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How To Remove Blood From Jeans

How To Remove Blood From Jeans Graphic

Removing blood stains from clothing is one of the trickiest stains to remove. If you have found your favorite pair of jeans stained by blood, you might wonder if the age-old stain removal tricks and expert tips are a match for this denim garment.

Many of the commercial laundry treatments available are not strong enough to remove blood stains. Luckily, there are items in your household such as salt, meat tenderizer, vinegar, and baking soda that can help. And unlike delicate fabrics, denim can withstand a lot more in terms of cleaning detergents.

Whether it be from an injury or nosebleed, from a human or animal, blood is a biohazardous material. Chore-ology provides services for blood cleanup and biohazard decontamination.

Keep reading for more advice on how to treat blood stains on your jeans.

8 Ways To Remove Blood From Jeans

The methods below aid in the removal of blood stains. Ideally, the jeans should be treated immediately but even the most stubborn stains can be removed.

1. Hydrogen peroxide

You may be reluctant to use a product with the word "peroxide" for fear of bleaching your beloved dark blue jeans. Using the correct percentage, however, will effectively remove blood stains without causing damage to your denim. A 3% solution is the safest option for stain removals.

If you are worried about the integrity of the fabric, you can do a test piece on an inconspicuous area of the jeans.

  1. Soak the affected area in cold water.

  2. Apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the blood stain.

  3. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and leave for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Remove the plastic wrap and gently blot the stained area.

  5. Proceed with a cold wash using regular laundry detergent.

2. Salt

Thanks to its dehydrating properties, ordinary table salt is effective in the removal of blood stains from jeans. There are various ways of using this everyday day ingredient for stain removal purposes. Most of the time it is combined with water, but it can also be mixed with shampoo.

  1. Combine salt and cold water to form a thick paste.

  2. Spread the mixture onto the blood stain and gently rub it in.

  3. Allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes.

  4. Scrape off the hardened paste and rinse with cold water.

  5. If required, jeans may be washed as usual on a cold cycle, or just the affected area can be washed.

4. Laundry or dishwashing detergent

A fresh blood stain treated immediately can be fixed with your standard laundry or dishwashing liquid or powder and cold water.

  1. Soak the jeans or targeted area in cold water.

  2. Apply the liquid or detergent directly onto the stain and rub it in gently with either your finger or a cleaning toothbrush.

  3. Rinse immediately and repeat the process as needed until the stain has disappeared.

5. Baking soda

Baking soda is an all-rounder when it comes to household cleaning and is just as effective when it comes to blood stains on jeans.

  1. Mix two parts baking soda to one part cold water to form a paste.

  2. Apply the mixture onto the stained fabric.

  3. Leave the baking soda paste on the blood stains for at least half an hour.

  4. Remove the paste and use a cold damp cloth to blot the area firmly.

  5. Wash as usual.

6. White vinegar

The acidic properties of distilled white vinegar help break down and remove blood stains. On its own, it may not remove the stain entirely but it can act as a pre-wash treatment for fresh blood stains. Alternatively, if you do not have white vinegar, the acidity in lemon juice works the same.

  1. Apply white vinegar directly onto blood stains and allow to soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Rinse with cold water.

  3. Repeat the vinegar soak until the stain has dissolved.

  4. Wash as usual.

The vinegar can be used as is or can be diluted with water depending on the severity of the stain and the amount of liquid you have available. A solution of one part vinegar to two parts cold water could be enough for a fresh blood stain.

Vinegar can also be used in conjunction with baking soda as an effective stain remover. Simply pour the vinegar over the baking soda to form a paste and allow the chemical reaction to bubble. Then, rinse the stain with cold water.

7. Meat tenderizer

This hidden gem lurking in your spice rack is extremely effective at removing even the most stubborn blood stains from jeans. Meat tenderizer breaks down the bonds between the proteins and collagen in the meat. Given that the stains are protein-based, this powder is ideal.

  1. Mix unflavored meat tenderizer with a bit of cold water to make a paste.

  2. Apply this paste to the blood stains and gently work it into the fabric with your fingers.

  3. Allow the paste to penetrate the stain for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Rinse with cold water, and blot any excess blood.

  5. Repeat if necessary and wash as usual on a cold cycle.

8. Ammonia

Extremely stubborn stains can be treated with a mixture of ammonia and water. Dishwashing liquid can also be added for extra effectiveness. However, you must exercise caution when working with ammonia. Be sure to wear a face mask and gloves as protection against the chemicals.

Ammonia should never be mixed with bleach, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and chlorine bleach products as it creates chloramine gas which is poisonous if inhaled.

  1. Combine one tablespoon of ammonia with half a cup of water and half a teaspoon of washing liquid (if necessary).

  2. Apply the mixture to a white towel, and blot onto the affected areas firmly.

  3. Continue dabbing the stain with the ammonia until the stain has lifted.

  4. Use a second towel or cloth to blot the area with clean cold water to remove any remaining stain solution.

  5. Rinse and wash as usual.

Important Things To Remember Before Removing Blood Stains

Before tackling the stain, consider the following:

Blot the stain

If you are dealing with fresh blood stains, use a cloth to blot the affected areas from both the outside and inside of the jeans. This will help absorb as much of the blood as possible. Do not scrub the area initially as this will only spread the stain.

Only use cold running water

 It's important to remember that these are protein-based stains. Stains like this should not be treated with warm water as this will only encourage the stain to set. Fresh blood stains can often be mostly removed by running cold water over the jeans.

For example, if you have stained a garment with raw egg, using warm or hot water will encourage the proteins to solidify, leaving you with a scrambled mess. The same logic applies to blood stains. Hot water will solidify the blood into the fabric, making removal more difficult.

Protect the unaffected areas

 If you are removing a blood stain that is in a concentrated area and do not want to wash your jeans entirely, be sure to place a clean, dry cloth underneath the area that is being treated. This will prevent any kind of residual blood stains on otherwise clean areas.

Protect your hands

Generally, blood stains are considered a biohazard, and protective gear should be worn during the removal process. If it is your blood that you are dealing with, you have less to worry about.

But if you are removing the blood of a stranger or animal, exercise care. Many pathogens, viruses, and diseases can be transmitted through exposure to contaminated blood.

Biohazards aside, the products you will be using may contain abrasive ingredients and chemicals that could irritate your skin. Wearing gloves while removing blood stains is especially important if you have any minor cuts, scrapes, or even hangnails on your hands.

Factors To Consider With Blood Stains

To effectively remove blood stains from jeans, certain factors need to be taken into consideration. These will determine the best method for stain removal and ensure that your favorite garment is not damaged in the process.

Dried blood stains

Set-in blood stains require a little patience from your end but they are by no means a lost cause.

The best treatments for dried blood stains are:

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Meat tenderizer

  • Ammonia

  • Baking soda

For the best results, presoak the jeans or specific area in cold water before applying the removal treatment.

Fabric blend

Traditionally jeans and other denim garments are 100% cotton. In recent times, however, jeans have evolved and are sometimes blended with synthetic fabrics to allow for more stretch and comfort.

When trying to remove blood stains from jeans, check the label to know what kind of fabric you are working with. Certain synthetic fabrics may not react favorably to chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or ammonia.

Color of the jeans

Colored jeans may require extra precautions when you remove blood stains. While the above-mentioned methods may cause a slight fading or discoloration, it is often not very noticeable on traditional blue jeans.

The best blood stain removers for brightly colored jeans are:

  • Vinegar

  • Meat tenderizer

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Laundry detergent

The use of hydrogen peroxide is not recommended for garments of this variety except for white jeans. White jeans could use a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution. Be cautious with the use of regular bleach on white garments as it may have a yellowing effect.

The amount of blood

If the blood stain is not contained in one specific area, then a more thorough method of treatment is required. Allow the jeans to soak in either hydrogen peroxide or ammonia mixture before doing a cold wash.

Blood-stained jeans of this magnitude should be washed separately with a stain remover or powdered oxygen bleach and liquid laundry detergent.

As previously stated, if the blood is from another person, extra care needs to be taken to avoid the spread of any potential pathogens or diseases.

What To Do If The Blood Stain Remains

If the blood stain refuses to lift, there are other ways of masking the appearance of the soiled area. You could give your trousers a new lease on life by upcycling them in the following ways:

  1. Dye the fabric a different darker color.

  2. Cover the stain with an embroidered motif or piece of fabric.

  3. Use fabric paint and stencils to create a pattern that will draw attention away from the stained area.

  4. Use iron decals to cover the stain.

If none of these ideas appeal to you, you may consider taking your garments to a professional laundry service. They may have some trade secrets on how to get your jeans free from blood.

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