It’s one thing to clean your mattress, it’s another entirely when there’s a blood stain present.
While getting a blood stain out of a mattress seems like a tall task, you’ll find with the right tools and methods, it’s easier than expected.
So, before you send it to a cleaning service or write off your mattress entirely, here are a couple of tips and ways to get blood stains out from your mattress.
How To Get Fresh Blood Out Of A Mattress
Fresh blood is easier to remove so you’ll want to try and remove the stain as soon as possible.
Before we go onto the methods, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Remove all bedding immediately. It’s easy to wash the sheets of any stains, not so much with mattresses.
- Always use cold water. Hot water solidifies and clumps the blood proteins, drying it quicker and making it harder to remove.
- Try and use a minimum amount of water to reduce the time it takes to dry. Memory foam mattresses can’t be allowed to get too wet.
- It’s recommended to dab gently at the affected area with a cloth instead of rubbing it vigorously. Rubbing spreads the stain and makes it worse.
You can try the following methods in succession (according to how tough the stain is to remove):
While it doesn’t sound like much, a damp cloth and cold water can remove a fresh blood stain. Or at the very least, minimise the work required to clean up the rest of it.
All you need to do is dampen a cloth with cold water, dab the cloth at the affected area. Repeat as many times as you deem necessary.
Baking Soda Method
A common pantry ingredient and easily purchasable, baking soda has stain and odour neutralizing properties.
Here’s how you can use it to remove stains from a mattress:
- Mix baking soda with cold water to form a paste.
- Apply the paste onto the stain
- Leave it on for 30 minutes
- Dab the area with a cloth
Besides baking soda, here are some other things in your home that you can try out to remove blood stains from your mattress:
A decent alternative to hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice can act well on blood stains due to the citric acid present.
Simply dab the affected region with cold water. Apply some lemon juice, gently dabbing at the stain
Not the most obvious solution, but a good alternative to baking soda if you don’t have any lying about:
- Crush an appropriate amount of aspirin and spread it over the stain
- Add some water to create a paste
- Scrub (gently) affected area with a toothbrush and cold water
- Remove residue by dabbing with a damp cloth
Regular table salt works well at drawing out blood stains, due to its dehydrating properties. Which lifts up both blood and water from the stain.
You can also mix it with other ingredients such as baking soda or lemon juice, to further improve their removal properties.
If you just want to use salt alone:
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of salt to the affected area
- Add a minimal amount of cold water to form a paste
- Leave for 10 to 20 minutes
- Dab the affected area with a damp cloth, repeat as necessary
How To Get Dried Blood Out Of A Mattress
With dried blood, you will require a stronger removal method using chemicals. As the earlier methods for removing the stains might not be as effective.
The downside is that these chemicals (e.g. bleaching agents) are corrosive in nature. And hence, may affect the quality of your mattress.
So if possible, try to avoid the use of such chemicals unless necessary.
Enzyme Cleaners / Detergents
Commercially, enzyme cleaners fall under detergents.
Look for an enzyme cleaner that is friendly to fabrics, to protect the surface of your mattress. You should follow the directions at the back of the enzyme cleaner.
Generally, using an enzyme cleaner involves the following steps:
- Spray the enzyme cleaner / detergent directly on a cloth
- Dab the cloth onto the dried blood stain
- Wait for the time indicated at the back label of the enzyme cleaner
- Use a damp cloth remove the stain (much like the previous cold water method)
Meat Tenderizer (Powder)
Meat tenderizer can be used as an alternative cleaner to remove dried blood stains.
The science behind this:
A meat tenderizer breaks down the protein in meat with enzymes like bromelain and papain.
Therefore, it can do the same for the protein in blood. And hence, blood stains. Making them easier to remove.
Be sure to use an unseasoned meat tenderizer, as seasoning can stain mattresses.
- Mix (unseasoned) meat tenderizer to a paste
- Leave paste on the blood-stained area
- Dab at the stain using a clean cloth with water
- Repeat if needed and let it air dry
Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleaching agent. It is recognised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as generally safe to use in low dosage.
It’s exceptionally useful against more resilient stains. Just remember to use hydrogen peroxide sparingly, as too much of it can and will damage your mattress:
- Create a paste by mixing 1 tablespoon each of liquid dish wash soap and salt together with hydrogen peroxide (1/4 cup)
- Leave the paste on the dried blood stain for 30 minutes
- The paste will dry so use a blunt scraper (a spoon works) to remove it
- If the stain is still there, apply some hydrogen peroxide on a scrap of old cloth and dab lightly at the stain until it comes off
Ammonia is caustic and hazardous in nature. When dealing with ammonia, do wear gloves and open the area or room for better ventilation and air circulation.
While great at removing blood stains from your mattress, it’s best reserved as a last resort due to how corrosive ammonia can be.
Do not ever mix ammonia with any other cleaning agents (e.g. chlorine).
- Add a few drops of ammonia to a cup of cold water.
- Dip a clean cloth into the solution
- Avoid oversaturating the cloth (this will spread the blood stain)
- Dab lightly around the blood stain
- Blot with a clean paper towel as you clean to keep moisture at its minimum
- Repeat the above steps till stain is removed
Protecting Your Mattress From Future Blood Stains
Futureproof recurring incidents by investing in a good quality mattress protector.
Which acts as a protective barrier for your mattress, improving the longevity of your mattress as well as your sleep quality. The latter applies to a mattress topper.
Bloodstains that are left for too long are tough to remove from a mattress, so the sooner you act on them, the better.
So long as you’re quick and have the right tools on hand, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue!
Tips to take away from this post:
- Immediately remove your sheets and soak for 24 hours, after which you can machine wash it, and dry it naturally under the sun.
- Use cold water, as hot water will set the stain in the process
- Use the gesture of dabbing, not rubbing to prevent smearing on the mattress
- Be sure to use diluted chemicals for more stubborn stains, as using the pure form may ruin your mattress.
And if none of the solutions work, check out our article on the best mattress cleaning services in Malaysia, if you’re looking for professional help.