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Blood Stain Removal

Updated on April 12, 2010

So you’re just an average axe wielding maniac and now you’ve gone and got blood on your clothes, or your car upholstery or maybe your sofa. How careless, but not to worry help is at hand. In all seriousness, blood stains from cuts or nose bleeds can become stubborn and difficult to remove unless you go about things the right way. However there are products and techniques available to get rid of those unsightly stains. Follow some or all of these tips and removing blood stains will never be a problem again.

The first thing to say about removing blood stains is the sooner you can deal with them the better. While blood is fresh, and still wet, getting it off clothes, carpets and other upholstery should be fairly straight forward. It is only when the blood has congealed and set that the problem becomes slightly trickier, but even then there are things you can do.

Fresh blood.

If you can deal with the blood stain while it is still fresh then the process should be plain sailing. The trick is to soak the garment or dab the fabric with cold salty water. Whatever you do don’t use hot water as this will only make the blood set and that’s when you run into problems. For thourough results the process should be as follows,

1. Take a clean cloth, wet with the cold water salt solution and dab the fresh blood stain. The idea is to dab the area rather than scrub as scrubbing will just spread the stain and work it further into the material. We’re trying to draw it out rather than spread. This should be easier if you start at the edges of the stain and work your way inwards.
2. Then soak the garment in plain cold water.
3. If the stain hasn’t gone now repeat the soaking process but this time in a salty cold bath.
4. If you’re still not happy with results then you can apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the area via a damp sponge or cloth but be aware that this has a bleaching agent and may not be suitable for colored fabrics.
5. After satisfactorily completeing the steps above then wash the clothes normally, either hand wash or in a machine using your usual cleaning detergent.
6. Finally let the fabris dry naturally rather than using a yumble dryer. If any stain does remain you don’t want it to set further by admitting it to extreme heat.

Removing Dried Blood.

Once blood has set and dried into your clothing, or your favorite rug and sofa, it is that much harder to remove. At this point it will be nessesary to take some more extreme steps to remove the stain and use stronger strength chemicals and solutions to get the job done.

The first thing to do is to make sure any congealed matter (yuk) has been well and truly scraped off the surface of the material you are treating. The objective here is to end up with just the faded brown stain that the blood leaves behind and then treat that area with a chemical solution. Again hydrogen peroxide should do the trick but shouldn’t be used if you’re worried about bleaching out the color.

If beaching isn’t a problem then soak the garment in a mix of peroxide and water, warm water this time as the blood has already set, and leave for a good couple of hours. If your working on a rug, carpet or other upholstery then apply a small amount of the peroxide directly onto the stain and leave it to sock in and do it’s work before dabbing off with a wet cloth.

Ammonia is another possible blood stain remover and won’t bleach your clothes but will damage very delicate fabrics like silk, so be careful. Apply the ammonia directly to the offending area and again let it work for some time. You may have read that a window cleaning solution can work on blood stains and this is simply because it has a large amount of ammonia in it.

Cleaning Products

While the above advice is helpful I have always found that there are plenty of specialist cleaning products on the market that have been specifically developed for certain tasks and this also true when it comes to removing blood stains. Either through an online shop like Amazon, or via your local hardware store, you will find a number of different products just for the removal of blood.

I think the above hints and tricks should take care of most blood stain removing issues but here are a few other bits of advice that I’ve come across, although I can’t vouch for their effectiveness.

1. Lava Soap – Apparently scrubing the stain with a bar of lava soap works.
2. Spit – Yes that’s right, your own spit on a stain of your own blood will help to break down the problem.
3. Meat tenderizer – Hmm well I guess if it can soften up flesh it can break up your blood stain.


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