Sometimes you just can’t plan for it. You’ve woken up after a great night's sleep and there it is — the infamous period blood that's now stained the middle of your mattress.
Before you think about flipping your mattress over and calling it a day, we’ve collated a few tried and tested tips on how to remove the most stubborn of blood stains that have un-flipping-believable results.
A quick note: If you're removing a stain from a memory foam or hybrid mattress, make sure you allow the mattress plenty of time to dry out after. Leaving your mattress damp can damage the mattress and lead to the growth of mildew and bacteria.
The first steps
- Strip your bed by removing all pillows, blankets, flat sheets and fitted sheets
- If you notice period blood on your bedding, apply a fabric stain remover and pop them straight in the wash
- Back to the mattress. Begin by dampening a cloth with cold water. Ensure you don’t use hot or warm water as this will solidify the stain and cause it to spread
- Lightly dab (not rub) the stained area to absorb any excess period blood from your mattress
- Rinse and repeat
- When you’ve removed as much excess as possible, you’re now ready to tackle the stain
For new period blood stains
Once you’ve completed the first steps, head to your pantry (we’re not kidding).
Some of the best cleaning products are pantry essentials that contain enzymes. Blood is made from proteins (such as hemoglobin and iron) that require an enzymatic formula to break them down, but if caught early, can be removed like nothing ever happened.
Baking soda and vinegar
Known best for their non-toxic properties, this solution is a family favourite and the perfect combination to remove the toughest of stains.
- Decant white vinegar into a spray bottle and apply baking soda directly to the period blood stain
- Lightly spritz (don’t pour) the vinegar onto the baking soda and leave to bubble for 30 minutes
- Press firmly at the solution with a clean, dry cloth or use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove the surface residue
- Wet the cloth with cold water and continue to dab at the area until the period blood stain is removed
- If the stain persists, try mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and apply the mixture the same way you did with the vinegar mixture. Clean it off with a damp cloth after letting it sit.
Extra tip: The smell of vinegar can be pungent, so keep at it until the smell is gone
Not just for baby bottoms, talcum powder is heavily absorbent which will help to withdraw moisture and stop the blood stain from solidifying.
- Combine talcum powder and water until a thick paste is formed. It should look a little like toothpaste
- Apply the paste to the period blood stain on your mattress and leave until dried completely
- Brush away the solution with a dried cloth or use a vacuum to suck up any leftover solution and voila!
The powder, not the mallet, just to be clear. Meat tenderiser powder is made from a naturally derived enzyme called papain. Found in papayas and pineapples, papain breaks down fibres and proteins making it the ideal formula for removing blood stains.
- Combine one tablespoon of meat tenderising powder with two teaspoons of water to create a thick paste
- Apply the paste to your period stained mattress and leave to dry
- Brush away using a dry cloth or use a vacuum cleaner to remove any excess solution
For old period blood stains
Old period blood stains can be a little more tricky. Once the proteins in the blood have dried and changed colour to a rusty orange, they become stubborn and require a heavy-duty solution to remove.
Specially-formulated enzyme cleaners are your go-to product for dried period blood stains. Follow the instructions on the solution for best results.
No blood, sweat or tears
After you’ve removed the period blood stains from your mattress, the area may be a little damp from the solution. Open a window or use a fan until your mattress is completely dry, pop your sheets back on and hop back into bed. You deserve a nap.