You’ve just discovered blood on your sheets and are feeling a sense of panic that your favorite set may be totally ruined. Not so fast! Cleaning blood out of sheets is not as bad as it sounds, and it is possible to have your sheets looking as good as new again. So, take a deep breath and read on.
Removing Blood From Sheets
When you’ve discovered blood on your sheets, it is important to act quickly. The sooner you put your cleaning methods into action, the easier it will be to keep the blood from staining. But whatever you do, don’t throw the sheets into a warm or hot wash cycle! Warm or hot water will make the blood set into the cloth.
The first step in removing blood from sheets is to gather the supplies you’ll need to get the job done. Keep in mind that you may not need all of these supplies. If rinsing with cold water works, you may not need anything else. But if it doesn’t, we’ve listed some other bloodstain removal supplies.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Cold water
- If you have access to a sink with cold water, that is the best option. If not, put some cold water in a small bucket or bowl. If the colder water does the job, you may not need additional supplies.
- Clean, dry rag or cloth
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Stain remover
- Laundry detergent
How To Remove Blood From Sheets
First, some expert tips:
- Never (ever) use warm or hot water to rinse blood-stained sheets. This will set the stain in the fabric and make it nearly impossible to remove.
- Never dry the blood-stained sheets in the dryer. After you’ve washed them (which will come after pre-treating), it is best to air dry them and then look for any residual blood. If there is any and you throw them in the dryer, the stains are set for life.
Now, let’s talk about how to remove blood from sheets, step by step.
Step 1: Blot the Stain
If the blood on your sheets is still wet, grab a clean, dry cloth and blot the stain. Do not rub the blood or try to scrub it as that will only cause the blood to spread. Instead, gently blot the area.
Step 2: Rinse with Cold Water
If you have access to a sink, the best thing to do is to take the sheet to the sink and run cold water where the blood is. You can also fill the sink partly full of cold water and rinse the affected area. Depending on the amount of blood and how long it has been on the sheets, this step may be enough to pretreat the sheet for the washing machine. If you can no longer see the blood, you can skip on to step 4.
Step 3: Use a Stain-Removing Solution
If the cold water rinse didn’t solve the problem, you may need to take some additional stain-removing steps. Here are some stain-removing solutions to consider:
- Try soaking your sheet in a bucket of cold saltwater for several hours. Then rinse with cold water.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- This method should be used for light-colored sheets only. You can either spot treat with hydrogen peroxide or soak the sheet in a water and hydrogen peroxide mix. Then rinse with cold water.
- Stain remover
- There are many stain removers and stain sticks available in stores. If you keep one on-hand, this may be a good option. Spot treat the affected area by covering it in stain remover. Let that sit for several hours before washing.
Step 4: Wash and Dry
Once you’ve moved on to this final step, the blood should be almost completely, if not completely gone. Toss the sheets into a cold wash cycle with your usual laundry detergent and then air dry. If you cannot air dry the sheets, be sure to check for any remnants of the bloodstain before drying in the dryer. If the blood is not completely eliminated, do not put the sheets in the dryer.
How To Remove Dry Blood From Sheets
If you’re lucky, you discovered the blood while it was still wet. But in reality, that is not always the case. It may be days before you even know there is blood on your sheets, in which case the blood has dried and set into the fabric. Don’t worry, it is still possible to salvage your sheets.
Step 1: Soak in Cold Water
Soak the sheets in cold water for several hours, or run them through a cold wash cycle (but do not dry them). The purpose of this step is to loosen up the dried blood and make it easier to remove.
Step 2: Follow Step 3 from the Previous Section “How to Remove Blood from Sheets”
The only difference between treating wet blood and dried blood is the first step. After you’ve soaked the sheets in cold water to loosen the stain, it’s time to try out a stain-removal solution.
Step 3: Wash and Dry
In this final step, the blood should be almost completely, if not completely gone. Run a cold wash cycle with your usual laundry detergent and then air dry. Again, if you cannot air dry the sheets, be sure to check for any remnants of the bloodstain before drying in the dryer.
Other Methods To Remove Blood From Sheets
If the above stain removal options did not work for you or they are things you don’t have on hand, there are some other options.
- White vinegar. Make a vinegar and water mix to soak the sheets in and then blot.
- Cornstarch. Mix some cornstarch with water and create a paste. Apply the paste to the bloodstain and gently rub the area. Do not scrub the area, or you will likely spread the stain. Let it air dry, then brush off the paste residue. If the stain persists, repeat the process or try another method.
- Unseasoned meat tenderizer. It may sound odd, but it has been found to be effective for some. Put some of the unseasoned meat tenderizer on the stain, then add water to create a paste. Leave the paste on for an hour or so before rinsing with cold water.
- Enzyme cleaner. Enzymatic cleaners use enzymes to break down water-insoluble stains into water-soluble stains. These cleaners have been found effective for treating bloodstains.
Removing blood from sheets does not have to be difficult. Act quickly and follow our tips to have your favorite sheets looking brand new again in no time. Check out our other tips to make white bedding even whiter.
If your sheets can not be salvaged, there are a lot of great sheets available to replace them.