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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Blood from Clothing

By Dr. Laundry July 20, 2011

Q: What is the best way to remove blood from clothing?

A: I recommend presoaking blood stains in cool water using a good detergent that contains enzymes – check the list of ingredients to know for sure.  You need to soak items for at least 30 minutes and ideally as long as 60 minutes. This is because enzymes break down the protein in blood and they need enough time to do it—the “wash” portion of a wash-cycle is usually not long enough, especially for heavily stained items.  Following the presoak, drain the presoaking solution and rinse the items.  Then proceed as follows depending on whether your item is white or colored:

For stained items that are white:


  1. Rub the stain gently with Clorox® Bleach Pen® Gel immediately before laundering.

  2. Wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and ¾ cup    Clorox® Regular- Bleach. 

  3. Air dry and check for success. If residual stain remains, repeat the treatment.

  4. Remember to avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex, even if they are white—treat these fabrics as if they were colored.


For stained items that are colored:

  1. Apply Liquid Clorox® 2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster and rub into the stain.

  2. Wait 3-5 minutes, and then wash immediately in hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox® 2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster.

  3. Air dry and check for success. If residual stain remains, repeat the treatment.


I hope this helps!

Readers – How do you remove blood stains?