Stains can be stressful. It takes patience and a little bit of science to get the best results. Blood stains can be especially difficult to remove because of the hemoglobin in the blood, which adheres with the fibers in your carpet when it hits the air and binds. As with any stain removal technique, you will want to try a test application on a small, inconspicuous spot to be sure it does not damage the color or fibers of your carpet. The most effective way to remove a blood stain from your carpet is by using a microbial chemical cleaner.
Cleaning with Microbes
If you happen to be at a pets mart look for the cleaning section, you will see a product called “Natures Miracle”, a microbial cleaner and the most common cleaning chemical known to a pet owner. When massive oil spills happen in the Gulf region, microbes are used. Microbial’s are simply a bacteria that eats other bacteria. When you use a microbial, or “Natures Miracle”, pour the chemical on the stain and lay plastic or saran wrap over the stain. Microbes are a live bacteria that only works when it stays wet, therefore the longer it is wet, the better. Once it dries the chemical will not work.
“That’s easy!” you might say. Sure, but like a horror movie blood stains have a tendency to come back. If that does happen, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Simply wipe the stain with a wet towel and repeat the process. If the stain still persists then spray hydrogen peroxide, let it sit and then wipe any residue left over. It’s important to remember:
- Never use hot or warm water, it will set the blood stain
- Only use a white cloth in order to see if you’re lifting the blood stain out and because a colored cloth can transfer dye to your carpet
- Every fabric is different. Always test a hidden section of your carpet to make sure the cleaning solution won’t fade or damage your carpet
- Blot, do not scrub! The blood will smear into the carpet fibers
Removing Dried Blood
Much has been said that once blood dries or sets it will be hard to remove, however that has not been my experience. If you are working with wool or silk carpets, it’s not recommended to risk even a corner. I would suggest calling a professional right away.
- First, scrape a butter knife across the carpet fibers to remove flecks of dried blood.
- Then, apply a mix of an unflavored meat tenderizer with an equal amount of cold water, and dab onto the stain. Let sit 15–30 minutes, then blot with a clean towel. Rinse off with a drop of liquid detergent mixed into cold water. The meat tenderizer chemical and water mixture works to break down proteins in the blood stain, making it easier to remove.
- Wet with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide lightens the color of your carpet fibers, hiding the stain. Wet the stain with 3% hydrogen peroxide, if your bottle is more concentrated, dilute some to 3% strength. Let dry in a well-lit room, and it will break down with no further need for rinsing.
- Create a mixture of 2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent or shampoo in 1 cup of water. Spray on the carpet and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia in 1 cup of room temperature water, and be careful not to inhale the fumes.
- Blot the detergent or shampoo dry, and spray ammonia and water mixture. Let that sit for 5 minutes, then blot dry again.
- Now, spray on water and blot dry, to rinse.
- Almost done. Next, use a commercial enzyme cleaner. They break down the complex chemicals found in blood and other organic stains. Apply according to label instructions, typically by spraying over the stain, letting it sit, then blot dry.
- Lastly, once the stain is removed, set up a fan to blow over the wet area, or open the windows and doors to create a breeze. This speeds up drying, which reduces the chance of hidden blood in the backing rising to the surface.
Your carpet fiber may feel stiff or crusty once it dries. A quick use of a vacuum or carpet brush should restore it to its original feel. Grabbing a cocktail of cleaning agents under the kitchen sink can actually set a blood stain, especially low ph or acid chemicals. It’s very important to remember that if you have wool or silk carpet, to not use this method. Those fibers are extremely reactive to these chemicals and are not worth the risk of damage. Also, if you happen to have massive blood stains it can be difficult to get out without a truck mount carpet cleaning machine, and at that point, it’s time to call a professional.