Perhaps you are not a vampire, but you are still struggling with an annoying bloodstain! When blood soaks into fabrics and stains, it can be very difficult to get out. Haemoglobin (the main protein found in blood), combined with oxygen in the air, gives blood its red appearance. When blood coagulates, it thickens, and when it thickens deep in the small particles of fabrics and materials, it makes for a tricky stain.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to get blood out of fabrics like clothing and carpet. Blood is best cleaned up immediately when it is still fresh and wet, but there are a number of ways of cleaning up dried, brownish blood also. So, whether you’ve got a cut from something in your household, or while working or engaging in other physical activity, this article should help you out to get rid of blood stains in your life.
Bloodstains are best dealt with immediately. Dried blood gets its brown hue from coming into contact with the air, and when it coagulates, as was just mentioned it thickens into more of a gel state, clinging to fabrics much more than wet blood. So, the moment your clothing, furniture, or carpet comes into contact with blood, you should take precautions to clean it as soon as possible.
1. Soak in water.
Your first step when you get blood on clothing material is to immediately remove the material as soon as it’s come into contact with blood and soak it in water. If you have blood on a carpet or piece of furniture that can’t be soaked, take a wet cloth or a sponge to gently blot the stain. Do not use too much pressure if you do this, otherwise you could spread out the stain, which you never want to happen, of course.
Also, it’s best not to use hot water when soaking a blood-stained fabric – heat can make the blood set deeper into the fabric, and the stain will be much more difficult to clean up.
2. Hydrogen peroxide.
After you’ve let the stain soak in cold or warm water for a few minutes, you should apply some hydrogen peroxide to the stain. When the peroxide foams up on the stain, be sure to contain where it forms or the stain could spread to the surrounding fabric. After letting it sit for a few minutes, wipe the foam away and soak the article in cold water for a few minutes.
However, be careful with certain fabrics – hydrogen peroxide itself could stain them. If you are unsure if your article of clothing will stain with hydrogen peroxide, take a small dab and test it where it won’t be noticeable.
Hydrogen peroxide can also remove blood stains from solid surfaces like concrete – so, if you’ve got a cut from working in your garage or on your driveway, this would be your best bet for getting rid of it from that surface.
3. Salt and water.
For more delicate fabrics that could be stained with hydrogen peroxide, you may want to use a mixture of salt and water. Salt will help to absorb the blood from the fabric, and the cold water will help to remove it. Mix plenty of salt with some water into a paste and vigorously apply it to the stain, rinsing it in cold water immediately after wiping off the salt/water.
WD-40 works great for loosening a bloodstain – it does this by loosening up the blood particles themselves that are in the fabrics’ links. Applying a layer of WD-40 and carefully buffing it into the stain works great for before putting the article of clothing in the wash or cleaning it out by other means.
5. Meat tenderizer.
Dried-out bloodstains can be nearly impossible to get out if they’ve been on fabric for more than 24 hours, but there are still a few things you can do to get them out. Again, you should clean up bloodstains as soon as you find them.
For some dried stains, applying an unseasoned meat tenderizer can help clean deep into the stain. Enzymes such as cellulose and lipase, found in common meat tenderizers, help break down the organic material found in meat and blood.
Meat tenderizer, applied after a long soak in cold water, can go a long way. Be careful with fabrics like silk and wool, though – enzymes can weaken the fabric and ruin your clothing. This solution works best for stains on sturdier materials like denim and canvas.
6. OxiClean products.
OxiClean products contain enzymes, similar to that found in meat tenderizers, so using detergents made by OxiClean for your clothing, and using OxiClean stain removers for your furniture, should work well for both dry and fresh blood stains.
7. Throw out the material.
Sometimes, a fabric is just too stained to clean out. If you’ve left a stain for more than a few days, it’s likely that the blood is too coagulated in the fabric to come out completely.
If you have an article of clothing that is stained to the point of no return, you may just need to part with it – if your furniture or carpet is too stained, we hate to say, but you may need to replace it, which can be an expensive replacement. However, if it’s in an easily hid spot on your carpet, you may be able to cover it up with an area rug.
The main thing to keep in mind when cleaning out bloodstains is the coagulating of the blood – cleaning the blood before it gets to aerate for too long should prove to be a fairly easy clean, but you’ve got a real problem if the blood sits for too long. A day or two is more than enough for a bloodstain to become difficult to manage, if not practically impossible to clean out completely. So, be sure to get rid of bloodstains as soon as you see it on your clothing or furniture, or you’ll either have to get rid of the stained item or take some serious deep cleaning measures that don’t always work completely.