Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from denim.

How to Get Bloodstains Out of Jeans

by S.R. Becker

No matter how careful you are, it's always possible to have an accident that leaves a bloodstain on your jeans. Whether it's a tumble down the stairs or hitting a bump on a skateboard, skinned knees often mean bloodied jeans. You might even get bloodstains on your own jeans while cleaning up an injured child. The same hydrogen peroxide you pour on a cut can help remove fresh bloodstains from your favorite denim prior to washing. If the blood has dried, a trip to the spice rack may save them.

Wet Bloodstains

Lay the jeans flat and slide an old washcloth inside them so the cloth is directly beneath the bloodstain.

Pour hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle onto the blood, saturating the stain. The blood will begin to bubble up. Blot the bubbles with another old washcloth until you've removed as much of the blood as possible.

Remove the washcloth from inside the jeans. If any blood remains, pour a drop of liquid laundry detergent onto the stain. Add 1 teaspoon of cold water and gently rub the detergent into the stain with your fingers. Allow the detergent to penetrate the jeans for 15 minutes.

Place the jeans in the washing machine. Set the dial for a cold wash.

Add laundry detergent and one scoop of powdered oxygen bleach to the wash water if using a top-loading machine. If using a front-loading machine, add the detergent to the detergent dispenser and the oxygen bleach to the bleach dispenser.

Dry your jeans in the dryer only if the wash removes the blood completely. If any blood remains, wash the jeans again or hang them to dry until you can do another wash, since heat will set the stain.

Dry Bloodstains

Soak the bloodstained jeans in cold water for 30 minutes. After soaking, squeeze out as much excess water as possible.

Mix 1 teaspoon of unscented, unflavored meat tenderizer with enough water to make a paste. Rub the paste into the stain with your fingers. Allow the paste to work for another 30 minutes.

Place the jeans in the washing machine. Set the dial for a cold wash.

Add laundry detergent and one scoop of powdered oxygen bleach to the wash water if using a top-loading machine. If using a front-loading machine, add the detergent to the detergent dispenser and the oxygen bleach to the bleach dispenser.

Dry your jeans in the dryer only if the wash removes the blood completely. If any blood remains, wash the jeans again or hang them to dry until you can do another wash, since heat will set the stain.

Items you will need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Meat tenderizer

Tip

  • The sooner you treat bloodstains, the better your chances of removing them. If possible, attempt stain removal while the blood is still wet.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images