How to get blood stains out of white clothes

Written by allison boelcke
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Blood contains proteins, which can make removing bloodstains from clothing difficult. When the proteins in blood are exposed to heat, they can clot and sink between the different layers of the clothing fabric, so you may make the stain worse if you try to wash it with hot water. Bloodstains on white clothing can seem especially discouraging because of the contrast of the red against the white. Blood is a natural substance, however, so you can remove it more easily than artificially coloured stains.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Butter knife
  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent
  • 1 cup liquid chlorine bleach

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  1. 1

    Scrape any dried blood off the clothing item with a dull butter knife. Fill your sink with cold water, and add a capful of heavy-duty liquid detergent.

  2. 2

    Place the stained clothing into the sink so it is completely soaked. Shake it lightly under the water so the detergent can effectively reach the stain.

  3. 3

    Set your washing machine to warm temperature and add a capful of heavy-duty liquid detergent. Wash the stained clothing in the washing machine by itself with no other clothing.

  4. 4

    Examine the clothing after it is finished washing to determine if any of the blood remains. If the bloodstain is still there, place the clothing back into the sink with the cold water and heavy-duty liquid detergent, and let it soak for about 30 minutes.

  5. 5

    Read the item's care label to determine whether it can be safely bleached. If so, pour one cup liquid chlorine bleach into your washing machine and fill it with warm water. Put the blood-stained clothing back into the washer, and wash it one more time. Hang the item up and let it air dry in case the fabric fibres are weakened from the bleach.

Tips and warnings

  • Use an eyedropper to apply hydrogen peroxide to fresh blood stains to prevent them from setting into the fabric, then wash the clothing in warm water.
  • If the stained clothing is a delicate fabric, wash it by hand in the sink instead of using your washer.
  • Do not launder blood-stained clothing in hot water after soaking it in detergent, because the high temperature can heat the blood proteins into the clothing fibres permanently.
  • Do not apply bleach to just the stain, because it can cause the stain to be a different shade of white than the rest of the clothing item.

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