Bloodstains are an especially nasty stain to get on your carpet. They have a nasty habit of sinking deep into it and refusing to budge.
So, how can you get bloodstains off your carpet? Here’s how you can get bloodstains off your carpet:
- Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot off as much of the blood spill as possible.
- Dip a cloth in a mixture of cold water and cleaning solution and gently dab at the carpet to break down the stain.
- Allow your carpet to dry.
- Vacuum off any remnants of dried blood.
The rest of this article will cover several key topics surrounding the removal of bloodstains from carpet:
- How can a bloodstain impact your carpet?
- An in-depth guide to removing a fresh stain
- What cleaning substances can you use to clean fresh blood stains?
- How do you deal with large bloodstains?
- Can you use professional cleaners?
How Can a Bloodstain Impact Your Carpet?
First, it’s important to explore what happens when blood stains your carpet. If it’s never happened before, you may be wondering what macabre situations would lead to blood staining your carpet.
Don’t let your imagination run wild! Bloodstains can be caused by the most common everyday injuries, including a fall or a broken nail.
When it falls onto a carpet, blood can wreak havoc on the fabric. Carpet fabric generally contains tiny little holes or pores which help with ventilation. Blood or any other spill will seep quickly and deeply into the carpet, making it harder to lift the stain.
The hemoglobin in the blood causes it to clot and bind to any surface that it comes into contact with, which is another reason that it’s hard to remove blood stains.
If it is not cleaned up properly, blood can leave an ugly rust coloured stain on your carpet.
It’s important to note that blood can be contaminated or filled with harmful pathogens. If it is not cleaned up properly, there is a possibility that it can cause infections in others who come into contact with the bloodstain. It’s unlikely that this will happen, but it’s better to be safe!
Steps to Get a Fresh Bloodstain Off
So, if blood spills on your carpet, follow all the steps outlined to do whatever you can to stop the blood from sinking in and staining your carpet. Remember to work quickly; the faster you address the stain, the better your chances are of getting it off.
Step 1: Pull on some gloves
Since the pathogens in the blood can be dangerous, it’s better not to take any chances. Wear disposable plastic gloves before you begin to clean, making sure they don’t have any holes or tears.
Step 2: Blot the stain off with a clean cloth or paper towels
The first thing to do is to gently dab a clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel over the stain to try to lift away as much of the blood as possible. Be sure to be gentle while you’re doing this as rubbing at the stain or using a lot of friction will cause the carpet to absorb the blood.
Step 3: Blot the stain with cold water
Dip a clean, white cloth in cool water and blot it on the carpet again to lift out any blood that has penetrated the carpet’s surface.
Step 4: Use a cleaning agent
Once you have lifted off as much blood as possible, it’s time to turn for cleaning agents for help.
Don’t use your regular detergent to clean the bloodstain – rather than lifting the stain, some of these will only cause it to sink further or will be completely ineffective. Also, regular detergent can be harmful to your carpet’s fibers and cause them to change color.
You can use a clean cloth or paper towel to dab on the solution gently. Or, use the bottom of a spoon if you have no clean cloths or towels handy!
Read on to explore which detergents and cleaning solutions would work best.
Step 5: Allow your carpet to dry
Once it seems like you’ve managed to take off all the blood, allow your carpet at least 24 hours to dry. Then, use a brush across the area which was stained – this will help dislodge and remaining blood particles.
After that, use a vacuum to give the carpet a final cleaning.
You can also do this if you discover a bloodstain that has already dried on your carpet.
Step 6: Repeat and then repeat again
If, after you’ve followed all these steps, you find that there are still remnants of a stain, don’t get discouraged.
Simply repeat the steps outlined again – and again, if necessary, until the stain has completely gone. However, be sure that your carpet fibers are not breaking down or fading as you clean.
What Can You Use to Clean Fresh Blood Spills?
When you’re cleaning your carpet, it’s important not to use regular detergent to lift bloodstains. Instead, there are a collection of special solutions and detergents you can use.
If you don’t have any of these at home, there are also some home remedies you can try.
All these solutions should be used after dry blotting the stain and using plain cold water to lift off as much of it as possible. Dry blotting and water mixtures will ensure that you’re not using unnecessary chemicals or cleaning agents on your carpet. They also reduce the risk of bleaching.
Detergent and chemical solutions
Check your cleaning cupboard for these common household cleaners and use them to clean up a fresh bloodstain.
- Combine two tablespoons of your dish detergent with two cups of cold water, stirring well to ensure that it’s mixed well.
- Use a cloth to gently dab the solution onto the carpet, until all the solution is over.
- Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes and dab a dry cloth over the stain. Allow the carpet to dry.
Use hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is the main chemical in antiseptics and can be helpful in both cleaning and sanitizing.
- Pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain – there’s no need to dilute it.
- Allow it to soak for at least half an hour and then use a cloth doused in cold water to lift off the hydrogen peroxide.
Don’t repeat this too often as a lot of this chemical can cause the fibers to bleach.
- Mix a tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of cold water and dab the solution on the stain gently.
- Continue dabbing it into the carpet until the entire solution is absorbed – most of the blood should be lifted by this time.
Be sure not to use ammonia on wool and silk carpets as they can damage the fibers.
If you don’t have ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or other chemicals handy, you can turn to your pantry.
Make a salt paste
- Mix regular kitchen salt with cold water to form a paste and gently spread the paste over the bloodstain.
- Allow the mixture to sit on the carpet for 15-30 minutes. The chemicals in the salt will leach out blood.
- After 30 minutes, use a paper towel or cloth dipped in water to blot off the salt, and the blood with it.
- Repeat this once more, if necessary.
Once you’re satisfied, run a vacuum cleaner over the carpet to lift off all the remaining salt.
You may have heard that Coca-Cola can be used as a toilet and sink cleaner, but it can also be used to break down blood stains! Here’s how:
- Pour the drink directly onto the carpet and allow it to soak for a few hours.
- Use a clean towel dipped into water to gently dab off the Coca-cola.
You should only use this method if you have a dark carpet, as Coca-cola will stain a light one.
Use lemon juice
- Pour some undiluted lemon juice onto the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Using a cloth dipped in cool water, gently blot it away and then add some more juice.
- Continue doing this until the stain visibility fades.
As lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, it’s best not to use it on dark carpets as it may cause the color to fade.
Use a baking soda and water paste
Baking soda can work magic on tough stains, including ones caused by blood.
- Make a paste by mixing three parts of water for one part of baking soda.
- Gently spread it over the stain.
- Allow it to sit for an hour.
- Blot it off with a clean cloth.
As well as removing the blood, the baking soda will lighten the stain.
Rub on some spit
It may sound strange, but spit can do wonders in lifting a bloodstain that refuses to budge! Spit contains enzymes designed to break down food – and it works the same way on blood.
So if you don’t have any other chemicals handy, you can spit on a clean cloth and use it to dab at your carpet. This method can be especially useful if it is your blood that spilled.
Removing Dry Blood Stains
The steps and solutions outlined above will work well if you discover the bloodstain when it’s still wet. However, once the blood has dried, you’ll need a different approach.
Here are some things you can do to deal with a dry bloodstain.
Use a hard bristled brush or knife
You can use a sharp kitchen knife to scrape away the bloodstain if it is completely dry. Alternatively, use a hard bristled brush to dislodge the blood particles from the carpet.
Once it looks like most has been lifted, run a vacuum over the carpet to remove the dried blood.
Use this method only if your carpet is made with synthetic fibers; silk and other naturally made carpets are too delicate for this.
Use an enzyme-based cleaner
Enzymes are essentially proteins that can help break down other proteins. Since blood is organic matter, it is also a protein, which is why an enzyme-based cleaner can work better than other chemical detergents.
Look for laundry detergents that feature enzymes as their ingredients. As a bonus, enzyme-based detergents are also environmentally friendly!
Popular enzyme-based cleaning brands are Nature’s Miracle and Seventh Generation.
Here’s how it works:
- Spray the detergent over the dry stain.
- Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Blot it off without using water.
Use carpet shampoo and ammonia
A carpet shampoo and ammonia mixture can also be effective.
- Mix a solution of carpet shampoo and cold water, shaking it to combine.
- Put the solution into a spray bottle and spray it onto the carpet.
- Allow the shampoo to sit on the carpet for five minutes.
- Pour in a solution of ammonia and water – use a tablespoon of ammonia with a cup of water.
- Allow the ammonia to sit for five minutes.
- Spray on the shampoo and water solution again.
- Allow it to sit for another five minutes.
- Blot it off with a clean cloth or paper towel.
This process should lighten and sanitize the stain.
Use meat tenderizer
It may seem odd, but unflavored meat tenderizer makes a great cleaner when it comes to bloodstains.
- Mix the meat tenderizer with water until you make a paste and spread it across the stain.
- Allow it to sit for ten minutes.
- Gently blot off the mixture with a cloth dipped in cold water.
Dealing With Large Bloodstains
Most of these methods are great when you’re spot cleaning your carpet. And most often, bloodstains will be confined to small areas.
However, if there’s been a significant injury, you may find that you have to deal with bloodstains in several areas on your carpet. In these cases, it’s best to give your carpet an overall and thorough cleaning.
Here are some methods you can use:
- Carpet shampooing. Use an enzyme-based carpet shampoo to give your whole carpet a deep clean. After shampooing your carpet, make sure you let it dry completely and then run a vacuum over it to hoover up any remaining blood particles.
- Encapsulation. Encapsulation carpet cleaning is when you spray a special chemical over the carpet and allow it to dry. The chemical dries into powder, which absorbs dirt. Then, you use a special machine to hoover up the powder, taking the dirt with it. There are special encapsulation chemicals which have been specially designed to remove blood – look out for them in your local store’s cleaning aisle.
What not to do when cleaning up a bloodstain
Whether you’re dealing with wet or dry bloodstains, there are some things you should absolutely not do:
- Don’t scrub at the stain. Scrubbing at bloodstains will simply make them sink deeper into the carpet.
- Don’t use hot water. While you typically use hot water to sanitize and clean, it won’t be helpful in these circumstances. Hot water will simply cause the blood to set into the carpet more firmly.
- Don’t double-dip. When you’re using a cloth to blot the stain, don’t dip that cloth into the water and then again use it to blot the carpet. Instead, use a fresh cloth so that you’re not cross-contaminating your water or cleaning solution.
Can You Call in Professional Cleaners?
Many professional carpet cleaners have a policy not to clean blood spills and stains from carpets. This policy exists because blood can be contaminated, and they want to protect their machines and cleaners. The concern is that there could be a risk of cross-contamination when they use their machines in other places.
That said, there are some specialist carpet cleaners that will clean bloodstains. They are specialized in cleaning contaminated stains and can sanitize your carpet professionally.
You may need to call in a specialist when:
- The bloodstain is fairly large
- When it has not been cleaned for hours or even days
- When you suspect that it may be contaminated
- If your carpets are silk, wool, or antiques. In fact, any time you clean a valuable or delicate carpet, it’s best to ask professionals.
In these cases, calling in specialized carpet cleaners is the safest option. It may be more expensive, but doing so will give you the peace of mind to continue using your carpet every day!
In most cases, you can deal with a bloodstain on your carpet yourself.
Be sure to address it as quickly as possible, using cold water and cleaning solutions.
Even if you discover the stain after it’s dried, all hope is not lost – use a dry brush or knife to gently scrape off the stain or use powerful detergents to break down the stain.
If you don’t have any commercial cleaning solutions available, don’t worry. There are a variety of home remedies you can make using items found in your kitchen.
And if you’re dealing with a large stain or a delicate carpet, it’s best to call in a professional cleaner who specializes in bloodstains. In each of these cases, the carpet is on the verge of ruin, and you need to be careful about cleaning it.