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How to Get Blood Out of Shoes: 7 Effective Solutions

Converse All-Star high-top shoes.

You may not appreciate it, but your shoes can completely change how people perceive you. 

Humans have a knack for passing judgment and forming attitudes based on minimal information. From the first words we speak to the clothes we wear, it all counts towards the lasting impressions we make. And when it comes to footwear, studies show that people are remarkably adept at using it to develop opinions about your personality.

So, when you walk into a room with a glaring blood stain on your feet, what kind of impression do you think you’re making?

Nobody wants to worry about the embarrassment of going to a work meeting, a family outing, or a first date with blood-stained shoes. We’ll help you get ready to don your favorite kicks by detailing how to get blood out of shoes with a few simple tricks.

7 Ways to Get Blood Out of Shoes

Getting blood out of shoes doesn’t usually require harsh chemicals or special cleaners. A bleach pen can be a last resort for tough blood stains on white shoes, but in most cases, you can get them out with these essential household supplies:

  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol

Avoid running blood-stained shoes through the washing machine. Soaking shoes is an excellent way to destroy certain materials, like suede, and it can damage the adhesives that hold many shoes together. Instead, use these ingredients, a clean cloth, and an old toothbrush to spot-clean your shoes and protect the fabric from wear.

1. Remove Dried Blood Stains with Hydrogen Peroxide

One of the best ways to remove blood stains from shoes is to attack them with standard 3% hydrogen peroxide that you likely have hiding in your medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide causes an oxidizing reaction, breaking down the stain-creating components until the blood disappears. Here’s how you can put it to work to get new or dried blood stains out of your shoes:

  1. Wet the blood stain slightly with warm water
  2. Apply hydrogen peroxide to the corner of a clean cloth
  3. Rub the blood stain with the damp cloth in a tight, circular motion (use an old toothbrush for extra scrubbing power)
  4. Continue adding hydrogen peroxide and gently scrubbing until the stain is gone
  5. Rinse any remaining hydrogen peroxide off the shoe with clean water

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent, making it an excellent replacement for bleach, but it’s unlikely to damage dyed shoes. As long as the shoes have colorfast fabric, it won’t remove anything but the blood. With careful use, hydrogen peroxide can also eliminate blood stains from delicate materials like suede.

2. Use Liquid Detergent on Tough Blood Stains

Many modern laundry detergents include enzymes or OxiClean to give the formulas a stain-removing boost. Enzyme detergents use targeted enzymes to break down different materials, such as the proteins in blood and grass stains. These detergents are effective but can damage delicate materials like genuine suede.

Detergents with OxiClean, which uses sodium percarbonate as its active ingredient, work much like hydrogen peroxide for removing blood stains from shoes. As with enzyme cleaners, you’ll need to be careful with some items, like suede or leather shoes. But for tennis shoes, canvas shoes, and most casual footwear, you’ll have no problem using Oxi-enhanced detergent.

Clean the blood spot as you would with hydrogen peroxide, using a damp towel and a touch of detergent. Work it into the stain in small circles for a few minutes until it begins lifting away. Rinse the remaining detergent with water and pat the shoe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.

3. Remove Blood Stains with Dish Soap

Nothing beats dish soap for managing fresh stains of all kinds in a pinch, so don’t hesitate to try it as soon as you get blood on your shoe.

Saturate a cloth with warm water and add a drop of dish soap to it. Use your thumb to mix some suds, and blot the stain with the soapy water. Give the shoe a gentle rub to lift the blood stain around the edges. Rinse gently with cold water and let it air dry.

4. Using White Vinegar to Get Blood Out of Shoes

Everybody’s favorite DIY cleaner comes to the rescue once again, this time handling the random blood spot on otherwise clean shoes. While not as effective as hydrogen peroxide for set stains, distilled white vinegar can save your shoes from fresh blood.

Dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar and dab it on the affected area. You may need to let it soak into the spot for a few minutes before blotting it up. Finish up by cleaning the vinegar off with a damp towel.

5. Try Salt Water on Blood Stains

Salt is another fantastic tool for all kinds of stains, from removing red wine to lifting blood stains. And while it’s better for spots that haven’t set, you can also use it when you don’t have any hydrogen peroxide on hand for dried blood.

Mix a thick paste of salt and cold water, and apply it to the blood stain on the shoe. Let it sit for several minutes before gently buffing it away with a towel. Rinse the saltwater paste, ensuring it’s completely removed, as salt can leave a new stain on your shoe.

6. Treat Blood Stains with Rubbing Alcohol

Like white vinegar, rubbing alcohol is a viable option to remove blood stains from suede shoes, but you can also use it on your canvas and leather shoes to great effect. Alcohol is a solvent that will break down the stain and make it easy to lift.

Dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol, and wipe the blood stain away. Repeat the process as necessary, adding more alcohol to the cloth and scrubbing away until the stain is gone.

7. Mix a Baking Soda Paste to Scrub Out Blood Stains

Baking soda is one of the most versatile stain lifters around the home, an excellent solution for pet stains on the carpet, moldy grout, and marks on countertops. And now, you can add “removing blood stains from shoes” to the long list of baking soda uses.

Make a paste of one part warm water and one part baking soda. Apply the paste to the stain with a cloth and carefully scrub it away. Wash away any excess paste after cleaning. A baking soda paste is especially useful for keeping white shoes clean without the risk of making the stain worse.

Are Blood Stains Permanent?

A blood stain on a crisp pair of white canvas shoes can feel like the end of the world, but blood is surprisingly easy to remove without leaving a trace. Treating the stain immediately will be crucial, as there are far fewer effective methods for removing old dried stains, and many can still leave a shadow of a blood mark that will stick out like a sore thumb.

One of the most critical points to remember is to avoid trying to wash blood stains from shoes in the washer and dryer. Heat will set even the freshest spots, and no amount of hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar will get them out.

Get Expert Cleaning Help with Anita’s

Following these seven tips for getting blood out of your shoes will ensure you always look fantastic before leaving the house. But while you’re worrying about sending the right message when you go out, are you also doing your best to impress when you have company?

A clean house is one of the many ways we can make an excellent impression. With Anita’s, it only takes a few quick clicks to arrange a customized cleaning that will blow your guests away and save you hours of aggravating chores. Request a booking today, and enjoy the sparkling clean home you never knew you were missing!


Noah Hoit