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A Step-by-Step Guide on Removing Blood Stains from Your Bed

February 14, 2020

Blood stains on a mattress can be frustrating to remove, especially if they're period stains. (We hope they're just period stains!) Unfortunately, period stains are a normal part of life, and you'll probably be dealing with them or cleaning them out of your mattress for a long, long while. And during that long, long while, they'll stain your favorite pair of jeans, your couch, and the worst—your mattress. The problem with a mattress is that you can't just dump a mattress into a washing machine and hope for the best. You need to know how to clean it up properly without ruining it or leaving a gross, brown stain.

The good news is, period stains aren't that difficult to remove! And being part of everyday life as a woman, it's also nothing to be embarrassed about. If you've got a blood stain on your bed, then worry not—even the most intense period stain won't stand up to the stain-removing methods we're listing here.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get blood off your mattress and bedding:

Blood Stain Removal 101

Run fabrics under cold water—not warm!

The best-case scenario: you've stained just your bedsheets (or maybe a pair of jeans or trousers) and not your mattress. Why's this the best-case scenario? Because when it comes to removing blood stains, getting them out of fabric is going to be easy-peasy. You'll be surprised just how effective water and soap can be on a period stain. Just make sure you aren't using warm water! Using hot water will only make the stain adhere to the fabric. Cold water will keep it from "setting" into your personal items. 

Run the cold water over the cloth and wash it gently with soap. Any soap should do, whether it's detergent, hand soap, or dishwashing soap. The cold water and the suds should get blood right off, especially if the stain is fresh.

Purchase products specifically for blood removal

If stains on your mattress are a recurring problem for you, then it might be prudent to purchase laundry products that are specifically for getting rid of those big ugly blotches. You might want to stock up on oxygenated bleaches and enzymatic cleaners, as these are all-purpose cleaners that'll get blood off your mattress in no time. It's also great bang for your buck, as these are all-purpose cleaners that can be used on other types of stains, too. You can also find some products online that are developed specifically to remove blood, but the heavy-duty cleaners we've listed above are much more practical option. 

Use salt or a saline solution on the stain

The scenario: you're in a rush to leave the house for a weekend vacation, but when you get up from bed—a period stain on the mattress! You have a limited amount of time to get it out of your mattress, as leaving it over the weekend will help the blood dry into the fabric, making the stain 10x harder to remove. With limited stain removal options in your home, what do you do?

Use table salt! Table salt mixed with cold water will help get the blood right out of your bedsheets. You can also use it to spot clean your mattress. In a pinch, you can even use the saline solution used for contact lenses—a handy on-the-go option if ever you need to get blood off clothes or bedding while traveling!

Rub hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice on stubborn spots

Wondering how to remove dried blood stains? Since the stain has set into the fabric, you'll definitely need a tougher cleaner to remove the stain. You can use some common household items to remove these stubborn spots, the best two being hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. As acids and natural lighteners, hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice should be able to remove even the oldest, crustiest stain on your bedding. However, be wary if your bedding is black or in a dark color, as hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice might cause color loss in darker-colored items. Test the cleaners on a small patch just to be sure it won't ruin the bedding. 

If all else fails, you can use the strongest stain remover of all: bleach. Not recommended for dark colored items! If your sheets are white, then bleach is definitely a great option. Just make sure to wear gloves when handling. 

Crush some aspirin onto the stain, or use baking soda

If soap and cold water ain't cutting it, and you're somehow low on salt and contact solution, then another pair of household items that'll help with removing the stain are aspirin and baking soda. Surely you'll have at least ONE of these lying around your house! For the aspirin, you'll need to crush it into a powder and then mix in a bit of water into it to make a paste. If you're using baking soda, you can skip the crushing part and just mix a bit of it into the liquid. How much of the aspirin or baking soda mixture you use will be dependent on how large the stain is. Apply the mixture to the stained area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and at most, overnight. Make sure to rinse the mixture off afterwards.

Try using meat tenderizer powder

If you search for "how to remove blood stain" on the internet, you'll be surprised to find that one recurring tip that pops up is to use a meat tenderizer.  Turns out, meat tenderizers are amazing on older blood stains! Just sprinkle the stain with meat tenderizer powder (or baking soda if you're in a pinch!) and add enough water to make a paste. Let the meat tenderizer paste sit on the stain for around half an hour, then rinse with cold water and toss the bedding into the washing machine to launder as usual.

Spot treat a mattress with as little liquid as possible

Okay, so stain removal on bed sheets and bedding might be easy to do, but how do you remove blood stains from your mattress? This is probably the most cumbersome part of the entire ordeal, but the trick to get a blood stain out of a mattress is to use as little liquid as possible.

Just pick out any of the methods we've mentioned previously and dab it onto the stain with a clean cloth or a cotton ball. What's important here is to not soak the mattress, as it might take forever to dry and you'll find yourself sleeping on a damp spot for several nights. Go slowly and use several applications before allowing the mattress to air-dry. You might want to keep a fan pointed in the direction of the bed while the spot is drying, to help ease things along. 

Do some preventive maintenance

If you're googling "how to remove blood stains from bed sheets" or "how to remove blood stains from mattress" almost every month, then maybe it's time to invest in a mattress with a removable and machine-washable cover. Alternatively, you can also buy mattress protectors on Amazon for a more inexpensive option. Preventive maintenance might save you all this misery in the long run!

Keeping Things Fresh

Sometimes, blood stains—or really, any stain— can be especially stubborn to remove. Don't give up! You may need a couple of passes, or a couple of different solutions before the blood stain completely comes off your bed. This is especially true if you're trying to get a blood stain out of your mattress, as it can be difficult to get it out without dousing it in liquid! The important thing to remember is: it's just a stain! Nothing that can't be remedied with time, patience, and persistence. 

But if you're worn out from trying to get blood off your mattress, then perhaps it's time to call a professional mattress cleaner. If the thought of a stranger seeing your period stain fills you with embarrassment and horror—it shouldn't! First off, periods are normal and so are period stains. Again: nothing to be ashamed about. Second, a professional cleaner won't even mention it. In fact, a professional cleaner won't just clean the stains off your mattress, they'll also keep your home spic and span.

Our team of cleaners are trained and highly-experienced professionals that'll keep your house sparkling clean. At HomeFresh, we take pride in taking the stress out of housekeeping. Call us now!

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