Like life, blood stains are what happens when you’re making other plans. Of course, we never intend to get our clothes bloody, but from skinned knees, to accidental kitchen cuts, to period mishaps, it’s bound to happen from time to time. While giving any fresh wounds the TLC they deserve should always be your first priority, we’ve got you covered with easy-to-follow tips for how to get blood stains out of clothes.
Finding the Right Cleaners
While blood may seem worse than other stains because it’s, well, blood—the good news is that no matter the garment, you can treat and safely remove blood stains with ordinary household items like white vinegar, baking soda, and plant-based laundry detergent.
Soak Right Away
If you can, soak the blood stained garment as quickly as you can in cold water for an hour or two to help keep the stain from drying and setting into the fabric.
Treat with Peroxide or White Vinegar
After checking your garment’s color-fastness, soak a small utility rag or some paper towels in white vinegar, then lightly scrub the stain. If you’re concerned about ruining your garment’s color, try a paste made from baking soda and water instead.
Dollop Stain with Liquid Laundry Detergent
To further lift the stain and keep it from getting cozy in your favorite jeans or sweater, pour a small amount of plant-based liquid laundry detergent right onto the stain. Then, soak in cold water with a bit more detergent or a sprinkle of baking soda. Try to make no hand contact with the detergent or wear gloves while you soak the garment.
Air dry your stained garment, then check the stain. If it’s gone, or at least faded substantially, treat with stain spray, then wash as you normally would. If you have an extra-powerful detergent on hand that’s boosted with stain fighting enzymes and surfactants, now is the time to reach for the heavy stuff.
Stain Still There?
If the stain is still there, don’t panic. All good things come to those who treat stains a second (or third) time. If that blood stain is still hanging on, treat again with vinegar, and try washing again. More often than not, that stain will soon be a memory.
How to Get Dried Blood Out of Clothes
If the blood has already dried, you’ll need a little more elbow grease to get that stain out—but it will be worth it. For dried blood stains, soak in cold water. Then scrub the stain with a plant based dish soap and water, turn the garment inside out, and scrub the fabric’s other side as well, rinsing and repeating along the way until the stain begins to fade. Then repeat the steps above, re-treating as needed. Be persistent.
Back to Life! And that’s how to get blood stains out of clothes. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, back to it. Play hard. Have fun. And when life, or blood stains, happen, you’ll be ready.