blood stain on mattress

How to Get Blood Out of a Mattress

We spend a lot of time in bed, so it’s inevitable that our mattresses will become stained at some stage! And one of the main ‘staining culprits’ is actually blood.

You can probably guess where this red substance comes from; a nose bleed, a cut or a monthly visitor popped in unexpectedly.

And while blood makes for an unsightly, horror-like stain, if treated quickly it can be removed with ease. Plus, you can use several items you’ve already got at home to lift the mark off the mattress.

So, how do you get blood out of a mattress? Find out below!


Tips to Follow When Cleaning Blood Off a Mattress

Cleaning Blood Off a Mattress

When trying to get a blood stain off a mattress remember the following points:

  • Act quickly! – The sooner you treat the stain the better your chances are of actually removing the stain entirely.
  • Only use cold water – Hot water can make the stain set in.
  • Dab, don’t scrub – Scrubbing encourages the blood to drive deeper into the mattress, so it’s harder to remove.
  • You’ll have to repeat a treatment multiple times to get the end result you want – One treatment usually isn’t enough, so don’t be disheartened if you’ve got to repeat the steps below a few times to see significant results.
  • Wash bedding separately – Don’t try to wash and treat the bedding, pillows and mattress all at once because you won’t be able to clean everything effectively. Also, bedding can usually be washed in a washing machine, so make use of your appliance to make your cleaning job easier.
  • Don’t over saturate your mattress with liquid as this encourages mould and bacteria to grow.
  • Test your method out – Don’t assume that every cleaning method will work on your mattress, you’ve got to do a patch test before you start cleaning!
  • Foam mattresses don’t take too kindly to water, so avoid using too much liquid to clean these mattresses – Paste methods usually work out better.
  • Try to avoid using too many harsh chemicals – Chemicals don’t always react well with mattresses. And as mattresses are expensive to buy, you’d be better off using kinder cleaning methods to remove the blood stain, rather than ruining your mattress.
  • When using spray-based solutions, spray the solution onto a cloth and then dab the bloody area – Don’t squirt the solution directly onto the mattress.
  • Start dabbing the blood stain from the outside, and work in towards the centre of the stain – This prevents the stain from spreading further. 
  • You must wear gloves.
  • Don’t mix certain cleaning goods together – Bleach cannot be mixed with ammonia and vinegar, for example. We’ve written an article on what chemicals shouldn’t be mixed, so check that out if you’re unsure.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to work out tougher blood stains


How to Remove Blood from a Mattress

Below you’ll find a collection of methods you can try out in order to remove blood from a mattress. 

You’ll likely find yourself repeating some of the methods below multiple times to extract the blood completely from the mattress, especially if the blood has dried. 

Method 1: Cold water 

This method works best when the blood stain is really fresh! 

What you need:

  • Cold water
  • Cloths/paper towels

Steps to follow: 

If the blood is really fresh you can grab some paper towels/clean white cloth, soak it in some cold water, wring all the water out and dab at the blood-stained area.

When blood is mixed with water it tends to break down, so it’s easier to lift off a surface.

Cold water is essential as warm/hot water can ‘cook’ the stain and make it harder to remove.

Try to avoid soaking the mattress because wet mattresses are susceptible to mildew growth.

If you feel like you need to clean the bloody patch a tad more, you can add some washing up liquid to the damp cloth you’re using and dab this into the stain.

Just remember to dab the area clean with a fresh cotton cloth to absorb excess product when you’re done.

When you’re finished, allow your mattress to dry naturally.


Method 2: Bicarbonate of soda

remove blood stain with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda

There are a couple of ways you can use bicarbonate of soda to clean a mattress, check them out below. 

Bicarbonate of soda and water 

This method works best when the stain is relatively new. 

What you need:

Steps to follow:

  1. Make a bicarbonate of soda paste by mixing one part bicarb to two parts cold water.
  2. Add more water if needed, so you end up with a good consistency.
  3. Grab a white cloth and dip it into the paste.
  4. Dab the blood stain with the paste-filled cloth.
  5. Cover the whole stained area.
  6. Wait 30 minutes.
  7. Grab a fresh cotton cloth.
  8. Wet it in cold water and wring it out.
  9. With the new cloth, dab at the stained area to pick up the bicarb paste.
  10. Continue to do this until the paste has been removed from the mattress.
  11. Allow the mattress to dry naturally.

White vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and water

This method works best when the stain isn’t too old, and is, ideally, still moist.

What you need:

  • Paper towels
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • White vinegar
  • Cold water 
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Hoover

Steps to follow: 

  1. Using paper towels, dab up as much blood as you can from the area.
  2. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the blood stain. 
  3. In a spray bottle mix one part white vinegar with one part cold water. 
  4. Spray the vinegar and water mixture over the stained area.
  5. Allow the bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and water to rest for around 30 minutes. 
  6. Grab a clean damp white cloth that has been soaked in cold water, and start dabbing at the stained area to remove excess product from the mattress. Or hoover the surface to remove debris. 
  7. Leave the mattress to dry naturally.


Method 3: Meat tenderiser powder

remove blood stain from mattress with meat tenderiser powder

This method works best when the stain is relatively new.

What you need:

  • Meat tenderiser powder
  • Tub
  • Spoon
  • Cold water
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Hoover

Steps to follow: 

  1. In a small tub mix one part unseasoned meat tenderiser with two parts cold water. 
  2. Create a paste (add more/less water, if need be).
  3. Spread the paste you’ve created all over the blood stain. 
  4. Leave the paste to rest like this for an hour (during this time the protein in the blood will start to break down). 
  5. When the paste is dry you can brush it off your mattress with a very soft toothbrush. 
  6. Hoover up excess product.


Method 4: Salt, cornflour and hydrogen peroxide

This method works well on older stains.

What you need:

  • Gloves
  • Tub
  • Salt
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cornflour
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Blunt knife 
  • Hoover

Steps to follow: 

  1. Pop some gloves on. 
  2. In a tub mix one tablespoon of salt, a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of cornflour. 
  3. Mix the ingredients until they create a paste. 
  4. Spread this paste over the blood stain with a dull knife – bubbles may appear and this is okay. 
  5. Allow the paste to dry completely – this may take some time. 
  6. When the paste has dried, scrape it off with a blunt knife. 
  7. Hoover away the excess debris. 

You can also swap out the cornflour and use washing up liquid instead. Just remember that you may have to dab any stubborn product residue off with a damp, clean, white cloth that has been soaked in cold water.


Method 5: Ammonia

remove old blood stains on mattress with ammonia

This method works well on older stains.

What you need:

  • Tub
  • Ammonia
  • Cold water
  • Cup
  • Protective gear
  • Cloth
  • Tablespoon

Steps to follow:

  1. Put on your protective gear – eyewear and gloves.
  2. Open a window.
  3. Keep kids and pets out of the room.
  4. Pop a tablespoon of ammonia into a tub.
  5. Add a cup of cold water to the tub.
  6. Dip a clean cloth into the water and wring out excess fluid.
  7. Dab at the blood stain.
  8. Continue to do this until the stain has been lifted away – use a new patch of cloth each time you dab at the stain to stop you re-dirtying the spot.
  9. Keep all the windows open and allow the mattress to air dry naturally.


Method 6: Bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide

This method works well on older stains.

What you need:

  • Protective gear
  • Tub
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cup
  • Dull knife
  • Cloth 
  • Cold water

Steps to follow: 

  1. Pop your protective gear on – gloves and eyewear.
  2. In a tub mix half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Mix the ingredients together until you get a paste.
  4. Use a dull knife to spread this paste over the blood stain.
  5. Bubbles will appear.
  6. Leave the paste to break down the stain for 30 minutes.
  7. Dip a clean, white cloth in cold water and wring it out.
  8. Dab at the stained area with this cloth to remove excess product from the surface.
  9. Repeat this process until all the paste has been gathered up – use a new patch of cloth each time, so you don’t contaminate the clean spots.
  10. Allow the mattress to air dry naturally.


Method 7: Oxygen bleach

remove blood mattress stain with oxygen bleach

This method works well on older stains.

What you need:

  • Protective gear
  • Tub
  • Cup
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Cold water
  • Cloth
  • Soft toothbrush

Steps to follow:

  1. Pop your protective gear on – gloves and eyewear.
  2. In a tub mix half a cup of oxygen bleach with half a cup of cold water.
  3. Dip a soft toothbrush into the liquid.
  4. Start brushing the blood stain until it has been completely covered in the solution.
  5. Allow the mattress to rest like this for about two hours.
  6. Grab a clean cloth and soak it in cold water.
  7. Wring out the cloth.
  8. Start dabbing the cloth over the stain to remove excess product from the mattress.
  9. Leave the mattress to air dry.

Remember: Bleach will likely discolour your mattress and it may weaken the material’s fibres in the cleaning process. So, try this method with care.


Method 8: Enzyme cleaner

If making your own potions isn’t working for you, you could purchase a specialised enzyme cleaner, that can be used specifically on upholstery and mattresses to clean the blood away.

Enzyme cleaners typically contain enzymes that target and break down proteins like the ones found in blood stains.

They’re a handy product to have at home if mattress stains are a regular occurrence in your home, and you need a cheap and effective solution to deal with the issue.

Just keep in mind that there are always mixed reviews when it comes to these products, so it may be a case of trial and error, until you find the item that works for you.

Enzyme cleaners can be bought in most supermarkets and are sold by various brands. You can also pick them up online, just be sure to buy a cleaner that is suitable for mattresses.

And always do a patch test before you use a cleaner on your mattress, just in case your particular mattress doesn’t like the chemical makeup of the product you’ve bought.

To use an enzyme cleaner just follow the instructions on the packaging and clean the stain away.

Tip: It’s better if you spray the cleaning solution onto a clean cotton cloth and then dab the mattress with the cloth, rather than spraying the solution directly onto the mattress. This limits how much liquid gets absorbed into the mattress.


How to Dry a Mattress

drying mattress in the sun

Mattresses can take anywhere from a few hours to over a day to dry, and during this time they need to be left completely alone.

Here are some tips to help you dry your mattress:

  • Let it dry naturally – It’s best to allow the mattress to dry naturally. If you speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer, you could cause damage to the mattress’ fibres.
  • Use a fan – Point a fan at the mattress to speed up the drying process and to circulate the air in the room.
  • Ventilate – Open the curtains and windows in the bedroom to leave air and light into the room.
  • Wait until it’s dry before using it – Do not lie on the mattress when it is wet.
  • Sunlight will speed up the drying process – Let plenty of sunlight into the room to aid the natural drying process.
  • Dry outside – Move the mattress outside to dry in the sun, if possible.


Tips for Protecting Your Mattress from Stains

mattress topper

Mattresses inevitably get stained at some point, whether that be from blood, wee, a tipped drink or just sweat.

So, to try and keep your mattress cleaner for longer and safe from stains, try these tips:

  • Use a mattress protector to give your mattress an extra layer of protection.
  • Put towels down on the mattress.
  • Put a mattress topper on top of your mattress to protect the mattress itself.

You could also use all three of the tips above to keep your mattress clean.


How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

cleaning memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses love to absorb water and other cleaning liquids, so it’s important not to oversaturate these types of mattresses when cleaning them.

To clean a memory foam mattress, you should try to stick to enzyme cleaners that come with a spray nozzle, so you can control the flow of liquid better. And you should try to use the paste-based methods listed as these are typically dryer, so better for the mattress.

You can also try the other solutions listed above, but you must use less water/liquid when carrying out such methods.


How to Remove Blood from a Pillow

To remove blood from a pillow, simply dab at the area with a damp cloth to soak up as much blood as you can. Then, if it’s possible, you can launder your pillow in the washing machine.

You can also try any of the methods out to remove a toughened blood stain. Just remember to clean any excess chemical waste off the pillow before you use it.


How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

If the blood on the sheets is fresh, you can usually just soak up the excess fluid from the sheet using a paper towel, and wash the sheets in the washing machine as normal.

If the blood has dried onto the sheet, you can treat the stain by using the methods above. Just make sure you find out what material your sheets are made from, and then choose an appropriate cleaning solution that will not damage the sheets for you.

Always perform a patch test!