How to get blood out of sheets

Having blood-stained sheets can be a real hassle to deal with. Whether it’s from a nosebleed, menstrual accident, or some other injury, seeing those red splotches on your bedding can be frustrating. But there’s no need to panic – with the right techniques, you can usually get those sheets looking good as new.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the best methods for removing blood stains from your sheets, no matter the material. We’ll cover everything from identifying the type of stain to using the right cleaning products and techniques. By the end, you’ll have all the tools you need to tackle those pesky blood stains and keep your bedding fresh and clean.

get blood out of sheets

Blood Stains on sheets

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand a bit more about blood stains and how they work. Blood contains several proteins, fats, and other compounds that can make it tricky to remove from fabrics.

The sooner you can treat a blood stain, the better. Fresh blood stains are generally easier to lift out than older, set-in stains. That’s because the longer blood sits, the more it oxidizes and binds to the fabric fibres. This makes it much harder to break down and lift out.

The type of fabric the blood has stained can also impact the cleaning process. Delicate fabrics like silk or satin may require more gentle treatment to avoid damaging the material. Tougher fabrics like cotton or linen can often handle more aggressive stain removal methods.

Identifying the Stain

The first step in getting rid of a blood stain is to properly identify it. This will help you choose the right cleaning approach. Here are some tips for identifying a blood stain:

  • Colour – Fresh blood stains will appear bright red or pink. Older stains may take on a more brownish or rust-coloured hue.
  • Texture – Blood stains will typically have a slightly raised, stiff texture compared to the rest of the fabric. This is caused by the proteins and other compounds drying into the fibres.
  • Location – Think about where the stain came from. Nosebleeds or cuts on the body will typically leave blood stains in more random patterns. Menstrual accidents often leave more linear, horizontal stains on sheets.
  • Smell – Blood has a distinct metallic or coppery odour, especially as it begins to oxidize and dry. This can help differentiate a blood stain from other types of stains.

Once you’ve identified the stain as blood, you can move on to the cleaning process. Keep in mind that the sooner you can treat the stain, the better your chances of fully removing it.

Cleaning Fresh Blood Stains

When dealing with a fresh blood stain, time is of the essence. The quicker you can act, the easier it will be to lift the stain out of the fabric. Here are the steps to clean a fresh blood stain on sheets:

  1. Blot, don’t rub. Gently blot the stain with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the blood deeper into the fabric fibres.
  2. Run under cold water. Hold the stained area under cold running water. The cold temperature will help prevent the blood from settling into the fabric. Avoid using hot water, as this can cause the proteins in the blood to coagulate and adhere more firmly.
  3. Use an enzymatic cleaner. Look for a laundry detergent or stain remover that contains enzymes. Enzymes are great at breaking down the proteins in the blood, making it easier to lift out the stain. Apply the enzymatic cleaner directly to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before washing.
  4. Wash in cold water. When ready to wash the sheets, use the coldest water setting. Hot water can actually “cook” the blood proteins and set the stain. Avoid using bleach, as this can also worsen blood stains.
  5. Air dry if possible. Placing the stained sheets in the dryer can reactivate the stain and make it harder to remove. Air drying in direct sunlight is ideal, as the UV rays in sunlight can help break down the remaining stain.

Repeat these steps as needed until the blood stain is fully lifted. The key is to act quickly and avoid any heat, which can cause the stain to set deeper into the fabric.

Enzymatic Cleaners for Fresh Blood Stains

Here are some top-rated enzymatic cleaners that can be effective for fresh blood stains:

Biz Advanced Enzymes Laundry Detergent– Contains protease enzymes to break down proteins
– Safe for colors and whites
– Works in all water temperatures
OxiClean MaxForce Spray– Spray formula for targeted stain treatment
– Contains hydrogen peroxide and enzymes
– Safe for colorfast fabrics
Persil ProClean Liquid Detergent– Features a proprietary enzyme formula
– Works in all water temperatures
– Helps remove tough stains like blood

Cleaning Older Blood Stains

If you’re dealing with an older, set-in blood stain, the process will be a bit more involved. Dried, oxidized blood can be stubbornly stuck to the fabric. Here’s how to tackle those tougher stains:

  1. Pretreat the stain. Apply a stain remover or mix of hydrogen peroxide and water directly to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before washing. This helps break down the proteins and loosen the stain.
  2. Use an enzyme soak. Fill a sink or bucket with cold water and add an enzyme-based laundry detergent or stain remover. Submerge the stained sheets and let them soak for several hours, or even overnight. The enzymes will gradually break down the stain.
  3. Try a baking soda paste. Make a thick paste with baking soda and water and gently rub it into the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing. The baking soda helps lift and absorb the stain.
  4. Consider using meat tenderizer. Believe it or not, the enzymes in meat tenderizer can also help dissolve dried blood stains. Make a paste with tenderizer and water and apply it to the stain, letting it sit for an hour before washing.
  5. Wash in cold water. As with fresh stains, always use cold water when washing blood-stained sheets. Hot water can further set the stain.
  6. Air dry in sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight are natural stain removers. Air drying in direct sun can help finish the job of lifting that stubborn stain.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes a few rounds of pretreatment and washing to fully remove an older blood stain. Persistent effort is key, and you may need to try a combination of these techniques.

Products for Tough, Set-In Blood Stains

Here are some top products that can help tackle older, set-in blood stains:

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover– Plant-based formula with enzymes and hydrogen peroxide
– Works on dried, set-in stains
– Safe for colors and delicates
Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover– Multi-purpose stain remover for tough stains
– Contains citrus-based solvents and surfactants
– Safe for most fabrics
RLR Laundry Treatment– Powder treatment for pre-soaking and washing
– Helps remove blood, grease, and other stubborn stains
– Works in hot or cold water

Specialized Cleaning for Delicate Fabrics

If your sheets are made of more delicate fabrics like silk, satin, or lace, you’ll need to take a gentler approach to removing blood stains. Aggressive scrubbing or harsh chemicals can potentially damage the fabric.

Start by gently blotting the stain with a clean, damp cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain. Then, make a solution of cold water and a mild, enzyme-based detergent. Use a clean sponge or cloth to dab this solution onto the stain, letting it sit for 30 minutes.

For stubborn stains, you can also try making a paste with hydrogen peroxide and corn starch. Gently rub this paste into the stain, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Avoid putting delicate sheets in the washing machine, as the agitation can cause damage.

Instead, hand wash the stained area in the sink or tub, being extremely gentle. Lay the sheets flat to air dry, avoiding the high heat of a clothes dryer. You may need to repeat the process a few times to fully lift the stain.

The key with delicate fabrics is to work slowly and avoid any excessive scrubbing or heat. This will help preserve the integrity of the material while still removing those pesky blood stains.

Delicate Stain Removal Products

Here are some gentle, fabric-safe products that can help remove blood stains from delicate sheets:

Woolite Delicates Wash– Gentle, pH-balanced formula for delicates
– Contains no bleach or harsh chemicals
– Safe for silk, satin, lace, and other fine fabrics
Dapple Baby Laundry Stain Remover– Plant-based, hypoallergenic formula
– Formulated to be gentle on baby clothes and fabrics
– Great for treating blood, formula, and other stains
Mrs. Meyer’s Delicate Wash– Made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients
– Specially formulated for silk, wool, and other fine fabrics
– Suitable for hand-washing or machine washing on delicate cycle

Preventing Future Blood Stains

Of course, the best way to deal with blood stains is to prevent them in the first place. Here are some tips to help minimize the chances of blood getting on your sheets:

  • Use mattress protectors – A washable mattress cover can act as a barrier between your sheets and any potential blood spills.
  • Keep bandages handy – Make sure to have plenty of adhesive bandages on hand to quickly cover any cuts, scrapes, or nosebleeds before they transfer to your bed.
  • Avoid sleeping with injuries – If you have an open wound or are prone to nosebleeds, try to avoid sleeping until the bleeding has fully stopped.
  • Change sheets promptly – Wash or change your sheets as soon as possible after any potential blood spill. Don’t let stains set in.
  • Consider dark sheets – Opting for sheets in dark colors like navy, black, or deep red can help conceal minor blood stains if they do occur.

By taking a few preventive measures, you can greatly reduce the chances of waking up to unsightly blood stains on your sheets. But even the best efforts can’t always prevent accidents, so it’s good to have effective cleaning techniques in your arsenal.


Blood stains on sheets can be a real hassle, but with the right approach, they don’t have to be impossible to remove. Whether you’re dealing with a fresh stain or an older, set-in one, there are effective cleaning methods to get your bedding looking good as new.

The key is to act quickly, use the right cleaning agents and techniques for the fabric type, and avoid any excessive heat or agitation that could further set the stain. With a little elbow grease and these expert tips, you’ll have those sheets spotless in no time.

So the next time you find yourself facing a blood stain crisis, don’t panic. Just follow the steps outlined here, and you’ll be snoozing on fresh, clean sheets in no time. Happy stain removing!

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.