Blood stains aren’t as rare as we might hope. Whether it’s a paper cut at our desk or too deep a slice in the kitchen blood has a way of finding itself on tables, counters, and yes carpet. But don’t fret, you don’t need to call in a heavy-duty cleaning crew for every spot and spill. This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re going to walk you through how to get blood out of carpet.
How to Get Blood Out of Carpet When It’s Fresh, Dry, and Everything In Between
Your first priority when a cut happens should always be first aid. Once you’ve seen to whatever wound was causing the blood loss, who knows how long has passed. Follow these steps and your carpet will be clean again in no time.
Before You Start
Before you get to work, know a few things. The longer the blood has had to sit on the carpet the longer it has had to set. When it comes to cleaning blood out of carpet, use cold water as hot water will speed up the blood stain setting. So keep the heat out of this when you can.
Know the Carpet
Different types of carpet will have different cleaning needs. Make sure you understand what your floors are so you can adjust the process accordingly. Similarly, make sure you’re reading the instructions carefully on whatever cleaning agent you are using, and test it on out of sight spots to be sure you’re getting the right effect.
Here is a quick rundown of what you may need to know based on your type of carpet.
Good news! Polyester is a synthetic material that is stain resistant, making it one of the easiest types of carpets to clean with simple blotting. Nice!
Wool is a sensitive material and it holds onto moisture. That means to clean it you need to go for gentle blotting motions and be careful to use only the amount of water you need to treat the stain.
Acrylic carpet material shows stains faster than others. The special requirements for these? Get to them fast!
Carpet made of nylon is more susceptible to fading and being discolored, both by stains and cleaning solutions. IThis means doing a test patch is absolutely necessary to ensure you’re not going to damage the carpet. You also want to avoid scrubbing the carpet as it can ruin the pile.
OK, with those first thoughts out of the way, now let’s gather up the needed cleaning supplies before we get to work.
Cleaning Supplies Needed
- Disposable gloves
- Paper towels
- Carpet cleaner/stain remover (more on this later)
- Clean Rag
- Cold water
- Bowl or Bucket
How to Choose the Right Blood Stain Remover for Your Carpet
Blood stains want to stick to carpet fibers tightly. This is thanks to the hemoglobin in the blood, which holds onto those fibers like there’s no tomorrow. This makes it difficult to remove from carpets, but not impossible! You just need to use the right remover for your particular scenario (stain + carpet type). Here are a few options.
Simple and effective, dishwashing liquid is a popular stain remover for fresh or dry blood. Mix with cold water (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid) for best results.
When soap just won’t do, some folks turn to ammonia. Mixing a half a cup of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Treat the stain, then blog with a cloth and cold water. Don’t use on wool!
Hydrogen peroxide is another option. It works by breaking the chemical bonds present in blood, which also undoes the color. When it comes to using hydrogen peroxide though it can take several treatments to work through the stains, so don’t get discouraged.
These are just a few of the potential cleaning solutions you can use. Pick your favorite and let’s move on. With the tools gathered and the right cleaning agent prepared now we can get down to brass tacks.
How to Get Fresh Blood Stain From Carpet
If the blood stain is fresh, then you’re going to have a better chance of cleaning it fast and efficiently, without leaving any lasting stain.
Step 1 – Blot
Glove up and take a paper towel and gently blot at the stain to remove excess blood. Do not rub or scrub. That can spread the blood around and make the stain worse. Avoid that.
Step 2 – Prep the Stain Remover
Whatever you decided to go with for the stain remover now is the time to prep your mix. Whether it’s cold water and dish soap, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide, now is the time to get it ready. Start with a less is more approach, and test the area you’re going to be using.
Step 3 – Blot the Stain, Again
With the stain remover of choice prepared, take your clean cloth, dip it in the solution and begin to blot the top of the stain, gently. Remember, no rub, no scrub. If you’re using a clean white rag this can help as the transfer of stain from carpet to rag will be easier to spot, showing you it’s working. Keep wetting the cloth, blotting, and rinsing until all of the blood stain is removed. This may take several passes.
Step 4 – Blot with Dry Towels
With dry cloth or paper towels, blot the spot to remove any water lingering in the carpet. If the area is large, grab a fan and set it up to help dry it quickly.
But what if the stain is set?
How to Remove Set Blood Stains from Carpet
Acting fast is the best way to make sure your carpet doesn’t get stained but that’s not always possible of course. When it comes to removing set stains it will be more difficult, but it’s not impossible – usually.
Step 1 – Break Up the Dried Blood
Remember that brush in the tools list? Now is it’s time to shine. Use the brush to break up the dried blood stain without damaging the carpet fibers. Work from the edge of the stain toward the middle. If fibers are stuck together because of the blood you can use a plastic knife to help loosen things up.
Step 2 – Vacuum
With the stain thoroughly brushed and loosened you can now bring out the vacuum to pull up solid, dried flecks. This will make the stain removal process so much easier so make sure you follow it, even if it’s just a once over.
Step 3 – Stain Remover Time
Apply the stain remover to the carpet, first in a hidden place so you can see how it will work on the carpet. Give it time, after all, since the blood stain is already set, you’re not in any rush. If after a day the carpet hasn’t discolored then you know you’re good to go! Apply the remover to the stain, just enough to get the stain moist – soaking the spot can damage the carpet and the flooring below it.
Let the stain remover work for about five minutes, soaking into the fibers properly, and getting into the stain. The stain has had time to bond to the carpet fibers, let the remover have time to bind to the stain too.
Step 4 – Blot, Blot, Blot
After letting the carpet cleaner/stain remover work its magic, it’s time to blot the stain with a wet cloth and cold water. Blot, repeatedly to remove as much of the stain as possible, then let it dry, and repeat the process. Bring in a fan to help the drying process if necessary. If the stain is still visible after completely drying, start again back at Step 1 – some stains will need a few passes to completely remove them, or at least make them small enough not to be noticeable.
Once you’ve completed the cleaning, toss away the gloves, and make sure everything is safely cleaned and sanitized. Hopefully, with this guide you can get your own carpets back to where you need them to be. For some jobs the mess is too great or there’s a real concern about biohazardous waste and bloodborne pathogens. In those instances, you need to call in the professionals, call in The BIOClean Team.