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Blood is a notoriously hard stain to remove. Unfortunately, it's likely that we will all have to remove a blood stain from our clothes at some point in our life.

Nosebleeds, cuts, scrapes, and scratches are all part of normal life; and all can lead to tough blood stains on our clothes or sheets.

Read on to find out how to remove dried blood from your sheets and clothes to restore them to their previous pre-stained glory.

Why Does Blood Stain So Badly?

Our blood is red due to a protein molecule called haemoglobin.

This molecule takes up 95% of a red blood cell. 40-50% of our blood volume is up of red blood cells - so that's a lot of haemoglobin!

The deep red colour may be tricky to remove, but without haemoglobin, we would be unable to carry oxygen around our body and would therefore die. The occasional stubborn stain seems a small price to pay when compared to death.

The majority of our blood volume that is not made up of red blood cells, is a substance called plasma. Plasma carries our red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets around our body.

blood stain

It is mainly made of water but also contains many other substances such as hormones, enzymes, and blood clotting factors to name a few.

It is thought that plasma might actually contain some of every protein made by the body as scientists have discovered 500 so far!

Why You Shouldn't Use Hot Water

The proteins in the blood, such as haemoglobin and those in the plasma are part of the reason that blood stains are so stubborn.

It is also why you should never use hot water or another heat source on blood stains. The proteins will "cook" and set the stain on the fabric.

To understand this, think of cooking an egg.

When heated the egg white turns from runny translucent material to hard white material. This is because the proteins have been subjected to heat and have denatured. 

Once they have been denatured it is impossible to revert them back to their original form. This is exactly like the sad tale of "Humpty Dumpty!".

runny egg yoke

Blood Molecules Share Similaraties With Egg Yoke

How To Get Blood Out Of Clothes

Ideally, blood stains should be tackled when they are fresh and still wet.. However, we don't live in an ideal world and sometimes we don't see the stain until it has already dried. 

Don't worry though; so long as you haven't "cooked" the stain, there is still hope that we can remove the blood from your clothes.

If you've already hot washed your sheets or clothes in an attempt to remove the blood stains, there is no harm in trying the below method. Just be warned, it may not work.

Check the care label inside of your garment or sheet before proceeding, if any of our guides contradict your label do not proceed with the method as it may damage the fabric beyond repair.

Removing Dried Blood Stains With
White Vinegar

First, attempt to remove the dried blood stain with white vinegar.

It's a common household essential so you're likely to have it to hand, and it is relatively kind to fabric compared to some other options.

What You'll Need

  • Small Bowl or Tub
  • White Vinegar
  • Bio Laundry Detergent

Do not be tempted to use malt vinegar or any other type of vinegar.

Bio laundry detergent contains enzymes that work at a lower temperature.

These enzymes help break down the protein stain, and as they are effective at a low temperature, you don't need to risk "cooking" the stain in the fabric.

How To Get Rid Of Blood Stains Using White Vinegar

  • Pour the white vinegar into a bowl
  • Soak stain entirely in the vinegar for 30 mins
  • Leave for longer if not completely gone after 30 mins
  • Wash with a biological laundry detergent in a cool wash
  • Check if the stain has gone, if not, attempt the next method.

Removing dried blood stains with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide used to be a first aid box staple, as people were advised to apply it wounds.

Times have changed though, and now hydrogen peroxide is no longer recommended for cuts and scrapes. However, its remarkable bacteria-busting cleaning uses mean it can still be useful around the home.

Getting hold of hydrogen peroxide is harder than it used to be, but many pharmacies should still stock it if you ask for it.

Alternatively, it can be purchased online. It's worth having some in your cleaning cupboard as it is a tough cleaner without the strong smell of bleach.

What You'll Need

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Clean Rag
  • Piece of Carboard / another rag

How To Get Rid Of Blood Stains Using Hydrogen Peroxide

  • 1. Test the hydrogen peroxide on hidden area of your clothing, e.g an inside seam or under the collar. If no discolouration occurs, continue to step 2.
  • Place a piece of cardboard or a rag behind the stain prevent the stain from transferring to another material.
  • Soak the blood stain with hydrogen peroxide and leave for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Gently rub the stain with a clean rag
  • Apply a little more hydrogen peroxide.

  • Wash on a low temperature with a bio laundry detergent.

  • Dry garment outside. The sun has a natural bleaching effect and can help fade stains.

Here is a video showing the method.

Hopefully, your blood stain is now a thing of the past and your clothes or sheets are looking as good as new.

If you have any tips on where to buy hydrogen peroxide, or you know some other ways of removing dry blood from clothes or sheets, please share them with us!

We believe you can never have enough ways to tackle stubborn stains.