Blood can be one of the toughest stains to remove from a carpet. As with most stains, you should start cleaning as soon as possible. Fresh blood is much easier to remove than dried blood.
However, even if the blood has dried, there are still some tried-and-tested ways to revive your carpet without damaging it. In this article, we’re going to cover 5 of the easiest, most effective methods.
Method 1: Cold Water to Remove Fresh Blood
While the stain is still quite new, remove any excess blood with a clean white towel. Then, spray the stain with some cold water. One invaluable piece of advice for any protein-based stains, including blood, is not to use warm or hot water, as this will set the stain.
Once you’ve sprayed cold water to dissolve the stain, let it sit for a few minutes. You can also mix a small amount of detergent into the water. Then use a white towel or cloth to absorb the liquid by dabbing the cloth, instead of rubbing.
Repeat this several times until you stop seeing blood coming out. This is why using a white cloth is a good idea; it makes it easier to tell when you’re done.
Method 2: Saltwater
If you’re after a cheap, natural method that’s also kind to your carpet, try saltwater. This method works well on fresh bloodstains, so start quickly.
Prepare a paste-like solution using one quart of cold water and 2 tablespoons of table salt. Apply this to the stain and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Salt is very dehydrating, so it will help lift the water together with the blood from your carpet.
Remove the paste using a clean towel and more cold water. Repeat the entire process if necessary until you see no more blood coming out into your towel. Once the carpet has dried, vacuum the area to remove any salt residues.
Method 3: Ammonia Solution and Detergent for Dried Blood
If the stain is old and hence more stubborn, you can try something more powerful, such as an ammonia solution. This is not suitable for a woolen or silk carpet. In any case, you should first spot test the solution on a small hidden patch to see if discoloration takes place. Only use ammonia in a well-ventilated space and avoid inhaling its fumes.
According to the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, ammonia is most effective when used following ordinary detergent. First, mix two teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent in a small cup of water and spray this on the stain. Leave for a couple of minutes and then blot this with a clean towel.
Afterward, apply the ammonia solution made of 15ml household ammonia in a small cup of water. Let it sit for a few minutes and remove it by dabbing with a clean towel. Rinse with a small amount of water and dab again until dry.
Method 4: Unflavoured Meat Tenderizer
Meat tenderizer is a chemical that breaks down proteins. Therefore, it makes it easier to remove protein-based stains, such as blood. This method is not recommended for wool or silk carpets. These are protein-based materials, so the meat tenderizer will damage the carpet itself.
Make a paste with cold water and unflavoured meat tenderizer and apply it to the stain. Leave it for around 20-30 minutes for the chemical to break down the blood proteins. Then apply some cold water with a bit of detergent to rinse it off and pat it dry with a clean towel.
Method 5: Hydrogen Peroxide for Dried Blood Stains
Cleansing with hydrogen peroxide is highly effective. However, this strong chemical can lighten the color of your carpet. Therefore, it’s a risky choice for dark carpets. This method is also not recommended for any silk or woolen carpets.
Buy a 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration, or if you have a more concentrated version, dilute it with water to 3%. Apply the hydrogen peroxide to the stain, but make sure you spot test first!
There is no need to rinse. However, you can use a wet cloth after allowing the chemical to act for around one hour. Then allow the area to dry and keep the carpet in a well-ventilated area. Repeat if you are not happy with the results.