10 Solutions That Actually Work To Get Blood Out Of Sheets

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how to get blood out of sheets

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.

When you get your period, staining sheets with blood just comes with the territory. But it's not just period blood that can get on your sheets. Ever woken up with a nosebleed? Went to bed after shaving and you cut yourself a few times? Yeah, it happens.

No matter where the blood came from, I've found a few tried and true methods for how to get blood out of sheets. (You're welcome.)

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It doesn't matter if your 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.

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

How To Get Blood Out Of Sheets

How To Remove Fresh Blood Stains

1. Dab it.

Never, ever rub blood when you are trying to get it out of your sheets. That will only spread the blood out and sink it further into your sheets.

You should dab the wet blood with a dry washcloth to try to soak it up before you try washing it. This is really whenever you have a puddle of blood sitting on the sheet.

2. Rinse the blood in cold water.

Before you take another step, move away from the hot water.

Nothing feels better on a dirty body than hot water, and nothing helps get 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.

3. 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, 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 that break down the blood and lifts it to the surface making it easier to get rid of.

4. 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.

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5. Try hydrogen peroxide.

I don't know if our blood happens to be thicker or more stain-inducing or what, but sometimes the Windex soak method won't work, 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. Usually, when this happens, I try swapping out the Windex step and treating 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 30 minutes and then launder as normal, as explained above.

6. Don't put them in the dryer.

You need to be super picky when you're trying to remove a blood stain. Inspect those sheets thoroughly before you put them in the dryer.

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.

You don't want that to happen.

How To Remove Dried Blood Stains

7. Soak them overnight.

Who seriously ever gets to treat wet 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.

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.

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8. 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.

9. Clean them as usual.

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

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 them. You do not need them in a dryer baking in heat. (We have been over this.)

10. Try a meat tenderizer.

It may sound insane, and how many of us actually keep meat tenderizers in our cabinets? (Spoiler alert: I do. 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 out that 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 blood will be gone, gone, gone.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance writer, editor, former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek, and former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango. She has a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime topics. Her bylines have appeared on Fatherly, Bustle, SheKnows, Jezebel, and many others.