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How To Remove Dried Blood Stains From Sheets

23 June 2023

Blood-stained sheets are so much more common than people think. Unnoticed cuts ruining your sheets, nose bleeds in the night, and everything in between - it's a problem.

Obviously removing blood stains when it's still wet is much easier than removing dried blood stains, but life gets in the way sometimes and there's no use telling you how to get blood out of sheets when it's still wet because the chances are you've slept through the night and woken up to find dried blood in its place.

So, to help everyone out, we here at The Sparkle Gang have put together a helpful guide to remove blood stains after it has dried.

Want to learn all the tips and tricks? Then join us below!

What You'll Need To Get Blood Out Of Sheets

Below we'll include a list of all the things you may need to remove blood stains from your sheets.

The first list covers everything you'll need for our recommended method, and the second will include everything you'll need to try the various alternative methods for getting blood out of sheets included later in today's post.

Recommended Method

  • cold water
  • hydrogen peroxide (fabric-safe bleach)
  • soft bristled brush
  • laundry detergent
  • washing machine

Alternative Methods

  • cold water
  • stain remover
  • saltwater
  • dish soap
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • lemon juice
  • unsalted meat tenderizer

Removing Blood Stains: A Step-By-Step Guide

Removing a blood stain can be difficult, especially if the stained area is marred by a stubborn stain (which blood usually is when it's no longer fresh blood). But by following these few steps below, the affected area should clean up nicely.

The sooner you try to remove blood stains, the better the outcome will be. The moment you find a blood stain on your stained sheets, you should start the following steps:

1. Soaking In Cold Water Overnight

The very first thing you should do is take the sheets with their dried blood on them and soak it right away in COLD WATER.

Warm or hot water is not an option here because the heat will actually set the stain in further, making it even more difficult to remove blood stains later. Instead, let the sheets soak in cold water for as long as possible. 12 hours works well. Stubborn stains like blood require this soaking period. Blood will eventually loosen if soaked in cold water for long enough.

2. Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Blood Stains

If, after 12 hours, the blood stains are still not looking any fainter, then it's best to use hydrogen peroxide to help remove the blood from the bed sheets.

Take the sheets in cold water and apply some fabric-safe bleach (hydrogen peroxide) to the stain, using a soft brush to work the product into the bed sheets. Pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain before scrubbing gently with the brush. Next, take a wet cloth or damp sponge (rinse with cold water first) and dab at the stain. If you need to wet the cloth or sponge some more, just run it under cold running water and continue to dab at the stain.

DO NOT RUB THE STAIN. This can cause any excess blood to spread. The blood particles will already be loose from the soaking, so rubbing here could cause the stains to spread over your white sheets, making the problem worse.

3. Machine Wash Sheets

Next, take the sheets in cold water out and place them into the washing machine. A machine wash on a regular washing cycle will be best for the stained sheet.

Just use a mild laundry detergent as normal. No extra products need to be used here. The soaking in cold water, hydrogen peroxide, and laundry detergent alone will be more than enough to start the stain removal process.

4. Check The Sheets

Once the sheets are washed, check the sheets BEFORE you place them in the drier. If the stain remains, you'll need to move on to some of the alternative methods below that will help with getting the blood out of sheets when the blood begins to show signs of being a little more stubborn.

If the blood stain has gone at this point, though, you can simply dry your sheets as normal and replace them on your mattress.

Please note: The method discussed above also works for mattress blood stains (minus putting it in the washing machine, of course) so if excess blood has soaked through to the mattress, follow the same steps above to fix it.

Still Not Working? Alternative Methods For Removing Dried Blood Stains

A fresh stain is always easier to remove because fresh blood can be washed out of even white sheets a lot easier with some cold water. But when the blood has dried, you might need to try multiple techniques to get rid of it. Who knew a bloody nose could cause so much trouble, right?

Below are some of the best stain remover techniques we know at The Sparkle Gang, so try them out below to see if you can find an effective stain fighter for you. This works with white sheets, coloured sheets, and darker sheets too, so try the following steps if the recommended method above didn't work for you. Just don't try all of them at once - mixing these methods could actually cause damage to your sheets, so avoid that where possible! If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check our article on "How To Remove Dried Blood Stains".

Cold Water Dabs

This may seem like a bit of a cheat, but given our advice from earlier, the best way to remove blood stains is with cold water. Stay away from hot water, as this will not help remove stains at all.

Instead, gently rub or dab the blood stains with a clean cloth with just cold water. Leave the sheets to air dry rather than heating them in any way, in case the blood hasn't left.

Just remember to dab with cold water to keep the blood stains from setting. Once the blood has dried, it will need to be kept wet with cold water to help it break down again and be ready for some of the other methods later.

Soak For Longer

Another great idea is just leaving the sheets to sit in cold water for even longer. This will help loosen the stain and remove blood from the sheets.

You could even try adding some mild detergent to the cold water whilst it soaks for a few hours more before you try to rinse with cold water to see if the stain is better.

If you do leave your sheets in cold water for a longer period, remember to change the water after a while so the water doesn't get too warm and start hampering your attempts to clean up your sheets.

Use A Stain Fighter

The best stain removers are so known for their ability to remove stains easily - including tough stains like blood.

Read the spray bottle it comes with to learn more about your stain removal product and how to use it. Some may contain hydrogen peroxide which we recommended earlier. These will be excellent when you try to remove the blood and will have other active ingredients to make these stain removers even more effective than hydrogen peroxide alone.

Simply apply the stain remover to the stained area according to the instructions to get blood out of your bed sheets.

Use Salt And Dish Soap

Another great option to use after your sheets in cold water have been taken out is a mixture of salt water and dish soap. The dish soap lifts the stain, and the salt helps break down the blood. Dab this mixture onto the bed sheets to get blood out of them.

Use a dry cloth or paper towel to remove the excess liquid after the stain has started to fade, then let the sheets air dry. You should notice that the blood stain has now gone.

Use Vinegar

White vinegar is another excellent product for removing blood from an affected area on bed sheets. And it's really easy to use, too.

Pour white vinegar directly onto the stain and allow it to sit for half an hour or so. The acid in the vinegar will break down the particles in the blood to stop it from clinging to your sheets so harshly. This should work in the same way as if you had tried to pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain. After it has been left to soak for a while, just wash it in the washing machine on a normal cycle. You can also check out our post "Apple Cider Vinegar Cleaning Hacks", for more additional insights.

Use Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda mixed with cold water to form a paste will also work great on dried blood. The baking soda will act as an abrasive, helping break down the blood. Use just enough baking soda to create the paste and then let it sit on the stain for half an hour. After that, work the paste around with a soft brush before running it under cold water and putting it in the washing machine on an ordinary cycle.

Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice works in much the same way as vinegar. The acidic nature will break down the blood stains if you leave it on there for long enough before washing it clean.

This is a great natural way of removing blood from your bed sheets if you are someone who is concerned about using unnatural products. Just apply lemon juice directly onto the stain, allow it to sit, dab, rinse, and wash it in your washer. Simple.

Use A Meat Tenderizer

This one is odd, for sure. But if it works for your bed sheets, then who are we to judge it, right? Using an unsalted meat tenderizer is a great way of removing blood from sheets. Pour the tenderizer directly onto the bed sheets followed by some cold water. This will create a paste that will act like the baking soda one described above. Gently dab this into the stain and rub it to start removing the blood.

Use Your... Saliva?

Does saliva remove blood stains? Believe it or not, it does! The enzymes in your saliva are powerful enough to break down blood stains and the proteins in the blood that make them so difficult to remove in the first place.

The problem with this method is that it would take A LOT of saliva, and there are simply better ways to fix your blood stain issues. So yes, saliva would work, but we don't recommend it...

What You Should NEVER Do

Talking of things we don't recommend, here are a few other things your friends here at The Sparkle Gang think you should try to avoid:

  • letting the blood dry - we know, sometimes that's not possible, but if it is - ACT - fresh blood is so much easier to clean
  • hot water - it will only make matters worse
  • mixing too many products - if you try one method and it doesn't work, rinse your sheets before trying something else - you don't know how they might interact with each other and you don't want ruined sheets
  • put your sheets in the dryer too soon - in fact, if you're unsure, simply let them air dry to check the results - heat from the drier could set the stain

Final Thoughts

Removing dried blood from your sheets is going to be difficult. There's no getting around that. But if you try our step-by-step suggested method, then it ought to work just fine. And if not, there are plenty of other ways to get rid of dried stains like blood from all manner of materials included in our post today.

And hey, if you think a professional cleaning might be better, then reach out today. Here at The Sparkle Gang, we offer a range of professional cleaning services that might just come in handy. Have a look around and see if there's anything we can help you with. We always love working with new clients!

Check out: Remove Efflorescence From Brick With Vinegar

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