Getting blood out of carpet isn’t murder, and people all too often forget the legitimate reasons they need to remove blood from carpet. Your kid did a flip off the couch with a perfect face plant and bloody nose. You were working on arts and crafts before cutting yourself, bleeding as you crossed the room to treat the injury. Your child picked at scabs and didn’t notice the dripping that caused onto the floor. Whatever the reason, we all too often need to remove blood from carpet.
Words of Warning
Before you start cleaning blood stains on carpet, there are several things you need to know to avoid making things worse. First, never use hot or even warm water when removing the stains. While hot water will help remove grape juice stains, even moderately warm water will cook the blood and make the stain permanently set. The worst way to try to remove blood stains is running a hot carpet steamer over the spots.
Another cautionary note you need to know before you start is that scrubbing the carpet will too often rub the stain in. Blot the affected areas, not scrub. There are some people who suggest scrubbing the stain with a brush, but while this removes the surface deposit, it can rub in the residue into the base of the carpet fibers.
How to Remove Fresh Blood from Carpet
The first thing to try is blotting the blood stain with cold water and a dry towel to remove as much as possible. This is most likely to work when the blood stain is fresh. Simply repeat until the stain is gone, periodically rinsing the towel so that you don’t accidentally spread the mess around.
You can mix a teaspoon of liquid dish-washing detergent with two cups of water, then blot the affected area. Repeat until the stain is gone. Ideally you should use dishwashing detergents that don’t have added dyes so you don’t risk removing the blood stain only to replace it with a different, artificial color. The benefit of this mixture is that you can use it to clean both your carpet and upholstery.
Three percent strength hydrogen peroxide solutions can be used to help remove blood from your carpet. One word of warning is that you shouldn’t use this mixture on very dark carpets – you’ll lighten it even if you get the blood out almost immediately.
When you apply hydrogen peroxide to your wounds, it starts to foam immediately – and you’ll see the same effect when it is applied to a blood stain. Start blotting up the mixture with a cold wet towel immediately. You don’t have to rinse the area after using hydrogen peroxide since exposure to light will turn it into water.
What can you do if you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or you’re afraid it will bleach your carpets? Spray foaming shaving cream onto the blood stain. This can help remove still wet blood stains. Let it sit for five minutes, and then blot away with a cool damp cloth.
How to Remove Dried Blood Stains from Carpet
Dried blood stains are harder to remove from carpet, but it isn’t impossible.
One option is to mix equal amounts of salt and unflavored meat tenderizer together. Then spread that mixture onto the blood stain and let it sit for at least twelve hours. This mix breaks down the blood. You’ll be able to vacuum up the mixture to get most of it up, and then blot the remainder away with a cold damp cloth.
If you don’t have meat tenderizer or you have wool or silk carpets that meat tenderizer would damage, you can use salt paste instead. However, this may take more passes to remove the blood. And you have to remove all of the salt when you’re done so it won’t damage the carpet. If you use a salt mixture, once the blood is gone, vacuum the area thoroughly.
Mix half a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Use the solution with a sponge or damp cloth to blot out the stain. Warning: never use an ammonia mixture like this if you’ve used bleach in the area or have leftover bleach water in the container. Bleach and ammonia react to create a hazardous gas.