The 4 Step Process for Removing Blood from Sheets

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Whether it was from a heavy period, a midnight bloody nose, or a pesky cut from shaving, you've probably had the unpleasant experience of waking up to blood-stained sheets at some point in your life. The cleaning process isn't nearly as terrible as you might imagine. You should start by removing your bedding and gathering your equipment. It's not impossible to remove blood stains from bedding; you'll just need some time and patience.

Blood, like most other bodily fluids, can be more stubborn to remove than other stains, according to Laura Goodman, a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble and a recognized laundry expert. That just means you need the right stuff (applied in the right proportions) to get the job done.

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Goodman claims that blood contains a wide variety of substances, including proteins, cells, sugar, and fat. Therefore, it needs a number of different ingredients for effective elimination. ”

Curious as to what can be done to clean blood stains from sheets Don't worry, we've got your back Step-by-step instructions from the pros on how to get rid of blood stains.

Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start the stain-removal process, which will make your life much simpler and your sheets much cleaner in the end:

  1. Sheets stained with fresh blood are typically easier and quicker to clean than those stained with dried blood. If you want to get rid of blood stains, Goodman advises doing so while they are still fresh. Hemoglobin in the blood clots when exposed to air, and it can bind strongly to fibers, which is why this happens. ”
  2. Never use warm water Warm water can be used to wash away most stains, but cold water should be used whenever blood is present. According to Goodman, using hot or warm water on a blood stain will only make it more stubborn.
  3. Since proteins make up wool and silk, enzyme cleaners should be avoided. According to laundry expert Patric Richardson, owner of the Minneapolis boutique Mona Williams, enzyme-based cleaners are an effective way to clean blood because they destroy animal (in this case, human) protein. However, using enzyme cleaners can eat the fabric since silk and wool are protein based.

There are a number of effective methods for cleaning blood from sheets (and other fabrics). Some of the best products for removing blood stains from fabric are listed below. Each of these methods can be used as a spot treatment before washing in Step 3 below.

  • Richardson claims that hydrogen peroxide is an effective and simple weapon against blood. Take off the sheet, place a towel over the affected area, and apply hydrogen peroxide. In a few seconds, it will have foamed as much as it can, he says. Make sure it's still wet before you turn on the washer." ”
  • To get rid of blood, Richardson says, "Wine Away will totally work, similar to hydrogen peroxide." Apply it to the wound, then toss it in the washing machine while it's still wet." ”
  • Color-safe alternatives to sodium percarbonate bleach: Richardson recommends The Laundress' All-Purpose Bleach Alternative. You can dab the solution onto the stain or directly dip the stain into a solution of one tablespoon of bleach per one quart of water. He recommends using two capfuls of the detergent when washing sheets.  
  • Nature's Miracle: Richardson claims that Nature's Miracle is most effective on pet stains. However, as an enzymatic cleanser, it has the potential to effectively treat any organic stain. Use the recommended amount of Nature's Miracle on the stained area, wait 10 minutes, and then blot away the blood.  

Now you can get down to business and wash the blood out of your sheets. Get to work with a bucket, water, laundry detergent, and your preferred pre-treatment.

The first step is to clean the sheets of any visible blood. To remove as much blood as possible from the sheet, gently blot at the stain with a dry cloth. If you don't want the stain to spread, you can blot with a fresh section of cloth every so often.

To make removing a stain from a sheet easier, you should first soak the stained area in cold water to dilute the stain.

Follow the label instructions (or ours, above) for treating the stained area with the stain removal product of your choice. Goodman suggests making a soaking solution of 25 ml liquid detergent per gallon of cold water in a plastic bucket for pretreatment.

Soak the stained area of the sheet for up to 30 minutes, weighing it down with a towel to keep it submerged if necessary. After each treatment, launder the sheets as usual, but only in cold water.

If the stain persists after air drying, try another treatment or a different product from the options given. Machine drying could permanently set the stain on your item. Richardson says, "It is not impossible to get a stain out of something if you have run it through the dryer, but it will be a lot harder."

Even though it's best to get rid of a stain as soon as possible, the steps outlined above will work to get dried blood out of your sheets. But, as Richardson points out, there is a crucial initial step Before washing the affected area, make sure it is damp. Richardson advises, "Make the blood spot wet with some water, and then treat it as normal."  

Repeat the process if the stain proves particularly difficult to remove.

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Saliva contains enzymes that can digest proteins, so it could theoretically remove a blood stain. However, spitting on blood stains won't do much good. Richardson claims that "if it's a tiny spot, saliva will work." However, if the stain is particularly large, you simply won't have enough saliva to get the job done. ”

Richardson claims that while baking soda is an efficient cleaner on hard surfaces, it does not remove blood.  

Blood and other stains should not be treated with salt water. However, salt can have the opposite effect by setting the stain, as stated by Richardson.

Another no, according to Richardson: vinegar won't get rid of blood stains. Hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative if you'd rather not use a store-bought product.

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