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How to Get Blood Out of Your Bed Sheets in 4 Steps

Don’t worry.

I’m not going to ask any awkward questions.

Instead, I’m simply going to show you how to get blood out of your bed sheets quickly in 4 steps.

This will work for getting blood out of your pillow cases too.

If you need to get blood stains out of your mattress – check out the appropriately titled section in my complete mattress cleaning guide.

Now let’s get those blood stains out of your bed sheets.

How to Remove Blood From Your Bed Sheets

Bed sheet with blood stains.

Image source: stock photograph used with permission.

Have you ever noticed how difficult it seems to be to get blood out of pretty much anything?

That’s because when blood is exposed to air, it begins to clot due to the haemoglobin – which causes binding with the fabric and thus staining [1].

For that reason, it’s typically easier to remove blood from your bed sheets when it’s fresh rather than dried.

To remove blood stains from your bed sheets, you’ll want to take some preparatory steps, apply a spot cleaning agent, wash using cold water, and then hang-dry.

Here’s a more detailed explanation of each step.

1: Initial Steps

Ok, so you’re looking at a blood stain on your bed sheet.

It might be fresh – in which case you should act swiftly before it dries – or it might have already dried on.

But in either case, the first thing that you need to do is take some initial steps that will either fix the stain immediately, or prepare you for the more advanced spot cleaning techniques.

Read the Label

Before you do anything, the first step is to read the label for your bed sheets to see if there are any special instructions for cleaning – such as washing by hand and certain chemicals that should be avoided.

This is especially important if your bed sheets are made from a delicate material such as silk that can be easily damaged.

Dab With Cold Water

Next, take a colourless cloth, soak a small area of it in COLD water, and dab at the stain to remove any excess.

The cloth needs to be colourless to avoid any dye bleeding from the cloth into the sheet.

The water needs to be cold because warm water can cause the stain to set.

Make sure you dab and do NOT rub the stain – since this can push the stain further into the material and cause damage to the fibers.

Wash With Shampoo

If your sheet is made out of cotton, then dab a small amount of shampoo on to the stain, and then wash it either in the washing machine or by hand using COLD water.

This may remove the stain.

If the stain has indeed gone – then go ahead and hang-dry your sheets.

If the stain hasn’t gone – move on to the next step below.

2: Spot Clean

The next step is to choose a spot cleaning technique from the list below.

Take care to ensure that you pick a technique that doesn’t include chemicals that may damage your bed sheets – check the label first.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is widely considered to be the most effective way to get blood stains out of your bed sheets – if they are light coloured.

Using hydrogen peroxide on darker coloured sheets may cause bleaching.

Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide is a harsh chemical that could damage the fibers of your sheets – so you may want to consider it as a last resort if none of the other more natural strategies listed below have worked.

Otherwise:

  • Dab the affected area with cold water.
  • Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly on to the stain.
  • Let it work for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Dab at the stain with a colorless cloth.
  • Wash your sheets in cold water – either by machine or by hand.
  • Repeat if necessary.

Hydrogen Peroxide Alternatives

If you don’t want to risk damaging your sheets, then you can follow the above instructions but use the following alternatives to hydrogen peroxide:

  • White vinegar.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Laundry detergent.

Baking Soda Paste

A baking soda paste is another great alternative.

More specifically:

  • Dab at the stain with cold water.
  • Mix one part baking soda with two parts cold water to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the blood stain.
  • Wait for the paste to dry.
  • Scrape off the excess carefully.
  • Wash in cold water.
  • Repeat if necessary.

Other Pastes

If you don’t have any baking soda, then you can substitute it with the following alternatives and follow the above instructions:

  • Meat tenderizer powder.
  • Talcum powder.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Cornflour.

Salt Water (Best For Silk)

To remove blood stains from silk bed sheets, then the best option is to use a salt water solution as follows:

  • Mix one cup of cold water with one teaspoon of salt.
  • Use the solution to dab at the stain.
  • Let the solution soak in for 10 minutes.
  • Wash in cold water.
  • Repeat if required.

Ammonia

You can use ammonia, or an ammonia based window cleaner on heavy blood stains as follows – just be aware that it can also damage the fibers and may bleach coloured sheets:

  • Dab the stain with cold water.
  • Spray the ammonia/window cleaner on to the stain and wait 15 minutes – or use a solution of 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 240 ml of cold water and wait for 30-60 minutes for heavier stains.
  • Blot away any residue.
  • Wash the sheets in cold water.

Cola

The phosphoric acid found in cola can sometimes help remove the blood stain.

Simply dab the area with cold water, and apply the cola until you see it disappear – this could take a few hours.

Stain Remover

If nothing else has worked, then you might want to go out and buy a stain remover that’s specifically designed to target stains that are difficult to remove like blood.

Just be sure to double check that none of the chemicals included contradict the advice given on the label for your bed sheets.

3: Wash

Once you’ve used one of the spot cleaning strategies above – the next step is to wash your sheet as you normally would.

Except you MUST use cold water until you’re sure that the stain has gone.

If it comes out of the wash with the blood stain still showing – repeat the spot cleaning and cold washing again until it’s gone.

4: Dry

It’s best to hang-dry your sheets until the stain has definitely gone.

Because just as hot water is capable of causing the blood stain to set – so can the heat of your tumble dryer.

What’s the Best Way to Get Blood Out of Bed Sheets?

The best way to get blood out of your bed sheets is to apply the above process when the blood is still fresh.

Here’s a step-by-step summary of how to get fresh and dried blood out of your bed sheets – plus how to get blood out of your silk bed sheets too.

How to Get Fresh Blood Out of Bed Sheets

If the blood is still fresh, then you can dab away at the excess with a colourless cloth to increase the chance of successful removal.

The full process is as follows:

  • Check the label to see if there are any restrictions for cleaning.
  • Dab the stain with COLD water using a colourless cloth.
  • If the sheet is made from cotton, dab a small amount of shampoo on to the stain.
  • Wash the sheets in the wash using COLD water.
  • If this hasn’t worked then use one of the spot cleaning techniques listed above.
  • Repeat with the same/alternate strategies until the stain is gone.
  • Wash the sheets in cold water.
  • Hang-dry – only resume using the tumble dryer once the stain has 100% gone.

How to Get Dried Blood Out of Bed Sheets

The process for removing dried blood stains is exactly the same.

The main difference, however, is that you’ll probably need to use a more aggressive spot removal strategy and use longer soaking times.

Make sure that you still only use cold water and avoid heat from the tumble dryer – since this can cause the stain to set.

How to Get Blood Out of Silk Bed Sheets

To get blood stains out of silk bed sheets and other delicate materials, you’ll want to use the salt water spot stain removal strategy listed above.

Make sure to read the label to see if your silk sheets need to be hand washed or if they can be machine washed.

Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.

For more detailed guidance on the general washing, drying, and care of your silk sheets, check out my guide to washing silk bed sheets.

How to Get Blood Out of Your Mattress

If the blood has soaked through into your mattress, then take a look at my mattress cleaning guide.

There’s a section that explains how to remove blood stains from your mattress step-by-step.

Do You Need a New Bed Sheet?

Are your bed sheets stained beyond repair?

If the blood stain removal techniques listed above haven’t worked as well as you’d like, then you might need to buy a new bed sheet set.

Click the button below to see the best bed sheet sets that you can buy online now; I’ve listed them by their material types and their top function – such as sleeping cool, for allergies, luxury, and more.

Sources and References

[1] Aftermath – Removing Dried Blood From Fabric: A Brief Guide. Accessed 24/1/20.

Important Disclaimer

Always read the label for your sheets to find out what you can and cannot do with them – take extra care when using stain removal products and chemicals that could cause damage to your sheets.

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