How to Clean Blood Stains
Blood often leaves the body unexpectedly, such as when you accidentally grate your fingers instead of a carrot. Hopefully the injury is minor and the worst result is a bloodstain. You can find lots of advice online on how to remove blood from different types of tissue, but we decided to do some real testing. To be inspired by carrie, we got our hands on a few jars of pig blood – a close approximation of human blood in terms of clotting and red blood cell size – and applied drops to samples of common fabrics used in clothing and bedding. We’ve learned that most fresh blood stains go away with cold water and inexpensive household cleaners, and acting quickly is a crucial part of the process.
After scouring materials websites, cleaning up blogs and Reddit to see how other people are dealing with bloodstains, I interviewed Samantha Kennedy, the Family and Consumer Science Outreach Officer for the University of Florida in Wakulla County. Her instructions for removing blood stains have proven effective (apart from stubborn fabric), and the items she suggested are considerably cheaper than most specialty stain removers and detergents.
This guide is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all instruction for all fabrics. We used white materials for better visibility, and each type of fabric is constructed differently, right down to the chemicals it might have been treated with during production, which could either hinder or help stain removal. . We also didn’t run our tests with menstrual blood in mind, as the flow is made up of more than just blood, but we have a great guide to period underwear.
Consider the steps outlined below as a starting point. With any type of fabric cleaning, try a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first and be sure to check the wash and care label for any special instructions.
Do you have your own tips or tricks for dealing with bloodstains? Let us know.