The Best Ways to Get Blood Stains Out of Clothes

When blood comes into contact with clothing, it can result in a dark, reddish-brown stain.

General Stain Removal Guidelines

When the stain is treated promptly and with the proper method, blood stains can be removed from most washable fabrics.

Blood stains are protein-based and should always be treated promptly. Stains that are fresh are much easier to clean than those that have been left to sit for more than 24 hours. If the blood is still wet, excess blood should be removed by blotting the area with a paper towel or clean, white cloth. Never use bar soap to rub a fresh blood stain, because the soap will set the stain. Avoid rubbing a stained area excessively unless you are certain the fabric is durable enough to withstand it. Rub gently under cool, running water. Never use hot water on a blood stain. Hot water will "cook" the protein elements of the blood, causing it to adhere more strongly to the fabric.

If the clothing is dry clean-only, home stain treatment methods should not be used. Blot away the excess blood and rush it to a dry cleaner for professional stain removal.

Blood Stain Removal

Fresh blood stains can usually be removed by soaking the item in cold water and then rubbing the affected area under running, cold water. For older stains, first brush or scrape off any dried or crusted blood. Soak the item with liquid detergent in cool water. The wash in warm (not hot) water, using a heavy-duty detergent, and rinse. Inspect the item before placing in the dryer (heat from the dryer will set the stain). If the stain persists, soak again for another 30 minutes before rewashing. If the stain is stubborn, bleach may be necessary for white or color-fast items. All-fabric bleach should be used for clothing that is bright or not color-fast.

About the Author

Sharon O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has been published on various websites, including Walden University's Think+Up. She has worked in international business and is a licensed customs broker. She is currently a supervisor with a social service agency that works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University.