How Do You Remove Old Blood Stains From Clothes and Sheets?

Blood stains often have the reputation of being difficult to remove, but in actuality are relatively straightforward if caught early enough. Simply rinse under cold running water quickly before gently agitating with your fingertips for quick results.

Coke can be an effective stain remover: pour it directly on the stained area and allow it to set for several hours before blotting and washing normally.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Have you ever cut yourself while meal prepping, suffered from a nosebleed, or cut yourself shaving and left blood stains behind on clothes and linen? It can be difficult, but with early treatment fresh blood stains should typically go away using cold water and inexpensive household cleaners – one trick ER nurses use to eliminate red blood stains is this method:

If the stain is fresh, soak the fabric in cold water for at least several minutes prior to beginning treatment; hot water could set a blood stain that makes removal impossible later on.

Next, grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and apply a small amount to the bloodstain with an old toothbrush to work the peroxide into fabric fibers and loosen any stain before washing. Allow it to set for one minute before rinsing off; depending on how severe your stain is, repeating this step several times until all stains have been completely eliminated.

One effective method of eliminating blood stains on white sheets is using salt and cold water to create a paste. This solution works particularly well on delicate fabrics or items you cannot put into the wash, such as mattresses. Simply mix plain table salt with cold water until it forms a thick paste before applying it directly onto the stained area – leaving it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with cold water before laundering as usual.

Salt can be an effective method for eliminating dried blood stains on fabrics, as the salt helps oxidize them away. However, peroxide may discolour coloured fabrics.

If you want a more robust approach to eliminating bloodstains, consider purchasing an industrial stain removal product from most laundry aisles. These are specially formulated to tackle protein stains (like blood) while still being accessible. When testing any stain remover product for first use it’s always wise to carefully read through and follow its label instructions – including testing an inconspicuous spot prior to doing any serious cleaning work.


Commercial blood stain removers like hydrogen peroxide and enzyme soap may be recommended, but other household items could work just as effectively. As Real Simple’s experts advise, always test dyed fabrics first for colorfastness before treating with anything.

The basic method involves placing the stain under cold water. Hot water will set the stain, making it harder to remove later. Next, blot the fabric with a paper towel until as much blood has been extracted as possible – remember not to rub as this will spread it!

Vinegar can also be an effective method for eliminating bloodstains quickly and efficiently. Apply some vinegar directly onto the stain, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then blot. This will break down proteins that are responsible for staining fabrics such as cotton fabrics. Afterward, machine wash these items to eliminate their vinegar odor.

Meat tenderizer powder also contains enzymes that break down proteins, so mixing some with cold water and applying it directly to bloodstains is another great way to clean them up. When dry, let the mixture sit until blotting it off before brushing away any dried residue – or for pillowcases or sheets you could put them into the dryer on cold to eliminate odor.

Ammonia can also be an effective choice for eliminating blood stains on clothing and sheets. Use some on a damp sponge or cloth, apply to the stained area, blot away excess ammonia from fabric by changing sponges/clothes frequently until stain is cleared away.

If you don’t have ammonia on hand, vegetable soap or dishwashing liquid will suffice as alternatives to ammonia in treating stain removal. Be sure that the soap used is mild and that cold water only is used as warm or hot water will set the stain further. Before applying any cleaner to fabric or threads it is wise to first test an inconspicuous area for colorfastness before proceeding; gradually increase concentration rather than trying to scrub an entire garment or mattress at once.

Baking Soda/Cornstarch

If your blood stain has set into your mattress fibers or has been there for an extended period, it can be challenging to remove. In these instances, stronger solutions such as ammonia or hydrogen peroxide may be required; hydrogen peroxide acts as a natural bleach that works by breaking apart molecules that hold on to blood stains – an approach known as oxidizing bonds which hold them there on a molecular level and making removal possible.

An effective natural way of removing blood stains is soaking a sheet in vinegar, which acts as both a disinfectant and can break up blood residue from stains. A cloth dipped in cold water with a pinch of salt may also work well to eliminate bloodstains – be sure not to rub at them; doing so may spread them further and make removal much harder.

Cornstarch can serve as an effective alternative to baking soda in removing blood stains from cotton fabric, such as sheets. Just combine cornstarch and water until a paste forms and apply to the stain; after it dries completely, brush off and wash as usual. Vinegar may also help in treating remaining blood stains but takes longer than hydrogen peroxide: spray water mixed with vinegar over affected area until completely saturated; soak affected sheet for 30 minutes then rinse in cold water after this time has lapsed.

Period blood stains can be one of the easiest types of bloodstains to clean off of a mattress, provided you act swiftly. Use a dampened white cloth dampened with cold water to gently dab at any stained areas on your mattress in an effort to absorb as much of the bloodstain’s moisture as possible before it sets in permanently.

Cola can also be an invaluable ally when trying to remove blood stains from fabric surfaces like bed sheets. Containing both carbonic and phosphoric acids that will dissolve any remaining stain residue, it helps lift any remaining marks off fabrics like bedsheets quickly. Simply apply the solution directly onto the stain for approximately fifteen minutes before washing away with soapy water.


Dried blood stains can be among the hardest stains to eradicate from clothing and sheets. But with some simple household items, the stain can be lightened so it can be easily washed away. Remember to act quickly without using hot water as this heat cooks away any trace of blood from fabric surfaces – too much heat cook-off may bind blood permanently to its host fabric, rendering full removal impossible but even very dark bloodstains may be lightened over time.

First, rinse the stained fabric in cold water. Next, use a cloth or paper towel to blot up as much of the blood stain as possible with cloth or paper towel blotting. If the fabric can be washed in saltwater soaking (using one teaspoon of salt in two cups of cold water as an saline solution), or rub a liquid detergent solution over its affected areas instead.

If the blood stain remains evident, apply a paste made of baking soda and water directly onto fabric, allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, and rinse it away afterwards. This should help lift away blood stains; spraying straight white vinegar might work too; otherwise try using an enzyme cleaner such as Persil Small & Mighty Bio; test first on an inconspicuous area before going further with this solution.

If none of the household products mentioned are at hand, there are various store-bought stain removal products that may help. These may come in spray or powder form and should be added directly to fabric along with cold water for best results. Some specialty blood stain removers exist which should work on most fabrics while following label instructions before applying directly on fabric surfaces. When purchasing store products always follow label directions carefully as well as test in an inconspicuous area prior to using on any major projects.