How to Remove Blood From Cotton Clothing

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Things You'll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Shampoo

  • Laundry detergent

  • Pre-wash treatment (a stain stick or spray)

Blood on cotton clothing is not hard to remove, especially if you treat the item very quickly. You can get out old stains too, most of the time, but you may have to work a little harder. There are a few rules about getting blood out of fabrics. Water temperature is very important. If you don't use the right water temperature on these stains, you may end up setting the stain.


Step 1

Hold the clothing under a sink faucet. Run cold water over the stain. Cold is the best temperature for bloodstains. Never use hot water as this will set this kind of stain.

Step 2

Gently rub the fabric together as the water continues to flow over the stain. This helps loosen more of the blood from the cotton fibers.

Step 3

Set the article of clothing in your sink and turn off the faucet. If the material is white, pour 3 percent strength hydrogen peroxide over the stain (hydrogen peroxide has mild bleaching properties and may fade colored items). Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse it in cold water.


Step 4

Pour shampoo on the stain, as suggested by Do this step whether you've treated it with peroxide or not. Use a toothbrush to scrub the shampoo into the cotton fibers.

Step 5

Place the clothing in your washing machine. Run it through a full wash cycle with cold water and detergent. Hang the item to dry. While it is wet, you may not be able to tell if any stain remains. If you prematurely place it in a hot dryer, the stain will set and be difficult to remove.


If stains remain after washing, treat the stain with a commercial stain pre-wash treatment and then rewash the item in cold water.

If blood saturates a large area of clothing, soak the item in cold water and detergent for several hours (or overnight) to release as much of the blood as possible before putting it through a wash cycle.