How to Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress
LAST UPDATED: MARCH 6, 2023
There are two different kinds of blood stains - fresh blood stains, and set blood stains. If a fresh blood stain is exposed to heat, friction, or is left sitting for a long period of time, it will eventually turn to into a set blood stain. As with most stains, the longer a blood stain is left sitting in a mattress, the more difficult it becomes to remove the stain, so it is best to get to work right away!
This page will discuss two different methods for blood stain removal - each method will work for both fresh and set blood stains.
Blood stains are difficult to remove with conventional cleaning methods. Thankfully there are two unique stain removal methods that will make removing blood stains from a mattress (or really from anything) much easier.
These two methods involve some interesting chemistry! Conventional cleaning methods use soaps, detergents, and surfactants to break up and lift soils and contaminants away from the surface, or the item, you are cleaning. These conventional methods don't work well on blood stains because blood easily bonds to absorbent materials like clothing and mattresses.
Instead, we need a cleaning product that reacts with blood, which will cause the blood to break down and decompose. There are two different types of cleaning products that can do this.
Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress Using an Enzyme Cleaner
The first option for removing blood stains is to use an enzyme cleaner. Enzymes exist everywhere in the natural environment. They exist in plants and animals. We have them in our digestive systems, and their purpose is to break down organic matter by acting as a catalyst. I use enzymes to remove a variety of difficult stains from carpets, mattresses, and clothing. Enzymes are also great for eliminating odors by breaking down molecules that cause odors.
My preferred enzyme cleaning product is called Biokleen Back-Out Stain + Odor Remover.
The directions to use to use Biokleen Back-Out are simple:
1) Saturate affected area with Biokleen Back-Out.
2) Let sit for five minutes or more.
3) Blot affected area with a rag.
4) Repeat the process if necessary. Does not need to be rinsed.
Biokleen Back-out is a highly effective stain remover for: urine, feces, vomit, wine, blood, and dried food stains. It can also be used to remove odors from carpet, clothing, fabrics, and furniture.
Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress Using 6% Hydrogen Peroxide
Alternatively, it is also possible to break down blood stains using an oxidation reaction. This method will require 6% hydrogen peroxide, and possibly a little household ammonia cleaner.
Similar to enzyme cleaners, hydrogen peroxide reacts with blood stains causing them to break down and decompose. Enzymes break stains down in a biological manner, and hydrogen peroxide breaks stains down using electrochemical reactions.
What is 6% hydrogen peroxide? You are probably familiar with 3% medical grade hydrogen peroxide that you can buy at the drug store. The only difference between the two is 6% hydrogen peroxide is twice as concentrated and works significantly better for removing stains.
Where can I buy 6% hydrogen peroxide? Well, 6% hydrogen peroxide isn't sold specifically for cleaning purposes. So instead, you can use 6% Salon Grade Hydrogen Peroxide (known as 20 Volume Clear Developer).
Can I use 3% hydrogen peroxide instead? 3% hydrogen peroxide is generally too weak to remove a blood stains from a mattress. Think of 3% hydrogen peroxide as a watered down version of 6%. The 3% has so much water in it that it tends to cause the blood stain to spread instead of breaking the stain down. If you are looking for the best results possible, I recommend using 6% hydrogen peroxide.
What else can I use 6% hydrogen peroxide for? Well, hydrogen peroxide is one of a professional carpet cleaners best friends! It can be used to remove many different kinds of organic stains like urine, wine, coffee, vomit, feces, cola soda, jam, beet juice, tea, many other types of fruit juice, sweat stains, and stains from fruits and vegetables. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove odors like urine mold, etc,.
Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress With Hydrogen Peroxide (Step-By-Step Instructions)
This demo will cover method/option 2. You will need 6% hydrogen peroxide. Depending on how old the stain is, you may also need household ammonia cleaner and a clothing iron.
Step 1 - Starting with the 6% hydrogen peroxide only. lightly spray the hydrogen peroxide over the blood stain in the mattress. You should be using light sprays or only drops of hydrogen peroxide for this step. The blood stain will immediately begin to foam. Using a spoon, remove the foam from the surface of the mattress.
Step 2 - Keep repeating step one until the blood stain stop foaming. Remember, we are only adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide at a time so as not to over wet the mattress.
Step 3 - When the blood stain stops foaming, again lightly spray fresh hydrogen peroxide over the remaining blood stain. This time, allow the hydrogen peroxide the dwell for 5 to 15 minutes. Keep repeating this step, adding a couple fresh sprays of hydrogen peroxide every 5 to 15 minutes. Eventually, the stain will either fully come out of the mattress, or a very faint yellow/brown stain will remain. If the stain has fully lifted from the mattress, you can use an iron (on a low heat setting) to dry the mattress. Quickly drying the damp area with an iron will prevent rings from forming as the hydrogen peroxide dries. If a faint stain remains, continue with the following steps.
Step 4 - If stain removal progress stops and you are left with a light yellow or brown stain in the mattress, the following steps will help break down the remaining stain. You will need 6% hydrogen peroxide, household ammonia cleaner, and a clothing iron. Lightly spray the hydrogen peroxide over the stain, like we did in the previous step. Add a few drops of household ammonia to the stained area. Then cover the stain with a hot clothing iron for 30 seconds.
Step 5 - Repeat step 4 until the blood stain has completely vanished. Depending on how old the blood stain was, step 4 may need to be repeated from 1 to 10 times for the stain to completely come out of the mattress.
Step 6 - When the stain is completely gone, use the iron to dry the mattress. If the hydrogen peroxide is allowed to dry slowly, it may dry leaving rings in the mattress. Be sure to check out the video instructions below for a more detailed Demo!
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Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress Video Instructions
Adjust the iron temperature setting to the mattress material type. If you are not sure what kind of material the mattress is made from, use a low or synthetic material temperature setting.
Have the Iron steam setting turned on. Heat and steam cause the hydrogen peroxide to break down and react with the blood.
If using household ammonia, it is best to open a window for ventilation. Household ammonia has a pungent odor and can be slightly irritating on the eyes.
The odor caused by the household ammonia will disappear quickly. Once the mattress is dry, the odor will disappear completely.
Household ammonia does not have to be rinsed from the mattress after cleaning because it completely evaporates (turns into ammonia gas) and escapes to the atmosphere.
Hydrogen peroxide does not have to be rinsed from the mattress because it completely breaks down into oxygen and water.
Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia will leave zero residue in the mattress after using (this makes it very safe for children, people, and pets)
Use these methods at your own risk!
Let me know if you have any questions by using the contact me page, or by commenting on the YouTube video above. I'm always happy to help!