Getting Period Blood Out of Anything

by Kate Hofmann

It’s a tale as old as time.

You’re wearing your favorite outfit, and you’re doing your thing, feeling yourself. You’re moving through your day, and suddenly you feel something is off. Either your period snuck up on you, or you’re not someone who keeps track, but after checking yourself in the bathroom mirror, you notice a big stain.

Not only is this a bit embarrassing, but it’s your favorite pair of pants, undies, or what have you, and now there’s a big red stain you’re going to have to figure out how to get out. This exact scenario has been going on for so long. Everyone has their own tips and tricks on the best way to get period blood out of anything. This includes your clothes, bedding, upholstery, and more. Honestly, there are so many potential solutions that wherever you might be when the stain happens, there will be something around to make it work.

Cold Water

This solution may sound really simple, but cold water is one of the easiest ways to get period blood out of thin fabrics like undies, pajama bottoms, and even thin sheets and blankets. If the blood is fresh enough, it is easy to get out with plenty of cold water. You can either run it under the faucet or even fill up the sink with cold water and soak the item. If you need to get rid of dried blood stains, you can soak the fabric overnight to loosen up the blood. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide to the cold water soak, but this is only recommended for light clothing as it can act like bleach.

It is good practice to run your bloody garment under cold water as soon as you notice it. This is the most surefire way to remove the stain entirely or at least reduce it. You can even use a little bit of hand or dish soap to reduce the stain further. You’ll want to then wash those clothes with your normal detergent on cold.

Extra Tip: Hot water is not advisable as it helps coagulate the blood and encourages it to stay in the fabric and stain.

Kitchen Staples

In addition to cold water, you can try vinegar. The acid mixed with cold water can help remove the blood’s proteins and break them down; the cold water then washes them out. Additionally, club soda and tonic water are great options. The carbonation can help strip the blood from the fabric.

You can also try a mixture of baking soda and dish soap to make a paste that you can leave on for 30 minutes before you scrub with a washing brush or old toothbrush and rinse with cold water. The baking soda reacts with the soap and water to help remove any stubborn bloodstains.

Sun Treatments

Much like the baking soda treatment, you can make a paste with water and either cornstarch, baking soda, talc powder, or salt to treat the stained area. You’ll want to spread an even layer of the paste on and then leave it out to dry in the sun. Once thoroughly dried, you’ll brush the powdery substance off of the fabric and wash the garment like normal.

The sun helps to dry out the stain and draw out the blood before washing. Don’t be discouraged if the first wash doesn’t get it out. You can always do a few treatments and subsequent washes to help get the stain out of the fabric.

What Else?

If you’re trying to spot treat upholstery like mattresses, couch cushions, or other things you can’t toss into the washing machine, you can always try these treatments and try to scrub it out after application. If that’s not helping, then you can try store-bought treatments. Sprays or pens with special solutions can help when you can’t properly soak or wash the fabric.

One of the most important things to do is try and prevent stains by bringing products with you just in case. If you feel like your cycle is irregular or close, a period tracker app can do wonders, so you know when to expect possible accidental stains. The Orchyd app is free, with no hidden costs, and, unlike other apps, never sells your data, is ad-free, HIPAA Compliant, and OB/GYN approved. You get access to an on-demand OB/GYN network and the app tracks you Orchyd Smart Wallet, so you never leave home without period products. So, no more leaking out and staining anything. Although, if you do, you have this as a resource to work through it.

Some other pluses of the app: you can share your cycle with an infinite number of people, it’s color customizable, tracking and reminders can be personalized, and it’s compatible with irregular periods. It’s also inclusive, making no assumptions about gender identity or sexuality, and treats you like you are a human, not a stereotype of a menstruator.

Of course, prevention is important, but accidents happen, so don’t sweat it if you end up with a stubborn stain and if you have a period tracking app, keep an eye on the calendar.