Blood stains can be hard to remove once they set. The setting is a complex chemical process which involves enzymes and proteins in the blood. The underlying chemicals in the fabric can also get involved in the process leading to stubborn stains which are hard to remove. It is best to treat the blood when it is fresh.
10 ways to remove blood stains are listed below to help you out.
1. Soap and Water
The most common and simplest of methods uses the traditional laundry soap and cold water. The stain is to be hand washed rubbing the fabric against itself. Good for cotton and linen but should be done with care for wool and artificial fibres.
Common full strength white vinegar is excellent for blood stains before they set. Pour the vinegar on the spot and soak for about 10 minutes. Blot with a cloth and repeat process if required. Wash it immediately.
Dab the stain with a half-strength solution of ammonia and water. Rinse in cold water. For more stubborn stains, you can use a mix of ammonia and detergent. Be careful when you use on silk and wool because ammonia reacts with the protein in them.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
This chemical is easily available and is an excellent disinfectant and cleansing agent. Soak the stain in 3% hydrogen peroxide, rinse with water, and wash as usual.
Use of enzymes and meat tenderizers (used in the kitchen, also an enzyme) is one of the best methods for removing blood stains. Rinse in cold water and scrape off dried blood residues. Soak in an enzyme and mild detergent in cold water for an hour to a day depending on how hard and stubborn the stain has set. Wash/launder the fabric and air dry. This method is not recommended for wool and silk.
6. Lemon Juice and Salt
Soak stained fabric in cold water and rinse after a few minutes. Put the fabric in a resealable plastic cover. Pour 2 cups lemon juice and 1/2 cup salt in the cover. Seal the cover and gently massage the fabric. Soak for 10 minutes. Remove from cover, squeeze out excess juice and leave in the sun to dry. The fabric will stiffen when dry. Wash the fabric and launder if blood stains have gone. Else dry in sun for some more time before washing.
7. Salt Water
This applies for fresh stains. Dunk fabric in cold salt water for three to four hours. Hand wash with detergent.
8. Soda Pop
This is a great first aid for fresh stains especially when away from home. Soak stain in cola (soda pop) and leave overnight. Wash off stain.
If you thought WD-40 is only useful in the workshop and DIY projects, you couldn’t be more wrong. This chemical is very useful for removing blood stains, especially fresh ones. Spry WD-40 on the stain and wash off after a few minutes.
10. Cornstarch/ Talcum Powder
This method is good for clothing and linen. Make a paste of cornstarch or talcum powder and apply this on the blood stain. Scrape off past when dry and wash. If stain persists, repeat the process.