Blood Stain Removal from Clothing

Addressing blood stain removal from clothing is a challenging, but achievable task. Cuts and scrapes and other facts of life bring us and our clothing into contact with blood, and we find out the hard way that blood is one of the most difficult of all the bodily fluids to remove from fabrics.

Blood Stain Removal From Clothing

But what is it that makes blood stain removal from clothing such a pain? It all comes down to iron. Iron, whether it comes in the form of iron oxides on rusty items, or the iron-rich blood in our veins, is a naturally occurring mineral.

As such, it is impervious to many of the normal detergents and cleaning agents that we use to launder our clothing. Therefore, it takes chemicals that are effective against iron, such as rust removers or oxygenating cleaners, to remove blood stains from fabrics. 

Blood Stain Removal From Clothing

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Powdered Oxygen Bleach
  • Protective Gloves
  • Heavy Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent

Fresh blood stains are the easiest blood stains to remove from clothing, provided you remember two simple rules:

  1. Never use chlorine bleach on a blood stain.
  2. Never dry a blood stained item in the dryer until you are certain the stain has been removed.

Chlorine bleach and heat are two of an iron stain's – and therefore a blood stain's – best friends. Use either, or both, on a blood stain, and you're almost assured to have that stain around forever. While chlorine bleach is known for it's stain removal prowess, on blood stains, it can actually have the opposite effect, working with the minerals in blood to set the stain even more permanently into the fabric.

Heat will set almost any stain, including blood, so never dry a stained item in the dryer until you're certain the stain is gone – hang to dry instead.

Fresh Blood Stain Removal from Clothing

Steps:

  1. Don protective gloves.
  2. Rinse the stain under cold water, removing as much of the stain as possible.
  3. Make a thin paste of powdered oxygen bleach and water.
  4. Apply to the stain.
  5. Allow to set several minutes.
  6. Rinse using cold water.
  7. If any stain remains behind, repeat steps 2-6 until the stain is gone. 
  8. Wash according to label directions, adding heavy duty liquid laundry detergent according to the detergent label's instructions.
  9. Add one-half cup of powdered oxygen bleach to the wash load, as well.
  10. Hang to dry.

Dried Blood Stain Removal From Clothing

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Powdered Oxygen Bleach
  • Protective Gloves Disposable
  • Plastic Knife
  • Clean White Cloth
  • Heavy Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent

One of the biggest laundry challenges you'll ever face is the removal of dried blood from fabric. The fact that the blood is dried could mean that the stain is set permanently, such as in the case of a dried blood stain that was exposed to heat during the drying process. However, depending upon the length of time in which the stain has been present, it may still be possible to remove the stain.

The key is the steps you take to do so. Wetting a dried blood stain can immediately make a bad situation worse, spreading the stain and therefore making it larger than it was before. And, as stated above, if you use the wrong chemicals on the stain, such as chlorine bleach, you decrease your chances of removing the stain even more.

Removing a dried blood stain is a delicate process, so follow these instructions carefully:

  1. Don protective gloves.
  2. Using the disposable plastic knife, gently scrape as much of the dried blood away as possible, taking care not to damage the clothing fabric.
  3. Dampen a clean white cloth with cold water, and blot the stain just enough to dampen it without soaking it. Be careful not to let the stain bleed onto the fabric underneath, or other areas of the fabric.
  4. Make a thin past of the powdered oxygen bleach and cool water.
  5. Apply thickly to the stain, and allow to set several minutes, but not long enough to dry on the fabric.
  6. Rinse under cold water.
  7. If any stain remains, repeat steps 4-6 until the stain is removed.
  8. Wash according to label directions, adding heavy duty liquid laundry detergent according to the detergent label's instructions.
  9. Add one-half cup of powdered oxygen bleach to the wash load, as well.
  10. Hang to dry.