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Here’s the short lesson on blood stain removal: act fast. Carpets today usually come with stain-resistant treatments, so even blood can be removed if you get it right away. The longer the delay, the more difficult removing any carpet stain becomes, and there are no stain-proof carpets yet. With blood, the process of coagulation makes it especially hard to get the stain out if it is old and dried.
Step-By-Step Blood Stain Removal
1. Rinse and extract the blood stain with cold water. Apply just a little at a time, so you don’t spread the stain. Hot water can set the stain, making it permanent, so use only cold water. Add the water, then blot it up with a clean white cloth or white paper towels. You can also suck the solution out with a shop-vac, which means less of a chance of spreading the stain.
2. Remove the remaining stain with a solution of a few drops of Dawn dish washing detergent in a cup of cold water. Work it into the blood stain, but be careful not to spread the stain. Blot the area with a clean white cotton cloth or white paper towels, but don’t rub the stain, as this can damage the fibers. Damaged fibers hold stains and get stained in the future more easily.
3. Repeat the process as many times as is necessary, or until there is no more transfer of the stain from the carpet to the cloth or paper towels. Then blot up excess water when you are done.
4. Leave the fan blowing on the area to dry it quickly. Otherwise, set a stack of paper towels (white) on the stained area, or a couple clean white cotton cloths, and put something heavy on them. Leave this to blot up the remaining liquid, replacing the cloth or paper towels as necessary. Fast drying keeps any remaining stain deeper in the carpet from “wicking up” to the surface and becoming visible again.
Some have reported good luck using club soda to remove blood stains, so if the above instructions don’t work, you can try that next. It’s not easy to predict which stains will come out and which won’t until you try. This is because of various types of carpet fibers and other factors. For example, wool and other natural fibers are usually more difficult to remove stains from. As with all stains, use water first before trying other solvents for blood stain removal.
Steve Gillman has worked in the carpet cleaning industry for years. For more on carpet-care, carpet stains, and specific stain-by-stain removal instructions, visit http://www.HowToRemoveCarpetStains.com.