Just like period cramps, period stains are such a pain. How to get period blood out of clothes is something most, if not all, ladies wish to master. While it may seem like a daunting task, there are many techniques to get period blood out of clothes in no time.
Why are bloodstains hard to remove?
Before we explore how to get period blood out of clothes, let’s first talk about why period bloodstains are so stubborn to remove.
Blood contains hemoglobin and coagulating elements which are responsible for healing wounds through clotting blood. If you have noticed, when you get cuts, blood eventually stops flowing from your wound. This is thanks to these blood components.
In the clotting process, blood binds to surfaces when exposed to air. In the same manner, period blood sticks to the fabric it is spilled on, making it difficult to remove.
Avoid hot water at all costs!
There are so many methods on how to get period blood out of clothes and you can use various household items to help you. Among these effective methods, one thing remains the same: use cold water!
Heat makes blood stick harder to fabrics, thus, setting the stain. With this, avoid using hot water in washing your period bloodstains as you may end up doing more work. The rule of thumb is to use cold water in getting period blood out of clothes. The colder, the better.
Get fresh period blood out of clothes
Probably the easiest bloodstain to remove is a fresh bloodstain. It is relatively easier to wash off compared to dried bloodstains as blood may not have set in yet. When you’ve noticed a bloodstain, act on it right away!
Step 1: Use a wet cloth to remove fresh blood.
If the bloodstain is still fresh, get a damp cloth and remove the stain by gently dabbing it. Try to remove as much blood as you can.
If you are outside and don’t have the luxury of washing your stained garment, avoid wetting the entire surface when taking off fresh blood as it may spread the stain even more.
However, if you can wash it right away, you can simply put it under running cold water with the back part of the fabric facing the faucet. You’d be surprised at how effective this is at rinsing off blood especially when the stain is just fresh.
Step 2: Pre-treat with a stain remover.
If the stain is not completely removed, pre-treat it using a stain remover like bleach. Remember that bleach may discolor your clothing so take caution in using it or better use color-safe bleach.
If your clothing is made of delicate fabric, you can use liquid detergent mixed with water.
Let your garment sit in the stain remover solution of your choice for at least 10 minutes. If you feel that you need to soak it longer, feel free to do so. Make sure that the stain is submerged completely.
Step 3: Rinse and repeat.
After pre-treating your stain, rinse off the stain remover with cold water. If there are still stubborn stains, repeat the process until you are satisfied.
You may also help remove the stain by gently rubbing the fabric against itself. Avoid doing this, though, when you have soft fabrics like silk as this may ruin the quality of your clothing.
Step 4: Wash in cold water.
If there are no more stains, throw your garment in your washing machine and wash it in cold water. You can also handwash if you prefer it.
Remember to always use cold water in doing the laundry when you have bloodstains. Using the hot cycle feature of your washing machine might set the stain further making it harder to remove.
Get dried period blood out of clothes
Can you get dried period blood out of clothes? Yes, it might be a challenge to remove dried bloodstains but it is not impossible at all. You can still make your clothes look clean with the right techniques and a lot of patience.
Step 1: Scrape off blood residue.
If the period blood has settled in your clothes for some time now, chances are, there is blood residue. Scrape off the residue using a clothing brush. If you don’t have one, an old toothbrush works fine.
Taking this solid residue off will make your work easier later as all you have to remove is the stubborn stain that has settled in the fabric.
Step 2: Put under running water.
Once the residue has been removed, put your garment under running water with the back facing the source of water. This will dissolve the stain and remove loose particles.
Make sure that the running water is cold. Hot water will make the stain stick even more.
Step 3: Soak in cold water.
Afterwhich, soak your garment in cold water. Again, avoid using hot water as it will make the stain harder to remove.
Let your clothing soak in water for an hour or more depending on how big and deep the stain is. If you think the stain is really stubborn, let it sit there for half a day or longer.
Once you’ve noticed that the water has been tainted because of the dissolved blood, throw it away and replace it with fresh water to avoid discoloring your garment.
Step 4: Use a stain remover.
For small and light stains, the soaking process might remove period blood completely. However, bigger and darker stains might need the help of a stain remover.
Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent that can get the work done. Here’s a tip: Put bleach on both sides of the stain to fully remove it.
Be careful in using bleach, though, as it might discolor or worse, destroy your clothes. Check the tag of your clothing to see if it’s safe to use bleach.
As an alternative, you can also use commercially available stain removers such as special liquid detergents.
Put your preferred solution in a washbasin and let your garment soak there for an hour or so.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat.
After hours of soaking your garment, remove the stain remover by using cold water. The stain has probably been removed by then. If not, repeat the process.
You can also use your brush to lightly rub off the remaining stain. You can add liquid or powder detergent dissolved in water to help make brushing easier.
Step 6: Throw in the washing machine.
Already satisfied with your stain removal? Then, it’s time to do the laundry. Use a powerful detergent to make your garment clean and further remove minimal stains.
We can never emphasize this enough. Use cold water when washing.
Do all these steps and voila! You have successfully removed the dried period blood from your clothes.
Using hydrogen peroxide
Aside from your typical laundry chemicals, other household products are also useful on how to get period blood out of clothes. One effective product that many ladies swear by — and even nurses too — is just sitting in your medicine cabinet. This product is hydrogen peroxide.
Step 1: Wet the stain.
Drop a small amount of cold water on the stain. Make sure the water is just enough to wet the stain and not the entire garment.
Step 2: Using a cotton bud, apply hydrogen peroxide.
Get a cotton swab and dip it in hydrogen peroxide. Afterwhich, dab it directly to the bloodstain. Doing this will form tiny bubbles that are red or pink so don’t be alarmed. That’s completely okay. Leave your stain to sit for five minutes.
Warning: Hydrogen peroxide may have a similar effect to bleach, though less harsh. If you are not sure if your garment can withstand this chemical, try applying a tiny amount to a hidden spot first. This will serve as a test if it works on your garment’s fabric.
Step 3: Rinse off and wash your garment.
Rinse off the hydrogen peroxide and wash your garment. If you can’t do the laundry just yet, just rinse it off using cold water. Repeat the process if the stain is stubborn.
Optional: Use a flat iron.
As mentioned earlier, heat causes stains to settle further. However, you can opt to iron your stain after letting the hydrogen peroxide sit. This may cause the stain to disappear.
Watch this tutorial of this quick fix for period stains:
Using white vinegar
Vinegar is a powerful product that many use in cleaning as it does wonders. It’s quite effective in getting period blood out of clothes, too!
Step 1: Put white vinegar on the stain.
Pour a small amount of white vinegar on your stain. If possible, try to wet only the stain and not the entire garment. Leave it for ten minutes so white vinegar can do its magic.
Step 2: Blot with a paper towel.
Grab a paper towel and put it on top of the stain to blot the area. Continue to do this until the stain eventually disappears. Repeat the process if there are still visible stains.
Step 3: Wash your garment.
Once the stain has been successfully removed, toss your garment into the washing machine and wash it using cold water and detergent.
Using baking soda
Aside from liquid household products, powders such as baking soda can be used to get period blood out of clothes. You can easily find thiw in your pantry and it can be used in cleaning other surfaces as well.
Step 1: Dissolve baking soda in water.
Put together baking soda and cold water, stir, and mix until you get a paste. Don’t put too much water as you may end up with a liquid solution instead of paste-like consistency.
Step 2: Apply the paste to the stain.
Using a cotton bud or even your fingers, generously put your paste mixture on the stain. Leave it for a few hours to dry.
Step 3: Remove dried paste.
Once the paste on your stain has dried, brush it off to remove the residue. If your stain is not that stubborn, the paste will be strong enough to remove the bloodstain.
Step 4: Wash your garment.
After pre-treating your stain with baking soda, wash your garment like how you typically do to clean it further.
Watch this visual guide on using baking soda in how to get period blood out of clothes:
How to get period blood out of clothes? Easy and no sweat!
Though quite challenging to think about, it gets easy when you know how to get period blood out of clothes. There are many cleaning items and even household products that can help you with stain removal. It’s just a matter of learning what these are, how to use them properly, and checking which works best for you.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.