Dried Blood Stain Removal: Methods That Get Results

Updated September 21, 2021
Women hold bed sheet with period blood spot

Dried blood stain removal can be challenging, but many easy treatments and techniques can help you eliminate these rusty-colored stains from clothing, bedding, upholstery, carpet, and other fabrics. While a very old set stain may be impossible to remove, even dried blood stains can be effectively lightened with patience and the proper treatment.

Easy Dried Blood Stain Removal

While a fresh bloodstain will be easiest to remove, it is not impossible to remove dried bloodstains. Give this method a try the next time you notice dried blood on new white slacks.

Materials You Need

When it comes to removing dried blood from clothing, you need the right tools to get you started. Raid your cleaning closet to find:

How to Get Dried Blood Out of Clothes & Fabrics

Now that you've got your tools at the ready, it's time to look at a surefire method for removing dried blood from fabrics and clothes.

  1. Gently brush or scrape off any clotted blood that is not firmly attached to the fabric.
  2. Rinse the area with running cold water through the back of the stain to loosen and dissolve the blood. Avoid rinsing through the top of the stain, which can force blood particles deeper into the fabric's fibers. On fabric surfaces that cannot be rinsed, blot the area with cold water.
  3. Soak the fabric in cold water for 10-60 minutes to dissolve as much blood as possible. Only soak the affected area and if the water becomes very tinted, change it to clean water to avoid spreading the stain.
  4. Rinse the fabric with hydrogen peroxide or blot it with a rag or towel soaked with peroxide to dissolve and remove the remaining stain. For mild stains, this may be effective in completely eliminating the dried bloodstain. (Remember, hydrogen peroxide can have bleaching effects. Substitute white vinegar on darker fabrics.)
  5. If the blood is not entirely removed, treat the stained area with a mild bubble bath or liquid laundry detergent, working it gently into the fibers with a soft toothbrush. Avoid harsh scrubbing motions that could tear or damage delicate fibers.
  6. Rinse the stained area and check for any remaining bloodstains. If necessary, repeat the spot treatment until the stain is completely removed.
  7. Launder or clean the fabric according to the manufacturer's instructions.

This technique should be effective for most dried blood stain removal, but repeating the treatment or longer soaking may be necessary for deeper, stronger stains.

Quick Ways to Get Dried Blood From Carpet & Furniture

When it comes to dried blood on your carpet, you need to get a bit more creative since you can't just throw it in the wash.

  1. On carpeting or upholstery, vacuuming the area repeatedly will help remove loose dried blood.
  2. Wet a rag with warm water and blot the blood to remove as much as possible.
  3. Create a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the still stained area.
  4. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Spray the baking soda with straight white vinegar and allow it to bubble.
  6. Blot up the mixture and stain with a clean white cloth.
  7. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone.

For light-colored carpets, you can try adding hydrogen peroxide to the stain. However, this will lighten darker carpets.

Cleaning Agent On Carpet

Simple Methods for Blood Removal From Mattresses

If you've ever gotten a nosebleed at night, you know how annoying dried blood stains can be. Never fear; you can clean your mattress too.

  1. Vacuum the mattress repeatedly to remove as much dried blood residue as you can.
  2. Create a mix of baking soda and Dawn.
  3. Apply it to the mattress.
  4. Allow it to sit until the baking soda has completely dried.
  5. Vacuum up the baking soda.
  6. If any stain remains, apply hydrogen peroxide.
  7. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes or more.
  8. Blot with a clean cloth.

For dark mattresses, you can use white vinegar instead of hydrogen peroxide to avoid lightening.

How to Remove Old Blood Stains From Shoes in a Jiffy

Another area you might get a dried bloodstain that's noticeable is your shoes. Getting this out can be pretty straightforward.

  1. Dampen a cloth with water and dish soap and blot the stain up.
  2. If the stain has set into the fabric, you can use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar to break up the stain and blot it out with a clean wet cloth.

Blood Stain Removal Tips

Patience is the key when trying to remove dried bloodstains. Try the simplest cleaning techniques first, then opt for more elaborate measures if necessary. To save your fabrics while eliminating bloodstain:

  • Treat the stain as quickly as possible before it has a chance to permanently set.
  • Avoid using hot water or any heat treatment on bloodstains. Heat will set the stain, making it impossible to remove.
  • Work from the outside edges of the stain to the inside to avoid inadvertently spreading it to a wider area.
  • For tough blood stains on carpet or upholstery, reach for an enzymatic cleaner to break up the stain.

Why Are Blood Stains Difficult to Remove?

The reason that blood stains are so difficult to remove is because of the clotting mechanism. The hemoglobin in the blood and other coagulating factors cause it to clot and bind together quickly when exposed to air, effectively binding it to whatever surface it is spilled on, including fabrics. While that clotting ability is ideal for healing injuries, it makes stain removal more challenging.

Getting Blood Out Fast

The hemoglobin in blood is excellent for clotting but not so great when it comes to the knees of your favorite jeans. Therefore, knowing how to remove dried blood can be a lifesaver, or in this case, a pants saver. Remember that you need to test the area first to make sure it won't harm the material with any removal method. Now that you know how to get dried blood out of your clothes and carpet, it's time to eradicate that stain for good.

Dried Blood Stain Removal: Methods That Get Results