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How to Get Blood Stains Out of Carpet

A bloody knife on the carpet.

Blood stains may sound icky, but they are a common fact of life -- especially for those with kids and pets. Continue reading to learn how to effectively clean up these types of messes and what products work best (and what ones don't) on those tricky blood stains set in carpet.

Searching for how to get blood stains out of the carpet may seem nefarious, but the truth is that dealing with this type of damage is more common than you’d think. Especially if you have kids or pets that always seem to be getting into some kind of trouble. They run around the corner too fast, smashing into a living room side table and this results in a bloody nose or cut across the knee. Or maybe one of your dogs loses their nail when rough-housing and the minor loss causes major blood spill. Or maybe it’s you that stubbed your toe and now are frustratingly staring at ugly red blood stains on your otherwise pristine cream-colored carpet.

Whatever the case for the accident, the important thing is to stay calm and know that there are solutions! And that is solutions, plural. The following is a look at some of the best quick-thinking remedies, easy in-your-home solutions, eco-friendly products, and heavy-duty commercial mixtures that will help get those ugly bloodstains out.

Related: How to get more stains out of carpet

Try and Begin as Soon as Possible

The most important thing to keep in mind when you have an accident that involves spilling blood on the carpet is that you want to act as quickly as possible. While yes, of course, the first thing you should do is attend to the wounded and be sure that whoever was hurt is properly seen to and bandaged. But once that’s been done, getting to that bloodstain should be a fast second.

The Quick-Act Water and Potato Starch Method

It’s important to act fast because the sooner you start cleaning up the blood, the greater your chances of easily removing the blood stain from your carpet. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t get a bloodstain out of your carpet that’s been allowed to settle and dry — it’s just going to be much harder.

So if you are able to act quickly, start by wiping up all of the liquid blood you can with a dry, non-dyed cloth or similarly non-dyed absorbent paper towel. It’s important to choose a material that is non-dyed to prevent that color from transferring over into your carpet. When wiping up the blood, avoid rubbing at the blood and instead blot at the liquid, working from the outside in.

Once you’ve blotted away most of the blood, moisten the cloth you’re using with lukewarm water and apply that cloth to what’s left of the bloodstain on your carpet. Again, avoid using a rubbing motion and instead dab at the impacted area with your cloth. The goal here again is to blot away as much of the liquid as possible.

The final step of this strategy is to liberally sprinkle potato starch on whatever’s left of the bloodstain (and you may find that that isn’t much if you were able to act quickly enough). Allow this potato starch to dry for 24 hours and then vacuum it away. If you acted quickly when the blood first got onto your carpet, then you’re apt to find that this is the only work you’ll need to do to remove it.

Authentic Foods Potato Starch - 3 lb
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The Next Step, Sometimes First Step, Dishwasher Detergent Solution Method

This detergent solution is a great method to follow-up on the above potato starch solution if that method wasn’t able to get everything out or if you weren’t quite as fast at getting to the bloodstain when it happened. You should follow this method on dried blood only.

Start by taking a soft brush, such as an old toothbrush or even the non-abrasive side of a sponge, and gently brush against the dried stain in order to break up any deposits. Either wipe this away or pick up the leftovers with a vacuum cleaner.

Next, mix one tablespoon of scent-free dishwashing detergent with two cups of cold water and apply that mixture with a clean, dye-free cloth to the bloodstain. As before, apply by blotting and not rubbing at the stain as the goal here is to have the dishwashing detergent solution be absorbed into the dried bloodstain. Once the liquid is absorbed, blot again with another clean cloth or rag. Repeat this procedure until the stain disappears or is as faint as possible.

Once you’ve removed most of the stain in this manner, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one half a cup of warm water. Sponge or blot this solution onto this stain until the mixture is absorbed into the carpet. Then, take pure cold water without liquid detergent, sponge it onto the bloodstain, and then blot it dry with a clean cloth.

Gloved hands brushing the bloodstain on the carpet.

For White and Light Color Carpets, Consider Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic product that should be a staple in every single home. It can be used as a disinfectant both on your own wounds and on counters and cutting boards, it can clean vegetables of germs and actually extend their shelf life, it kills mold and mildew while simultaneously shining glass and porcelain surfaces, it can safely eliminate odors and disinfect the kitty’s litter box, and, most importantly for this article, it can quickly and effectively remove stains like blood stains from your carpet and common other common types of fabrics. So next time you head to the store, be sure to grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide!

When it comes to cleaning out bloodstains, however, it is important to note that hydrogen peroxide should only be used when you need to clean white and lighter colored carpets. That’s because hydrogen peroxide is so effective at removing fluids and stains, that it won’t stop at just the bloodstains and will sometimes take out the dyes that give fabrics their coloring. So take care and when in doubt whether hydrogen peroxide will bleach out your carpet, test in a small non-visible area first (such as underneath a side shelving unit).

For the hydrogen peroxide method, start first by following the aforementioned dishwasher detergent method in order to limit the amount of hydrogen peroxide you’ll have to use on your carpet and thereby the risk of bleaching. Once you’ve completed that method, re-rinse the entire area with cold water. Then, pour a few teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide directly on the bloodstains that you see. If you’re worried about pouring too much, consider using an eye dropper for direct application or a directed spray bottle for more even application across a wider area.

The hydrogen peroxide should immediately begin to fizzle. Allow it to do so for one to three minutes depending upon the severity of the stain. Then, take a clean sponge and blot at the carpet to get the stain and blood to come out. Rinse with cold water. Blot again. Repeat rinse. If after several of these cycles the stain is still there, repeat the entirety of the hydrogen peroxide step.

Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution USP 3%, 16 Ounce Bottles (3 Pack)
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For Big Jobs, Try the Safe & Non-Toxic Chem-Dry Professional Strength Spot Remover

While the above at-home solutions are apt to help remove the vast majority of bloodstains carpet owners are likely to struggle with, there will always be those situations in which they aren’t enough. Maybe you’ve waited way too long and the bloodstains are really ingrained, or maybe you have a dark-colored carpet that you’re worried about bleaching the dye out of, or maybe just the material itself of your carpet is making full blood stain removal a problem. Whatever the case, the good news is that there are excellent professional solutions that will help get out even the toughest of bloodstain and Chem-Dry Professional Strength Spot Remover is one such excellent example.

Chem-Dry is a renowned carpet and upholstery cleaning company that was founded back in 1977 by Robert Harris. Harris had previously worked as a carpet cleaner for another company but was unsatisfied with their products and service. So he created his own formula and launched his own service and both quickly become massive successes.

Today, you’ll find thousands of successful Chem-Dry franchises around the world, and, in fact, this cleaning company has more locations than any other business in the carpet cleaning industry. All that’s to say is that if there’s a brand to trust when it comes to cleaning products, this brand is it!

Chem-dry has several fantastic products available for the general public who want to clean their own carpets without hiring their professional service, but the best for blood stains and similar water-based stains is the Chem-Dry Profesional Strength Spot Remover.

This is a professional-grade product that has been thoroughly proven to remove the most stubborn spots from carpets with very minimal risk of bleaching or color draining to the carpet itself. While it is listed as professional-strength, this product is safe, non-toxic, and green-certified — making it a particularly great choice for those concerned about using excessive chemical-based cleaning products.

Before you use Chem-Dry Professional Strength Spot Remover on a bloodstain or any other type of stain, make sure to first test its use on the fabric itself. You want to do this by spraying it on a small part of the carpet that is less visible, such as underneath a shelving unit or in the corner of the room. Spray the product on the spot, blot dry, and observe for ten minutes. If you see no visible discoloration, continue on with use.

Use the same spray and blotting technique as advised above with hydrogen peroxide and be sure to work from the outside edge of the stain towards the center to prevent any inadvertent spreading.

Chem-Dry Professional Strength Spot Remover 20 Oz (2 Pack)
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What to Avoid When Trying to Get Blood Stains Out of the Carpet

The aforementioned products and steps are designed to help you remove blood stains from carpet, but it’s also good to know what things to avoid. The following is a look at things you should avoid doing and using as they can exacerbate the problem:

  • Avoid using bleach. Chlorine bleach can be effective at removing blood stains on some white fabrics, but it is a better rule of thumb to avoid its use altogether when it comes to carpets. That’s because chlorine bleach can spoil the natural and dyed colors of your fabric and can further weaken those fabric fibers while doing so.
  • Don’t use hot water or use a blow dryer to try and speed the process. Heat works to set a stain into whatever fabric that stain is on. So avoid ever using hot water to clean up a bloodstain or using a blow dryer to try and expedite the cleaning process. Whenever cleaning this type of stain, allow it to dry naturally.
  • Check labels and don’t use any product designed to remove grease, oil, and/or adhesive-based stains. Different cleaning products include different types of chemicals that have been chosen for their abilities to attack certain types of stains. Bloodstains should always be found with a cleaner designed to combat water-based stains and should never be cleaned with a product designed to combat oil and grease-based stains.

A woman having difficulty cleaning the carpet.

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