traveling. If you get a blood stain on your clothes during a trip, you may not be able to wash your clothes to properly remove the stain. This method is a quick fix for anyone that already has contact solution in their travel bag.
The lightening of the stain should improve your chances of completely removing the stain when you get home. Otherwise, it may dry into your fabric and set forever.
10. Ammonia, Bar Soap, Stain-Removal, and Laundry Detergent (moderate)
Cost: $$$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
If your blood stain is very tough, then you may need to resort to this more complicated method. It is worth giving this intense method a try after other methods have not worked.
Step 1 – Rinse & Soak
First, rinse the stain with cold water. You can soak it for a couple of minutes if you have time.
Step 2 – Bar Soap
Next take a bar of soap, any kind of bath soap, and start rubbing it in.
Step 3 – Peroxide
While you are rubbing, you can even add a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. Keep massaging until there is a lather on top of the stain.
Step 4 – Stain Remover
After the lather is covering the stain, spray it with stain remover of any kind. Let that soak into the fabric for several minutes.
Step 5 – Ammonia
Now, add a small amount of ammonia to the stain with either a cotton ball or a clean cloth.
Step 6 – Wash & Check
Finally, wash the fabric with any kind of laundry detergent. Before you dry the item, check that the stain has lifted. Otherwise, repeat the process.
This method is more involved than many of the other methods. However, it is an effective way to remove tough blood stains from your fabrics. It is worth giving it a shot, especially if nothing else has worked so far. The amount of ingredients involved makes this method more expensive than the other options listed, but it is still relatively inexpensive.
Ammonia is relatively inexpensive. DollarTree sells it for $1 for a 64-ounce bottle. Another good thing is that you’ll only need a few drops of it to get a blood stain out.
So, if you buy a bottle then it should last through many stain removals.
The other ingredients are fairly inexpensive also. A bar of soap should cost less than a few dollars, plus you can even use leftover hotel soaps.
I’ve put some of these solutions in an old Windex bottle. You can use just about any kind of spray bottle you have in the house. I have discovered that bleach products eventually destroy the spray mechanism.
11. Steam Treat Washing Machine (expensive)
Cost: $$$$ Effectiveness: ⋆⋆⋆
If you have a washing machine that has a steam treat option, then you should give this method a try. Simply set the cycle to “steam treat” and wash the item.
It should remove the stain without any problems. This will only work if you have a steam treat option on your machine.
This method is essentially free if you already have a washing machine with this option.
We listed this as an expensive option because you’d have to purchase the washing machine.
How We Tested Cleaning Blood Out of Sheets
We tried to be as scientific and objective as possible during this test.
1. The Fabric
We used an old sheet. It was about 600 thread count, 100 percent cotton. We cut the pieces of fabric into 12-inch squares.
2. The Blood
Steve pricked his finger and put blood on each of the sheet pieces. We realize that blood from a cut or a nosebleed is slightly different than menstrual blood. But the results for both types of blood should be fairly consistent.
3. Setting the Stain
When removing a blood stain, you want to act as quickly as possible. Treating it when the blood is fresh ensures greater success.
We decided to let the blood sit for 24 hours … then we ironed the blood stain to set it even more.
The goal was to test each blood cleaning solution with the toughest stain possible.
4. Soaking The Stain
We put laid each piece of fabric in a white cereal bowl with the blood stain flat on the bottom and poured the liquid solution on top of it. We scrubbed each stain with a toothbrush. The solution was left to sit for 24 hours before washing.
Most of the solutions showed results within a few hours. You can see it in this picture.
6. Final Wash
We washed all 9 pieces of the sheet fabric in a single load in our top loading washing machine. We used cold water, laundry detergent and a little bit of bleach.
Blood Stain Test Video
In this video, we show you our testing method and the final results of those tests.
Any of these methods should help you to remove blood stains from your fabrics. You may need to try multiple methods in order to effectively remove your stain. If you need more ideas for DIY Cleaning and Stain Removal ideas, then check out our DIY Cleaning Products page.