Stain Removal Tips: Removing Blood From Carpet/Upholstery

Bloodstains are easily removed with products usually found in one's kitchen cabinet.

Accidents happen. Even the most cautious person bleeds, and while household cuts and scrapes are usually nothing serious, we occasionally find ourselves in situations where it's necessary to clean blood stains out of the carpet or upholstery. Don't panic though. Blood is easily removed and you no longer have to move the couch to hide the spot on the carpet.

Once you've bandaged your wound, act quickly. You don't want to give the stain any extra time to set in so immediate action is key. First, try dampening a cloth with cold water and blot the stained area. Don't rub. Rubbing will spread the stain and may cause it to set in deeper. As the blood comes off the affected area, rinse the cloth again and keep gently blotting until no more of the stain can be lifted. You can also blot the area with a baby wipe. Believe it or not, these are not only great for cleaning a baby's bottom, they're excellent for removing stains from carpet and furniture as well. They're gentle and won't harm most fabrics.

If further stain removal is necessary, try mixing one teaspoon of a neutral detergent - that is a detergent with no bleaches or alkalies - with one cup of lukewarm water and gently blot. Don't use hot water or any kind of heat for stain removal. Heat causes stains to set and will make it more difficult to clean. After blotting with the detergent solution, mix one tablespoon of household ammonia to a cup of water and again gently blot until no more of the stain can be lifted.

You can also try sponging the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Keep in mind, however, that this is a bleaching agent so you may want to test the solution first on a hidden area of your carpet or furniture. Another home remedy is to make a paste of salt or meat tenderizer and cold water. Let this sit for 30 minutes and then sponge with cool water. As with the bleach, test on a hidden area first.

Your kitchen provides an assortment of stain fighting home remedies. Vinegar is an awesome spot remover. Not only does it remove blood, but it also works well on coffee, chocolate and just about anything else than can be tracked in or spilled. Use full strength for best results. The area may smell at first, but that will clear up in no time.

A paste of cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder mixed with cold water also works well to absorb bloodstains. Leave the paste on the stain for about 30 minutes and remove with a cold sponge. This works best for fresh stains. Another paste you can try is dried laundry starch and cold water. Allow the paste to dry and then brush or vacuum.

Don't forget the club soda, another tried and true home remedy. The bubbles react with the blood to help loosen the stain. Sponge the stain as soon as possible with the soda and some cold water and then blot with a towel. Repeat as often as necessary.

Of course there are chemical products and spot cleaners on the market. Before buying a spot cleaner or hiring a professional, try looking in your kitchen or pantry instead. Chances are a home remedy will work, not only saving your carpet or upholstered furniture, but saving wear and tear on your wallet as well.

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