As parents, stains are to be expected. Every day somewhere in the world, a mattress gets peed on or soiled thanks to kids and dogs. But did you know one of the most common mattress stains is actually period blood? As if cramps, bloating, and mood swings aren’t enough to deal with. It can happen to anybody — young or old — as many women who read this article will attest. Bloodstains on a mattress can be challenging to remove, and unfortunately, you can’t just throw the mattress into the washing machine and call it a day. You might be wondering how to get period blood out of a mattress. It’s actually not as hard as you think as long as you act quickly.
How to Get Period Blood Stains Out of a Mattress
Did you accidentally get a period stain on your bed? It happens. We shift a lot in our sleep and even the best tampons, pads, menstrual cups, or period panties can cause leaks, especially during the early days when heavy flow is the name of the game. If you find yourself faced with a period stain and don’t even know where to start, here are some different methods to get the mattress pristine again.
Enzyme cleaners are any cleaning products that utilize enzymes to break down stains. They are safe on most fabrics and have one of the best chances of lifting the bloodstain if used first.
Stains are made of different types of molecules, so make sure you target the right enzyme. Protease enzymes break down proteins and are good for blood, gravy, egg, and other protein stains. Follow the instructions on the bottle for lifting the stain.
Do not apply enzyme cleaner directly to the stain. Instead, pour some enzyme cleaner onto a towel and pat the stained area. Let air dry. These types of cleaners work as long as they are wet, so consider reapplying every few hours if needed. Do not sleep on this area of the mattress when wet. Once the stain is gone, vacuum the area with an upholstery brush to remove residue.
Blood dissolves in cold water. Mix cold water and a small amount of liquid dish detergent. Using a clean cloth, dab the blood stain until it is removed. Do not use hot water or steam on bloodstains unless you’ve been itching for a reason to buy new sheets. That will cook the bloodstain and set it into the fabric.
Wait… the same stuff that you put on a steak? Yup! Enzymes in meat tenderizers break down the proteins found in the blood of a steak. The same science can work on your mattress. Combine one tablespoon of unseasoned meat tenderizer and two tablespoons of water into a paste. Apply the paste to stain and allow to dry. Once dry, remove with vacuum or brush.
There are a few ways to use hydrogen peroxide to get period blood out of a mattress:
- Saturate the stain with hydrogen peroxide. When the hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with the blood, it will fizz and foam. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. After the stain is removed, rinse with cold water. Use paper towels or a white rag to soak up the remaining liquid until the stain is gone. Why a white rag? It prevents dye transfer from the cloth to the mattress. It might take several applications to remove or fade the stain to satisfaction.
- Create a stain remover paste. Mix a fourth cup of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon each of liquid dish soap and table salt. Rub into the stain. Once completely dry, scrape the residue off, and dab at any remaining stain with a white rag dipped in hydrogen peroxide.
- For stubborn stains, mix cornstarch, salt, and hydrogen peroxide. Combine half cup cornstarch, half cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a tablespoon of salt to form a paste. Let sit on the stain for 30 minutes and then use an old toothbrush to make sure the stain lifts. Gently dab the paste away with cold water and a clean towel. Repeat if needed.
Do not use peroxide on sheets or mattresses that are bright or dark. The mild bleaching action in the peroxide could leave them discolored.
Here are two ways to use baking soda to remove the period stain:
- Mix baking soda and water. Mix one part baking soda with two parts cold water. Apply the mixture with a clean cloth to the entire stained area. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with a cloth soaked in cold water. Dab dry with towel.
- Combine baking soda, white vinegar, and water. If the stain is small and hasn’t set, this mixture could do the trick! Make sure you remove any moisture from the mattress by blotting the area. Do not rub. Sprinkle the baking soda over the stained area and spray a generous amount of one part water and one part white vinegar solution. Let the mixture work its magic for about 30 minutes. Once it’s dried a bit, vacuum the residue or use a damp cold cloth to blot the mixture away. Feel free to repeat the process a few times.
Do not use expired baking soda. It will not work as well as the fresh stuff.
Lemon Juice is a great solution to use on dried blood. After scraping and rinsing out the dried bloodstain, let it soak in lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Clean the stain as soon as possible to avoid drying and setting in. Blot away what you can before trying any of the suggested solutions.
- Few remedies you use to get period blood out of the mattress will work right away. Try the same treatment multiple times before moving onto something else.
- Mattresses are expensive. Use a liquid-proof mattress protector to make clean-up easier in the future.
How To Avoid Period Leakage
Keep in mind, if this is your daughter’s first time experiencing this type of accident, she may feel embarrassed. So make sure they understand that this is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. And remember to be nice to yourself if you accidentally bleed on your sheets. It happens, but here are a few ways to avoid period leakage.
- To minimize bleeding on sheets, reconsider the kinds of sanitary napkins you use when going to bed. Seek more secure options for bedtime like super absorbent pads or products designed for nighttime use.
- Pads with wings also keep your pad super secure and help keep it in one place.
- Lay down a towel.
- Sleep with a tampon instead. Tampons are less likely to cause leakage but only use them if you intend on sleeping for less than eight hours. If you’re an oversleeper, avoid the tampon option.
- Before going to bed, change your pad one more time before dozing off to avoid overflow.
- This tip may not work for wild sleepers, but try to sleep in a fetal position. Avoid laying on your back or stomach. When you sleep on your side with your arm and legs in, you’re putting less stress on your stomach muscles. Not only does this make for a more comfortable sleeping position, but the more relaxed you are, the better chance you have of not leaking.