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How to Get Blood Out of a Mattress: A Quick and Easy Guide

How to Get Blood Out of a Mattress: A Quick and Easy Guide

by

Aoife O.
 | 
Dec 29, 2021

Blood Stain Mattress Cleaning Guide

Whether the stain is from a small cut, nose bleed, or untimely visit from Mother Nature, a blood-stained mattress can look like a prop from a horror film. Accidents happen, but untreated stains are unsightly, bad for your mattress, and can lead to allergy-causing mold and mildew buildup. Fortunately, blood stains aren't necessarily permanent. With the right tools, you can make your mattress (almost) as good as new.


If you catch it early and act fast, you can likely remove the stain with basic cleaning supplies you already have around the house. This guide will cover the most common and effective methods for cleaning mattress blood stains, including:

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch, and salt
  • Meat tenderizer

We'll also discuss how to keep your mattress clean and dry moving forward, preserving the hygienic environment you need for healthy sleep. 


Do Different Types of Mattresses Require Different Cleaning Treatments?

Mattresses are a big investment, and you don’t want to damage your bed while trying to work out a stain. Before running a Google search and trying the first DIY cleaning solution that comes up, you should consider what type of mattress you own.


In general, you can spot clean innerspring, memory foam, polyfoam, latex, and hybrid mattresses the same way. However, if your mattress contains any foam components, do not follow any cleaning method that requires a lot of liquid, including water. When liquid gets trapped in the mattress, it creates a moist environment that fosters mold and bacteria growth.

How to Get Blood Out of a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are particularly susceptible to water absorption and damage, so you’ll want to practice caution when treating stains. You can use any of the methods below but apply the liquid ingredients sparingly. Also, be sure to blot the mattress dry with a clean cloth intermittently and after the treatment. Wait until the mattress is 100 percent dry before remaking your made.


General Tips for Mattress Stain Removal

Before we dive into the specifics of removing blood stains, let’s go over a few basic tips for getting working out any type of mattress stain:

  • Act quickly. You have a better chance of successfully removing a stain if the liquid doesn’t get the chance to dry.
  • If the stain is still wet, dab and blot, don’t rub. Scrubbing a stain while wet typically spreads it out, making matters worse.
  • If a method doesn’t work at first, repeat the process. Sometimes it takes more than one run-through to work out a stubborn stain.


How to Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress

If you notice a blood stain before it sets in or dries, you can likely get it out with just a couple of ingredients. Even if the blood has already dried, we recommend starting with this gentler option before moving on to the chemical-based strategies.

The Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

This simple stain removal trick uses standard household items you likely already have. It's an easy, cost-effective method that's most effective for blood stains that haven't yet set into the mattress. You'll spread some baking soda onto the stain, spray it with a water and vinegar mixture, then let it sit and vacuum away the baking soda. See the step-by-step instructions below.


Step 1: Gather the following supplies and ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • White vinegar
  • Clean cloth
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Vacuum

Step 2: Prepare the bed by removing all bedding—we'll cover how to clean blood out of bedsheets later in this article.


Step 3: Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to soak up as much fluid as possible. Remember to blot, not scrub, as this can push the stain further into the mattress.


Step 4: Generously sprinkle baking soda on the stained area.


Step 5: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in the empty spray bottle and mist the stain. Then, let the solution sit for about 30 minutes or until it dries.


Step 6: Vacuum the mattress surface to remove any excess baking soda.


How to Remove Dried Blood Stains From a Mattress

Many times, you won’t notice a blood stain on your mattress until it’s already set and dried. If that’s the case, you’ll likely need a more robust stain removal method. If baking soda and vinegar don’t work, try one of the following DIY cleaning solutions.

The Hydrogen Peroxide, Cornstarch, and Salt Method

Because it uses hydrogen peroxide, this method isn't quite as gentle as baking soda and vinegar. But it is effective and great for blood stains that have already dried and set it. So, if the previous method doesn't work, give it a try. You'll need hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch, salt, a cloth, and a brush. All you have to do is make the mixture and gently scrub it into the stain with the brush. You can follow the step-by-step instructions below:


Step 1: Gather these tools and ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Bowl
  • Soft brush or old toothbrush
  • Clean cloth

Step 2: Get ready to spot-clean the mattress by removing all bedding.


Step 3: In a bowl, mix the hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch, and salt and mix until it has the consistency of paste.


Step 4: Gently apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes.


Step 5: Scrub the paste into the stain with the brush or toothbrush.


Step 6: Remove any excess paste by dabbing the mattress surface with a damp cloth. Let it fully dry before remaking your bed.

The Meat Tenderizer Method

This final method works on the toughest blood stains. What makes it so effective? Meat tenderizer has enzymes that break down the proteins in blood, making the stain easier to remove. All you need is the meat tenderizer and water, so it's a simple fix if you're in a bind. Just make sure you use unseasoned meat tenderizer— the seasoned version will make an even bigger mess.


Step 1: For this blood stain removal method, all you need to gather is unseasoned meat tenderizer, water, a bowl, and a clean cloth. The meat tenderizer contains an enzyme that breaks down the protein in the blood, busting even dried stains.


Step 2: In the bowl, combine one part meat tenderizer with two parts water. Mix until the ingredients form a paste.


Step 3: Rub the paste on the stain and let it sit for about 1 hour.


Step 4: Wipe away the paste with a damp cloth, then dab the area with a dry cloth.


How to Remove Blood Stains from a Mattress Topper

You can also use any of the blood stain removal methods above on a mattress topper. As with mattresses, avoid soaking the area you're cleaning, as set-in liquids can damage foam layers and invite mold. Again, we recommend starting with the gentlest method (baking soda and vinegar). Depending on the type of mattress topper you have, it may even be machine washable. Be sure to check the care label for specific instructions.


How to Get Blood Out of Sheets

If your mattress has a blood stain, your sheets likely do too. Fortunately, cleaning bed sheets is a straightforward process, which you can follow for a fresh or dry stain.


Step 1: If blood hasn’t dried yet, blot the stain with a dry cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.


Step 2: Soak the sheets in COLD water for a few hours or overnight.


Step 3: Grab your choice of stain remover, or create your own solution by mixing hydrogen peroxide and water. Pour the solution or cleaner on the stain and let it soak for 24 hours.


Step 4: With the stain fully gone or mostly removed, wash your sheets as usual according to the care label. Even if your sheets are dryer friendly, do not dry them in the machine when working out a blood stain. Instead, hang them air dry.


How to Protect Your Mattress From Future Stains

When it comes to mattress stains, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While you might be able to prevent blood stains on your bedsheets, staining your actual mattress is easy to avoid. All you need is a mattress protector or protective mattress topper to keep your mattress clean and dry.


For maximum protection against stains—as well as mites, mold, and bacteria—we recommend a waterproof option. You’ll also want to look for a breathable material to prevent the protector from trapping heat within the bed. Consider our GlacioTex™ Cooling Mattress Protector for active cooling, our Full Coverage Mattress Encasement for 360-degree protection, or our Nolah Mattress Topper to enhance cushioning and support while adding a protective layer to your bed stack.


Final Tips for Mattress Care and Blood Stain Removal

  • Tackle stains as soon as they occur.
  • When possible, avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage your mattress if used incorrectly.
  • Treat stains gently—rubbing too vigorously can damage the mattress fibers.
  • If your current mattress is eight years old or older and has multiple stains or other damage, consider purchasing a new mattress.
  • Using a mattress protector is an affordable way to protect your investment in a new bed.

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