How to Get Blood Stains out of White Towels

In this article, we’ll discuss practical ways to get rid of blood stains from white towels. Whether it’s from nosebleeds, or cuts, acting fast is important to stop stains from setting in. Follow our step-by-step guide to tackle blood stains promptly and keep your towels looking fresh.

What Causes Blood to Stain White Towels

Stains on towels from blood usually come from two main sources:

  • Nosebleeds. Using a towel to stop a nosebleed almost always leads to staining. Use tissues instead if possible.
  • Cuts and Injuries. Accidental cuts while shaving, grooming, or preparing food can leave behind blood stains if towels are used to stop bleeding.
white towel with a red blood stain

Why It’s Important to Treat Bloodstains Quickly

When blood comes into contact with a towel, it can quickly set into the fabric and become more difficult to remove over time. This is because blood contains proteins that bind to fibers and can oxidize, turning the stain brown or yellow.

It’s important to treat blood stains quickly before the blood has time to dry. Acting fast also helps keep your towels looking bright and new. If you allow blood to dry completely, it will likely leave a stain that is hard to remove.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these 5 steps:

Step 1 – Rinse with Cold Water

As soon as you notice a blood stain, rinse it under cold running water. Cold water can help flush out the blood before it dries and adheres to the towel fibers.

Avoid using hot water, which can set blood stains by denaturing blood proteins.

Step 2 – Apply Salt

After rinsing, apply a generous amount of table salt directly to the blood stain. Salt is highly absorbent and helps draw blood up and out of the fabric.

Rub the salt thoroughly into the blood-stained area of the towel. Let the salt sit for 5-10 minutes to give it time to extract as much blood as possible.

Step 3 – Make a Baking Soda Paste

Baking Soda Paste

In a small bowl, mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough cold water to form a spreadable paste.

Gently rub this baking soda paste into the blood-stained part of the towel using your fingers or a clean toothbrush. Let the paste sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

Baking soda is a natural cleaning and whitening agent that can help lift remaining blood particles out of the towel fibers.

Step 4 – Wash Towels in Cold Water

After leaving the baking soda mixture for some time, rinse the towel under cold running water. Then, clean it as you normally do with laundry soap using cold water. Washing with cold water helps prevent blood stains from setting by inhibiting blood protein denaturation.

For extra whitening power, use an oxygen-based bleach alternative like OxiClean. But avoid using chlorine bleach for blood stains, as it can damage cotton fibers over time.

Step 5 – Air Dry and Repeat if Needed

After washing towels, hang towels outside or lay them flat to air dry. Once they’re completely dry, inspect to see if any trace of the bloodstain is still there. If it is, you might have to go through the whole process again.

With persistent stains, try soaking the towel in cold water for 30 minutes before washing to loosen up the remaining blood residue.

white towel hanging on a drying rack

Other Helpful Tips for Removing Blood Stains

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Apply some hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. wait for a few minutes before rinsing and washing as usual. The enzymes in hydrogen peroxide help break down blood proteins.
  • Lemon Juice or White Vinegar: These natural acids can help lift blood and provide whitening benefits. Soak a towel in a dilute solution before washing.

Prevent Blood Stains in the Future

While blood stains are inevitable now and then, you can take proactive steps to cut down on occurrences:

  • Encourage nose blowing into tissues instead of towels during colds and allergies.
  • Keep dark-colored washcloths ready for use during your menstrual periods.
  • Make sure to have bandages and basic first aid supplies to quickly treat cuts, nosebleeds, and injuries.

With some diligence and the proper stain removal methods, you can keep your white towels looking fresh. Follow these tips to tackle blood stains promptly and effectively.

When to Throw Away Towels with Blood Stains

If you notice stains reappearing after multiple washings or treatments, the towel fibers may be too damaged for further use.

Over time, towels become less absorbent as fabrics break down. Aggressive bleaching and washing can also weaken towels.

If a towel with stains looks faded or is starting to fall apart at the edges, it’s probably time to replace it with a fresh one.


In conclusion, blood stains on white towels are common but can be effectively treated with the right methods. Understanding the common causes of blood stains and the importance of immediate action is crucial in preventing stubborn stains.

By following the step-by-step instructions and utilizing additional tips for blood stain removal, you can restore your white towels to their original condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can blood be washed out of a towel?

Yes, blood can usually be washed out of a towel. For fresh bloodstains, rinse the towel in cold water to remove as much blood as possible, then wash it using a regular laundry detergent. Avoid using hot water, as it can set the stain. If the stain persists, try using a stain remover or pre-treating the area before washing.

What removes dried blood stains?

Dried blood stains can be more challenging to remove, but it’s still possible. Soak the stained area in cold water for a few hours to help loosen the stain. After soaking, apply a mixture of salt and water or hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and let it sit for some time. Gently rub the fabric together, then wash the item as usual. Repeat the process if necessary.

Can period blood come out of towels?

Yes, period blood can generally be removed from towels. Treat it promptly by rinsing the stained area with cold water. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of cold water and salt to the stain, and gently rub or blot. Wash the towel in cold water. Avoid hot water, as it can set the stain. Repeat the process if necessary.


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