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How to Remove Blood Stains from Clothes

Don't let a blood stain ruin a garment for good – find out the essential tips and tricks you need to remove blood stains on clothes with ease.


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Blood stains are an unavoidable part of family life: whether from scraped knees, cut fingers, or nasty nose bleeds, they’re inevitably going to feature on your clothing as some point or other. Most people have a vague idea of how to remove blood stains from clothes, but they tend to leave out one crucial stage – and it is this which could ruin your garment for good. As such, we’ve put together this simple guide for how to remove blood stains effectively.

If you have a good-quality detergent like at home, you already have the most important tool for removing blood stains from clothes. Just follow the instructions below.

Remember: always check the your garment’s care label before attempting to remove stains and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle of any product you use.

Never use warm or hot water to clean a blood stain as this will make it harder to remove. If you’re out and about when the blood stain occurs, apply cold water immediately to the mark to make it easier to remove later on.

How to Remove Blood Stain from Manmade Fabrics and Cotton

  • Turn the garment inside out and run clean, cold water through the stain from the back. This will prevent the stain from working deeper into the fibres of the fabric.

  • Next, take a regular bar of hand soap, or liquid dish soap and rub it into the stain. Be aware that too much agitation can damage natural fibres like cotton.

  • Flush the stain with cold water and repeat the process until no more progress can be made.

  • Then, fill a bucket with a cold water and biological washing detergent solution and put the garment in to soak. The enzymes in the detergent will help break down the proteins in the blood stains.

  • Select a cool cycle on your washing machine and launder your garment in the normal way.

  • Remove from the machine and repeat the process if the stain is not completely removed.

  • Finally, hang the garment on the line in bright sunshine, as this will also help bleach out any remnants of a blood stain.

How to Remove Blood Stains from Clothes That Are Delicate

Blood stains are very difficult to remove from fabrics like silk or wool. Garments of this type should be handled differently. If in doubt, contact a specialist laundry service for advice:

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  1. As above, turn the garment inside out and run clean, cold water through the back of the stain.

  2. Fill a bucket with cold water and a specialist non-biological washing detergent and soak the garment inside. Biological detergents that contain enzymes will damage the garment, so avoid these at all costs.

  3. Hand-wash the garment or machine wash it on a delicate cycle with an appropriate detergent to minimise potential damage.

  4. If the stain does not come out, repeat the process or consult a professional.

  • Check the care label on your garment.

  • Flush the stain with cold water from the back.

  • Pre-treat the stain directly or by soaking in a solution containing an appropriate detergent.

  • Wash and dry as normal.

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Frequently asked questions on removing blood stains from clothes

How do you remove blood stains from jeans?

Accidents happen, so if you need to know how to remove blood stains from jeans, we are here to help. Start by blotting the stain with a damp cloth, placing a second cloth inside the jeans to help soak up excess water. Do not rub as that may only spread the blood stain. When no more blood is on the cloth, submerge your jeans in cold water for about half an hour and then throw them in the washing machine on a spin cycle or a cold wash.

How do you remove blood stains from wood?

If you need to know how to remove blood stains from wood, there are some tips to help. Firstly, if the blood is fresh use paper kitchen roll to mop it up but only after any sort of injury has been treated. Blot rather than rub so you don't spread the stain. If the blood has been there a long time and stained the wood, try baking soda. A much relied on at-home cleaning item, sprinkle some across the bloodstain and go at it with a brush to lift the baking soda and the stain too.

How do you remove blood stains from white clothes - are there any special tricks?

Getting bloodstains out of clothes is hard enough, but when it comes to white clothes it can be even harder. If it’s a light piece of clothing, like a t-shirt, the first thing you should do is soak it under cold water, focusing on the specific area of the stain. With a fresh stain, use some soap and scrub the stain in water. With a dried bloodstain, mix some liquid detergent with water and soak the piece of clothing in that for as long as a couple of hours.

How can I get dried blood stains out of clothes?

A dried stain can be harder to get rid of but there are still ways to do it. First, soak the piece of clothing in cold water. You may leave the clothes to soak for a few hours as this can help break down the stain. Next, scrub the stain with a mix of water and soap and put the piece of clothing into the washing machine on a cold cycle. Do not give up if the stain persists, try these steps a couple of times as it may take a few goes before the stain is finally clean. If you want to get blood stains out of clothes fully, then avoid drying the item in between stain removal attempts - this will make the residual staining harder to remove.

Originally published