Stain removal secrets: How to remove blood stains
If you have a child who has ever fallen off of their bike, tripped in the playground, scratched themselves climbing a tree, had a nosebleed, cut themselves on chipped glass, pricked themselves, or has hurt themselves amidst the everyday business of being an active child, then it won’t be any secret at all that blood is one of the toughest, trickiest stains to lift and remove. Here are our top laundry tips for lifting one of the most stubborn stains. The problem lies in the fact that blood stains are not just any old red mark. A blood stain is an organic stain, which means that it’s full of proteins which, are programmed to bind together when heated, making them set fast into our clothes. This means that it’s important to resist the temptation to wash blood stains out with hot water and to instead approach them with slightly more caution.
So, how do Moms go about removing blood stains? As soon as the accident happens (or at least once you’ve finished comforting your little patient), run the stain under cold water. We’ll repeat that: COLD water. Hot water will only encourage the proteins to set the stain into the fabric. If it’s not possible to remove the garment to rinse it immediately (few children would be happy to be seen in a public park in their underwear while you rinse their trousers), then dab the stain with something absorbent like a paper towel or cotton handkerchief to soak up as much blood as possible. Work from the outside of the stain inwards so that you don’t spread it further.
Although all of our OMO laundry products have been developed to achieve brilliantly clean clothes in a single, short wash;, a tough, dried-in blood stain may benefit from a pre-soak to rehydrate the proteins and start to work them loose. Soak the garment in a bucket of cold, salted water (we recommend one or two tablespoons of salt for every litre of water) for several hours before washing as usual. For any persistent marks, treat with a tepid solution of OMO Fast Action Hand Washing Powder, rubbing the edge of the stain with the solution before leaving the garment to soak. A paste of baking soda (two parts baking soda to 1 part water) is also a good trick to help lift blood stains. Apply the solution directly to the stain and leave it for up to 30 minutes. After you’ve removed the paste, carefully blot the area with a damp cloth or paper towel then wash as normal.
Wash with care
Make sure the entire blood stain is out before washing your garment with hot water otherwise you risk setting it into the fabric. Luckily all of OMO’s products achieve excellent results at cold temperatures so, if in doubt, make use of a cold wash. An enzyme-rich biological formula such as OMO Auto Liquid would pack more punch, but shouldn’t be used on certain delicate fabrics such as wool and silk – so always check the washing label of the item.
Still can’t get it out?
If the stain won’t lift (and sometimes they just won’t), let’s make sure no one can see it. A solution of 20% volume hydrogen peroxide can be used to bleach stains, diluted 1 part to 6 parts cold water. However, when using a bleaching agent, always ensure to test the colourfastness of your garment on a hidden spot first. Share your stain removal secrets with us – what’s your best advice on how to remove blood stains?