Accidents happen. Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ll find yourself trying to scrub a blood stain off from your clothes. For all we know, it might just be your new pair of yoga pants (things happen like that, right?)! While blood stains are notoriously hard to clean, it’s not impossible. You just need to know what to do.
Whether you scratched yourself on a branch or nicked yourself while shaving, you’ll want to treat the blood stain as soon as possible—this is key. After all, they’re easiest to get rid of when they’re still wet. Once they dry, they’ll be much more difficult to get off.
First Things First: Blot Off the Excess Blood
Assuming that you’ve cleaned your wound (which you should absolutely do, by the way), your next step will be to blot off the excess blood. Use a cloth or a paper towel to carefully dab off the blood. If necessary, take off the garment so that you can blot it from both sides. Ultimately, you want to prevent the blood from setting into the fabric as that will make it hard to clean.
Do not rub the area—that will spread the blood even further. Not to mention that it can irritate your wound if you have one!
Once you’ve gotten the excess blood off, you’ll want to wash the area with detergent. If that’s not possible (i.e. you’re not home), try to at least run the fabric under a faucet (go to a washroom if you have to). The water will help to rinse out the blood and prevent it from setting in. Things will be much more difficult if you leave the stain on as is and wait until you go home.
Getting Rid of the Blood Stain with Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent isn’t just for the washing machine, it can also be great for stains. That’s right, you can use it to get rid of your blood stain.
Best Detergent to Get Blood Stains Out of Clothing
ACTIVE detergent is not only great for activewear, but it’s also fantastic at lifting blood stains. The reasoning is simple. It’s specially formulated to eliminate organic compounds such as sweat. As it turns out, blood also fits into this category. In other words, the detergent is able to get into the fabric to dissolve the blood. How? With the help of its plant-based enzymes! These compounds are able to physically break down the blood cells, which makes it easy to wash away.
Other Reasons Why You Might Want to Use ACTIVE Detergent:
- It is all natural and does not contain any chemicals (i.e. it’s good for the environment)
- Hypoallergenic formula means that it won’t irritate your skin
- A single bag will last you a long time (90 loads)
- Filler and fragrance-free
- Extends the life of your garments
How to Use ACTIVE Detergent to Get Rid of Blood Stains
Obviously, you don’t want to just toss your blood stained-shirt into the washer and add detergent. That might get rid of some of the blood, but it’s definitely not the most efficient way of doing it.
What you want to do instead, is to pre-treat the garment with detergent and water. Not sure what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, we’ll be going over the exact steps below!
Pre-treating Your Blood Stained Clothes with ACTIVE Detergent
Mix a bit of ACTIVE detergent with warm water in a small bowl. Apply the mixture onto the blood stain using an old toothbrush (you can use other types of soft brushes as well). From there, gently rub it into the fabric with your fingers. Make sure that the problem area is saturated with the detergent mix. If necessary, apply it from both sides of the fabric.
Once you’ve covered the area with the mixture, let it sit for at least 30 minutes. This will give the detergent time to lift the blood stain. In other words, it’ll make it much easier to wash off later. Depending on how set in the blood stain is (i.e. how long it’s been since the “accident”), you might have to let it “marinate” for a bit longer.
The next step is to wash soak the entire item in a soapy solution. Fill the sink with warm water; you can also use a bucket or a container (as long as your garment fits). Add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Create soap suds by agitating the solution with your hand. Submerge the blood-stained garment into the mixture and wait another 30 minutes.
Take the item out of the sink. Check the blood stain—is it still visible? If so, you might need to repeat the above steps. Continue until the blood is no longer visible.
What To Do After Pre-Treating the Item
Wash the item as normal once the stain is gone. Since you’re already at the sink, it might be easiest just do it there. Drain away the dirty water and fill it three-quarters full with clean water. Add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent—this time, you’ll be using it to wash the item.
Pro-tip: Assuming that the blood stain is gone, you can wash the item with your other clothes. Just make sure that their colors are compatible (i.e. don’t mix dark with light colors). Be careful not to overload the sink with too many items.
Like before, you want to mix the detergent with the water until suds appear. Once that’s good, plop your garment in the sink. Swirl it around in the solution. If you want, you can let it soak for another 15 minutes; however, that’s not entirely necessary as you already soaked it earlier for the stain.
Lather your hands with soap before massaging the fabric. Pay extra attention to the previously stained area. When you’re done washing, put it under tap water to rinse off the detergent. Continue until no more suds are visible. Transfer the item onto a clean surface. You can pat it lightly with a towel to get rid of some of the dampness. Hang it up on a clothesline to dry.
Depending on the item, it may or may not be a good idea to put it in the dryer. When you’re in doubt, always check the care instruction label! The exact directions will be written there.
Note: Once the stain is gone, you also have the option of tossing it into the washing machine. It’s perfectly fine to launder them with other clothes as long as they’re compatible.
Other Ways to Remove Blood Stains From Clothing
More often than not, ACTIVE detergent will be enough to do the trick. In some cases, however, you might need to use something else.
Using Baking Soda to Remove Blood Stains
Baking soda is incredibly versatile. Not only is it great for muffins, but it can be used to remove blood stains. Mix two parts baking soda with one part water in a small bowl to create a paste. Apply it directly onto the stained area with an old toothbrush. Rub it in gently—make sure that the spot is completely saturated with the paste.
Leave it on for up to 30 minutes; this will allow the baking soda to work on the stain. Remove the paste when the time is up. Use a paper towel or damp cloth to blot the area clean before laundering the item as normal. Repeat with more paste if the blood stain is still visible—you might have to do this a few times to completely get rid of it.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide For Blood Stains
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to get rid of dried blood stains. You can buy a 3% solution at any drugstore.
Carefully pour some hydrogen peroxide on the stain (you can use an eyedropper for easier application). Use a clean cloth to rub it in gently. Make sure that the entire area is soaked through. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Check to see if the blood stain is gone afterwards. If it isn’t, you might have to repeat it a second time. Launder the item as normal once the stain has been removed.
Note: Hydrogen peroxide can bleach or weaken certain types of fabric. Avoid using it on dark-colored items.
Using Salt and Water
Locate the stain and run it under tap water. In a small bowl, mix together a little bit of salt and water to create a thick paste. Saturate the stained area with the mixture by using a brush or your fingers. Rub it into the fabric. The dehydrating properties of the salt will help to lift the blood from the fibers.
When you’re done, rinse away the salt with water. Check to see if the blood stain is gone. If it isn’t, repeat the above steps. Otherwise, you can wash the item as normal.
Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with half a cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl. Using a sponge or a cloth, dab the blood stain with the solution; continue until the surface is somewhat dry. Following that, blot the area with water. Once the blood stain is gone, you can launder the garment as normal.
Important Note: Never mix ammonia with other housecleaning products—especially chlorine bleach. When these liquids come into contact with each other, they release toxic fumes that can be harmful to our health.