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How To Remove Blood Stains

It is that time of the month again. For ladies, this not only means intolerable pain, cramps and the occasional mood swing; this is also the period when they must put up with the inconvenience of staining their undergarment or one of their light-coloured pants. There is also the daily horror of waking up to find an additional spot of blood on the mattress in the morning.

For men, nicking themselves accidentally while shaving, getting scratched or suffering severe abrasions after a bad fall may sometimes result in small blood stains on their clothes.

It is also common to find bloodstains on children’s clothes as they hurt themselves easily – while running about and falling in the playground, or simply after fighting with their peers.

There are a few techniques involved in removing bloodstains off garments. For bloodstains, remember to use cold water to treat it. The optimum temperature is 25 degree Celsius. Hot water, on the flip side, will only cause the situation to worsen because heat causes blood to set.

1. Removing Fresh Blood Stains

Just like any stains, the earlier you take action, the easier it is to remove blood stains. This is because fresh blood does not have enough time to set on the fabric (yet).

The easiest way to remove fresh blood is by soaking the fabric in cold water. This method is incredibly useful because it is applicable to every fabric – wool, cotton, silk, etc.

For stains affected on something bulky like mattress, carpet and fabric sofa, use a sponge or a clean cloth and dab on the spot.

Removing Fresh Blood Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide

If the stain persists, use a solvent.

Hydrogen peroxide works only on fresh blood stains. It dilutes and dissolves the fresh blood easily. Unlike bleach, it works with coloured clothes as well.

However, this chemical damages certain fabrics. Be sure to read the label before applying hydrogen peroxide to your clothes. Otherwise, try diluting hydrogen peroxide with at least 50% ratio of water to be used against those fabrics.

After rinsing the affected area with cold water, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide solution onto the fabric, just enough to cover the entire surface area. Then, use a wet sponge to gentle dab the spot until the blood is completely removed.

Removing Fresh Blood Stains With Salt And Baking Soda

For fabrics that are very vulnerable to strong chemicals, you may want to opt for a more organic approach.

The good news is: bloodstain solvent can be home-made as well.

One simple recipe of making an effective solvent is mixing salt and baking soda at the ratio of 2:1 respectively.

Rub the mixture on the bloodstain with your fingers and rinse it thoroughly. You can also rub the fabric under water to maximise the effect. Then, rinse the fabric thoroughly and repeat the steps until the stain has vanished.

2. Removing Dry Blood Stains

What should you do if unfortunately, you discovered an old (few days) bloodstain on your clothes?

First, rinse the fabric thoroughly under cold water to dilute the excess blood that hasn’t yet set. Then, soak the fabric in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let water diffuse into the stain, making it less persistent.

Afterwards, you may try your luck with the methods recommended for removing fresh blood. In some occasions, the stain can be successfully removed.

Removing Dry Blood Stains With Meat Tenderiser

Should the stain persist, meat tenderiser may be used to remove it. This is because the meat tenderiser is able to break down the bonds between the haemoglobin in the blood – just as how it works on meat. However, this method could be unsafe for delicate fabrics.

Ensure that the meat tenderiser used is unseasoned, as any seasoning could leave stains on the fabric. Unseasoned meat tenderisers can be bought in any regular grocery stores.

First, mix a tablespoon of meat tenderiser powder and a teaspoon of water in a dish until it becomes a paste texture.

Next, gently rub the paste onto the stain surface area. Let it sit for at least one hour before rinsing the paste off completely with cold water. Air dry the fabric instead of using the dryer to avoid heating, because heat causes blood to set.

Removing Dry Blood Stains With Lemon Juice Or Vinegar

For delicate fabrics, you can treat the stain using lemon juice or vinegar, as they are organic ingredients, thus avoiding damage to the fabric.

First, let the fabric soak in water thoroughly. Then, lay out the fabric in a zip-lock bag, exposing the stained area.

Next, pour lemon juice or vinegar into the bag, just enough for the solution to be absorbed by the fabric. Seal the bag and let it sit for 15 minutes.

After washing the treated fabric, hang it under the sun until it dries. The fabric may feel stiff after washing, but it should return to its original form after a few washes.

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