Waking up to blood stains on bed sheets, though unfortunate, happens more often than we’d like, especially for people who menstruate. Though unsightly and inconvenient, cleaning blood stained sheets is completely doable!
The easiest way to remove blood from sheets is to act fast — if your stain is fresh, it may come out simply by rinsing and/or scrubbing the sheet under cold water. You can also soak the sheets in a bucket or sink full of water.
Always make sure the water you’re using is cold — hot water will cook the blood and permanently set the stain. If need be, you can use a tiny bit of dish soap to help break up the blood particles in the fabric. Scrub the stain with your fingers to loosen it, then put it directly under the faucet, as the water may help flush the stain out.
If you have successfully removed the stain, you can launder the sheets in cold water. If some of the stain still remains, pretreat it with dish soap, then let it sit for about fifteen minutes before washing it.
Don’t put your sheets in the dryer until the blood is completely gone — heat is not your friend when it comes to any type of stain.
If your stain remains even after pretreatment and a cold wash, you can treat your sheets with hydrogen peroxide. Because hydrogen peroxide may bleach your fabric, be sure to test it out first on an inconspicuous spot.
The peroxide will start foaming upon contact with the blood stain — that means it’s working! Wipe away the foam, then continue to pour hydrogen peroxide onto the stain until it starts to fade.
Rinse your sheets in cold water, and scrub lightly with dish soap, if needed, before laundering them. If this doesn’t rid your bedsheets of the stubborn stain, don’t worry, as there are still techniques to try.
A simple solution of salt (one teaspoon) and cold water (one cup) may be your key to removing that pesky blood stain. This technique is good for delicate fabrics, however it may take a few tries. Salt has incredible dehydrating properties, and will lift up the water and the blood if given enough time. Pour some of the solution onto the stain, then gently rub it in. Let it sit for ten minutes, then rinse the sheets under cold water. If the stain persists, repeat this method.
For another natural technique, you can alternate between soaking your stained sheets in vinegar for thirty minutes, and rinsing it in cold water. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone, then launder the sheets to remove the vinegar smell. Unflavored vodka can also help neutralize the vinegar smell.
Baking soda, a trusty tool used quite often in household cleaning, can help remove blood stains, too. Be careful with this technique as it may cause some bleaching to your sheets. Simply make a paste of water and baking soda, and rub it onto your stain. As the paste dries, the baking soda will draw out the blood stain from the sheet. After thirty minutes, rinse off the sheet, and repeat if necessary. Again, launder the sheets in cold water once the stain is removed.
Have a can of soda on hand? This surprising technique works wonders with blood stains, but it does take some time. Pour some soda (a Coke, Sprite, or whatever is available) onto the blood stain, then let it sit for at least two hours. The carbonation and phosphoric acid in the soda will “raise” the stain off of your sheets. When the stain is gone, wash your sheets in cold water.
If you didn’t have success with any of the above methods, or simply want to skip the home remedies, you can try your luck with a stain removal product. Because these products contain powerful chemicals, make sure to test it out on a discrete corner of the fabric before applying it directly to a blood stain. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and as always, wash your sheets in cold water after treating them.
Although it’s definitely easiest to remove a fresh blood stain, there are ways to get old or dried blood stains out of your sheets. We recommend skipping the DIY methods entirely and going straight to products created for stain removal. Depending on how old the stain is, you’ll have to soak your sheets in a solution of water and laundry detergent/stain remover for a few hours, or even overnight. If this doesn’t work, you can try spot treating the stain with bleach.
If you’ve already washed and dried your sheets, the stain will be difficult, but not impossible, to remove. This technique is strictly for white sheets, because you may risk bleaching the fabric. First, pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain and scrub it with a clean rag, and let it sit for about five minutes. Then, take a hot iron and put it over the stain until it disappears. Spray the stain with water, and iron it again to remove the ring the peroxide may have left.
If your sheets are stained with blood, chances are some blood may have managed to find its way onto your mattress. Mattresses sans mattress protectors are susceptible to stains — so, how do you get a blood stain out of a bed? If the stain is old or dried out, you’ll need to rehydrate the stain by lightly spraying it with cold water in order to loosen the particles. Make a mixture of cornstarch (½ cup), hydrogen peroxide (¼ cup), and salt (1 tablespoon), and spread the paste onto the stain. Let the stain dry, then brush or vacuum it off. Repeat this process if need be, or try blotting the stain with a clean cloth dipped in either hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.
Blood stains on bed sheets are annoying, but they do occur — after all, we spend nearly half of our lives in our beds. Although treating the stains might seem daunting, don’t ditch your sheets! With these time-tested home remedies for removing blood stains, you’ll be able to enjoy your investment in great bedding for a long time.