Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
 

Blood on Bedding Sheets

Easy care is one of the primary reasons people choose cotton bedding. Removing stains from sheets, blankets, pillowcase and other bedding is easy thanks to the fabric’s inherent qualities.
Blood is one stain that most people struggle to remove.  In many instances, usable cotton bedding is discarded and considered ruined once blood has leaked on to it.  Additional money is then spent on replacing the seemingly ruined items.
In other cases, much money is spent taking cotton bedding to the dry cleaners as a stain removal solution. In both cases, the result is spending extra money on new bedding that may be unnecessary.

Blood can easily be removed from most washable cotton bedding by using very ordinary household cleaning products.  As soon as a stain is noticed the sheets should be laundered in cold water.  If the stain has dried, pretreat the area with hydrogen peroxide.  It should bubble up and loosen the stain before you wash it as usual.  Another, even more common solution is regular shampoo.  Any shampoo will usually do the trick, be it your favorite brand or a less expensive store brand.
For optimal stain removal, it’s best to remove the stain as soon as possible, preferably upon occurrence.  Albeit, this is not always feasible. But, it is helpful to try to remove blood from cotton bedding before it dries and is ‘set’ to ensure complete elimination. In any case, using shampoo will usually eliminate hours-old stains in minutes.  For stains more than 24 hours old, you may have to first soak the bedding in a large bucket, or even the bathtub. Then, you can get about the task of fighting that stain – which in most cases can take upwards to 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the density of the bedding, or upwards to a day or so if you have to soak the stain.
To remove blood stains from your washable cotton bedding find a good location to begin your stain removal efforts. Keep in mind as bedding is bulky when wet, you want to be near or in the bathroom or by a large sink to avoid water leaking on floors and/or carpet.
Douse the stain with a capful of shampoo, making sure that some shampoo touches every part of the stain.
Rub the soiled portions of the bedding until the shampoo is completely absorbed, then wet with cold or warm water. Once bubbles appear, briskly scrub the bedding. Rinse the stain and evaluate your efforts. Is the stain completely gone? Is their a slight ring showing the shape of the stain? Is the stain still visible? If any portion of the blood is still visible, including a light ring, then follow this step two or three more times. By the third time, fresh stains should be totally removed. However, if the stain has been allowed to sit in the bedding for 48 hours or so – even if it is still visible after you attempted to remove by traditional machine washing – than you will likely need to pour shampoo on the stain and soak the bedding for several hours. Overnight soaking is also possible, if you desire to do so. Once you have soaked the stain for the allotted time, then you can wash the bedding.
Cotton bedding that has been treated for blood stains by shampoo and rinsed can be washed according to your usual preferred methods and/or the manufacturer’s instructions. If you prefer bleaching your white cotton bedding, you can do so at this stage – be it liquid bleach for whites or non-chlorine bleach for colored bedding. Since the shampoo has been rinsed out of the bedding, it will not impair your detergent or bleach’s cleaning ability.

Always check for stains before drying as the heat from a dryer will set the stain permenantly. If you are uncertain if the stain is removed from the damp bedding, hang outside in the sun to dry.  The sun will not only help to bleach out any remaining stains, but it will dry the cloth in a way that will not further set the stain.