April 14 2020 | Written by Rhea Kumar (She/Her)
Why is it that no matter how much padding, protection, and layers that you arm yourself with, the inevitability of blood stains seeps through it all. (Pun intended.)
If I could, I’d love to take a poll and find out just how many beloved clothing items have been compromised by the wrath of the blood stain. But fear not, there is hope! We can conquer and navigate the red tide together, and perhaps create a future of stainless garments and beddings. Ah, wouldn’t that be the dream? Speaking of dreams, how many of you have woken up to find a surprise red stain tarnishing your crisp white sheets? Even worse, a blood stain on your favourite pair of underwear (don’t play, we all know you’ve got that special one...the one that fits just right). Have you ever vacationed as a pre-teen and been totally oblivious to the fact that periods don’t take vacations? Have you ever taken a walk on the beach at sunset only to realize that your favourite denim cut offs have been royally ruined? (Okay, so it may only be me, but still! I loved those denim shorts!)
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The internet is swirling with useful tips on various materials and chemicals that you should keep in your anti-period-stain-arsenal, but the information is just too scattered. Today, we’ve cleared it all up for you and hope that you can use this when you’re blindsided by that annoying blood stain and have no clue what to do.
It’s essential to wash sheets multiple times and refrain from putting them in the dryer, as the heat from the dryer will set in stains even further. Remember: blood stains are a protein-based stain, so heat is not your best friend. Dry the sheet in the sun and if the stain persists, then repeat again. For white sheets, bleach can also be used.
Blood stains, whether fresh or dried, can be removed with a paste of ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and table salt. Rub it into the stain and allow to sit and harden before scraping it off.
For small, immediate stains, some cold water on a wash cloth might do the trick. You can repeat this and then press the stain with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture and let it dry on its own. For messier situations, pour vinegar on the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then throw your denim in the washing machine and treat it normally with detergent. It’s best to let it hang to dry
Be gentle, folks. Underwear is made of delicate fabrics, so rather than scrubbing the life out of your favourite underwear, try soaking it in cold water instead. The quicker, the better.
Throwing some lemon juice on top of the stain and repeating the process might also help. Personally, I’ve found that salt and cold water does the trick for smaller stains - but be quick, as the longer you let it dry, the harder it’ll be to remove.
Once again, do not put it in the dryer!
Pastes are the best way to go about with new and fresh stains.
Mix enough water and cornstarch together until the mixture turns into a paste, apply to the stain, and let it harden. Once hardened, wash with cold water and let it hang dry.
* A similar paste can be made with baking soda and water if you don’t have cornstarch.
Old, Worn-In Stains
Do not run your clothing under hot water, as the likelihood of that stain coming out will be zilch.
As with new stains, run it under cold water, and following this, soak the item in an enzyme based cleaner, such as Oxi Clean or hydrogen peroxide for a few hours. Afterward, throw it in the washing machine and follow through as you normally would. I’d suggest not drying it, and let it hang dry just to be on the safe side.
There you have it, let’s call this The Marlow Guide to Blood Stains. Have you tried any of these methods? Let’s keep the conversation going to ensure future days of blood-free garments and clothing!