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How to Remove Blood Stains

Advice from our experts

Why is blood hard to remove?

A blood stain is one of the most challenging stains to remove from clothing and fabric. This is because blood is a very complex bodily fluid. The proteins in blood are long chains of amino acids that are difficult for cleaning agents to break down—unless the stained clothing and fabric are pretreated.

Read on to learn more about blood stains, and effective ways to get your clothes and fabrics looking like new.

Tips for removing blood stains

The following steps for removing blood stains apply to white and colored clothing and fabrics.

What to use for removing blood stains

While blood stains can be difficult to remove, there are certain stain-removal substances that work: Enzymes, hydrogen peroxide and Totally Spot-Less powered by Clorox 2®, along with other Clorox 2® products.

If a blood stain is fresh, rinse it in cold water, then dab it with hydrogen peroxide. Or, you can even apply saliva to the stain. Do this before following the general steps for removing blood stains.

General steps for removing blood stains

  • Step 1 Rinse: Begin by rinsing the stain with cold water.
  • Step 2 Pretreat:
    a. For both colored and white clothing and fabrics, pour Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid onto the blood stain. Let it sit for 5–10 minutes, and make sure not to let it dry. The stain should disappear in a few minutes.

    b. For larger stains or stains that cover an entire piece of clothing or fabric, soak the stained areas in 1 quart of water mixed with 1 cup of Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid for up to 60 minutes. New and set-in stains should begin to disappear. Be sure the stain is gone before moving on to the next steps.
  • Step 3 Rub: If the stain is particularly tough to remove, gently rub the stained area with Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid.
  • Step 4 Wash: For colored clothing and fabrics, set your washer to the hottest recommended water setting on your garment’s care label. Then, add detergent and Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster into the laundry basin or detergent dispenser to help remove stains and odors, and make both colored and white clothing brighter and cleaner. For white clothing and fabrics, set your washer to the hottest recommended water setting and add detergent and Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with COLORMAX®.

Steps for removing older blood stains

Older blood stains require a bit more work.

  • Step 1 Presoak machine washable items for 30–60 minutes in cold water and a good detergent that includes an enzyme.
  • Step 2 Wash:
    1. For white bleach-safe items, machine wash them using detergent and Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with COLORMAX®.
    2. For colored items or white items with spandex, pretreat the stain again. This time use Totally Spot-Less powered by Clorox 2® for 10 minutes before machine washing with detergent and Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid.
    3. For old blood stains, you can still get them out by repeating the pretreatment step a few more times before machine washing. Older stains also benefit from a quick scrub with a soft nylon brush before rinsing. After a few 10-minute pretreatments and rinses, apply Totally Spot-Less powered by Clorox 2® one more time before machine washing.
    Note: Blood stains on wool, silk or other dry clean only items should be treated by a professional dry cleaner.

Blood stain Do’s and Don’ts

DO rinse the stain with cold water as soon as possible.

DO dab a little hydrogen peroxide or saliva on the stain.

DO use laundry products that contain hydrogen peroxide, like Clorox 2® products, to make it easier to remove the stain.

DON'T rinse the stain with warm or hot water.

DON'T use nail polish, which is acetone, or other flammable solvents to remove blood stains.

Blood stain removal FAQs

Q. Do I use hot or cold water to remove blood stains?
A. Use cold water when washing an item with blood stains. Never use hot water. After you remove the blood, then you can use warm or hot water.
Q. How can I get blood stains out of colored cotton?
A. It’s best to start off presoaking the item in cool water for at least 30–60 minutes using a good liquid detergent that contains enzymes. Read on for next steps to make blood stains on colored cotton disappear.
Q. How do I get dried blood out of a mattress?
A. If it’s a recent stain that has dried, you should be able to remove it with Clorox® Urine Remover. Then, do a follow-up treatment with a steam cleaner using the upholstery attachment.
Q. How do I remove blood stains from white sheets and clothes?
A. Start by presoaking the stains in cool water using a good detergent that contains enzymes. Look at the list of ingredients on the product to make sure. You’ll need to soak your sheets for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 60 minutes. Read on for next steps to remove blood stains from your white sheets and clothes.
Q. Can nail polish remover remove blood stains?
A. Unfortunately, nail polish remover will not get rid of blood stains. It’s acetone, which is a solvent, and shouldn’t be applied to clothing or textiles that will be machine washed.
Q. How do I remove menstrual blood stains?
A. Begin by rinsing the stain with a little cool water. Apply Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid to both sides of the stain. The Clorox 2® product will start to work right away. Read about next steps on how to make the stain disappear.

Advice From Our Experts