Removing Blood From A Mattress

Does blood give you the heebie-jeebies? Us, too! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your mattress if you or a loved one has had an accident.

Listen, we don’t need to get into the details about why there’s blood on the mattress, but we all know that it can happen and that it has happened. The problem with mattresses is that you can’t just throw them in the washing machine or hose them off. (Though steam cleaning could work.) What you need to know is how to clean it up, and not be left with a gross stain.

how to remove blood out of a mattress

We have four different options for you to choose from, but feel free to combine them (one at a time, though) for extra stain-removing power. The first trick that we’ll give you, is that the sooner the better when it comes to cleaning blood. It’s more difficult to remove when it has already dried and set into the fibers of the mattress. Also, if cleaning up messes like blood, urine, or vomit tends to happen frequently in your home, consider getting a mattress with a removable and machine-washable cover like Yogabed. Alternatively, you could also shop for mattress protectors on Amazon.

Check out the items listed below and see if you have any of these things lying around your home already.

Cleaning Supplies To Remove The Blood

  • Cold water
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Corn starch
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Meat tenderizer
  • White paper towels or a white cloth/towel
  • Cleaning gloves (optional)

How To Get Blood Out Of A Mattress

Cold water. If the blood is new enough, it should dissolve in cold water. Grab a white rag or paper towel (colored items might stain the cover of your mattress) and run it under cold water. Then start dabbing the blood stain—not rubbing, which can work the stain deeper into the bed.

Make sure not to wet the mattress too much, because you want it to dry easily to prevent mold or mildew growth. Also, make sure the water is cold. Hot water will somewhat “cook” the blood and can make the stain set in.

cleaning foam mattress bed
Grab your rubber gloves, we have some cleaning to do.

Baking soda. You can mix one part baking soda with two parts cold water, and then apply the mixture to the mattress with a white paper towel or rag. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then rinse it up with another cloth or towel. Dab (again, don’t rub!) the area dry with a clean rag and then let it air dry some more with a fan or open windows.

Salt, cornstarch, and hydrogen peroxide. Mix a ½ cup of cornstarch, one tablespoon of salt, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide. Salt and hydrogen peroxide are great cleaning agents when it comes to protein stains, which includes blood stains.

Combine all the ingredients till it forms into a paste like mixture. Apply the mixture over the whole stained area and let it dry completely. Once it’s totally dry, just scrape it up with a spatula or knife and vacuum over it. This cleaning method can be done multiple times for better results.

Meat tenderizer. If you have tried all these steps and nothing is working, break out the meat tenderizer from your pantry. Meat tenderizer works by breaking down the proteins in your meat to “tenderize” it, but it also can work on the proteins in a blood stain. Use it by mixing one tablespoon of the meat tenderizing powder with two teaspoons of cold water and mix into a paste. Rub the paste over the entire blood stain and then let it sit to dry for about an hour. After it’s dried, wipe up the paste with a cloth soaked in cold water, and then use another dry cloth to pat the area dry.

If you have a latex mattress or some other unique material mattress like a Purple bed, be sure to do a little test spot before treating a larger stain. Although in most cases it should be fine, meat tenderizer does break down proteins, so you want to make sure it doesn’t breakdown and ruin your best mattress.

How To Get Blood Out Of Accessories

Again, without getting into the details, blood can unfortunately find it’s way not into your mattress, but other parts of your bedding. Whether it’s your pillow, your bedsheets or your accessories, it’s helpful to know how to get blood out of these as well. Of course, some people may simply choose to replace these items altogether, but other parts of bedding can be expensive and unnecessary to replace, especially for a small blood stain. Some of the strategies you would use to get blood out of a mattress can also be used here, but these are the best techniques.

Removing Blood From A Pillow

Hydrogen Peroxide. Simply head to your medicine cabinet and take out some hydrogen peroxide. Put a small amount on the stain, and wait several seconds. Then take some cold water and wipe away the area to remove the remaining hydrogen peroxide.

Laundry detergent. If you check the label, some pillows can be just thrown into the washing machine. Add stain remover to the area where the stain is, and see if it comes out. Otherwise, treating the stain with a laundry pre-treater with enzymes, and then washing the pillow with an enzyme detergent, should work wonders!

Get Blood Out of Your Sheets

Hydrogen peroxide, along with some of the methods used to get blood out of a mattress – such as washing your sheets in cold water with powerful stain remover – can help to also get blood out of sheets. But, if you want to try a different method, or if those ones do not work, here are some other ways to get blood out of sheets. 

Salt Water. For silk sheets, mix 1 tsp of salt with 1 tsp of cold water, then use a towel to wet the stain with a solution. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe it away with cold water. Alternatively, you can try soaking silk sheets in a basin of salt water before cleaning the spot.

Salt and Dish Detergent. Mix 1 tbsp of dish detergent with two tbsps of salt, then apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 25 minutes, then gently rinse and repeat until the stain comes out. 

Washing sheets regularly can help prevent a stain going unnoticed!

Cleaning Other Accessories

As you can see, there is more than one way to get blood out of your bedding. Sometimes, you may have to try multiple solutions before you see the stain removed. And, even then, it’s possible that a slight, slight stain will remain, but it won’t be very noticeable to someone who didn’t know that it was there. And surely, it won’t look as bad as it did before. 

Alternatively, If you have other accessories (like a mattress topper or a blanket) that get blood on them, there are a whole list of other solutions you can try.

  1. Shampoo. For cotton sheets, adding a little bit of shampoo to the blood stain and rubbing it into the fabric may do the trick. When you’re done, rinse it away with cold water.
  2. Ammonia. Mix equal parts ammonia with water, and lightly rub it into the stain. Let it sit for several minutes, then rinse. 
  3. White Vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar with water and lightly rub it into the stain. Let it sit for several minutes, then rinse. 
  4. Cola. It may seem counterintuitive to fix a blood stain by adding a worse stain, but this one has been said to work well. Adding a little cola to the area creates a chemical reaction that can help lift the stain from the fibers of the sheet. Though, when you get a chance, you’ll want to throw the whole thing into the wash. We wouldn’t recommend this option if your stained product isn’t machine washable. 
  5. Hairspray. It’s not the 1980s, but if you happen to have some hairspray in your house, try using it to get a blood stain out of your accessories. Simply spray the stain, let it sit for a few seconds, then blot the stain with a wet towel. When you’re finished, rinse the area.

FAQs

How can I get blood out of my mattress?

You can get blood out of your mattress and other bedding materials by using various household items and reading a guide such as this one to help you use each item (whichever you prefer) to remove the stain. Some common items are water, hydrogen peroxide, salt, laundry detergent, dish soap, and white vinegar. Follow the instructions and be gentle as to not ruin your bedding!

Is there a special way to remove the stain?

Depending on the size of the stain and where the stain is, you should always add your stain-removal solution slowly. If you oversaturate your mattress or pillows, you could risk damaging them. Check for any item that’s not color-safe, as this can leave bleach stains on top of the blood stain you’re trying to remove. For smaller stains, using a toothbrush to rub it out can help.

What is dabbing and blotting?

When removing a blood stain from a mattress, pillow, sheets, or other accessories, try dabbing or blotting the stain. In fact, this works for a lot of other stains too, like wine on the carpet or grease stains on your shirt.

Dabbing means to apply only a little pressure as you soak the area with a cloth, then releasing, then repeating the cycle. Dabbing/blotting prevents you from rubbing the area too hard, which can push the stain further into the fabric.

What should I be careful of?

When choosing the right solution to help you remove blood from your bedding, keep in mind that some solutions are only meant for certain fabrics. By using the wrong solution on the wrong fabric, for instance shampoo on silk sheets, it can ruin the sheet/make the stain worse. The same goes for not using color-safe bleach, even on white sheets.

Be sure to check washing instructions in order to get the results you want. Whether you have bamboo sheets, foam mattress, linen sheets, or water bed, it’s important to do your due diligence in researching.