How to Clean Blood Out of Carpet: A Step-by-Step Guide

By
Jeneva Aaron
Jeneva is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products. She is a cleaning enthusiast. She got inspired to build her own cleaning blog when she realized how cleaning can make an impact on our lives and how a cleaner home can affect a person's mood.
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Updated April 13, 2022
Fact checked by
Gladys K. Connelly
Gladys K. Connelly

Fact checked by

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a professional housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.
Learn more about The Housewire’s Editorial Process

Shift stains with these tried and tested tips

How to Clean Blood Out of Carpet: A Step-by-Step Guide

There’s nothing worse than a blood stain on the brand new living room carpet. How do you even remove blood from carpet?

It’s one of the trickiest stains to sort out, yet it happens all too often. From the dog cutting his paw and walking through the kitchen pantry to a razor nick in the bathroom, we’ve all been there.

But fear not! These are some super easy and effective ways to say bye to blood. So it’s time to talk you through how to get blood out of carpet and leave the fibers looking fresh.

Before You Begin

Removing blood stains is a famously difficult task. But not anymore!

We’ve got loads of top tips on how to remove various carpet stains, so it’s worth giving these a try. If you’re still left with a nasty blood stain and don’t know what to do next, it’s time to give this method a whirl.

You can use it on fresh blood or dried blood stains, and you don’t even need a carpet cleaning machine. But you do want some rubber gloves to hand seeing as you’re working with blood.

It’s also a wise idea to test a small patch of carpet first. You don’t want to find out it reacts in a different way than you expected when it’s too late!

So, let’s move on to what kit you’re going to need to remove blood stains.

What You’ll Need

* : Either a normal one or a wet vac
** : Something like kitty litter, cornstarch, cornmeal, or diatomaceous earth (what they use for swimming pool filters). No baking soda!
***: like this Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day with a refreshing lemon verbena scent
***: or any other commercial carpet cleaner

Instructions

1. Wipe Up Any Excess

Whether it’s fresh wet blood or dried blood, this step is an important part of the process.

Wet Blood

For wet blood, cover the stain with absorbent material and wait for it to soak up. When it’s had time to soak, pick up the absorbent using paper towels and put them straight into the trash.

What if you don’t have any absorbent to hand?

No worries! Your other option is to use a cloth or paper towel to dab up as much excess blood as you can. Press them onto the stain and blot the area to absorb the liquid.

Don’t rub the stain, or you could end up spreading it around even further!

Dried Blood

For dried blood, it’s a similar technique. But you need to dampen the stain with a wet cloth first and gently scrub to try and remove as much blood as you can.

You can also try using a soft brush or a scraper to lift stubborn stains. Run your vacuum cleaner over the area afterward to pick up any bits of debris.

2. Dissolve in Cold Water

For this step, don’t use too much water, as soaking the carpet could lead to more damage. Start with a small amount and add more if you need it.

Drizzle a small amount of cold water onto the blood stain. Blot the stained area with a white cloth, or gently stroke the carpet fibers to work the water into the stain.

Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove any excess moisture. You can also use a dry cloth or paper towels if you don’t have a wet vac available.

In some cases, applying water is enough to remove blood stains. If this is the case, you don’t need to carry on with the third step and can skip straight to the last one instead.

3. Apply a Carpet Cleaner

It doesn’t matter if you use a professional carpet cleaner or your own solution for this step. It’s whatever you prefer!

DIY Carpet Cleaners

You can make your own stain removal products with basic household ingredients. Mix ¼ of a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with one cup of water.

Pop some onto a clean cloth and blot the area of the blood stain. Don’t rub the stain, or you’ll end up spreading it around the carpet.

Commercial Carpet Cleaners

If you’d rather use a commercial cleaning solution, then we recommend one with the Carpet Rug Institute Seal Of Approval(1). These products are safer to use while also having green-certified status.

And they deodorize your carpets at the same time, so you don’t need to worry about nasty odors!

This TECH stain remover is a great choice.

Whatever you choose, apply it as per the instructions on the label. But remember to spot test it first.

Acid Rinse

For the best results, finish with an acid rinse. Or even just some cold water to remove any residue.

Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of cold water to make your acid rinse. Apply some onto a dry cloth and blot the area.

Finally, add a stack of paper towels and weigh them down to apply pressure to the blood stains. Leave them there for a while before letting the area air dry.

4. Steam Clean and Vacuum

You don’t need to do this step, but it will kill any germs leftover. And since blood is a bodily fluid, it’s better to not take any chances!

Set your steam cleaner to 170F/76.7C, or as high as it will go if it doesn’t get up to this temperature.

Steam the area for five minutes to make sure the hot steam gets right into the stain. Then leave it to dry.

When you’ve finished the cleaning process and the carpet is completely dry, it’s time to vacuum. Run the vac around to pick up any final bits of absorbent or residue left on the surface.

Still seeing blood? Keep reading for more ways to remove blood stains.

If the Stain Won’t Come Out

There are a few more methods to try and get blood out of carpet. But these involve using bleaching agents called ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

Ammonia is a reducer that removes oxygen from the blood stain to change its color. Hydrogen peroxide also changes the color, but by adding oxygen to the stain rather than removing it.

It’s recommended to try other methods first to remove as much of the blood as you can.

Ammonia works faster than hydrogen peroxide. But hydrogen peroxide works best on organic stains so it’s best to try this technique first.

If you still need to get blood out of your carpet, then move on to ammonia as a last resort.

Warning!

Bleaches can remove colors from your carpet. And hydrogen peroxide can damage natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and silk. Carry out a spot test first to check the impact on your carpet.

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide

This is your last resort to get blood stains out of your carpet at home.

  • Make your solution by mixing one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of warm water. Pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the mixture onto the blood stain and leave it for at least 30 minutes
  • The longer you leave it, the better the results
  • Block the light while it’s working by covering the stain with a thick towel
  • Check the stain every now and again and keep an eye out for any loss of color
  • Rinse the area with warm water once the stain has gone

How to Use Ammonia

  • Mix up a water and ammonia solution. Add one tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of warm water and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Use a damp cloth to apply the mixture
  • Blot the area rather than rubbing
  • Applying an acid rinse after doing these steps helps to prevent discoloration. It’s simple to make this non-toxic mixture using one cup of white vinegar per two cups of cold water. If you don’t have white vinegar, you can simply use water.
  • Apply this to the area to get rid of any residue.
  • Then use a final splash of cold water with a damp towel. Blot the stained area and pop another stack of weighted paper towels onto it.
  • Leave it to air dry and check to see if the blood stain has gone from the carpet. If not, move on to the next method.

FAQ about Cleaning Blood Out of Carpet

Time to debunk the myths around cleaning blood stains from your carpets.

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Will Vinegar Remove Blood Stains From Carpet?

Yes, it will.

But its main role is lowering the alkalinity of other substances like dish soap. Ammonia is alkaline, so vinegar works well with it for effective stain removal.

You can use this combination to clean stain-resistant fibers without damaging them. So vinegar is a handy ingredient to have around your home, but it works best when paired with something else.

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Can You Use Warm Water to Get Blood Out of Carpet?

No, always use cold water instead of warm water.

Since blood is a protein stain, warm water reacts with it and makes it sticky. So it mixes further into the carpet fibers and makes it harder to get out.

Once you’ve removed the blood, it’s safe to use warm water to blot the area and get rid of any residue. But until then, stick with using cold water.

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How Does Oxiclean Remove Blood From Carpet?

Oxiclean is one of the most popular cleaning products in the states. It claims to remove all kinds of stains from carpets and other fabrics (2).

But only Oxi recommends using this product on your carpets.

Lots of carpet manufacturers and cleaning professionals advise against using “oxy” products. They contain ingredients that could alter the color of your carpet rather than just removing stains.

If you decide to try it anyway, then test it on a small patch of carpet first. And check that it won’t void your warranty with your carpet manufacturer.

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Does Cornstarch Remove Blood From Carpet?

Yes, cornstarch is one of the most helpful products for removing blood from your carpet. Especially on fresh wet stains.

It’s an absorbent, so it soaks up excess liquid before it has a chance to seep further into the carpet. And the more liquid you manage to absorb, the less you have to try and remove later.

A smaller stain is much quicker and easier to get rid of than one that’s had ages to soak and spread.

So while cornstarch won’t remove the entire stain on its own, it still plays an important role in stain removal.

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Does Salt Paste Remove Dried Blood Stains From Carpet?

Yes, a salt paste is a natural cleaner. But that doesn’t mean you should use it!

Why?

Salt is a mineral abrasive, and abrasive cleaners tend to cause long-term damage. The particles scratch the fibers of your carpet, which can change its color and give it a dull appearance.

It can also damage the carpet backing, or even your vacuum when you try and clean it up! So you could end up doing more harm than good if you apply salt.

The Carpet Rug Institue doesn’t recommend using salt as a cleaner. But if you want to try it, then check the guidance from your carpet manufacturer first.

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Can Professional Carpet Cleaners Remove Bloodstains?

Yes, they can.

If you’ve tried several methods to remove a stain and it still hasn’t worked, then give a professional a call. Or it’s a good idea if your carpets are made from delicate fibers, like nylon, wool, or silk.

Professional carpet cleaners use all kinds of different cleaning solutions to get rid of stains. So they know what to do with different materials.

And besides, they have access to kit and equipment that isn’t available in the average household. This means they can apply more aggressive methods than you’re able to yourself.

Still, it’s worth trying some home methods first before you splash out on a pro.

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