How to Remove Dried Blood Stains

Fresh blood stains are notoriously difficult to remove, often leaving a yellow spot behind even after the bright red stain is long gone. Unfortunately, removing dried blood stains is even more difficult, because the blood is often set in for the long haul. But don't throw out a garment that's stained with dried blood just yet. Rather, consult the guide below that describes the best-known methods for removing dried blood stains.

Remove Dried Blood Stains

Getting Dry Blood Out of Clothing

A dried blood stain on clothing or other washable fabric item may be removed by spot treating the stain prior to washing normally. Before you begin, check the care instructions (product label). If the instructions read "dry clean only," do not proceed with the instructions below. Rather, consult a professional specializing in dry cleaning. Otherwise, proceed as follows.

To remove dried blood stains from clothing, you will need:

  • cold water
  • oxygen bleach (powdered or in solution)

To spot treat a dried blood stain on clothing:

  1. Scrape any solid dried blood from the garment.
  2. Rinse with cold water.
  3. Check the care instructions to determine if bleach can/can't be used. If bleach can't be used, do not proceed further, since clothing finishes can be destroyed or discolored by oxygen bleach.  If bleach can be used continue with step 4. 
  4. Apply oxygen bleach according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  5. Work the oxygen bleach into the stain. If you are using a powdered oxygen bleach, make a paste by adding water to the oxygen bleach.
  6. Allow the oxygen bleach to work on the stain for several hours.
  7. Rinse the fabric in cold water, then check to make sure the stain is removed. If not, repeat steps 2-7 until it is.
  8. Launder as directed by the manufacturer's care instructions..

Removing Dried Blood Stains From Washable Fabric

To remove dried blood stains from washable fabric, you will need:

  • cold water
  • powder oxygen bleach

A large dried blood stain, or multiple blood stains, on fabric may respond better to soaking than to spot removal. Before you begin, check the care instructions (product label). If the instructions read "dry clean only," do not proceed with the instructions below. Rather, consult a professional specializing in dry cleaning. If the fabric can tolerate water, proceed with the instructions below.

To soak dried blood stains out of washable fabrics:

  1. Scrape any solid dried blood from the fabric.
  2. Rinse with cold water.
  3. Check the care instructions to determine if bleach can/can't be used. If bleach can't be used, do not proceed further, since clothing finishes can be discolored or destroyed by oxygen bleach.
  4. Dissolve one cup of oxygen bleach in two gallons of warm water in a sink, tub, or large bucket. Allow the water to cool before adding the fabric item.
  5. Put the fabric item into the oxygen bleach/water solution, making sure that the item is completely submerged.
  6. Allow the fabric item to soak in the oxygen bleach/water solution several hours or over night.
  7. Check the item for stains; if any stains remain, repeat steps 2-7.
  8. Launder as directed by the manufacturer's label.

 

Removing Dried Blood Stains From Upholstery

To remove dried blood stains from upholstery, you will need:

  • water (cool and warm)
  • powder oxygen leach
  • clean, dry white cloths

Dried blood stains on upholstery may be impossible to remove. However, the instructions below may remove stains from upholstery fabrics that are safe for cleaning with oxygen bleach.

To remove dried blood stains from upholstery:

  1. Scrape any solid dried blood from the upholstery.
  2. Check the care instructions to determine if bleach can/can't be used. If bleach can't be used, do not proceed further since upholstery finishes can be discolored or destroyed by oxygen bleach. If the upholstery can tolerate bleach, proceed with step 3.
  3. Dissolve 1 cup of oxygen bleach per 2 gallons of warm water in a bucket. Allow the solution to cool before using.
  4. Dampen a clean, dry white cloth in the oxygen bleach solution.
  5. Gently press the dampened cloth onto the stain, taking care not to soak the fabric.
  6. Blot with a dry cloth to pull up the dried blood stain. If the dried blood stain has been removed to your satisfaction, proceed to step 8. Otherwise, proceed with step 7.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5, 6, 7 until the stain is removed.
  8. Rinse the treated area by dampening a dry cloth in clean, cool water, then gently blot the treated area.
  9. Blot dry with a dry white cloth.

Removing dried blood stains from upholstery items is often a matter of good timing. The longer a stain sets on fabric, the more likely it is to stain permanently. Work fast to remove these stains to increase your chances of getting them out completely, and remember to never expose a blood stain of any type to a dryer or clothing iron until the stain is removed, otherwise you risk setting the stain permanently.