How To Get Blood Out Of A Sofa

We’ve all been there. Things get out of hand, and you end up with a stained couch. Maybe it’s wine, coffee… wait – you’re saying it’s blood? Okay, well, assumptions aside, DreamyHome has your back. We’ll help you get any pesky stain out, though I pray that this won’t come back to haunt me.

The best ways to get blood out of a sofa are cold water, soda water, laundry detergent, and gentle scrubbing, though this varies on the fabric.

Now without further ado, let’s get spooky season kicked off by getting blood out of your sofa – no questions asked.

Stains and Types of Upholstery

This is important – the type of cloth your sofa is made out of will affect how you clean it. So let’s start with breaking down what works on what, and how, shall we?

  • Leather – If you have a leather couch, blood shouldn’t stain it. If you’ve somehow stained a leather couch with blood, I don’t want to know how it happened – but you’ll likely need a new couch. Otherwise, it should just wipe off.
  • Nylon – This is easy to clean, abrasion resistant, and generally rather durable. You can scrub at this pretty hard and not worry too much.
  • Polyester – Same as nylon, but less resistant against abrasions. So scrub gently with something that’s not too strong – a toothbrush rather than scrubby sponge.
  • Acrylic – This is easy to clean, extremely tough, and generally difficult to remove colouring.
  • Olefin – This is the same as acrylic in terms of cleaning durability and colour holding.
  • Rayon – Rayon is not very strong and is rather difficult to clean. You need use as little moisture as possible to clean this – it doesnt’ like getting wet.
  • Cotton – This is harder to clean without fading the colours.
  • Wool – Wool is hard to clean, takes stains very easily, and won’t give them up without a fight. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

Bloodstains are super difficult to get out in comparison to, say, a wine stain. This is because they’re protein stains – meaning heat will make them set further, rather than lift up like most others.

This makes it vital that you do not use a steam cleaner to remove a bloodstain. If you do, you will set the stain further and could very well ruin your sofa. This isn’t the voice of experience talking, or anything… God, I miss that couch.

How to Get Blood Out of a Sofa: The Preparation

Begin by pre-treating the stain. This is done by using white cloth with cold water to blot away as much of the stain as possible and lift it to the surface. After this, wipe it with a dry cloth to lift dried blood. Afterwards, if you can clean it with alcohol, dampen a cloth with both that and water. Now you dab the stain not rub it with this rag. Finally, you dab the area dry and move down to the next step.

How to Get Blood Out of a Sofa: The Tools

Now we get onto the fun part! First, you’ll need a few things:

  • Several sacrificial white cloths. If they’re dyed, they could bleed the dye onto your couch – that’s no good
  • Cold water – hot water will set the stain
  • Soda water
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon or vinegar
  • Salt
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol (depending on the couch)
  • Gentle dish detergent (maybe, it depends on how tough the stain is)

Using the above, you get to pick what to use. You can either do a mixture of soda water and cold tap water, lemon/vinegar and coarse salt, dish detergent, rubbing alcohol or peroxide mixed with cold water, or an actual upholstery cleaner. It all depends on what your couch is made from and what the tag recommends.

Keep in mind that you should always check the cleaning instructions on the tag – you did keep the tag, right? Tags marked with W are only safe to be cleaned with water, those with S should only be cleaned with alcohol, and those with SW can be cleaned with both.

How to Get Blood Out of a Sofa: The Method

Now we get to choose our weapon, so to speak. Some people prefer to use a 2:1 ratio of soda water and cold tap water, others use alcohol or peroxide, and some choose to use dishwashing detergent. You could also use lemon juice or vinegar with coarse salt, though I’m not personally a fan of that method. Now, simply follow the steps:

  1. Blot the area with your cleaner of choice. Again, we’re using a white rag for this – coloured rags will stain the couch further. Rubbing at the stain, or scrubbing, can set the stain further and even spread it.
  2. Repeat the process with a clean, dry cloth.
  3. Repeat this until the stain is gone.
  4. If the stain simply won’t come out, use an enzyme-based upholstery cleaner that’s safe for couches. You can repeat the process above, using the cleaner – though it can be tough on certain types of cloth.

Final Thoughts

Bloodstains in a couch are absolutely no fun to remove. They’re a different type of stain than the usual one, meaning the usual “just scrub really hard” approach is a no-go. They are set with heat, so you’ve got to be careful not to warm them up, and they will absolutely spread if not addressed properly. However, if you’ve followed the steps above, you should have been able to lift the stain out.

It may have taken more elbow grease than expected, and you may have needed to try a few solutions to get it fully out – but by golly, it should be clear. Now, I’m not going to ask how you got blood in your couch. I am going to ask that you at least try to be more careful. Whether that means that you use an upholstery protectant to guard against stains, or that you just don’t do… whatever you were doing on the couch, there’s no judgement. But to save yourself a headache, try to avoid getting blood in the couch in the future, maybe?

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.