Have you ever walked a few extra blocks home to avoid having to call for an Uber only to arrive home to find your Converse smeared with blood stains from the blisters on your feet? Maybe that’s just me.
But if you’ve ever walked in heels for too long or worn stiff sandals on vacation and wound up with a bleeding blister, you know the pain (literally and metaphorically) of having blood all over your shoes. No matter how you managed to get your shoes bloody, we’re here to help. Here’s how to get blood out of shoes.
General Blood Stain Removal Tips
Blood is a protein stain, which means that it’s best removed using some sort of enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners oxygenate the blood, causing it to quickly dissolve. Hydrogen peroxide is a great, simple option for this.
Hydrogen peroxide does not actually remove blood stains, instead, it breaks up the chemical bonds in the blood, dissolves them, and renders the stain invisible.
How to Get Blood Stains Out of Shoes
These steps will help get blood stains out of any kind of canvas or other fabric shoes regardless of color.
Step 1: Wet the Stain
Rinse the stain under warm water or use a clean cloth dipped in warm water to wet the stain.
Step 2: Mix a Cleaning Solution
When it comes to cleaning solutions you have options. Here are a few basic solutions to consider:
- Hydrogen Peroxide (option to mix with water)
- Color Safe Bleach (follow manufacturer instructions)
- Detergent (only a few drops mixed with 2 cups of water)
Step 3: Apply Cleaning Solution
Use a clean cloth or clean toothbrush to gently apply the cleaning solution to the stain.
Step 4: Scrub
Gently scrub or blot until the stain begins to lift. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Step 5: Rinse
Rinse any lingering residue from your cleaning solution under clean water.
Step 6: Dry
Air dry in a dry place with sunlight.
Air dry shoes to ensure the stain has lifted. Some shoes are safe to machine dry, however heat will set stubborn stains, so it’s best to air dry to ensure the stain is gone before applying any heat. A dry location next to a heating vent or fan is a perfect spot for air drying shoes.
RELATED: How to clean white shoes
How to Get Blood Stains Out of Leather Shoes
If you’re faced with a blood stain on leather shoes, it’s a good idea to invest in a specialty leather cleaner to remove the stain. leather can’t be cleaned with the same cleaning agents as other materials like canvas, rubber, or plastic. As always, it’s a good idea to test your leather cleaner on an inconspicuous spot before fully going in on your leather shoes!
- Leather cleaner
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Remove as Much Blood as Possible
Before you apply your cleaner, dab the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the blood as possible.
Step 2: Apply Leather Cleaner
Apply leather cleaner to the stain according to product instructions.Step 3: Allow to Dry
Allow the cleaner to air dry away from sunlight and direct heat.
RELATED: How to clean a leather jacket
How to Get Blood Stains Out of Suede Shoes
For suede shoes, the process to remove blood stains is even more delicate than leather. It’s best to avoid water or liquid cleaners as much as possible when removing stains from suede shoes.
- Toothbrush or Suede Brush
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Blot Up Excess Blood
Use a clean cloth to absorb and dab away as much of the blood as possible.
Step 2: Apply Powder
Pile cornstarch (or baking soda) liberally over the stain and allow it to sit and absorb overnight.
Step 3: Brush Away
Use a clean toothbrush or a suede brush to brush away any remaining powder, removing the stain from the suede.
Step 4: Repeat As Necessary
Repeat as needed until the stain is completely gone.
RELATED: How to clean a suede jacket
How to Get Blood Stains Out of Rubber Shoes or Sandals
Rubber shoes and sandals are great when it comes to stain removal. Because they can be fully immersed in water, they are relatively simple to clean.
- Bucket, basin, or sink
- Dish Soap
Step 1: Fill the Basin
Fill a bucket or other basin with warm water and about a tablespoon of dish soap.
Step 2: Soak Shoes
Put your rubber shoes into the bucket to let them soak. You may want to weigh them down with something heavy and waterproof like a couple of rocks so they stay fully submerged.
Step 3: Scrub
Use a toothbrush or clean cloth to scrub away the blood stain.
Step 3: Use Hydrogen Peroxide
If any evidence of the stain remains, use hydrogen peroxide and a clean cloth to scrub away the remaining blood.
Step 3: Air Dry
Leave them in a dry location away from direct sunlight to air dry completely.
RELATED: How to clean sandals
Not necessarily. If the stain hasn’t yet been exposed to hot water or high temperatures, there might still be a chance to remove the stain. The longer the stain sits, however, the more difficult it will be to remove.
White vinegar might help remove fresh blood stains,but it won’t be as effective as hydrogen peroxide.
Yes, Dawn dish soap will help remove blood stains on certain fabrics. Start by running the stain under clean water, then use a brush to scrub a drop of dish soap into the stain. Rinse again and repeat as necessary.