Accidents happen, and sometimes that means getting blood on your sheets. Blood can be a tricky stain to tackle, whether it’s from a small cut or a nosebleed.
Even though you might feel like you’ve stepped onto a horror movie set, getting blood out of sheets can be easy if you know the right steps. You won’t need a lot of expensive cleaning supplies either! The ones you have at home should do just fine.
So, relax. You haven’t ruined your favourite sheets just yet.
How to Clean Blood Stained Sheets
Assess the situation and gather supplies
The first step in removing dried blood stains is thoroughly assessing the situation. How large is the stain? Is it localised to a specific area, or has it spread? What type of fabric are you working with?
You’ll want to gather items such as cold water, clean white cloths or paper towels, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, liquid laundry detergent, and either an old toothbrush or a soft-bristle brush for the task.
Option 1: Cold water
One of the best ways to remove blood stains from sheets is by rinsing them in cold water as soon as possible.
- Dampen a clean cloth or cotton ball with cold water and gently dab at the stain, working from the outside in to prevent the stain from spreading. Blot as much of the blood as possible.
- Hold the stained area under running cold water until it stops bleeding red.
- Continue flushing the area with cold water until it has stopped discolouring your sheet fabric.
- After treating the stain, wash the sheets in cold water with mild laundry detergent.
- Once the blood stain is gone, dry the sheets as you usually would.
Option 2: Salt water (saline solution)
Salt may be a surprising ally in the fight against period blood stains, but its absorbent properties can help draw the blood out of the fabric.
- Dampen the stain with cold water.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt over the area.
- Allow the salt to sit and absorb the blood for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse with cold water and rub the fabric to help lift the stain further.
This approach can be more effective when used with other cleaning solutions, such as the hydrogen peroxide or baking soda methods mentioned earlier.
Option 3: Lemon juice
Lemon juice comes packed with natural enzymes that work wonders in breaking down stubborn blood stains.
- Hold the blood-stained sheets under cold running water until it’s soaked.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice directly onto the blood stain, covering the entire area.
- Let the lemon juice sit on the stain for 10-15 minutes. The acidity in the lemon juice will help to break down the blood and lift it from the fabric.
- After the lemon juice has sat for 10-15 minutes, rinse the sheets in cold water and wash them in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
- Let the sheets air dry completely before storing.
- For stubborn stains, consider creating a paste by mixing equal parts salt and lemon juice, which can then be applied to the spot.
Option 4: White vinegar and baking soda
Harsh chemicals can damage the fibres of your sheets, leaving them looking worse for wear. So, try gentle, natural cleansers like white vinegar and baking soda.
- Start by soaking the blood-stained sheets in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This will help to loosen the stain. Do not use warm or hot water, as this can set the stain.
- Make a paste by mixing equal parts white vinegar and baking soda.
- Apply the baking soda paste directly onto the blood stain, making sure to cover the entire area.
- Let the paste sit on the stain for 30 minutes. This will give the vinegar and baking soda time to break down the blood and lift it from the fabric.
- Wash the sheets in cold water with laundry detergent.
- Check the stain before you air dry or put the sheets in the dryer.
- If the blood stain remains, repeat the process until the stain is gone.
Option 5: Try hydrogen peroxide (on light-coloured sheets only)
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective yet gentle way to remove blood from fabrics without fading them.
- You can make your own hydrogen peroxide solution by mixing 250 mL of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 500 mL of cold water.
- If the affected area is small, gently apply the solution to the stained area with a cotton ball or cloth.
- If you’re dealing with a big blood stain, pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain to saturate the entire area. You can also use a spray bottle to apply the solution.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water and rewashing as normal.
Important note: Hydrogen peroxide may bleach certain fabrics, so it’s important to test on an inconspicuous area first.
Option 6: Use commercial cleaning solutions if all else fails
If you need more power to remove blood stains, use a fabric-safe bleach detergent like OxiClean, Sard Power or Vanish.
Different commercial stain removers or fabric-safe bleach detergents have different instructions, so read and follow the instructions on the label. Here’s how you can use them.
- Mix the fabric-safe bleach detergent with cold water according to the instructions on the label.
- Soak the sheets in the detergent solution for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse the sheets with cold water and check if the blood stain is completely gone.
- If it’s still there, apply a stain remover directly onto the blood stain, making sure to cover the entire area.
Important note: Do not mix the bleach detergent with the commercial stain remover.
- Let the stain remover sit on the stain for the recommended time. This will give the stain remover time to penetrate the fabric and break down the stain.
- Rinse the sheets in cold water and wash them in the washing machine.
- Allow your newly washed sheets to completely dry before putting them away.
Option 7: Ask a professional to help
If you’ve exhausted your arsenal of home remedies without success, it might be time to consult a professional cleaner.
Speak with your local professional to discuss your options for treating a stubborn stain. Let them know the type of fabric, the age of the stain, and any prior treatments you’ve attempted.
How to Get Blood Stains Out of White Sheets
Option 1: Cold water and laundry detergent
Rinse the blood-stained area with cold water immediately, then apply laundry detergent directly onto the stain. Rub the fabric together to work the detergent into the stain, then let it sit for a few minutes.
Wash the sheets in cold water with laundry detergent, then check to see if the stain is gone. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process.
Option 2: Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
For light-coloured sheets, hydrogen peroxide is a powerful ally in removing bloodstains. Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to create a paste, then apply the paste directly onto the blood stain.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse the sheets with cold water and wash them in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
Option 3: White vinegar
Soak the blood-stained area in white vinegar for 30 minutes, then rinse the sheets with cold water and wash them in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
Option 4: Lemon juice
Apply lemon juice directly onto the blood stain, then let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse the sheets with cold water and wash them in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
Option 5: Enzyme-based cleaners
Use an enzyme-based cleaner designed specifically for removing blood stains. Follow the instructions on the label carefully, then wash the sheets in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
How to Remove Dried Blood Stains from Sheets
Fresh blood is much easier to remove than old blood stains. The quicker you attend to a blood stain, the better your chances are of completely removing it. So, while it may be challenging to remove dried blood stains from sheets, it’s still possible with the right approach.
- Use a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to scrape off as much dried blood as possible. Be careful not to damage the fabric.
- Fill a bucket or sink with cold water and add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide.
- Soak the sheet in bleach and cold water overnight. Alternatively, soak the stained sheet for at least 30 minutes and add 125 mL of white vinegar for extra brightening power.
- After treating the stain, wash the sheets in cold water with laundry detergent.
- Be sure to check the stain before drying the sheets.
- If the stain is still visible, repeat the process until the stain is gone.
How to Get Period Blood Out of Sheets
Periods can feel like a curse, but they shouldn’t have to haunt your beautiful bedsheets.
Step 1: Use cold water
The cardinal rule of removing period blood stains is to always use cold water. If you make the mistake of using hot or even warm water, you’ll set the stain, making it more difficult to remove.
So, rinse the stained area with cold water while gently rubbing the fabric together (or with a soft brush) to loosen the blood. If you can’t wash the sheet immediately, let it soak in cold water while you gather your cleaning supplies.
Step 2: Break out the household stain fighters
Once you’ve rinsed the affected area with cold water, the next step is to apply a pre-treatment solution to help break down the blood. These can either be store-bought stain removers or homemade natural solutions.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Pour hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and watch the magic happen. Allow it to bubble and penetrate the fabric for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. This is most effective for light-coloured sheets.
- Baking Soda: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water and applying it to the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water. This method is great for dark-coloured sheets as it won’t bleach the fabric.
- Salt: Gently rub table salt onto a wet period stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat the process as needed.
- Lemon Juice: For a natural, mild bleach alternative, squeeze some lemon juice onto the stain and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Step 3: Toss into the washing machine
Now that you’ve pre-treated the stain and made significant progress lifting the period blood, it’s time for a standard wash.
- Load the sheets into the washing machine (feel free to include other laundry items that can be washed in cold water), and use the recommended amount of laundry detergent for the load size.
- Wash the sheets in the cold water setting to avoid setting the stain and run the cycle as usual.
- Once the cycle is complete, it’s important to check for any remaining traces of blood before drying your sheets.
- If the stain is still visible, repeat the pre-treatment process and wash it again.
Step 4: Dry the sheets in the sun – nature’s natural bleach
Sunlight has natural bleaching properties, which may help to remove any lingering traces of period blood. Keep in mind that hanging your sheets in direct sunlight may cause fading, especially for dark-coloured sheets.
No Special Treatment Required for Blood Stains
You can survive the horrors of bloody sheets. Whether you use a natural remedy, a commercial stain remover or fabric-safe bleach, it’s important to act quickly. With patience and persistence, you can remove blood from sheets and keep using them for years to come.