- Blood on the sheets, mainly light or white ones, seems to be a death sentence for the fabric. Yet, want it or not, various types of stains will inevitably appear on our favorite bedding set.
- If you’re you’re facing tricky blood stains on your bedding, don’t worry; we’ve got your back! If you know the right methods, the initially-terrifying blood stains aren’t difficult to deal with.
- Keep reading to explore a few easy-peasy tips to remove blood stains from your beloved sheets in a flash. One hack, for starters, avoid warm water like fire! Keep reading to discover more.
Blood stains on the bedding
You’re right; blood in bed is not a situation that happens very often. Yet, it does surprise us now and then.
Period blood is probably the type of blood that most often surprises us in sleep.
Tip: Check on Scary Mommy how to get period stains out of a mattress and avoid period leakage.
Other reasons for an unexpected stained area on your sheets are
- a bloody nose,
- an open cut,
- a bite of the bug, or even
- pet stains;
Luckily, we’re here to face these annoying blood drops on your bedding with you.
So don’t panic, and let’s take a ride through a couple of smart hacks!
But before we get there, let’s keep in mind these three golden rules to remove blood stains:
- act fast!—the sooner you notice the blood stain, the easier it will be to remove it.
- control the washing label—before you pour any stain remover on the stain, ensure it won’t damage your sheets. Read washing instructions written on the care label attached to your bedding fabric.
- use only cold or very cold water—when cleaning the bloodstains, it’s essential to avoid hot temperatures. Warm or hot water will only make the situation worse.
Important: Hot water gets specific blood proteins deeper into the fabric, making the cleaning process unsuccessful and worsening the stained effect on the fabric.
Removing blood stains—fresh blood
If you’ve noticed the stain of blood immediately (or within an hour or two), your chances of success are high!
You’re lucky because a fresh blood stain is way easier to remove than a dried blood stain.
Ways to remove blood stains
Here’re some other useful hacks to remove bloodstains.
1. Put fabric under cold running water
Items made of lightweight fabric, such as sheets or underwear, will respond very well to holding the stained area taut under cold running water.
It’s surprising how efficiently a steady stream of cold water can coax excess blood out of a garment. What’s more, sometimes water is enough to get fresh blood out until complete blood removal.
2. Apply the best stain removers
Several laundry products make it possible to handle blood blotches.
When it comes to dedicated chemicals, look for oxygenated bleaches and enzymatic cleaners, i.e., all-purpose stain treatments (for example, Carbona Stain Devils #4). These stain removers can deal with blood-stained area skillfully.
Enzyme stain removers are masters at fighting tough protein stains, such as pet urine, grass, or bloodstains.
Simply spray the affected area with an enzyme stain remover and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes (or how recommended by the manufacturer).
Gently blot the stain with a dampened sponge or wet washcloth until it’s gone entirely. Wash your sheets as usual afterward.
You can treat residual blood stains also with a basic soap, hand soap (both liquid and bar), liquid laundry detergent, or a laundry bar (for instance, Fels-Naptha). The best part is that these cleaning detergents are already sitting in your kitchen cupboard!
Gently rub the fabric using the products of your choice while you’re keeping the stained part of your bedding under the running water.
3. Rub salt or saline solution
Salt water or saline are alternatives when you’re at a place where it’s hard to find dedicated stain removers. Salt water (plain old table salt and cold water) can do wonders in the stains removal department.
Important: Salty water method is the best for silk sheets as there’s no risk it will damage them.
- Make a solution from water and salt in a plastic bucket or another plastic container. Pour in one cup of cold water to a teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves.
- Soak your sheets into the solution. Then leave it for a couple of hours.
- After a few hours of soaking, take the sheets out and rub the stains off, adding some elbow grease for a better result. If the stains remain despite your efforts, leave the sheets soaking for a little longer.
- Rinse the bed sheets off under the running water—remember that it must be cold! If necessary, you can always repeat the process or try another method.
Tip: You can also occasionally use saline solution to rinse your contact lenses and remove traces of loosened debris.
We know quite a lot about dealing with blood-stained sheets, don’t we?
And here’s another hack.
The alternative method mixes two previous techniques—salt and dish soap.
First, to use the salt and dish soap method, wet the stain with cold water. Then, mix one tablespoon of dish soap and two tablespoons of salt.
Finally, let the stain on your sheets soak the concoction, and leave it for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
4. Use hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice
Both substances function like mild bleach, so you want to be careful when using this method to get blood out of colored sheets.
Hydrogen peroxide works similarly to bleach, but it’s safer and more natural.
Allegedly, there is no such stain that hydrogen peroxide couldn’t remove.
So, how to use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood out of sheets?
- After washing your sheets under cold water, pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Leave it for half an hour or so. If you’ll notice the stain starting to bubble—it’s totally fine! As soon as bubbling ceases, get to the next point.
- Gently rub the stain off. Be careful not to damage the fabric. Rub parts of the sheet fabric, one to another, or use a very soft toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to rub the stain. The idea is to facilitate the hydrogen peroxide to soak into the fabric.
- Rinse the fabric off under the cold water. Now, your problem should be resolved!
If you still notice stains, repeat the entire process until you achieve a satisfying result.
Don’t worry if you don’t have hydrogen peroxide on hand, and try doing the same with lemon juice.
Tip: Since hydrogen peroxide has similar features as bleach, you’ll need to watch out when cleaning the darker sheets or colored sheets. We recommend you make a test on a small stained portion of your fabric before proceeding.
There’s also a “baking soda & lemon juice” alternative.
Lemon juice is an excellent lightening agent. You’ll be glad to use it to treat your bedsheets, especially with white sheets.
To prepare the solution, mix two parts lemon juice one part baking soda.
Blot it onto the blood stain and let it sit for five minutes. Then, remove it with a sponge, clean cloth, or rinsing.
5. Use uncoated aspirin or baking soda
These substances are easily accessible, so use them freely to treat your “bloody issue.”
When it comes to aspirin, crush up a couple of tablets and mix the resulting powder with water. It will form a paste that you should then apply to the stain.
Similarly with baking soda—the king of stain removal!
Mix it with water to make a baking soda paste.
Tip: Ensure your paste doesn’t have a consistency of a liquid. Be careful not to overdose water.
Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. After you’re done, machine wash the fabric on a regular washing cycle.
Cornstarch and baking soda work similarly, so pick the one you prefer.
6. Utilize meat tenderizer
Why not deal with stubborn stains with something more extreme?
Unseasoned meat tenderizer is especially effective in older, set-in bloodstains but will work great on fresh blood as well).
To get blood out of sheets, sprinkle the stain with the tenderizer powder and add water—then make a paste on the surface.
Let the solution sit on the stain for 30 minutes.
Finally, rinse with cold water and wash as usual.
7. Use ammonia or vinegar
Ammonia is truly magical when it comes to stain removal. White vinegar has the same effect.
White vinegar will be helpful if you’re looking for a safe blood stain remover. It’s probably the best stain remover found in nature.
To dissolve even the most stubborn stains, pour white vinegar directly on the stain.
Alternatively, prepare the soaking solution with vinegar and soak your sheets for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse with cold water.
Then go back and soak in the vinegar a few times to fully clear the stain.
Run it through your usual laundry process with mild detergent to get rid of the vinegar smell until complete removal.
Tip: If the odor sticks around, try rinsing it with unflavored vodka to neutralize the scent.
With ammonia, the entire process goes similarly:
- Mix equal parts ammonia and water.
- Soak your sheets into the solution.
- Take blood-stained sheets and soak them into the ammonia-water solution. Leave it sinking for no longer than 15 minutes.
- Rinse off and run the cold water to rinse the sheets off. If the stain is persistent, repeat the process!
This hack may sound funny at first, but we know Coke has plenty of unexpected uses.
What works wonders on blood stains that Coke contains are carbonation and phosphoric acid.
So pour a can of Coke directly onto the stain and let it sit until blood begins to go away.
This process might take an hour or two—it all depends on how set the stain is. Then, when the stain is gone, wash as usual.
We went through a couple of ways to get blood out of sheets, but there are even more of them!
Check Teen Vogue to learn some other super handy tips.
It’s also essential to ensure that you go through a drying process correctly after removing your bloody problem, whether you have white sheets or darker sheets.
Sometimes one washing cycle isn’t enough to get blood out of sheets or garments.
To avoid repeating the entire stain removal process over and over, ensure that you let your bed sheets air dry in the natural sunlight.
How does the sun help to remove the blood out of a stained sheet?
The heat that comes from the sun helps to break down the protein in the blood stain.
Thanks to this process, the stain remains become weaker and less resistant to the chemicals we used to remove blood.
So, even if the first time you tried to get rid of the blood out of sheets wasn’t successful—it’s likely that the second will be victorious after going through a simple air dry drying process.
Removing blood stains—dried blood
Now let’s tackle a more challenging task—how to remove dried blood from the bedding?
Maybe you haven’t had a chance to check on your bed sheets for some time. It happens. Yet, if it leads to missing a chance to notice fresh blood stains, you’re in trouble!
Dried blood stains are harder to handle, but nothing is impossible.
So roll up your sleeves, and let’s have it fixed in a flash!
The most recommended method of tackling dried blood stains comprises three following steps:
1. Soak the sheets in cold water overnight to help loosen the blood (in case it’s dried),
2. Pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain and pat it with a soft-bristled brush. Gently dab the stain with a cold, wet rag after about 10 minutes. (use lemon juice instead of hydrogen peroxide if you don’t have it at hand)
3. Machine wash your sheets on a regular washing cycle with cold water and a mild laundry detergent. Then, put your bed sheets out to air dry.
Here you go!
Did you like our tips?
Now you know that everything is possible, and even a severe stain like blood on bed sheets or clothes isn’t a tragedy.
So, next time you notice blood stains on the fabric—act immediately. Ensure to read the washing label of the fabric before you use any chemical, and make sure you use only cold water when removing the stains.