How to remove stains and blood from white shirts

Written by kenyonda bradley
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How to remove stains and blood from white shirts
You may be able to salvage a stained white shirt if you act quickly. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Nosebleeds, spilt wine or spaghetti sauce may cause you to toss out an otherwise perfect white shirt. However, if you act quickly, you may be able to salvage the stained clothing. A bloodstain, for example, is largely made up of iron. Because of this, it practically bonds to fabric almost instantaneously. If not treated correctly and before the stain sets, the shirt will be ruined forever.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Cold water
  • Bowl
  • Spoon or mixing wand
  • Cornstarch
  • Cornmeal
  • Talcum
  • Small scrub brush
  • Light-coloured towel
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild detergent

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  1. 1

    Submerge the shirt in a bucket of cold water. Cold water helps prevent the stain from setting as well as dilute the stain. Hot water causes the protein in blood and the grease in food to adhere to the fabric, which causes the stain to set faster. Allow the shirt to soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Mix a teaspoon each of cornstarch, cornmeal and talcum powder in a bowl. Rub the mixture onto the stain. Wait for the paste to dry and brush it off with a small scrub brush. If the stain is still present, move on to Step 3. If the stain is no longer present, wash the shirt with a mild detergent in cold water, and then air-dry.

  3. 3

    Blot the stain with a light-coloured towel soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Use a new bottle of hydrogen peroxide instead of an older bottle, because the solution loses its potency after time. Continue blotting the shirt until the stain fades away. Wash the shirt with a mild detergent in cold water, and then air-dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Blotting the stain with a dark-coloured towel may cause the colours in the towel to bleed onto the white shirt.

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