If you’ve read our blog, you know our job isn’t to judge. We’re here to impart practical and convenient tidying tips, helping whomever we can with their most challenging cleanups. Whatever got you in this situation is in the past, but the point is, you have blood on the carpet, and you need it out ASAP.
No matter how innocent the cause, any blood stain requires a sense of urgency and a little know-how to keep from setting and permanently ruining your floor. We’ll show you how to get blood out of the carpet in the fastest, most effective way possible, so you can pretend it never happened.
How to Remove Blood From Carpet
Blood is a typical protein stain, with plenty of DIY and commercial options to make it disappear from carpet fibers, clothes, shoes, and other household materials. At the same time, several simple mistakes will make blood difficult, if not impossible, to remove. No matter which cleaner you choose, always keep these insights in mind:
- Clean it quickly! Blood is much easier to clean with less time to dry
- Wear rubber gloves. If it isn’t your blood, stay safe by treating it as potentially hazardous
- Remove excess blood. Soak up as much liquid blood as possible with a paper towel before cleaning to avoid unnecessary spreading
- Use cold water. Hot or warm water can set protein stains in carpet fibers
- Blot, don’t rub. Rather than spread it around, gently blot the stain to contain it
- Start at the edges. Move from the stain’s edge to the center to prevent spreading
- Use white, lint-free cloths. Dyed materials may transfer color to the carpet, and white cloths will show if a cleaning solution is working
- Rinse cleaners thoroughly. Soapy residue tends to attract dirt, making proper rinsing with water a critical final step
Cleaning fresh blood stains is efficient using a spray bottle with two cups of cold water and a few drops of dish soap. Shake well, spray the spot, and blot with a clean white cloth. Respray and blot until the stain vanishes. Rinse with cold water before blotting dry.
If you can’t formulate a detergent solution, you’re still in luck! There are numerous practical and convenient alternatives for removing blood stains, large and small.
At a minimum, you need a white cloth and cold water. To be prepared, and if the blood stain is larger or stuck on, you should consider using a spray bottle, a wet vac, and a steel brush (or other stiff brush) or a dull knife.
Here’s a look at the best ways to remove blood stains, from the most basic solutions for wet drops to more effective options for dried, dug-in patches.
How to Remove Wet Blood Stains From Carpet
- Fill a spray bottle with cold water
- Spray the blood stain
- Gently blot the stain with a white cloth, working from the edges toward the center
- Repeatedly spray and blot until the stain is gone
- Dry the carpet with a dry cloth or wet vac after removing the stain
Why Can’t You Use Hot or Warm Water on a Blood Stain?
The cold water method is more effective as a blood stain remover than warm or hot water because heat denatures proteins, making them insoluble. Blood isn’t challenging to clean until you let it dry or heat up. When caught fresh at room temperature, it should dissolve readily in cold water and wash away.
Cold Water and Salt
- Make a salt paste with cold water
- Apply the stain remover paste, and let it sit for 10–20 minutes
- Remove the paste with a damp rag or sponge dipped in cold water
- Let the spot air dry, and vacuum
How Does Salt Remove Blood from Carpet?
Salt is an effective carpet stain remover for numerous substances, including blood stains, red wine, and grease spots. In the case of blood, cold water with enough salt to form a thin paste (or a saline solution) can dehydrate the red blood cells. More importantly, the chloride ions improve the solubility of the blood proteins, making salt a practical booster if cold water doesn’t remove the stain entirely.
Tip: If you don’t have table salt handy, swap it with baking soda or cornstarch. Mix a paste with water, apply it to the blood stains, and let it work for about 30 minutes before scraping/blotting and vacuuming.
How to Get Dried Blood Out of Carpet
Warning! Hydrogen peroxide can bleach carpet fibers. Spot test in a hidden area of carpet for color fastness before applying to the stain
- Loosen and break up the stain with a stiff brush
- Wet a clean white cloth with 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Blot the blood stain, working inward from the edges
- After removing the blood, rinse with a clean cloth dipped in cold water
- Let the spot air dry, or soak up excess moisture with a wet vac
Will Hydrogen Peroxide Get Blood Out of Carpet?
Hydrogen peroxide is, in essence, water with an extra oxygen atom, making it a powerfully reactive oxidizer. Applying it to a blood stain causes the heme in the hemoglobin, which creates the red coloration, to degrade. It doesn’t necessarily clean all the blood from the carpet, but the color disappears.
Tip: OxiClean dissolved in water can provide many of the same benefits because hydrogen peroxide is a byproduct of one of its active ingredients, sodium percarbonate. Soak the blood stain with your OxiClean solution for about five minutes, and blot up and dry as usual.
Warning! Ammonia can damage certain carpet materials, particularly natural fibers like wool. Do not apply the ammonia solution directly to the carpet. Always spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t damage the material
- Break up the blood stain with a stiff brush
- Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with ½ cup of water
- Dip a clean cloth or sponge in the ammonia solution, and blot the stain
- Continue blotting until the stain is gone
- Rinse any remaining stain residue with cold water
- Blot dry with a clean towel
Use ammonia on stubborn stains that have had time to dry. With its high alkalinity, ammonia (or ammonium hydroxide, when added to water) is an effective blood stain remover that doesn’t present the same color-removal risk of bleach. Work with proper ventilation, as ammonia emits a powerful odor.
- Spot-test and apply an enzyme cleaner to the dried blood stain according to the product instructions
- Let the cleaner sit for several minutes
- Blot the enzyme cleaner with a clean cloth
- Repeat as needed to remove stubborn stains
How Enzyme Cleaners Remove Blood Stains from Carpet
Enzyme cleaners use targeted bacteria and enzymes to consume various compounds, making them easy to clean. Protease enzymes break down organic protein stains, making them the best choice for assorted bodily fluid stains, whether from a bleeding finger or a pet accident on the carpet. Many modern liquid laundry detergents employ enzymes, making them another excellent first choice for cleaning a blood stain on a carpet.
Cleaning Different Carpet Materials
- Nylon: The most common carpet fiber, nylon is durable, stain-resistant, and tolerant of most cleaning products
- Wool: Natural materials like wool require mild, non-alkaline detergents (i.e. skip the ammonia) to avoid damage
- Polyester: Though not as durable as nylon, polyester is affordable, relatively resilient, and stain-resistant, making it one of the most common options for cloth furniture and carpets. While you can apply all of methods described in this article, you should still practice caution when using ammonia and hydrogen peroxide
- Polypropylene (Olefin): Another man-made fiber, polypropylene is durable, color-fast, and subsequently easier to clean than many other carpet materials. Any of the methods described in this article is okay to use on this fabric
Is Blood Hard to Get Out of the Carpet?
You can remove blood stains easily from any carpet material with simple and safe solutions when you prevent them from setting. As blood dries and its proteins denature, it bonds tightly to fibers. When you clean them quickly, starting with cold water and working up to a detergent solution and enzyme-powered stain removers, you’ll see better results in less time!