Corner of an Original Tuft & Needle Mattress sitting on a wood floor with white sheets piled on top of it

The Ultimate Guide To Removing Blood Stains From Your Mattress And Bedding

January 22, 2024

Author: Shelly Weaver-Cather

Welcome to the ultimate guide to getting a blood stain out of your mattress.

Trust us, we know, no one wants to be here, but if you’re going to embark on this bloody journey, you might as well take us with you. While most stains and accidents can be handled with the same method as removing urine, removing blood from your mattress needs a little extra oomph. Grab some towels, hydrogen peroxide, and possibly some meat tenderizer (We’ll circle back on it.) and let’s get moving.

How to get blood out of a mattress? By following these steps:

  • Prep the stain before you begin
  • Try some simple ingredients
  • Move on to the meat tenderizer method if that doesn’t work
  • Use heavy-duty methods for heavy-duty stains

Let’s dive into these in more detail.

Before You Begin Removing The Blood Stain

Before you get too far into gathering your weapons, it’s good to keep one thing in mind when it comes to removing blood stains. The absolute rule of blood stain removal is to keep the warm or hot water far, far away. Hot water essentially cooks the proteins in blood and bonds hemoglobin to fabric, which can set that stain forever. Cold water is going to be your best friend and will be much more effective at bloodstain removal, and at keeping you sane.

The prep work is really going to make it or break it here. Remove everything from your bed and get those sheets and any affected pieces into the laundry room—we’ll get to those in a second. Once the mattress is clear of your bedding, it’s time to get to work!

There are a few methods you can try when it comes to blood stain removal, and depending on how stained the mattress is you might want to combine a couple of these solutions.

How To Get Simple Stains Out Of A Mattress

If the stain is small and hasn’t set, the baking soda and white vinegar approach might do the trick! For this method you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • A spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Clean towels

Before you start sprinkling baking soda all over your bedroom, take some time to make sure that you’ve soaked as much of the moisture out of your mattress as possible. Blotting is the key here. If you rub you’re sure to work the pigments further into the fibers of the mattress and create a much more difficult situation for yourself in the long run.

Once you’ve blotted as much excess moisture away as possible, sprinkle baking soda over the stained area and spray a generous coating of a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar. Leave this little concoction to bubble and work away for about thirty minutes. Once it’s dried down, you can either vacuum the residue off or use a damp cold cloth to blot the mixture away. If the stain hasn’t completely lifted, you can repeat this process a few times.

Different types of alcohol bottles stacked on a shelf together

Vinegar can sometimes leave behind a strong smell, so here’s another hot tip: vodka. Yep, make yourself a quick martini (You’ve earned it!) and then throw some of that into a spray bottle and mist the area to neutralize the scent. This also works on dirty clothes you don’t have time to launder, just in case you’re wondering.

How To Get Tougher Bloodstains Out Of A Mattress

Maybe the bloodstain went unnoticed for too long, it happens. A set stain can definitely be a pain to get out, but with some heavier-duty tools, you should be able to make things a little easier to remedy.

The Cornstarch Method

For a slightly stubborn stain, a cornstarch mixture can create the perfect amount of lift to get bust that stain for good. Assemble your toolkit:

  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Tablespoon of salt
  • Toothbrush

Combine the cornstarch, hydrogen peroxide, and salt to form a paste. Let it sit on the stain for about a half-hour and then work into it with a toothbrush to make sure it really lifts the stain. After, gently dab it away with cold water and a clean towel. Once the mixture is completely removed, let the area dry completely to make sure the stain is totally gone. Just like with the above method, you can lather, rinse, and repeat until things are good as new again.

A thick uncooked steak sitting on a wood block seasoned with rosemary and coarse salt

The Meat Tenderizer Method

Meat tenderizer (See, we told you we’d get to it!) can also work a little magic on your mattress. The natural enzymes found in powdered meat tenderizer, bromelain and papain, work to break down the proteins found in blood. Once you’ve started dinner, take that tenderizer into the bedroom along with a few other items:

  • One tablespoon of meat tenderizer
  • Two teaspoons water
  • Large brush or vacuum

Make a paste with the powder and water and apply as you would with the cornstarch or baking soda method. Apply the solution and let it sit until it’s completely dry. Vacuum the residue away or use a brush to remove it. Repeat if needed!

How To Get The Biggest Blood Stains Out Of A Mattress

Sometimes a stain calls for the big guns, and we’ve got ‘em. If you prefer an all natural cleaner to a chemical solution, you might want to use one of the above methods a few times to see if the stain can be persuaded into taking a hike, but for the ones that truly won’t surrender, your best bet is one of these solutions.

Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme cleaners are tough on stains and can usually be found at your local grocery store. Similarly to meat tenderizer, the enzymes are able to break down the stain at a molecular level. These are much more powerful cleaners than your typical solution found under the kitchen sink, so be sure to read the instructions fully before diving in. Triple check that the enzyme cleaner is able to be used on furniture and upholstery before you apply it.

Don’t apply an enzyme cleaner directly to the stain. Instead, put it on a towel first and dab it onto the stain.


Probably one of the harshest options you can go for, ammonia is no joke, but it should get the job done. Before using ammonia, be aware that it is poisonous if swallowed and can ruin fabrics on the more fragile side, like silks or wools. You also want to be careful that you don’t combine ammonia with anything, especially chlorine bleach. The chemical reaction causes a noxious and potentially deadly gas that you don’t want to be anywhere near.

Adding a tablespoon of ammonia to a cup of cold water and using a clean towel to dab at the stain should take care of even the most stubborn stains. Use gloves, and open a window!

How To Get Blood Stains Out Of A Mattress Sheet

If you want a more in depth guide on how to get blood out of sheets, click here,  but in short to take care of your sheets, you can crush an aspirin and add some water to form a paste. Pre-treat the area with this mixture and allow it to dry, then toss it in the washing machine and launder normally. If your bedsheets are white, bleach should help with the stain, but can ultimately weaken the fabric, so use it sparingly.

WD-40 and Coca-Cola are also said to help bust stains from the fabric of your bedding, though the aspirin should really do the trick!

Hopefully, your mattress and bedsheets are nice and clean and you won’t need this guide again. To ensure that you’ll never find yourself on the business end of a bad stain, you may want to look into a mattress protector, like the one shown below. These removable, washable barriers can keep your mattress clean and cut your stain removal time down to just your bedding—way easier to deal with.
Child petting a dog while sitting on a Tuft & Needle twin bed with a mattress protector on it

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