Home Remedies for Cleaning Blood Stains

home remedies to clean up blood stains

Cut yourself with a knife? Suffered a nosebleed? Cleaning up the pieces of a bike ride gone bad? Blood stains are typically easy to remove before they set in, but if you wait for longer than 24 hours – they are nearly impossible to treat[1]. Luckily, home remedies for blood stains can help save clothing and other fabrics from being permanently blemished.

About Blood Stains

One of the hardest types of stains to remove is blood because of the organic material – associated proteins and enzymes which bond easier to the fabric or other stained material. The dark color of blood stains is caused by the deoxygenation of the hemoglobin. To treat blood stains, you need a cleaning solution that addresses the enzymes. There is a thin line between spilled blood on fabric being removed and becoming a permanent stain – the most important factor to consider is time. If blood is allowed to completely dry, the permanent blood stain may never be removed.

Blood Stain Home Remedies

One of the first lines of attacks against blood stains should be a rinse with cold water. Depending on the material in question, you should consider the following home remedies for blood stains:

a) Denture Cleaner:

An effervescent denture cleanser tablet added to a bowl of water creates an effective soak for bloodstained garments. Leave the fabric in the soak for 15 to 60 minutes before washing as usual.

b) Salt and Water:

Treat a fresh blood stain with cool salted water – one teaspoon of salt per 600 mL of water. Rinse the garment with clear water. Salt and water has been known to remove stains older than six months when treated with a solution of one teaspoon of salt added to two cups of cold water.

c) Vinegar:

To treat blood stains on your clothing before they set, pour undiluted white vinegar on the spot. Allow it to soak into the fabric for 5 to 10 minutes. Blot the stain well using a cloth or towel. Repeat the process if needed, and then immediately put in the washer as usual.

d) White Wine Vinegar:

Remove stubborn blood stains by applying white wine vinegar. Rinse the garment well after treating, and dry with a towel.

e) Eye Dropper:

To remove the small droplets of blood that can stain a garment, an eye dropper allows you to be precise in applying stain remover.

f) Liquid Hand Dishwashing Soap:

To remove blood from upholstery and carpet, mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cold water. If the blood has dried, brush it well to remove the surface stain. Use a clean white cloth and sponge the stain with the detergent solution. Blot until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process until the stain disappears. Finish up by sponging the area with cold water, and then blot dry.

g) WD-40:

To remove blood stains on a shirt, you can actually use WD-40 to pretreat the stain. Spray some of the WD-40 directly on the stains. Wait a couple of minutes before tossing in the laundry as usual. The spray will help lift the stain to make it easier to wash away. It is important to treat the stain while it is still fresh.

h) Old T-Shirt:

One of the most absorbent items you can use to blot up stains is 100% cotton cloths, like old-T-shirts. An old towel will also work well [2].

i) Q-Tip:

You can use the small shape of a Q-tip to treat stains that only need a little bit of stain remover.

j) Ammonia:

Some people have removed blood stains from their clothing by sponging with a small amount of diluted ammonia[3] – perhaps one teaspoon of ammonia per every 600 mL of water. Rinse the clothing well.

k) Hydrogen Peroxide:

To remove a fresh bloodstain, apply 3% hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain, and then rinse with fresh water. Place the clothing in the laundry as usual.

l) Meat Tenderizer [4]:

Unflavored meat tenderizer has a reputation for treating stains that have a protein base – like blood. When the blood stain is fresh, sprinkle enough tenderizer to cover the spot. Let the garment sit for one hour before brushing off the dried tenderizer. Put the clothing in the laundry like usual. If the blood has already set into your clothing, make a paste out of meat tenderizer and water. Rub the remedy into the stain, and wait an hour before washing in the laundry.

m) Paintbrush:

To accurately apply liquid stain removers to clothing and make the overall process much neater, use a paintbrush.

n) Cornstarch:

Remove or reduce the sight of a bloodstain from your clothing or table linens by making a paste out of cornstarch and cold water. Cover the stain with the cornstarch paste, and then gently rub it into the fabric. Position the material in a sunny location to dry. Once the remedy has dried up – brush off the remaining residue. Repeat the process if the stain remains. This remedy is more effective the quicker you respond to the stain. Cornmeal can be used as a substitute if you do not have any cornstarch.

o) Spray Bottle:

Recycle an empty spray bottle by filling it with homemade stain remover, and keeping it close to your washer and dryer so that you can quickly address fresh stains before they have time to set in.

p) Window Cleaner:

An ammonia-based window cleaner can help remove stubborn blood stains. Spray the stain and let sit for 15 minutes. Use a clean rag to blot the stain. Rinse well with cool water, and then place in the washer as usual. Choose a window cleaner with a clear color to avoid staining the fabric. Do not use this remedy on silk, wool, or their blends.

q) Talcum Powder:

Remove fresh blood stains from clothing or furniture with a paste made out of talcum powder and water. Apply the remedy to spots, and when it has dried, brush away the stain.

r) Coca Cola:

To remove blood stains from your clothing, soak the garment overnight in cola, and the spots will disappear. It is important to act quickly with the stain – the longer it sits on your clothing – the harder it is to remove.

s) Paper Towels:

To blot up a fresh bloodstain, use paper towels. Make sure they are the plain white kind.

t) Lava Soap:

Rub a Lava soap bar[5] on the blood stains of your clothing under running water before using any other stain removing techniques to enhance the overall results. Wait 20 minutes before washing as usual. This remedy is best for jeans and khakis because you don’t have to worry about ruining the color of the fabric.

u) Your Saliva:

A quick response to removing a small, fresh blood stain is to spit on the stain, and then place it in cold water. Your saliva actually contains an enzyme that helps break down your own blood. Next, treat the stain as you would usually.

v) Lemon Juice:

Pour lemon juice over a blood stain, and let it stand for a few minutes. Use a laundry pretreater before rinsing out the garment with lukewarm to cool water. You may have to repeat the process for stubborn stains.

w) Milk:

There are enzymes found in plain milk that work on dried blood stains. Soak the stained area in a bowl or glass of milk, which should loosen the saturation of the blood in the fibers of the fabric. Within a couple of hours, you might have a better chance at removing the stain.


[1] http://www.rd.com/slideshows/how-to-remove-blood-stains/view-all/

[2] Stain Rescue by Good Housekeeping Research Institute; pg. 39.

[3] http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/stain-removal/remove-blood-stains.html

[4] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest’ pg. 210.
[5] http://www.lavasoap.com/products/lava-bar/