IntroductionBlood stains are organic stains which contain protein. It is seen that proteins bind to each other and show chemical reactions when exposed to chemical substances and heat. This is the reason that they are difficult to remove. When blood stains are fresh, their removal becomes easy. Know various tips and procedures to remove fresh blood stains by going through How to get rid of fresh blood stains. Once they get dried, removing them from fabric becomes very difficult. Though difficult, but still it is not completely impossible to get rid of those stubborn blood stains from our favorite clothes. Make use of below mentioned ingredients and tips to remove all those unwanted dried blood stains. Note that it will be harder to remove dried blood stains if fabric has been washed under hot water, dried in air dryer or else if it is ironed.
Scrape off excess bloodBefore treating fabric with any ingredient or before starting any procedure, it is important to scrape off the clotted blood which gets dried on the surface of the fabric. This can be done with the help of a blunt knife, spoon, old card etc. Try to scrape off as much blood as possible.
Scrub dried blood stains with the help of soap and waterThis method of getting rid of blood stains hardly require any special ingredients, but requires lot of efforts in scrubbing. One needs to scrub the stain for prolonged period. This method is of particular use and suitable in getting rid of blood stains from linen and cotton clothes. In case of woolen and artificial fibers, more scrubbing has to be done for a prolonged period as well as to avoid damages, scrubbing has to be done very gently.
Turn the fabric inside out. Let the stain portion of the fabric face the ground i.e., let the stain portion of the fabric face-down. Water which is poured over the stain will help in its removal as water will push it outward from the fabric. Rinsing done in this position is more effective in removal of stain than running direct water over the stain. Any loosely attached blood particles should be removed. Now turn the fabric so that the stain is face-up. Use stiffer laundry soap rather than a gentle soap and use it generously over stain. Produce enough lather which can very easily gather up over stain area. Hold or grip stained area of fabric in both the hands and rub it together. Rub stained area against itself. Friction so produced will help in the removal of left out blood particles from fabric. If fabric becomes dry then keep adding water and rub more soap and if stain is not coming out then rub it more vigorously.
Magic of lemon juice and sunlight on dried blood stainsThis is a slow process and thus will require more time. It is simple procedure where lots of things are not required, but sunlight is most essential. Thus, carry out this procedure on a sunny day. Do not use delicate fabrics like silk as lots of damages will be caused to it. Soak the stained fabric in cold water for a few minutes. Gently wring the fabric to get rid of excess water. Transfer it to a zip lock plastic bag after untwisting it. Pour 500 ml of lemon juice and 120 ml of salt into the plastic bag and seal it. Press the contents together as if trying to massage the fabric and focus should be more on stained area. Salt acts as an abrasive agent. Let the fabric stand in the bag for 10-15 minutes. Open the bag and remove the fabric. Squeeze out the excess lemon juice trapped in the fabric. Let it dry in sunlight. Once it dries, it will be a little stiff, but once it is washed normally, stiffness goes away. If blood stains have vanished then wash the fabric with the help of water to get rid of salt and lemon and if bloods stains are still remaining then moisten the fabric with water and dry it again in the sun.
Cold salt water In a pot or bucket of cold water, add almost 200 ml of salt. Let the stained fabric stay in this water for 3-4 hours. In between, gently rub some salt on the stained area. Later rinse the whole fabric normally with the help of soap or detergent and water. One can also make use of saline solution which is commonly available and is used for cleaning contact lenses.
Make use of salivaOur salivary gland constantly produces saliva and it contains digestive enzymes which help in digestive process. These enzymes can breakdown sugars, starches, fats and other organic matters. Most of these things are found in blood too. It helps to breakdown protein present in the blood. This protein itself is the culprit which poses difficulty in removal from fabrics and other objects. Saliva thus can be very well used to clean small stains. Gather some saliva in the mouth. Spit directly on the blood stained area. Scrub the area and let the saliva remain on the surface to allow further removal. After some time, soak the fabric in cold water and wash it with detergent.
Enzymatic cleaners help in removal of dried blood stainsEnzymes are nothing but proteins. They react and breakdown other proteins and this is the reason when enzymatic cleaners are used, they act as biological weapons which eliminate blood stains. They are also safest from ecological point of view. Woolen and silk fabrics cannot be cleaned by this method. This is because they are made from proteins and may break apart if exposed to enzymatic cleaners. Look for enzymatic cleaners in super markets and if such products are difficult to find then look for natural or earth-friendly detergent. They all contain biodegradable enzymes. Soak or rinse the fabric with some cold water. 120 ml of enzymatic cleaner should be added to a bowl of cold water. Dip the fabric or stained area in it. Before soaking in, directly pour some enzymatic cleaner on the stained area and gently scrub with toothbrush. Let it remain soaked in the solution depending on the severity of stain. Do not soak for more than 7 hours. Wash the fabric and let it air dry.
Meat tenderizerMeat tenderizer should be used cautiously on silk, linen and woolen clothes as it can break down fibers of these fabrics. On other clothes, it is safe to use. It is available in grocery shops. Never use seasoned meat tenderizer as seasonings can stain the fabrics. Always use unseasoned meat tenderizers to remove blood stains. Take about 15 ml of meat tenderizer in a bowl and gradually add water to it and prepare a thick paste out of it. Pour this paste directly over the blood stain and gently rub with the help of fingers or toothbrush. Let it remain there for 1 hour. Wash and rinse it and let it air dry. Blood and meat both are organic in nature and can be broken down by action of enzymes like lipases, cellulose, proteases etc. Thus, meat tenderizer proves to be effective in removal of blood stains, particularly from jeans.
Make use of toothpastesNever use toothpastes on all those fabrics and on all those materials which cannot be put in a washing machine or thoroughly rinsed by water like carpets, rugs, furniture etc. If proper rinsing with water is not done after toothpaste is applied then the odor of toothpaste will exist permanently. On dried blood stains, apply some toothpaste. Let it stand there for a few hours. Rinse it completely under running tap water and let it dry.
AmmoniaDilute ammonia with 50% water and before carrying out the procedure of stain removal, do carry out a patch test on the fabric. Let it stand on the stain for 15 minutes. Then blot the area and rinse it thoroughly. If test corner on which ammonia test was conducted shows any damage that has been caused, then use a very weak solution of ammonia and also add some detergent powder in it. Otherwise, make use of ammonia hydroxide available commercially as a cleaning product. Never use it on silk or woolen fabrics.
ConclusionDried blood stains are difficult to remove and this is because the blood enters deep within fibers of the fabric. Above mentioned tips and methods if followed can facilitate removal of blood stains and we can wear our favorite clothes once again by freeing them of stains. Stubborn blood stains may not get removed very easily. They require stronger treatments and repeated applications of above mentioned ingredients. This will facilitate complete removal of blood clots. When dealing with delicate fabrics like silk, linen and woolen, take extra care. Even after blood stains get removed, fabric should not be dried under direct sunlight or in air dryer. Keep it away from heat sources until few washes. Once it is confirmed that all the coagulated blood is removed from the fabric then one can expose it to the heat and regular washing procedures.
There are a few more products which help to get rid of dried blood stains.They are-
White vinegar- Soak the blood stained fabric in white vinegar for half an hour. Rinse the fabric under cool water and repeat the procedure if stain has become light, but still exists.
Hydrogen peroxide- It acts like a bleaching agent and should be preferably used on white clothes or at least on light colored clothes. Use a small amount directly on the stained area and then blot with the help of a paper/ towel. After pouring some hydrogen peroxide, give the stain a good scrub so that adherent blood particles loosen which helps the stain to come out easily. Do not carry out this procedure in presence of sunlight as it can break down hydrogen peroxide.
Baking soda- Make a paste by mixing one part of baking soda with two parts of water and apply it directly over blood stained area. Let the paste stand there for 30-45 minutes and then gently scrub the area and rinse it with water.
Hairspray- This is a very effective method in removal of blood stains which are dried. Spray it over stains and let it remain there for a minute. Any residue that is left behind should be cleaned with wet cloth or else fabric can be rinsed under running water.
Cornstarch- Make a paste of cornstarch and water. Apply it over dried blood stain area and let the fabric dry in sunlight. Once dried then brush off the remaining residue that is present. Stain comes out very easily. If stain is stubborn then repeat the procedure.
Aspirins- They are easily available in medical stores. Crush two aspirins or more depending on the stubbornness and area involved. Make a solution by mixing crushed aspirins with water. Soak the stained fabric in it for at least 30 minutes. After gently scrubbing, rinse it with water.
Milk- It can also be very well used in removal of dried blood stains. Soak the stained fabric in milk for a few hours before rinsing with cold water. Expose it tor regular wash later by using detergent or soaps and water.
Nice article regarding an unusual problem. Sometimes at home or after a minor injury, by the time we realize,blood has seeped through or stained our clothes. The lemon juice and sunlight options sounds very simple but 500 ml of lemon juice, I presume it'll be a concentrate from a bottle (around Rs 100.00), should make us think about the condition of the item and whether it is worthy to be saved.
The toothpaste option sounds more simpler, hydrogen peroxide is much cheaper and usually effective (dilute hydrogen peroxide is common used for medical purposes while cleaning infected wounds) and can be bought in 50 ml or 100 ml bottles.