How to remove period blood stains
The occasional leaks and stains are just another part of life with periods. We’ve all dealt with them at some point, whether it’s on our clothes, mattress, sheets, or favourite pair of underwear. It may seem like a lost cause, but don’t be hasty to throw anything in the bin just yet. We’ve got you covered with ways to remove and prevent these pesky surprises!
Having our periods can be stressful. Along with experiencing pain and mood swings, some of us also deal with the anxiety of potential leaks, especially with our first periods and while sleeping. And although menstrual blood stains are inconvenient, it’s good to remind ourselves that they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Having an unpredictable menstrual cycle is completely normal, and sometimes stains happen despite our very best efforts to keep them at bay.
So here are a few tips and tricks you can try not only to remove tough period blood stains, but also to prevent them from happening in the first place.
How to get period blood out of your underwear and clothes
Finding specs of blood in your underwear and clothes can happen at any time – you might experience spotting, start your period early, or even think your flow is done, but then find a few last drops. And even when you do expect to bleed, there could be a mismatch between the absorbency level of the period product you chose and your flow that day!
If you do find that there’s some menstrual blood in your underwear, try not to worry — there’s a solution for everything. Consider keeping a backup pair of underwear in your bag so you can change out of the stained ones and feel more comfortable; this will also give you some time to assess your options to get the blood out.
Whether it affects just your underwear or the leak spreads to your trousers as well, there are ways to remove period blood stains so that you can continue going on about your day, fearlessly.
Act fast and give it the cold-water treatment
Basically, the fresher a period stain is, the easier it is to remove. So, if you do notice blood on your clothes, try dealing with it as soon as possible. Not giving the period stain an opportunity to dry will make it much easier to take care of later. If you’re running late, the best thing you could do is throw the fabric in cold water and let it soak.
The temperature of the water is key! Especially if the item is light coloured and made of lightweight materials (like cotton underwear or your go-to summer dress), cold water is your best friend. While a nice, comforting hot water bottle may be a remedy to help period pain, hot water is a no-go when trying to remove a blood stain. Running fabrics under warm water will only further set the stain, making it even more challenging to remove.
The soak and blot technique is as easy as one-two-three and works best on thicker fabric, like your jeans.
- To start, soak a washcloth (or any fabric you don’t use anymore) in cold water, wring it out, then blot the stain from the inside. (Remember to avoid rubbing as that will only spread the blood.) Keep blotting until there is no more blood coming off on the washcloth.
- Soak your garment in cold water for 30 minutes.
- Afterwards, toss it in the washing machine with cold water and gentle detergent.
Is the stain still sticking around even after the soak and blot technique? Try salt. It has strong dehydrating properties, which means it can absorb water and blood and act as a super stain remover. You just need to make a paste of salt and cold water and apply it on the period-stained area. Let it soak for several hours, if not overnight, before throwing it in the laundry as usual.
How to get period blood out of sheets
We’ve all been there – fast asleep, minding our own business, when our period pays a surprise visit in the middle of the night... the next day there is blood all over our sheets. Ugh! It doesn’t make for the best of mornings but try to be patient, these things happen. The good news is there are some tricks to get rid of those pesky blood stains.
Remove dried blood stains with vinegar, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide
You might need something strong to tackle stains that have dried and set-in on your bed sheets. Luckily, you can use common household items such as vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide. Here’s how to:
- Soak a sponge in vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Blot the blood-stained area.
- Run the stained area under cold water.
- Repeat until you’ve lifted as much of the stain as you can.
These ingredients work like a charm on light coloured fabrics but be aware that they can cause colour loss and fading on darker ones. So, it’s a good idea to test them on a small area first just to be on the safe side.
Use a stain remover
Stain removers are also a great solution! Just strip your sheets, then pour the stain-removing product of your choice directly onto the stain (you may prefer to dilute it with a little water, depending on the product application instructions) and let it sit for few minutes to work its magic. To finish off, gently dab the spot with a wet towel, and pop the sheets in the washing machine.
How to get period blood out of your mattress
Sheets may not be the only casualty on the nights of our periods and some flows are so mighty that they may go beyond. That can seem like a terrible nuisance given the fact that mattresses can’t be thrown in the washing machine — don’t give up your hope though! That just means that you need to make do with tackling the blood stains directly.
The magic of baking soda
Baking soda acts as a rough exfoliant, great for breaking up or spot-treating tough period stains.
- Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a little cold water and cover the stained part of the mattress with it (how much really depends on how large the area you are dealing with is).
- Allow the paste to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush).
- Finish off the process with the dab and blot technique you'd use on clothes.
Preventing period stains
Though staining from menstrual blood is completely normal, there are some things you can do to try to avoid the hassle altogether.
Know Your Flow
Often, it all comes down to wearing the right level of protection. If you have a super heavy flow and find that you are bleeding through, you may need to wear a higher absorbency towel or tampon. Or why not try a pair of period pants designed for heavy flow? At night-time, you may want to wear a pad specially designed to give extra protection as you sleep, like our Goodnight Ultra X-Large Pads with Wings.
Plan and Be Prepared
If you know your period is on its way, wearing liners can help prevent any blood stains, and leave you feeling dry and confident. If you’re struggling with mattress period stains, then investing in a good waterproof mattress protector can also give you some extra peace of mind while you sleep.
Picking the right period product and planning ahead can go a long way, but sometimes the unexpected happens and that’s ok. Remember that if you don’t succeed in getting rid of blood stains on your first go, try again. Like most things related to living with periods, sometimes you just need to give it more than one pass to get it right.
If you’d like to continue learning, why not find out more on how to prevent night-time leaking or how to notice the signs of your period coming?