Accidents happen, and often at the most inconvenient times in the most inconvenient places. Whether you scratched a scab in your sleep or Mother Nature paid you a visit overnight, blood stains can be difficult to remove from your mattress. You’re going to need a few specific ingredients and some time.
Here’s how to get blood stains out of a mattress.
Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Blood Stains
When you spill something on your mattress or find your pets have left you an unwelcome gift, your first instinct is probably to reach for your trusty stain removal spray.
While stain remover may do the trick for many things, blood is a special kind of stain, and it can be very difficult to remove. If you make the mistake of using the wrong cleaner or you wait too long to address the stain, you could be stuck with it for good. Blood contains a variety of proteins which sink deep into permeable surfaces like clothing, bedding, and your mattress.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for removing blood stains:
- Remove your blankets, sheets, and pillows from the mattress before you start cleaning.
- Spread out the stained bedding and spray the stains thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner – let it soak for at least 15 minutes before throwing it in the wash.
- Gently blot the blood stain with the damp cloth (cold water only) to remove as much blood as you can – avoid scrubbing the stain because you’ll just push it further into the fabric.
- Once you’ve gotten up the excess blood, blot with a clean, dry towel until the mattress is dry.
- Repeat the process as needed to remove as much blood as you can before addressing the stain.
- When the surface of the mattress is dry, sprinkle liberally with baking soda.
- Using a spray bottle, spray a light mist of water over the baking soda and let it bubble up.
- Let the baking soda set for at least an hour then vacuum it up – remove any baking soda residue with a damp cloth.
This method works best when you catch the blood stain before it dries. For large or set-in stains, you may need to use different ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, salt, or cornstarch.
Alternative Methods for Removing Blood
If you fail to notice a blood stain right away or if you’ve tried the method above and you still have a lingering stain, there are other methods you can try.
Here’s how to use hydrogen peroxide, salt, and cornstarch:
- Use a clean cloth to blot the area until it is completely dry.
- Combine ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide with ½ cup cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon salt in a small bowl.
- Stir the mixture into a paste then use a spoon to spread it liberally over the stain.
- Let the mixture set for at least an hour.
- Once the mixture has dried, use a vacuum to remove it.
For tough blood stains that are set deep into the mattress, you may need something even stronger. An enzymatic cleaner is a great option, but if you don’t have one on hand you can try using ammonia instead. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves and avoid mixing the ammonia with other chemicals. If you have a ceiling fan in the room, turn it on to improve ventilation.
Here’s how to remove blood stains with ammonia:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia into 1 cup of cold water.
- Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and use it to dab at the stain.
- Repeat as needed until the stain is completely removed.
Regardless which method you choose to remove the blood stain, you should take the additional step of protecting your mattress from future stains when you’re done. A high-quality mattress protector is worth its weight in gold, especially considering stains can void the warranty on your mattress. Invest in a liquid-proof mattress protector or encasement so you never have to go through this hassle again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use warm water to remove blood stains?
No! Warm water breaks down the proteins in the blood, bonding the hemoglobin to the fabric covering your mattress. Always use cold water to remove blood stains whether in clothing, bedding, or mattresses.
How do you remove blood from a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam is much more absorbent than other materials, so blood stains can be particularly difficult to remove. Your best bet is probably some kind of paste that can sit on the stain for at least an hour, drawing out the blood. Baking soda works well, or the hydrogen peroxide mixture.
Can I use meat tenderizer to remove blood stains?
It may sound crazy, but powdered meat tenderizer is great for removing blood stains. Powdered meat tenderizer contains natural enzymes that help break down the proteins in blood. You can simply mix it with water to create a paste and apply it following the instructions above.