How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

Updated
It’s not a total disaster if you notice blood on your sheets.

Waking up to a blood stain on your nice, cozy sheets is common, but it’s still a pain.

Whether it’s from a period, a cut, or a nose bleed, once you’ve cleaned yourself up, it’s key that you tackle the blood stain right away.

The quicker you deal with it, the easier it will be to completely remove it. We’ll share a few different ways on how to get blood out of sheets, as well as your mattress.

How to Get Blood Out of Sheets With Shampoo

  1. Rinse the stained area with cold water. Use a cloth to remove excess blood.
  2. Apply a little bit of mild shampoo to the blood.
  3. Rub the fabric together to work in the shampoo. Or gently scrub it with a soft bristled brush.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Repeat if necessary.


How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

There are lots of different ways to get blood out of sheets. From our list, you’re sure to have at least one of these items in the home. So no need to go out and buy an expensive stain remover. Although, if you have an enzyme cleaner in the cupboard, that will do the trick.

Before You Begin

Before you use any of these tips, always use cold water and a clean cloth to wipe away as much of the blood as possible.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If you have darker colored sheets, test in an inconspicuous area first as hydrogen peroxide can lighten or bleach fabrics. To tackle the blood stain, follow these steps:

  1. After soaking the stain in cold water, pour a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide onto the stained area. It will start to bubble.
  2. Gently rub the sheets together to agitate the stain. This helps to work the stain out of the fabric.
  3. If that doesn’t work, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or clothes brush to work at the stain.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can remove all kinds of stains, including blood.

  1. Take the sheets off the bed and bring them outside.
  2. Mix together cold water and a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl. Add more baking soda if needed. You want the paste to be thick and grainy, but easily applicable.
  3. Apply the paste to the blood stain and gently rub it in with the back of a spoon or a soft bristled brush.
  4. Let the sheet bask in the sun for about half an hour or until the paste has dried.
  5. Remove the paste residue with a brush.
  6. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.

Toothpaste

Your toothpaste serves a purpose beyond just cleaning your teeth. It can also remove blood from sheets.

  1. Squeeze out a blob of toothpaste, enough to apply to the stained area.
  2. Let it dry completely.
  3. Rinse it off with cold water.
  4. Wash as normal in cold water.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Shampoo

A mild shampoo can help remove blood stains.

  1. After rinsing the stain with cold water, apply a little bit of shampoo to the blood.
  2. Work it into the fabric by rubbing the sheet together, or scrubbing it gently with a soft bristled brush.
  3. Rinse with cold water.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Caution

Don’t use this method on linen, silk or bamboo sheets. It’s best for cotton only.

Ammonia

Ammonia works wonders at removing blood from sheets.

  1. Mix equal parts ammonia and cold water.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and dab it onto the blood.
  3. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Top Tip

If you don’t have ammonia, replace the ammonia with distilled white vinegar and follow the exact same steps.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer comes in handy for getting blood out of sheets. If you have this in the cupboard, put it to the test.

  1. Sprinkle the meat tenderizer onto the stain, covering the entire affected spot.
  2. Sprinkle some cold water over the meat tenderizer.
  3. Using a small spoon or soft bristled brush, mix the tenderizer and water together to form a paste.
  4. Spread it evenly across the entire stain.
  5. Leave it for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse it off with cold water.
  7. Wash as normal.
  8. Repeat if necessary.

Watch Out

Do not dry the bed sheets if the stain isn’t completely gone. Heat from the dryer can set the stain.

Coca Cola

Did you know Coca Cola can remove blood stains? This tip is especially handy if you’re travelling. Just run to a vending machine and buy a Cola!

  1. Take the bed sheets off the bed. Lay them flat on a tiled surface or something that won’t absorb the Cola.
  2. Pour the Coca Cola over the stain, soaking it.
  3. Let it sit for a few hours.
  4. Rinse with a cold cloth and voila! The stain should be gone.

Detergent

Lastly, you can use your laundry detergent to remove blood stains from sheets. This is even more effective if you have an enzyme-based detergent.

  1. Soak the stain in cold water.
  2. Cover the stain in laundry detergent.
  3. Gently rub it in with a soft bristled brush.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with cold water.
  5. Wash as normal in a cold cycle.
  6. Check the stain is gone before drying. If it’s not gone, repeat these steps until it’s gone.

How to Get Blood Out of Sheets Without Washing?

If you have just washed your sheets the night before, but wake up the next morning to a blood stain, the thought of washing your sheets again is daunting. Thankfully, there are a few methods on our list that don’t require you to wash the sheets afterwards. For that, we recommend:

  • The hydrogen peroxide method.
  • The baking soda method.
  • The shampoo method.
  • The ammonia method.
  • The Coca Cola method.

We do recommend removing the sheets from the bed before tackling the stain. But if the stain is really small, this isn’t necessary.

How to Get Blood Out of Mattress

Blood can often seep from the sheets onto the mattress. But don’t worry — we can help you remove these stains, too!

  1. Mix together equal parts ammonia and cool water in a bowl.
  2. Dip a clean white cloth into the solution.
  3. Blot the blood stain. It will start to lift onto the cloth.
  4. Continue blotting until the entire stain is saturated.
  5. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Rinse with cool water.
  7. Repeat if necessary.

Warning

Never mix ammonia with bleach as this can create chloramine gas which is toxic and can be fatal (1).

FAQs on Getting Blood Out of Sheets

Does Salt Remove Blood Stains?

Yes! Salt can absorb blood stains and the abrasive texture can help to lift them from the fabric.

To remove blood stains, soak the area in cold water. In a bowl mix a little bit of water with a lot of salt to create a paste. Spread it over the stain and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse the area with cold water. Wash your garment as usual. Check the stain is gone before drying.

Are Blood Stains Permanent?

If heat is applied to the blood stain, it can become permanent. Heat activates the proteins in the blood and causes the stain to become permanent. The last thing you want is for the stain to stick around forever. So we recommend tackling the stain as soon as you notice it using cold water only.

Does Cold Water Get Blood Stains Out?

When removing blood stains, you should always use cold water, because hot water can set the stains. However, cold water on its own won’t remove blood. You need to use it in conjunction with another cleaning product, such as ammonia or shampoo, for example.

Does OxiClean Get Blood Out?

OxiClean can remove all kinds of stains, including blood. With their versatile stain remover, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the stained area with cold water to remove as much of the stain as possible.
  2. Soak the item in cold water.
  3. In a separate tub or basin, add OxiClean. For every gallon of water, add a scoop of OxiClean measuring to the fourth line on the included spoon.
  4. Mix together to combine well.
  5. Add the blood-stained sheets and let them soak for six hours.
  6. Wash as normal with your regular detergent and the recommended amount of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover.
  7. If the stain is gone, dry as normal.
  8. If not, repeat this process.

Warning

Do not use OxiClean on wool, silk or leather.

Does Toothpaste Get Rid of Blood Stains?

Our toothpaste method works to remove fresh blood stains. Toothpaste is mildly abrasive and usually contains baking soda which makes it effective at removing stains (2).

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Dried Blood?

Our hydrogen peroxide method can work to remove dried blood, but it’s more effective on fresh blood stains. However, definitely try removing dried blood stains with hydrogen peroxide using these steps:

  1. Turn the sheets inside out. Run cold water onto the stain, pushing it out from the back of the fabric.
  2. Soak the sheets in cold water for about an hour to dissolve as much of the stain as possible.
  3. Soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide. Gently rub it into the back of the stain. Continue until the stain is gone.
  4. If the stain is still there, treat the back of the stain with a mild laundry detergent. Use a soft toothbrush to work the detergent into the fibers.
  5. Rinse the stain with cold water.
  6. Repeat if necessary.
  7. Wash as normal.
  8. Don’t dry the garment with heat unless the stain is completely gone.

Some dried blood stains will be impossible to remove. Unfortunately, it might just be time for some new sheets.


Speed Is Success

The key to getting blood out of sheets is tackling the stain as soon as you notice it. Even if you’re travelling, you can still do this with some toothpaste or a can of Coca Cola.

Most of our tips include things you already have in the house such as baking soda and shampoo. But ammonia is probably the winning choice for getting out larger blood stains, especially if it’s leaked through to your mattress.

Finally, if you do you have a dried blood stain, hydrogen peroxide and laundry detergent should do the trick. But sometimes, the best thing to do is buy new sheets.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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