How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

Written By: Alison Deshong

Blood is known for creating stubborn stains, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world for your bedding. If you wake up to blood stains on your sheets, there are several ways to remove them with common household products. We’ll cover proven tricks for removing blood stains from sheets, whether the stains are fresh or dried.

How To Get a Fresh Blood Stain Out of Sheets

If you notice blood stains on your bed sheets, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. Blood stains are much easier to remove before they dry. The longer you allow the stain to soak into the fabric, the harder it will be to remove.

For fresh blood stains, we’ve outlined the process for washing your sheets. Keep in mind that you may need to follow a different protocol for washing other bedding such as blankets and comforters.

Additionally, some fabrics may require special cleaning procedures. Make sure to check the instructions on the product label before beginning the cleaning process.

Here’s What You’ll Need

Before you get started, gather the necessary supplies.

  • Sink or tub
  • Cleaning agent (bar of soap, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda)
  • Gloves
  • Clock or timer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine and dryer (optional)
  • Bleach (optional)

1. Soak the Stain in Cold Water

Run the stain under cold water. This will soak the stain and allow the water to release as much blood as possible.

2. Rub the Stain With Cleaner

After an initial soak in cold water, rub a cleaner into the stain. Regular hand soap is typically sufficient, but hydrogen peroxide or baking soda can also be effective.

If you’re using baking soda, combine a small amount with cold water. Wear gloves to dab the stain when using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Then gently massage the cleaning product into the stain.

3. Allow the Cleaner To Set, Then Rinse

After applying cleaner to the blood stain, allow the stain to sit for 15 to 30 minutes. This gives the cleaner time to set into the stain and break it down. Then rinse the stain again in cold water while gently rubbing the affected area.

4. Repeat

Now you can evaluate the stain and decide whether your sheets are ready for the wash or need more care. Depending on the size and severity of the stain, you may want to repeat steps one through three. Once the stain is completely or nearly gone, your sheets are ready for a more thorough cleaning.

5. Wash the Sheets

Now that you’ve removed the majority of the blood stain by hand, you can either hand wash the stained area with laundry detergent and cold water or you can toss your sheets into the washing machine.

Bleach may be helpful at this stage to completely get rid of the stain. However, make sure to read the instructions on the label of your sheets before applying bleach.

If using a dryer, make sure to dry your sheets on the low setting. Drying with high heat may cause the stain to set into your sheets.

How To Get Dried Blood Out of Sheets

To remove a dried blood stain, the process is similar but may require more time.

Here’s What You’ll Need

Have the following supplies on hand:

  • Sink or tub
  • Cleaning agent (bar of soap, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda)
  • Gloves
  • Clock or timer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine and dryer (optional)
  • Bleach (optional)

1. Read Product Label

Before beginning, carefully read the product label attached to your sheets. Check to see whether your sheets can be bleached. In addition to white fabrics, certain colored fabrics can also be bleached. Verify that your bleach is color safe before using.

2. If Not Using Bleach

If your sheets cannot be bleached, soak the stain in a mixture of cold water and laundry detergent. Allow the sheets to soak for several hours. Then hand wash the stained area with additional laundry detergent and cold water.

Repeat as necessary to remove the majority of the stain. See the previous sections for drying instructions.

3. If Using Bleach

If your sheets can be bleached, you should still perform a long soak with a cold-water laundry detergent solution. Rinse and then treat the stain with bleach. Machine wash in cold water. Either hang dry or machine dry your sheets on a low setting.

If all of the above steps fail to remove the blood stain, you may need to purchase a new set of sheets.

You may also need to treat the stain on your mattress if the blood stain soaks beneath your sheets.

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