Hiding the evidence: getting bloodstains out of fabric

Dear Home-Ec 101,

How do I remove blood stains from fabric?


Lizzie B.

stripey-shirt.JPGIvy says:

Turn yourself in, Dr. Michael Baden‘s on the case now, I hear. I’ll answer the question anyway, though; I hear we have quite the following in prisons all across the nation.

Most everyone knows the old peroxide trick to get rid of blood stains. But some people don’t happen to have it on hand, and some fabrics might be ruined by it. My mother always swore by using contact solution (saline) on a blood stain, if you can catch it right away.

I also heard that soaking the fabric in milk overnight will do away with the stain quite well. If you have a set-in stain, try rubbing salt on it and scrubbing with water, then laundering as usual.

Good luck on that whole “avoiding jail” thing!

UPDATE: A commenter, Stacie told us about Folex. She says she has used it on all sorts to stains and fabrics, including vintage fabrics with no damage. She told me you can find it with the carpet cleaners at Home Depot and with regular cleaners at the grocery store. With such glowing reviews, I’d say it’s worth a shot!

Submit your household questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.


  1. Courtney on November 9, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Folex is WONDERFUL!
    I've found that Home Depot has it cheaper then say Safeway.
    I recently adopted a puppy and he has had a few accidents. Luckily when I used Folex on the area right away there was no stain after drying *plus* my puppy can't smell where he went so he hasn't gone again. I use it on my carpet, mattress, and even the cushion on my wheelchair (I spray and blot before bed so that it's dry in the morning. Freshens it up with out having to wash the whole thing).
    It is definitely one of the cleaners I always have in my cleaner cabinet.

  2. Elizabeth on March 31, 2007 at 1:30 am

    Folex is great, but most people have Windex (The glass cleaner) in their home.

    My Grandmother (88, she’s been around long enough to know!) taught me that it’s a WONDERFUL stain remover.

    Just spray on the stain and let it sit. Then throw in the washer and viola!

    Also, for oil based paint, hairspray that contains a LOT of alcohol (read “Aquanet”) will take out a good portion of it.

  3. stacie on March 27, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Folex is the best product ever! It might take multiple treatments, but it will remove the stain. I’ve used it on a nosebled-upon-pillowcase that had been washed and dried many times prior to treatment, and you can’t see the stain at all now. I also used it on a white t-shirt. Brilliant stuff, I swear by it. You can get it at most stores.

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