Did your little one hurt themselves and end up on a bed with bleeding knees? Or, did you get a bloody nose at night and bled on your best bed sheets? Maybe you soiled your bed sheets when menstruating? One thing is certain; you need to learn how to get blood stains out of sheets when accidents happen.
1. How to Get Fresh Blood Stains Out of Sheets
It is best to treat blood stains when they are fresh in all instances. Luckily, the stains can stay fresh longer on bedsheets as there is minimal airflow when you're all covered up sleeping. However, if you notice your nose bleeding or suspect your sanitary towel is leaking, it is best to remove the sheets immediately after you clean up.
Dab the blood stain with a wet washcloth once you remove the bedsheet from the mattress. Doing so prevents any excess blood from soaking. Ensure you dab rather than rub, as rubbing can spread the blood stain to other unaffected areas.
When you remove the excess blood, it is time to start treating the blood stain before laundering the sheets in a washing machine. Here are several ways to treat a blood stain on your best bed sheets.
Step 1: Run cold water through the sheet
When the stain is still fresh, it is best to try and remove any excess with cold water. It is imperative to use cold water since warm or hot water will most likely set the stain, thus making it hard to remove.
So, take your bed sheet to a faucet and run cold water from the back of the stain. You need to run the water from the back of the stain to remove excess blood that has yet to set in. Avoid running cold water from the front of the stain as that would feed the blood to the fiber.
Step 2: Start removing blood stains using various stain treatments
When you have removed most of the fresh blood stains, the next thing is to treat the stains before washing the bed sheet in a normal machine cycle. For this step, you will need a stain remover. You can get a store-bought stain remover, make your own, or use the following products to remove the stains.
a) Remove the blood stain using hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a solution you should always have in your cabinet. According to Cleveland Clinic, it is a must-have for disinfecting surfaces and foods and a great bleach alternative for cleaning fabrics. The latter is a good reason to use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood stains from your bedsheets. Here is how to use it.
Step 1: Find a large bowl and bring it with your bed sheet to a dimly lit area of your house. This step is vital when using hydrogen peroxide as your stain remover since it can be turned into water by too much light.
Step 2: Place the stained section of your bed sheet in the large bowl.
Step 2: With the blood stain perfectly exposed in the bowl, pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide over the stain. After a few minutes, cold water over the stain and leave the solution to sit overnight.
Step 3: When the stain is gone, wash the sheets in cold water, then air dry them outside.
The process should dissolve most blood residue. But, if you still find a grey or brownish stain in the morning, repeat the process or try out these other methods.
b) Use diluted ammonia to get blood out of sheets
If you have a bottle of household ammonia in your cabinet, you can use it to break down stubborn blood stains on your bed sheets. However, it is vital to ensure you only use ammonia on white sheets since the agent has strong bleaching properties. Here is how to use ammonia to remove blood stains.
Step 1: Add 1 tablespoon of ammonia to 240ml (one cup) of cold water. Transfer this mixture to a spray bottle and shake to mix.
Step 2: Rinse the stained sheets in cold water, then spray the stain with the ammonia solution.
Step 3: Leave the area to sit in the ammonia solution for an hour before bolting up the area with a dry washcloth. When done, launder the sheets in cold water, then air dry.
c) Use baking soda paste to get blood out of sheets
Baking soda is another healthy cleaning agent to have in the cabinet. If you want to remove blood out of sheets without harsh ingredients, you can easily whisk a baking soda paste to create a soaking solution. Here is how to do it:
Step 1: Add baking soda to the water in a 1:2 ratio. Then, mix thoroughly to create a consistent paste.
Step 2: Dampen the blood stain with cold water, then apply the baking soda paste. Leave the paste on the stain for one hour. When it dries off completely, brush off the residue before washing the bed sheet normally. After washing, let the bed sheets air dry to prevent setting the stain into the fabrics.
d) Use salt and dish soap
When removing blood stains, the most vital step is to treat the stain before washing the sheets. So, you can use a salt and dish soap mixture to soften the stain before washing.
Step 1: In a small bowl, add two tablespoons of salt to a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix until most of the salt dissolves.
Step 2: Wet the stained area with cold water, then apply the soap and dish soap mixture. Let t soak for about 30 minutes before you handwash and rinse the area with cold water.
Step 3: When the stain is gone, launder the bedsheet normally, but let it air dry outside.
Note that you could also use shampoo in place of dish soap. But, avoid using colored shampoo on white sheets as it would get tough to rinse it off.
e) Use baking soda and lemon juice
You can clean your blood-stained sheets in simple steps if you have these two healthy ingredients. You will only need to;
Step 1: Mix two parts lemon juice with one part baking soda.
Step 2: Blot the mixture onto the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the solution with a damp, clean cloth before rinsing the area with cold water. If the stain is gone, you can launder the bed sheet normally but allow it to air dry.
2. How to Remove Dried Blood Stains Out of Bed Sheets
One thing about blood is that it clots fast when left exposed to air because of the hemoglobin. So, it is possible that, after performing your first aid after bleeding, you find dried blood stains on your lovely bed sheets. But, you don't have to throw the sheets away because you can remove the stains as follows;
Step 1: Soak the sheets in cold water overnight
This step is vital because you want to loosen the stain for easier removal. If you can't leave the bed sheet in cold water overnight, run it in a cold water cycle in the machine, which could also loosen the stain.
You can add a mild detergent to break down the stain completely for best results. However, even after washing the bedsheets, do not run them in the dryer as the heat will set the stain, making it hard to remove.
Step 2: Start removing the stain remains
When you soak or wash the dried blood stain to loosen it, you can begin removing the remaining stain with any of these products.
a) Use white vinegar
White vinegar is effective when removing stubborn stains, and it is a great option for restoring blood-stained sheets. Here is how to do it;
Step 1: Add white vinegar to a large bowl, then drop the stained part into the solution. Soak the sheet for about 30 minutes, then wash the bedsheet normally.
However, if the stain is too big, you might need to lay a mat beneath the bed sheet and then pour the white vinegar over it. Alternatively, you can soak the bedsheet in a bucket or tub for 30 minutes before washing.
Step 2: After cleaning, rinse the bedsheet and leave it to air dry.
b) Use laundry detergent
If you are only left with a light stain after soaking the stain in water overnight, you can also use mild laundry detergent with water for the stain removal process. You need to;
Step 1: Add laundry detergent to cold water in a 1:5 ratio. Stir the solution to mix thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Get a soft-bristled brush and cover the stain in the mixture. Let the cleaning solution sit for about 15 minutes before bolting the bed sheet dry with a clean washcloth.
Step 3: Launder the bed sheet as usual, but use cold water. In addition, let the bed sheets air dry to avoid setting any remaining stains.
How to Get Blood Stains Out of Sheets Safely
You can follow the above steps if the blood staining sheets is yours or someone very close to you, such as a family member. But, in cases where the blood is not yours, it is best to observe caution when cleaning the blood.
Blood carries different properties, including sometimes harmful pathogens like hepatitis, HIV, C. Diff, and several more. If the blood you want to clean is from an infected person, you risk getting the infection after contact.
So, if the blood is not yours, use heavy-duty gloves when touching the stains. If possible, you can also wear protective clothing, so the stains do not touch other areas of your body. If you do not have the protective gear, you can outsource cleaning services from a reputable company.