How to get period blood out of underwear

For anyone who menstruates, getting period blood on your underwear is a frustrating and common occurrence. Whether it’s a heavy flow day, your period catches you by surprise, or you simply can’t access a bathroom in time, stained underwear can be embarrassing and difficult to deal with.

However, with the right techniques, you can successfully remove period blood from your underwear, even set-in stains. In this article, we’ll go over the best methods for getting period blood out of your underwear, as well as provide some tips to help prevent stains in the first place.

get period blood out of underwear

Why Does Period Blood Stain Underwear?

Period blood is notoriously difficult to remove from fabrics because of its chemical composition. Menstrual fluid is made up of blood, tissue from the uterine lining, and other substances. The combination of proteins, iron, and other compounds in period blood can cause it to stick to and discolour fabric.

Additionally, when period blood dries, it becomes even harder to remove, as the proteins and other compounds bond to the fabric fibers. This is why it’s important to treat period stains as soon as possible before the blood has a chance to fully set in.

Another factor that contributes to stubborn period stains is the chemicals and dyes used in many types of underwear. Certain fabrics and dye processes can make it more difficult for the blood to be lifted out of the material.

Pre-Treating Period Stains

The key to successfully removing period blood from your underwear is to pre-treat the stain as soon as possible. The sooner you can address the stain, the better chance you have of getting the underwear fully clean.

Here are some tips for pre-treating period stains:

  1. Rinse with cold water: As soon as you notice a period stain, rinse the affected area with cold water. Hot water can set the stain, making it harder to remove. The cold water will help dilute the blood and prevent it from bonding to the fabric.
  2. Use an enzyme cleaner: Enzyme cleaners are particularly effective at breaking down the proteins in period blood. Look for a product specifically formulated for removing blood stains, like Biz, Persil, or Puracy. Apply the enzyme cleaner directly to the stain and let it soak in for at least 30 minutes before washing.
  3. Try hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural oxidizing agent that can help lift blood stains. Make a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water, and dab it onto the stain. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes before washing.
  4. Use a stain remover stick: Stain remover sticks, like Persil’s Stain Remover Stick or Tide’s To Go Instant Stain Remover, are great for quickly treating period stains on the go. Rub the stick directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.
  5. Soak in cold water: For really stubborn stains, try soaking the entire garment in cold water for at least 30 minutes before washing. This can help loosen the bond between the blood and the fabric.

Washing Period-Stained Underwear

Once you’ve pre-treated the stain, it’s time to wash the underwear. Here are some tips for getting the best results:

  1. Use the hottest water recommended for the fabric: While hot water can set a stain, using the hottest water recommended for the specific fabric of your underwear can help lift the stain. Check the care label and use the warmest water safe for that material.
  2. Add an oxygen-based bleach: Look for a laundry detergent that contains an oxygen-based bleach, like hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate. These bleaching agents are effective at removing blood stains without damaging delicate fabrics.
  3. Consider a soak cycle: For extra stubborn stains, run the underwear through a soak cycle before the regular wash. This gives the pre-treating agents and detergent more time to penetrate the fabric and lift the stain.
  4. Air dry instead of machine drying: Avoid putting period-stained underwear in the dryer, as the heat can further set any remaining stains. Instead, air dry the underwear, which will give the fabric and stain-fighting agents more time to work.
  5. Repeat the process if needed: If the stain is still visible after the first wash, don’t hesitate to repeat the pre-treatment and washing process. It may take a few cycles to fully remove a set-in period stain.

Natural Stain-Removing Remedies

If you prefer to use more natural products, there are several household items you can try to remove period blood stains from your underwear:

  • Baking soda: Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing.
  • Salt: Sprinkle salt directly on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. The abrasiveness of the salt can help lift the stain.
  • Lemon juice: The acidity in lemon juice can help break down the proteins in period blood. Dab lemon juice directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before washing.
  • White vinegar: Similar to lemon juice, the acidity in white vinegar can be effective at removing period stains. Soak the underwear in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water for at least 30 minutes before washing.
  • Meat tenderizer: The enzymes in meat tenderizer can help break down the proteins in the blood. Make a paste with tenderizer and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing.

Prevention Tips

While treating period stains is important, it’s even better to try to prevent them in the first place. Here are some tips to help minimize period blood stains on your underwear:

  1. Change your underwear frequently: Try to change out of stained underwear as soon as possible. Leaving period blood-stained underwear on can cause the stain to set.
  2. Use period-proof underwear: Investing in period-proof underwear, like Thinx or Modibodi, can provide an extra layer of protection against leaks and stains.
  3. Wear dark-coloured or patterned underwear: Underwear with dark colours or busy patterns is less likely to show period stains as prominently as light-coloured, solid underwear.
  4. Carry spare underwear: Keep a spare pair of underwear with you, especially on heavy-flow days or when you’re travelling. This way you can change into a clean pair if you experience any leaks or staining.
  5. Try menstrual cups or discs: Using menstrual cups or discs, rather than tampons or pads, can minimize the amount of blood that comes into contact with your underwear.
  6. Wash underwear promptly: Don’t let period-stained underwear sit for too long before washing. The sooner you can treat the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

Additional Tips and Products

Here are some additional tips and products that can help with removing period blood stains from underwear:

Laundry Detergents Formulated for Blood Stains

Stain Removers and Pre-Treatments

Soak Treatments

Menstrual Underwear

Remember, the key to successfully removing period blood stains is to act quickly and use a combination of pre-treating, washing, and natural remedies. With the right techniques and products, you can keep your underwear looking and feeling fresh, even during that time of the month.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.