Removing blood stains from a foam mattress
Finding a drop of blood on the mattress is not that uncommon, but it’s certainly a bother. It can happen to anyone, and it severely stains the mattress due to the difference in coloring. The worst thing is that the more time passes, the harder it will be to clean.
Fortunately, anyone can get rid of blood stains just by using things found in most homes. Even if the blood is already dry, don’t fret. All you need to do is follow our tips, and you will be well on your way to a clean foam mattress.
Before you begin
To ensure a great outcome, please read our safety tips and tricks before you start.
- When using detergent of any kind, please make sure to do it out of the reach of children and pets.
- If the blood is not yours, wear cleaning gloves! Even if it’s a family member or a partner that had an accident, you don’t want to come in direct contact with anyone else’s blood.
- Before applying any sort of substance to the mattress, test it first. Apply a small amount to a hidden patch of your mattress. If it doesn’t stain, you can use it.
- Air out the room properly. You will most likely have to air-dry the mattress too.
- Foam mattresses don’t handle excessive moisture very well. Please follow the instructions and don’t apply too much moisture to your mattress.
- As you will likely have to let the mattress air-dry, we recommend sleeping elsewhere (if possible).
Simple ways to get rid of blood from a foam mattress
As said above, you will need to act quickly if you want to have the highest possible success rate. If the stain is still fresh when you first spot it, you can prevent further damage by blotting it with a wet cloth. Make sure you only use cold water.
Some foam mattresses come with a removable cover. In that case, throw the cover in the laundry. If the stain hasn’t transferred onto the mattress, you don’t need to do anything else.
If you only notice stains in the morning, there is still plenty of hope for your mattress, but the process may require more patience. Read our methods below, and start cleaning as soon as you can.
Method #1: Using baking soda
Time: >1 hour
Required items: cold water, clean cloth, baking soda
This is a simple method. It will work well on fresh stains but may require repeating for dried stains.
- Strip down the bed, and throw the sheets in the laundry.
- Combine one-part baking soda with two-parts cold water. Mix thoroughly.
- Using a clean cloth, apply the mixture onto the entire stain.
- Leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly using a cloth soaked in cold water. Do not allow the water to sink deep into the mattress.
- Blot dry with a towel.
- Recommended: allow the mattress to air-dry.
- Repeat the steps if needed.
Method #2: Using hydrogen peroxide
Time: >1 hour
Required items: 3% hydrogen peroxide, salt, cornstarch, a spoon or spatula, vacuum cleaner, clean cloth
This is a method recommended for stubborn stains. Warning: do not use hydrogen peroxide directly on your mattress without first creating a solution.
- After you strip down the bed, it is time to mix a few ingredients.
- Combine ½ cup of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of salt, and a ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix thoroughly until it creates a paste.
- Apply the paste to the entire stain (first test it in an inconspicuous area.)
- Leave the paste to dry entirely. This may take some time.
- Remove the dried paste by gently scraping it away.
- Blot with cold water.
- Vacuum up the remaining paste.
- If the stain remains, you can repeat the steps or proceed to the next method.
Method #3: Using ammonia
Time: Several hours
Required items: clean cloth, cold water, salt, spatula or spoon, 3% hydrogen peroxide, ammonia
This is a method only recommended for extremely stubborn, dried stains. If using ammonia, please keep your windows open, wear gloves, and preferably a mask.
- Strip down the bed and throw the sheets into the wash.
- Dampen the stained area by blotting it with cold water on a cloth.
- Once the area is wet – only the surface should be – cover it with salt.
- Allow the salt to sit for up to two hours, or until it completely dries.
- Once it’s dry, scrape away all the salt. Be gentle.
- Dab the remaining stain with 3% hydrogen peroxide until it begins to bubble.
- Once the bubbling stops, blot the stain with a clean cloth. Start at the center and work outwards.
- Repeat these steps several times if needed.
- As a last resort, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of cold water.
- Dab the stain, once again starting at the center and working towards the edges.
- Using cold water, wash away all traces of ammonia.
- Allow the mattress to air-dry by an open window. This will take several hours.
Method #4: Using a meat tenderizer
Time: >1 hour
Required items: meat tenderizer, cold water, clean cloth
This is a supplemental method that can be combined with any of the above for extra results. It will help on its own, but may not fully do the job.
- Strip the bed.
- Mix two teaspoons of cold water with one tablespoon of meat tenderizer. Keep mixing until it becomes a paste.
- Gently rub the mixture into the bloodstain until it’s completely covered.
- Leave it to sit for one hour.
- Scrape away the paste gently, then clean the remains with a cloth soaked in cold water.
- Make sure you clean very thoroughly without allowing water to sink into the mattress.
- Remove the moisture by dabbing with a dry towel, or allow the mattress to air-dry.
Bloodstains, while scary-looking, are not so bad when it comes to cleaning them. Fresh blood can sometimes be cleaned with just a cloth and some cold water. Dried stains, or stains that have had a moment to sink into the fibers, pose more of a problem.
Our methods are comprehensive, and if one didn’t work, the next one should. Remember that you can repeat the steps as needed, or even combine the methods. Method #4 can be combined with every method on this list. Meat tenderizer breaks down protein in the blood, so it does a great job at removing stains.
If you find yourself with a very stubborn stain, you can use a commercial detergent to clean it. However, keep in mind that foam mattresses don’t handle moisture all that well. If you feel like there’s a risk of damaging the mattress, please consult a professional cleaner instead.
To prevent bloodstains on the mattress, it’s good to think ahead. If you expect that they might happen, consider putting down a towel on your bed. It’s much easier to clean a towel than it is to clean a mattress.
No matter what, don’t worry. Be persistent, and with enough time, you will be able to restore your foam mattress.