How can I Remove Blood Stains from Clothing?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Blood and other protein stains on clothing can be problematic if not handled quickly. The first step in removing any clothing stain is addressing it as soon as possible by removing the garment and rinsing it in cold water. When this is not possible, the garment should be gently blotted with cold water. Be careful not to rub the stain into the fabric when blotting, as that will spread it further into the fibers of the garment. Blood stains, if treated quickly, will not leave a permanent mark.

Glass of cold water.
Glass of cold water.

Never use hot water on blood stains, because the heat will set the blood and make it impossible to remove. Do not put clothing stained with blood in the dryer until the blood stains have been completely removed, or the heat of the dryer will set the stain. In extreme cases, when the stains have set in, using bleach or a lemon and salt solution may help to loosen them. If the blood has clotted on the fabric, loosen the clot by soaking and then treat the stain.

Hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains from clothing.
Hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains from clothing.

To remove fresh blood, soak the garment in cold water for at least thirty minutes before laundering. Dabbing with soap or an enzymatic cleaner may also help to clear the stains from the fabric. Launder the garment in cold or warm water, and check before putting it in the dryer to make sure that the blood stains have disappeared. If they have not, repeat the wash cycle.

For white fabrics, bleach may help to loosen blood stains.
For white fabrics, bleach may help to loosen blood stains.

If the stains have dried, soak the garment in warm water with an enzymatic cleaner to loosen the stain. Soak for a minimum of one hour, checking to see if the stains have started to come clear before laundering the garment in cold or warm water. Larger stains should be scrubbed after soaking to remove as much of the blood as possible prior to laundering.

Be sure the stain is completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer.
Be sure the stain is completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used very effectively for the removal of blood, although it is advisable to do a test patch first to ensure that the peroxide will not cause a color change. Pour the hydrogen peroxide onto the area of the blood stain and allow it to foam for a few minutes before wiping it off and laundering normally. Older stains may require repeated applications of hydrogen peroxide.

Blood stains caught quickly can often be removed by soaking the garments for 30 minutes and then putting them in the washing machine.
Blood stains caught quickly can often be removed by soaking the garments for 30 minutes and then putting them in the washing machine.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


Last night at the club, some kid got messed up. As a good guy, I dragged him away from the fight and as a result, my nice white Underarmor sweater has (had) a big blood stain on the cuff of the sleeve. I literally just soaked it for a few minutes in hydrogen peroxide and yeah, it just boiled the blood stain out.


This is the result I got when I tried to remove the dried blood stain on my shirt:

I spat on it and rubbed: blood stain still there. Tide To Go stick: blood stain still there. Tide With Bleach Alternative: blood stain still there. Purex Plus Oxi and Zout: blood stain still there. Water and salt: blood stain still there.

I was feeling so frustrated and was ready to give up when my friend told me to buy a lemon, cut it in half, and rub it all over the dried blood stain. She says for sure it will get it out. She's done it a million times. So I did what she said, and literally, 30 seconds later, the dried blood stain was completely gone! I literally saw it disappear right in front of my eyes, as if it was never there! That's my experience anyway! Hope this helps!


You can still remove old (set) blood stains if you have the right product. I know hydrogen peroxide works well on whites, but it will ruin colours. Th stuff I found works like a charm for colours is a cleaner made by Water Armour.


I work in a salon and just recently used 20 volume peroxide to remove a blood stain from a white table cloth that had been laundered in hot water and the stain was set. Prior to this, I used a paste of oxyclean and household peroxide that only removed some of the blood stains. The 20 volume removed all of it. Buy it at a beauty supply.


Great tips and comments! My friend and I have a laundry service we run from our homes. Thankfully we have not had this issue with any of our clients' clothes but I'll be sure to keep this on hand!


For those who like an all natural blood stain remover, use saliva--just spit on it and wash it if it's washable. There's a protein in saliva that works wonders on blood, no matter how long the stain has been there, with the exception of those that have been baked by the dryer.


I would like to recommend "My Clean Shirt" I have used this stain remover to get all kinds of stains out of clothing, including blood. It is really easy to use and it work flawlessly.


soak the stain in cold water and scrub with a paste of water/meat tenderizer. my daughter is constantly getting nosebleeds and it does not harm the fabric.


I tried the hydrogen peroxide method and after three washings, it did remove all the blood stains.


If blood did not have a chance to dry out, rinsing it with cold water first, than washing it with soapy warm water should get rid of the stain.

A solution of borax and cold water is also known to clean blood stains.


I got a nosebleed on my new white shirt. It made me so mad the lemon didn't work and the salt barely worked and I left it on for an hour, I just rinsed it with cold water and then used spray and wash with some oxiclean and it worked wonders! wish I had read this before and I would have used peroxide. thanks for the tips anon!


The other day, there was a blood stain on the seat of my car (bloody nose from friend). I wasn't anywhere close to any products that I could use to remove the stain. I ended up trying to rub it out with water to the best that I could. (Stupid, I know. You shouldn't rub a stain as it will just spread it).

The next day, I purchased an OxiClean® Max Force® Gel Stick from the local drug store. This worked wonders! I was surprised at how good it got the stains out especially since they were dried up from the day before! It's developed to work at getting out dried up stains.

Even though the directions are aimed towards clothing material, it was awesome to use on my car seats!

Trust me on this; you'll want to try it the next time there's a stain on your car seat.


I tried it and found that the hydrogen peroxide do remove blood stains.


This was helpful. Thank you! I needed this.


Peroxide may take color out of some fabrics, but not all. Just test a small section first. I've personally never had a color or fabric (even a red bed comforter (blood from a small head injury) that was removed even after three weeks.

Even on beige carpet I had a friend with a blood stain for months and suggested she tried peroxide. Worked perfectly and did not discolor the carpet, so the key is to test the fabric first, then go for it! I've never been disappointed. Fresh or old stain.


My wife just used peroxide on a days old, dried up blood stain on a microfleece - worked like a charm!


peroxide will not remove the color from the fabric. and it's good to use on fresh stains, but once blood dries and sets in the fabric even pure bleach won't touch it. i work in health care and peroxide is what we use regularly but it has to be on fresh blood stains that haven't dried on the fabric.


i work with blood daily we use peroxide. works very well. and that's on whites and colors


all wrong. peroxide removes the coloring of fabrics, never use it! the way is just an ice cube and a paper towel (if its a normal, small stain that hasn't dried). warm up cube to get it "watering" and use it like an eraser over the stain with the paper towel behind the fabric to absorb the blood. it should take less than 5 minutes, no further treatment needed.


just use milk. honest.


if the blood is fresh, and not fully dry, dampen a little, and cover with salt, leave a while (maybe an hour for a large stain) then rinse out with cold water. If some staining remains, repeat procedure. then wash as normal.


The easiest way to remove blood from fabric is to use hydrogen peroxide. It will "boil" the stain out just as it will clean a wound.

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