Blood can get on our jeans for many reasons. From period blood to bleeding from cuts caused by falls, blood is one of the most common stains to deal with.
Unfortunately, blood stains are also some of the hardest to get rid of, particularly from materials like denim.
This is because blood contains proteins that can bind tightly to fabric fibres. These proteins then become embedded in the material, making the stain challenging to lift.
On porous fabrics like denim, blood can seep even deeper into the fibres and become even more resistant to removal.
But before you throw your jeans away, pause! Getting blood out of jeans is possible, and we are here to teach you how.
This article gives you the complete low-down on how to get blood out of jeans quickly and effectively. Keep reading for all your need to know.
Does Blood Come Out of Denim Jeans?
Despite being one of the hardest stains to remove, blood can come out of denim jeans if they are treated properly.
The faster you address the stain, the better chance you have of removing it completely. If you’re dealing with fresh blood stains, here is how to get blood out of your jeans.
Top Tip: You might not need to follow all five steps below. Stop at whichever point the stain is eliminated. The blood might lift immediately after rinsing (Step 1) or could require machine washing with an enzyme-based cleaner (Step 5) to achieve effective results.
Step 1: Rinse with cold water
Rinse the blood-stained area with cold water immediately. This can help to prevent the blood from setting into the denim fabric.
It’s essential to use cold water, as warm water sets organic stains like blood into the material and makes them harder to remove.
Step 2: Blot the blood stain
Gently blot the stained area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much blood as possible.
Avoid rubbing your jeans aggressively, as it can push the stain further into the denim fabric and make it harder to remove. Excessive rubbing can also spread the stain to other areas.
Step 3: Soak your jeans
Fill a bucket or sink with cold water and add a small amount of salt. Salt has dehydrating properties and helps to lift the blood from denim.
Submerge your jeans and let them soak for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the stain. Check the blood stain periodically to see if it’s fading.
Step 4: Hand-wash your jeans
After soaking for up to half an hour, gently rub the blood-stained area between your fingers to help break up the stain further.
Then, wash the jeans by hand with cold water and mild laundry detergent, focusing on the stained area.
Top Tip: If you’re unsure how to hand wash clothes properly, check our guide to hand washing here.
Step 5: Machine wash your jeans
If the stain persists, try washing the jeans in a washing machine to see if this helps. Use a cold washing cycle and an enzyme-based biological laundry detergent for the best results.
Also, always follow the care instructions on the label—if your denim jeans are not machine washable, skip this step and hand wash your jeans again instead.
Step 6: Check the stain’s gone
Before tumble drying your jeans, check to make sure the blood stain is completely gone.
The heat from the dryer can set organic stains like blood stains, making them harder to remove. We recommend hanging your jeans on an airer to be on the safe side.
Does Dried Blood Come Out of Jeans?
Dried blood stains can be more challenging to remove from jeans than fresh ones. But with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success.
Here’s what you can do to try and remove dried blood stains from your jeans:
Step 1: Pre-treat the blood stain
Scrape off any dried blood gently using a blunt edge like a butter knife (your fingernail also works if you don’t have any tools available).
Denim is a tough and durable material, but still be careful not to scrape too harshly and damage the fabric.
Step 2: Soak your jeans in cold water
Soak the stained area in cold water for several hours or – if you have time – overnight. The cold water can help to loosen and dissolve the dried blood, making it easier to remove.
You can add a small amount of salt to the water to enhance the stain-lifting process. It has dehydrating properties that help draw the dried blood from your jeans.
Step 3: Treat using a stain remover
Apply a stain remover directly to the stain. Our preferred option is to use bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda.
Simply pour a teaspoon of the powder (or more if needed) directly onto the stain so that it’s completely covered.
Gently rub it into the material with your thumb using circular motions, and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
Step 4: Hand-wash your jeans
Rinse your jeans in cold water to remove the bicarbonate of soda powder. Then, fill a bucket with cold water and a laundry detergent for hand-washing.
Hand-wash your jeans in the soapy solution, focusing on cleaning the stained area and scrubbing gently using your fingers to work in the detergent. Rinse when finished and inspect the stain.
Step 5: Throw your jeans in the washer
If the stain persists, you can launder your jeans in the washing machine. Use a cold wash setting and an enzyme-based laundry detergent.
Step 6: Dry while avoiding heat
Once you’ve washed your denim jeans, inspect them closely to check if the stain has been removed.
Repeat any of the above steps if needed to eliminate the blood stain further. Or, if you’re satisfied with the results, hang your jeans up to dry.
We recommend avoiding using a tumble dryer, as heat can set any remaining blood and make it harder to eliminate.
Alternative Methods for Removing Blood Stains from Jeans
The above methods effectively clean blood from jeans, but they’re not your only options!
Several household items and commercial products can be used to remove blood stains from denim and other materials.
Some of the best alternative options include the following:
- Ice cubes: Ice is one of the simplest and most effective ways to remove blood stains. Take an ice cube and rub it on the blood stain in circular motions. The ice will start to melt and dissolve the stain, helping to lift the marks from the material.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a common remedy for removing blood stains. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, let it bubble, and then blot with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse with cold water afterwards.
- Salt paste: We’ve mentioned soaking blood-stained jeans in salt water, but you can also make a paste using salt and cold water and use this as a stain remover. Apply the paste to the stain, gently rub it in, and then rinse with cold water.
- Ammonia solution: To use ammonia in laundry and stain removal, mix one part household ammonia with six parts water to create a strong cleaning solution. Blot the blood stain with the solution to gently lift it from the denim, then rinse your jeans with cold water.
- Cornflour: Stain removal is just one of the many cleaning uses of cornflour. To use it for getting rid of stains, mix cornflour with cold water to make a cleaning paste. Apply the paste to the blood, allow it dry, and then brush it off. Finish by rinsing with cold water.
- White vinegar: White vinegar is effective at removing blood stains due to its acidic nature and its ability to break down and dissolve proteins. To use vinegar for stain removal, apply a small amount to the blood stain, blot gently with a clean cloth, and rinse with cold water.
- Lemon juice: Like white vinegar, lemon juice is acidic and breaks the bond between the blood and the denim fibres. Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain and rub gently, then rinse with cold water to remove any remaining juice.
Top Tip: It’s important to note that while these methods are effective for blood stains, some of the products used have bleaching properties. Therefore, they might not all be suitable for dark jeans. It’s always a good idea to test it on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
Tips for Getting Blood Out of Jeans
- Act quickly and address the blood stain as soon as possible for better results.
- Blot the stain rather than rubbing to prevent spreading the stain or damaging the material.
- Rinse the stained area under cold running water to prevent the blood from setting.
- Always test any stain-removal method on an inconspicuous area of the jeans.
- Do not use hot water or heat (i.e. from a tumble dryer) until the stain is completely removed.
- Remember to follow care label instructions on your jeans.
- Be prepared to repeat the stain removal process or try several methods, if necessary.
- Consider professional help for stubborn dried blood or extensive stains.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.