Accidents happen. It’s a part of life. When you cut your finger, experience a bloody nose or a child scrapes his knee, you’re likely to end up with a little blood on the carpet. Or perhaps your beloved pet met with a small mishap that leaves blood droplets on the absorbent fibers of your household carpeting.
Relax! Blood stains can be removed with a few time-tested techniques, such as the ones that follow. First off, it’s important to act quickly, before the blood sets into the carpeting. Blood contains hemoglobin, which binds to the materials in carpeting when it comes into contact with oxygen. Dried blood is far more difficult to remove, but it can be accomplished.
Try to remove the blood stains when it’s still wet. Doing so will make the process much easier. You’ll need a few common household ingredients to tackle the cleaning process:
- Cold water
- White towels
- Cleaning solution, like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia
- Spray bottle (to hold the cleaning solution)
Certain types of carpeting may react differently to the cleaning solutions you use. It’s best to always test an inconspicuous spot of your carpeting to determine its efficacy and if it discolors the fibers or not.
How to Remove Blood from Carpet
Start the cleaning process by blotting with white towels to lift out the fresh blood from the carpet fibers. Never scrub the blood. Doing so will only push the stains further into the carpeting, making the cleanup nearly impossible. While blotting, work from the outer edges of the stain toward the center to help prevent the stain from spreading.
Spray cold water onto the blood stain. It is extremely important to always use cold water. Hot or warm water that comes into contact with blood will only set the blood into the carpet fibers.
Once the cold water has been generously sprayed onto the blood stain, gently blot the stain with white towels to start to remove the stain.
Warnings Before Attacking the Stain
- Never use dish detergent or laundry detergent on carpeting, as these chemicals will damage the carpet fibers.
- Ammonia applied to wool carpeting will destroy the fibers.
- Carpet spot cleaners should never be applied to oriental rugs, as they can be damaging to the material.
Next, select a cleaning solution to apply over the stain. You can apply either ammonia, hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar:
If you choose to use ammonia, apply a fragrance-free and color-free ammonia to the soiled carpeting. Ammonia can affect certain dyes, so be sure to perform a test in an inconspicuous area of the carpet for any possible discoloration. If the carpet area you test changes color due to the test application of ammonia, restore the discoloration with water and a few droplets of white vinegar.
It is important to note that ammonia is poisonous. Avoid inhaling the fumes from the ammonia when you apply it to the carpeting. Ammonia can also spur irritation and burns if it comes into contact with skin. Use latex gloves when using ammonia for any cleaning procedures. Plus, steps should be taken to thoroughly rinse the ammonia out of the carpeting with clean, cold water after blotting out the blood stains.
Another strong household chemical that fights blood stains is hydrogen peroxide. Apply a three percent strength hydrogen peroxide over the blood stain after spraying the area with cold water. Never use a strength greater than the standard household strength of three percent hydrogen peroxide, as higher strengths can be dangerous. The carpeting will start to foam after applying the hydrogen peroxide, at which point you can use white towels to blot out the stain.
Repeat the process of spraying cold water and applying hydrogen peroxide to the stain and blotting to lift the blood stain completely. You may need to use several clean towels, once each towel becomes soiled with the stain after blotting. Plus, using clean towels frequently to remove the stain prevents the blood from transferring from the soiled towel to other areas of the carpeting.
Add Cold Water
With any cleaning solution you apply, it is necessary to rinse it out completely to avoid damaging the carpet fibers. Once the stain is removed, spray cold water to the affected area. Blot—never rub—the area to remove the cleaning solution. Repeat the process until the carpet no longer holds any residue of the cleaning solution.
Allow to Dry and Remove Remaining Residue
Next, cover the area originally affected by the blood stain (which should be removed by now) with a clean cloth or paper towels and cover with a heavy item, like a stack of books or solid table. This procedure will help the cloth or towels absorb any leftover liquid from the cleaning process. After a few hours, remove the heavy item and cloth and let the area air dry.
Once the affected spot has dried thoroughly, use a vacuum cleaner to return the carpet fibers to their original condition and to lift any remaining cleaning solution residue.
Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning
Another option to consider if neither ammonia or hydrogen peroxide remove the stain would be hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. The commercial products used in a machine are designed to remove a number of stains, such as those from mud, pets, wine, ink, and of course, blood.
With professional carpet cleaning, you can also have lifespan of the carpet extended because other stains and embedded dirt and debris would be removed. ServiceMaster is a great provider of these services and they also provide free estimates.
What to Do with Large Blood Stains
When your carpeting has been soiled by a large blood stain of any kind, whether human or animal blood, you can call a professional to tackle the cleanup. ServiceMaster by Crossroads offers biohazard and trauma cleanup to residential homes and businesses in the Indianapolis areas. The specialists at ServiceMaster by Crossroads utilize personal protection equipment to clean up and disinfect the scene. Dangerous biohazards are effectively cleaned to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria often found in blood. All cleanup waste is then transferred safely to a medical waste facility for proper disposal.
If the blood stains are due to a sudden trauma, ServiceMaster by Crossroads technicians work with authorities to gain clearance to remove biohazardous materials. Families who have suffered a loss can also find solace in counseling services with whom ServiceMaster by Crossroads partners. The company is available 24 hours a day to take emergency and non-emergency calls and to offer professional, dependable cleanup services.