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How To Clean Blood Stains From Carpet

Cooking spills and accidental injuries can result in blood stains on your carpet. Address any safety concerns first and then treat the stain as promptly as possible.

For particularly large stains that may have resulted from a high volume source such as a nosebleed or leak from food packaging, remove any excess with a clean dry rag using a dabbing motion. In general, avoid rubbing motions that may grind the stain deeper into the pile or fibers. Using the following techniques will help remove blood stains using cheap ingredients and simple tools. Keep in mind that carpets come in a wide variety of materials, and unusual carpet pigments or materials such as leather, suede or exotic synthetics may not react favorably with cleaning solutions. You may also wish to consider the backing material of your carpet or rug, and whether or not it will react to the cleaning solution. Any stain remedy should be tested in an inconspicuous area. Although rinsing and allowing the carpet to dry is part of the cleaning process refrain from using hot water or heat as this may set blood stains.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat blood stains. It may have a bleaching effect, and may not be appropriate for dark or otherwise non-colorfast carpets. Use clean cotton swabs and cotton balls to apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Use a dabbing motion, and fresh cotton swabs as necessary. Follow stain removal with a rinse made of dishwashing liquid diluted with water, and a clear water rinse. Blot excess water with a clean dry cloth, or use the appropriate wet/dry vacuum.

Alternatively, a poultice can be made with unseasoned meat tenderizer (with the active ingredient papain, an enzyme which will break down protein-based stains) and water. To make the poultice, place 1 TB of meat tenderizer in a shallow dish. Gradually mix in water 1/2 tsp at a time to form a thick paste. Apply the poultice to the blood stain and allow to sit for 15-20 min. Scrape away and discard the poultice residue using a butter knife or similar blunt tool. Apply a dilute solution of dishwashing liquid and water using a clean cloth and blotting motion. Follow with a clear water rinse. Blot excess water with a clean dry cloth, or use the appropriate wet/dry vacuum. An enzymatic contact lens solution containing papain, such as Allergan's Enzymatic Contact Lens Cleaner, will have similar effects and can be applied as a liquid solution. These papain-based remedies  are less likely to have bleaching effects than hydrogen peroxide, although any technique should be tested in an inconspicuous area.

For small, unbacked rugs, the stain can be treated from the back. Cover your work area with a protective, disposable material like a garbage bag. Place the stained area face down on an absorbent material like paper towels or clean rags. Treat the stain from the back, using either of the above liquid techniques  (hydrogen peroxide or enzymatic contact lens solution).

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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