How do I get blood out of denim?
April 15, 2007 3:30 PM   Subscribe

How do I get blood out of denim?

Any raw denim aficionados out there? I just got blood on my jeans, on the inside. The catch is that I can't wash them (they're unwashed denim and I've only been wearing them for about three weeks). I searched superfuture and google and generally only turned up information about Blue Blood brand jeans. What's my best option for removing the blood? Spot cleaning with shout wipes/hydrogen peroxide/soda water/something else? Dry cleaning (I'm still unsure as to how that would affect the progress of the jeans)? Please assume that no, I don't want to just leave the blood there.
posted by cosmic osmo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't use hot water; that'll help set it. If it's fresh, just wet with cold water and a bit of any kind of soap (like dish soap) and scrubbing lightly with a sponge for a bit should do it.

Sorry if there's something about raw denim that won't work with this.
posted by mediareport at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2007

Cold water is your friend for any protein stain, as mediareport says. I'd just rinse the stain under very cold water, leave the water running through it for as long as it takes, use gentle soap or Shout if absolutely necessary.
posted by vers at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2007

I got blood out of my underwear with cold water and shampoo. I read about this somewhere on the internet; something about the proteins in blood being like the stuff that dirties hair and therefore cleansed by the same stuff. I have absolutely no idea whether this is true, but the shampoo did the trick for me. I'd imagine if that works, hand soap also would.
posted by crinklebat at 3:46 PM on April 15, 2007

I got a bloody nose at a doctor's office once and he said the trick to blood stains was (table) salt.

Wet it with cold water, rub salt on the stains, let it sit, and then rinse. Repeat as needed.
posted by Utilitaritron at 4:15 PM on April 15, 2007

something else?

If you have a pet store near you, buy some Nature's Miracle, it's fantastic at breaking down all sorts of biological stains and odors.
posted by lia at 4:22 PM on April 15, 2007

Cold water, and meat tenderizer. Make a paste out of meat tenderizer and cold water, rub it into the stain, let it sit for ten minutes and rinse it with cold water.
posted by Packy_1962 at 4:26 PM on April 15, 2007

My impression of raw denim is that doing any of the above will probably have an effect when you do eventually wash them. I would definitely avoid applying any soap or other liquid stain remover. I think probably just dabbing at it with a damp paper towel is all you can do. The salt thing may be ok if you don't rub any in accidentally.

On another note, my boyfriend who's a raw denim fan thinks you should just suck it up and leave it. I think that's gross, as it seems you do too, but it may really be the only way to avoid ANY effect on your jeans.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2007

Be careful of using anything too basic (like detergent, or especially dishwashing liquid) as this will hurt the wash of the jeans (which is acidic).
posted by chickletworks at 4:46 PM on April 15, 2007

Hydrogen peroxide and water has worked well for me in the past. H2O2 is a strong oxidizing agent and weak acid. It can be poured directly on the blood stain, where it will bubble as it attacks the organic material. IT should be wiped or rinsed away immediately, though, because it can bleach the fabric. You may need to do several applications to completely remove the stain.
posted by ijoshua at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2007

Hydrogen peroxide is great on blood. Nothing works better. I hope you like your denim faded though.
posted by caddis at 6:13 PM on April 15, 2007

I'd ask styleforum's streetwear forum or superfuture's supertalk.

(Well, actually, I'd search both of their archives, because I imagine it comes up regularly.)
posted by mendel at 7:06 PM on April 15, 2007

Seconding the hydrogen peroxide. I've seen it work perfectly (a friend's dog bled all over him in an accident and the vet sprayed his clothes with it...magic).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2007

Um, again, I think all the people answering above are not taking into consideration the raw denim factor.

Actually, why not just call the manufacturer? I'm sure they'll be able to help you much more than anyone on here can, or at least they'll be able to tell you for sure if its hopeless.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:16 PM on April 15, 2007

I hope that future readers of this thread check out what unwashed denim is before they pipe in. I've never heard of it before this thread myself. Helpful suggestions all, but not when you aren't supposed to wash your jeans for at least 6 months.
(And even saying this, I'm going to suggest perhaps using a baby wipe along with the meat tenderizer or something - if you really want to minimize the water contact with it, but still get the stain out, that may be an option.)
posted by Iamtherealme at 10:12 PM on April 15, 2007

Um, again, I think all the people answering above are not taking into consideration the raw denim factor.

Yeah, it seems that way to me, too. Maybe I should have been more clear. And mendel, I did search superfuture (as I mentioned above). I asked here instead because I'm not a member there (though maybe I should be).

For the curious, what I ended up doing was just blotting with cold water and scrubbing a little bit. Most of it came out, and it's on the inside of the jean so I don't think the scrubbing made much difference. I was mostly concerned about the ick factor rather than the cosmetic, but I can live with it. I'm sure much worse will have accumulated on the jeans by the time I hit six months or so.
posted by cosmic osmo at 10:16 PM on April 15, 2007

Okay, I can answer this!!!!

There is only one thing on this earth that I would recommend because it's worked for me a zillion times: ZOUT! KICKS ASS. Seriously. Just put it on the stain, rub the fabric together, and then let it sit. Then repeat that & wash it. It's freaking AMAZING. If Zout can't get it out, I don't know what would. I SWEAR BY IT. It's saved my favorite jeans.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:46 PM on April 15, 2007

miss lynster: again, don't think the Zout will be useful with this particular pair of unwashed denim jeans.

Having said that - I had no idea that such a thing existed. I'm fascinated by the lengths that people will go to for their jeans.
posted by antifuse at 3:28 AM on April 16, 2007

Okay, I'll admit I missed the raw denim part because I'm not familiar with it. I'm just a fan of zout & I wear jeans I can wash once in a while if I have to. Oh well. Sorry.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:20 AM on April 16, 2007

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