How to Get Blood Out of Mattress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whether it’s from a scraped knee, a nosebleed, or your menstrual cycle, blood stains on your mattress are a common occurrence that's bound to happen at least once in every household.

When you first spot blood on your mattress, it’s crucial to act immediately so the stain doesn’t become permanent.

However, how exactly are you supposed to get blood out of your mattress?

In this guide, we will explore:

  • Important advice for blood stain removal on mattresses
  • Six blood stain removal techniques
  • Step-by-step tutorials for each technique

If you're looking for advice on how to clean your mattress that doesn't have blood on it, be sure to check out our Ultimate Mattress Cleaning Guide.

Let’s get straight into it!

Important Preparation Tips for Removing Blood from Your Mattress

Act Immediately Once You See Blood

If blood is the culprit, you shouldn’t delay! That’s because the longer you leave a blood stain on a mattress, the more difficult it will be to remove it.

Additionally, leaving the stain is a biohazard and potentially allows diseases to be transmitted in your household.

For best results, try removing the stain within 2–3 hours.

Assess the Blood

Before treating the stain, you should first determine if the blood is fresh and new, or dry and somewhat old.

Outside the body, blood will coagulate and start drying out. The two main features you want to look for are the stain’s liquidity and its color. If the blood appears lighter red and more gel-like than fluid, it’s an older stain.

Gather Necessary Supplies First

Depending on the age of the stain, type of blood, and kind of fabric, you’ll need different cleaning equipment.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario; fresh stains will generally need cold water, while dried stains are best removed with warm water.

Regardless, you will need the following items in your supply list: a cleaning cloth, rubber gloves, knife or other kitchen utensils (if you’re applying paste mixtures), and some sort of stain remover (such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, enzymatic cleaner, ammonia, or coke).

Use Cold Water

When using enzymatic stain removers, using the hot water washing machine option is actually more effective than cold. However, when attacking a blood stain on a mattress, this is quite impractical.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use cold water instead.

Always Blot and Dab — Don’t Rub

Before you apply your solution and start cleaning, remember to not rub or brush the mattress.

Similar to cleaning carpets, rubbing or brushing may lead to discoloration or affixing the stain on the mattress, making it more difficult to remove.

Instead of aggressively attacking the stain, you should gently blot, dab, and pat it while working from the stain’s rim inwards.

Remove All Bedding and Pillows to Wash Separately

Removing all mattress-covering fabrics and running them under cold water will help dislodge fresh blood.
You can then pre-treat all the fabrics with a stain remover, let them soak, and then wash them as usual in the washing machine.

Let Wet Mattresses Air Dry Completely Before Use

To avoid creating a breeding ground for various molds and detrimental microorganisms, make sure to let the wet mattress dry. This can be done with a fan or by simply opening the windows.

How to Get Fresh Blood Out of a Mattress

For all of the following methods, always use cold water and wear gloves.

Baking Soda Method

Baking soda is a strong method used to absorb blood stains and remove unwanted odors.

  1. Combine one part baking soda with two parts water
  2. Using a cleaning rag, apply the baking soda mixture to the blood stain
  3. Leave for half an hour
  4. Rinse the stained area with another cloth
  5. Blot with a new rag until dry

Hydrogen Peroxide Method

This technique works best for protein-based stains—like fresh blood—and is especially helpful for ridding your mattress of period stains.

  1. Mix half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with half a cup of cornstarch and one tablespoon of salt to form a thick paste
  2. Dampen the blood stain using a clean cloth
  3. Apply the paste to the stain
  4. Wait for hydrogen peroxide bubbles to ease
  5. Pat the area with an unused cloth to dry

Other Options to Get Blood Out of Mattress

Meat Tenderizer

You may have run out of baking soda and can’t find any ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or enzymatic cleaner in your house.

In this case, the powdered meat tenderizer (specifically those with bromelain) in your cupboard also works.

Meat tenderizer works in the same way on blood and meat proteins and helps transfer blood stains from the mattress rather than simply diminishing their appearance.

  1. Add two teaspoons of cool water to one tablespoon of unseasoned meat tenderizer
  2. Apply meat tenderizer blend onto the blood stain
  3. Leave for an hour
  4. Remove residual tenderizer from the mattress by blotting with a dry dishcloth

Enzymatic Cleaners

Similar to meat tenderizers, enzymatic cleaners break down proteins and are thus optimal for eliminating blood stains.

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) reported a study where adding 10% protease to a commercial detergent powder and using 27ºC water temperature showed the most effective blood stain removal.

  1. Apply the enzymatic cleaner onto the blood stain
  2. Blot the blood stain
  3. Let it air dry


Fragrance-free and color-free ammonia works for fresh and dried blood, but it’s particularly powerful for removing older blood stains that have already hardened.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of cool water
  2. Open the bedroom window (and don’t forget your gloves!)
  3. Apply the ammonia mix to a cleaning towel
  4. Dab the blood stain
  5. Continue until the stain disappears


Based on the theory that carbonic acids contained in the drink can ease stains out from fabrics, this option is a last resort and is only suitable for bedding that can be machine washed.

If all previous methods have been exhausted, it may be better to consult a professional stain-removal expert before using cola.

  1. Soak blood stain with a small amount of coke
  2. Leave for two hours
  3. Blot with a clean rag

Key Takeaways

For all tactics, a quick approach is a successful approach. That being said, it’s best to use soft and gentle movements instead of being too hasty and aggressive.

After the initial application of a product or mixture, the general wait time is between half an hour to an hour.

Repeat each step of your chosen method if necessary, and ensure that your mattress is fully dry before making up the bed to avoid nasty microorganisms.

If you do it right, your mattress will be looking spotless in no time and you'll avoid having to dispose of your mattress prematurely.

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