person putting sheets in washing machine to get blood out of sheets

How to Remove Blood from Sheets, According to Cleaning Experts

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/ October 20, 2020
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Nobody wants to see their favorite sheets stained with blood. The good news is, a blood stain isn't hard to remove if you take the right steps.

Whether it's period blood or from a nosebleed or a cut, it's entirely possible to get the blood out of your sheets and make them look brand new again. All you need is a little persistence and items commonly found in your pantry.

This guide will teach you exactly how to remove blood from sheets.

How to remove blood from sheets

Many stains, including blood, bodily fluids, baby formula, and dairy products will come out if you presoak with an oxygen cleaner like Oxiclean in a sink or on the presoak setting of your washing machine," says Donna Smallin Kuper, certified house cleaning technician and author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness.

For blood stains specifically, Smallin Kuper recommends following the next steps.

Soak fresh blood stains in cold water

The fresher the stain, the easier it will be to get it out. Simply soak fresh blood stains in cold water as soon as you notice them. In many cases, it will be enough to get rid of the stain completely. Avoid using hot water as it will cook the blood and set the stains.

Soak dried blood stains in warm water

If the blood is already dried, use warm water and soak it for a little while.

Use an enzyme cleaner

When soaking old stains especially, use an enzyme cleaner such as one formulated for pet stains.

Wash sheets per usual

After soaking, you can wash the sheet as usual.

Use bleach if necessary

If the stain doesn't come out after the first wash, wash one more time, using bleach.

Check before drying

Be careful to check the sheets before throwing them into the dryer to make sure the stain is gone. According to Smallin Kuper, if the stain isn't completely removed, drying will set it further.

Related: An expert guide to cleaning every type of bedding

Spilled red wine on your sheets? Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on getting rid of the stain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpYoX76Yu04

Stain fighters

If the simple steps outlined above aren't enough to get the blood out, you can get help from some common products you already have lying around the house. With the assistance of these stain fighters, getting blood out of sheets should be less of a battle.

Hydrogen peroxide

Carolyn E. Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Lab for Home Appliances & Cleaning Products and Textiles, advises applying a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain after soaking it in cold water. If the first time doesn't remove the stain, reapply as needed. After the stain is gone, rinse the fabric with cold water and wash as usual.

Vinegar

Pour some full-strength white vinegar directly onto the stain and let it soak for five to 10 minutes, then rinse and repeat if necessary. This works best on fresh stains. Wash the sheet immediately afterward.

Baking soda

Wet the stain in cold water and rub some baking soda paste into it. To make the paste, mix two parts baking soda with one part water (for example, ½ cup of baking soda to ¼ cup of water), but feel free to adjust the ratio. After rubbing the paste in, let it sit for about an hour. The paste will draw the stain out of the fabric and trap it in the baking soda.

Toothpaste

Maybe you don't have any vinegar and baking soda lying around in your house, but surely you have some toothpaste! Simply apply a little bit of toothpaste onto the blood stain. Allow it to dry completely, then rinse the fabric with cold water. If the stain isn't removed, repeat the process.

Dawn

If you have some Dawn dish soap, you can use that to help remove blood stains. Dawn recommends applying a few drops of dish soap directly onto the fabric, covering the entire stain, and then rubbing it in with your fingers. Toss the sheet in the washing machine afterward.

OxiClean

OxiClean products are fantastic for removing blood stains. The brand recommends dissolving one scoop of OxiClean in one gallon of water and submerging the blood-stained sheet. Soak it for six hours. Once the stain is gone, you can wash the sheet as usual and add some OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover to the detergent if you'd like.

Alternatively, you can use OxiClean MaxForce Spray to pretreat the stain. Spray it directly onto the stain until saturated. Let sit for five minutes or up to one hour. If the fabric is prone to color change, don't let it sit for longer than five minutes. Wash as usual afterward.

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