How To Get Blood Out Of Your Sheets: 8 Solutions That Actually Work

Photo: Maria Markevich / shutterstock
How To Get Blood Out Of Your Sheets: 8 Solutions That Actually Work
Self

If you're a woman and you shed your uterine lining once a month, the chances are high that you have gotten period blood all over your sheets. I know I have. (Heck, I just did this morning!)

When you get your period, staining sheets with blood just plain comes with the territory. For a while, in my carefree and idiotic youth, I would either ignore the stains entirely or, in some cases, just throw the things away like I was some sort of mogul with a vast fortune.

But over the years, I've found a few tried and true methods for how to get blood out of sheets.

RELATED: What The Color Of Your Period Means For Your Health

It doesn't matter if your period blood is fresh or dried, you don't ever need to give up hope about scrubbing out that nasty blood. There's always a solution, and this is coming from me, potentially the biggest and laziest slob in the entire world.

Your period is stressful and annoying enough, and dealing with period stains shouldn't add to your experience.

Here are the best ways around for getting rid of period blood, whether it's fresh or dried.

If it's fresh blood...

1. Rinse the blood in cold water.

Before you take another step, I need to you step away from the hot water. 

I understand that nothing feels better on a dirty body than hot water, and that nothing helps gets gunk off pots and pans like hot water, but hot water is not your friend when it comes to stain management and prevention.

Hot water sets stains. If you rinse them in hot water, you're just helping to cook that blood permanently into your clothes. Stick with cold to help flush out what has yet to set. 

2. Break out the Windex.

Windex or other not-so-name-brand window cleaners that contain ammonia are absolutely your best friend when it comes to banishing freshly acquired blood stains. 

If it's a small spot, soak it and let it sit. If there's a lot of blood to deal with (because sometimes our periods feel like the elevator doors opening in The Shining), pour two parts Windex and one part cold water into a tub, and soak the entire sheet for 60-90 minutes.

Ammonia has powerful stain fighting powers, breaking down the blood and lifting it to the surface making it easier to get rid of. 

3. Put it in the wash.

Once your soaking time is up, you aren't done.

Now you've got to put your sheets through a normal washing cycle. When I say "normal washing cycle," I mean wash the sheets by themselves, and make sure that you are using cold water and not hot or even warm water. 

After the washing cycle is complete, find a nice place to hang out your sheets to dry.

As we've discussed, heat is the enemy of stain fighters all over the globe, and as tempting as it might be to toss your sheets into the dryer, all that will do is lock in any lingering remnants of the stain you've worked so hard to get rid of. 

RELATED: 15 Weird (But Totally Normal!) Things That Happen On Your Period

If that doesn't work...

4. Try hydrogen peroxide.

I don't know if it's that sometimes our period blood happens to be thicker or more stain-inducing or what, but sometimes the Windex soak method won't work for me, even if I'm dealing with newly spilled blood on my sheets. It happens to us all.

That doesn't mean we throw out the sheets (who am I, Mariah Carey? I have no endless budget for bedding!). Usually, when this happens, I try swapping out the Windex step and treat my sheets with hydrogen peroxide.

This is a little bit trickier because hydrogen peroxide will technically work like a gentle bleach, so you can't soak your sheets for as long if they are colorful. 

Stick to letting the blood soak for no longer than half an hour and then launder as normally, as explained above. 

If it's dried blood...

5. Soak them overnight.

Okay, now this is where I get real with you: who seriously ever gets to treat wet period blood stains? Who is living the kind of life where they can just be like, cancel all my plans, I need to immediately wash these sheets. Absolutely no one. 

Fact: if I stain my sheets during my period, I am absolutely going to not clean said sheets until my period is over. Frankly, sometimes when I see them I am relieved that I've gotten that out of the way because now that the sheets are stained, I won't have to worry about staining them! 

When this happens, which is basically every time, go ahead and let your sheets soak in cold water overnight. An hour or two just won't do it; you've got to make sure that you keep your sheets in there for at least eight hours to let the water reactivate the blood and prime the stain for removal. 

RELATED: What It Means If You Have Brown Period Blood

6. Try vinegar.

I don't mess around with window cleaner or hydrogen peroxide when it comes to a stain that has been dried in.

When that happens, there are only a couple of items even worth considering. Usually, that means a white vinegar soak. 

To execute this maneuver, mix three parts white vinegar with one part cold water, and then let the sheets soak for a couple of hours. When the soak is done, pick them up, get an old toothbrush, sprinkle some salt on the stained areas, and gently scrub the stains.

The Keyword here is gentle — you don't want to lock the stains in. 

7. Clean them as usual.

Don't panic if the stain still seems to be there when you're done.

You've still got to normal-wash the sheets. Wash them alone in cold water with soap and then, for the love of Pete, air dry those suckers! You do not need them in a dryer baking in heat! We have been over this! 

If that doesn't work...

8. Try a meat tenderizer.

Yeah, I know, insane, and how many of us actually keep meat tenderizer in their cabinets?

Spoiler alert: ya girl does. At least, I do ever since I learned that a meat tenderizer can be used to lift stubborn stains like period blood. 

To try this technique, soak the sheets in cold water (noticing a pattern here?), then sprinkle the tenderizer onto the stained areas and let it sit for 15 minutes. Once that time is up, break back out that nasty toothbrush and gently scrub the tenderizer around the stained areas. 

Then all you have to do is wash it in cold water with soap, and presto! That period blood will be gone, gone, gone. 

RELATED: 20 Cool Bed Sheets To Soothe Your Skin On Those Hot, Sticky Nights

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.