Do old blood stains wash out?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Old blood stains can be stubborn and difficult to remove, but with the right techniques and products, it is possible to successfully wash them out. Here are some steps you can take to tackle old blood stains:

1. Act quickly: The sooner you address the stain, the better chance you have of removing it completely. However, if the stain is already dried, don’t worry, there are still methods that can help.

2. Pre-treat the stain: Before washing, it’s essential to pre-treat the stain. Start by soaking the affected area in cool water. This can help break up the dried blood and loosen its grip on the fabric. You can also try using a stain remover or a mixture of water and enzyme-based laundry detergent to further break down the stain. Gently rub the mixture into the fabric, working from the outside of the stain towards the center. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

3. Launder as usual: After pre-treating the stain, wash the fabric as you normally would. Make sure to check the care instructions on the garment to determine the appropriate water temperature and cycle. Using cold water is generally recommended as hot water can set the stain permanently.

4. Choose the right laundry detergent: Consider using enzyme-based laundry detergents, as they are specifically formulated to break down proteins like blood. These detergents contain enzymes that target and digest the proteins in the stain, making it easier to remove. Follow the instructions on the detergent packaging for best results.

5. Repeat if necessary: If the stain persists after the first wash, don’t lose hope. Repeat the pre-treatment and washing process until the stain is completely gone. It may take several attempts, especially for old and set-in stains.

6. Avoid heat: Avoid using hot water or placing the stained fabric in the dryer until the stain is completely removed. Heat can set the stain, making it much more challenging to eliminate.

7. Test before treating: Before applying any stain remover or detergent, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first. This helps ensure that the product doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

8. Consider professional help: If you’ve tried multiple methods and the stain still won’t budge, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Professional cleaners have access to specialized products and equipment that can effectively treat stubborn stains.

Remember, each fabric and stain is unique, and results may vary. Patience and persistence are key when dealing with old blood stains. It’s always best to address stains promptly and avoid letting them set in for too long.

Personal Experience: I once had a white cotton shirt that had an old blood stain on it. I had accidentally cut my finger a few days prior, and the stain had dried and set into the fabric. I soaked the shirt in cool water for about 30 minutes, gently rubbing the stain with my fingers to loosen it. Then, I applied a small amount of enzyme-based laundry detergent directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, I washed the shirt in cold water with my regular laundry detergent. To my surprise, the stain was completely gone after just one wash. It’s important to note that results can vary depending on the fabric, stain, and the specific products used.