Removing blood stains: This is how it works, even in stubborn cases.

removing blood stains

The juice of life can leave permanent marks on clothing, bedding, mattresses, and sofas. But if you remove blood stains promptly, you have a good chance of getting rid of them completely. Even dried blood stains can be removed with the right method. Here’s what you should look out for.

Removing fresh blood stains from clothing: step-by-step.

If you want to remove a blood stain from clothing, every minute counts: the fresher blood stains are, the easier they are to wash out.

Here’s how to do it step by step:

  • Use cold water: Start with fresh blood stains by thoroughly washing out the stain with cold water. Remove as much blood from the fabric as possible and prevent it from drying at the same time.

    Caution: Do not use warm or hot water! High temperatures cause the blood to clot more quickly. Therefore, wash fresh blood stains only with cold water.
  • Pre-treatment: Check whether the affected garment is suitable for a stain remover. Alternatively, use a suitable normal detergent. Pre-treat the blood stain with the stain remover or detergent by applying it directly to the affected garment and gently rubbing it into the fabric.
  • Soak time: Allow the detergent of your choice to soak in according to package instructions – usually, five minutes is sufficient.
  • Machine wash: Then wash the garment as normal in the washing machine. Dose the detergent for heavily soiled laundry and select the highest temperature that the garment allows. Refer to the care label for instructions.
  • Repeat: Check the results of the wash. Is blood still visible? Then soak the garment again for ten minutes without drying it first. Then put it in the washing machine again.
Removing blood stains from clothing

Removing old and dried blood stains

Did you discover the stain too late or maybe even washed and dried the garment already? Removing blood stains when they’ve already dried up can be a bit more complicated – but it can be done.

Try the following steps:

  • Lukewarm soak: Soak the garment in lukewarm water. Since the blood has already clotted, this is a better way to reactivate the stain. Make sure the water is not too hot: lukewarm is better than hot in this case.
  • Pre-treat the blood stain: Check if you can pre-treat the garment with a stain spray or stain gel. If this is not the case, use normal detergent. Apply the agent directly to the blood stain in each case to make it easier to remove.
  • Soak: Leave the pre-treatment to soak in according to the package instructions, usually for about five to ten minutes.
  • Machine wash: Put the garment in the washing machine. Select a suitable detergent and dose it according to the recommendation for heavily soiled laundry. Set the maximum temperature that the garment allows according to the care label.

If the stain is particularly stubborn, you can repeat this process several times if necessary until the blood stain is removed. As a rule, dried blood stains can also be removed in this way. Do not be discouraged if you do not succeed on the first attempt.

Tip: Proceed in the same way if you want to remove dried blood stains from bed linen.

Since comforter covers are often made of insensitive materials, you can usually pretreat them with stain remover without any problems and then machine wash them at 60 or even 90 degrees – depending on what the care label allows.

Choosing the right detergent

You are free to choose your detergent: powder and liquid detergents are equally helpful for fresh blood stains. However, you should choose a detergent that matches the fabric from which you want to remove blood stains. To do this, refer to the care label of the garment in question and choose the right detergent accordingly:

Whites care and clean well with Persil Universal Megaperls or Persil Universal Kraft-Gel.

Colored laundry is better washed with Persil Color Megaperls or Persil Color Kraft-Gel. This preserves the colors longer.

To pre-treat, the blood stain, use a stain remover. For good results, we recommend combining Persil detergent with Sil 1 for Everything Complete Action Stain Gel or Sil 1 for Everything Complete Action Stain Salt.

Caution with sensitive fabrics

If you want to remove blood stains from delicate fabrics, you must be careful. Wool or silk can be damaged during pretreatment. Such fabrics sometimes react very sensitively to enzyme-containing detergents such as those offered for removing blood. Accordingly, you should refrain from using these products.

Also, pay attention to the instructions for use of the stain remover.

Not every agent is suitable for every material. Test the colorfastness of colorful garments by trying some stain remover on an inconspicuous area before you begin pretreatment. After all, you only want to remove the blood stain – not the color of your clothing.

If the fabric you want to remove blood from is too sensitive by all means, try a long soak in water. Depending on whether it is a fresh or dried blood stain, work with cold or lukewarm water as described above.

Removing blood stains from a mattress or sofa

Have you discovered blood stains on a mattress or on your sofa? If so, the correct procedure depends on whether or not the covers can be peeled off the couch or mattress.

If the mattress and sofa covers can be removed:

If the cover can be pulled off the mattress or sofa, or you are using a removable protector, it is quite simple: pull off the cover or protector and follow the same steps as described above for clothing.

This means that if the blood is still fresh, first wash it out with cold water as best you can.

This also applies to menstrual blood, which may require several passes of pretreatment, depending on the amount. After that, it’s a matter of soaking, pretreating, and then putting it in the washing machine. In this case, too, several times if necessary. Always pay attention to the care instructions for the respective cover or protector.

How do you remove blood stains?

Whether it’s a garment, bed linen, mattress, or sofa – a blood stain can be removed from almost all materials and fabrics. If the stain is still fresh, you have the best chance of washing it out completely. So get to work on it right away. Depending on whether it is a fresh blood stain or an old one that has already dried up, proceed differently.

Especially important:

Fresh bloodstains should be soaked in cold water so as not to promote coagulation. Because otherwise, the stain would settle even more. If you want to remove a blood stain that has already dried, use lukewarm water to soak it. Then follow the above instructions for blood stains on clothing, mattresses, and sofas – and get rid of the stains with the right procedure.

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