Blood-Stains: Laundry Problems On The Ranch (and maybe your house too!)

by Tammy Taylor

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 I think it goes without saying that there are some laundry problems on the ranch that are a little more specific to our lives here than, say, the typical suburban household.  For instance it’s not only common but typical for our clothes to be hit with cow manure.  Hey, if you’re in the chute trying to work a cow when she lets loose, something’s gonna get hit!  (well, HOPEFULLY the typical suburban household doesn’t have to deal with that particular stain anyway…  LOL)   But some stains that are very prevalent here on the ranch are probably the same laundry monsters you may be dealing with in your own home.  One such laundry problem for us is blood, but I have a secret for getting most blood stains out of our clothes…

I've discovered a secret for getting blood stains out of our clothes - EASILY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Recently RancherMan was reworking some fences and one of those sharp barbs got him.
When you’re wrestling a barbed-wire fence it’s just the way it is – sooner or later one of those barbs is gonna bite!  It wasn’t a deep cut thankfully, just enough to draw blood.  Being the RancherMan that he is he just looked down at his arm, saw the blood and wiped it on his shirt.  (sigh…)

I've discovered a secret for getting blood stains out of our clothes - EASILY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

He finished working on the fence before he came back to the house so as soon as I saw this blood stain on his shirt I knew I’d better start treating it since prompt action is vital to successfully removing a stain.  Now I must say that my homemade laundry detergent does a dang good job of cleaning our ranch clothes, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at its effectiveness.  (although it’s difficult for me to find Fels Naptha in our area, I’ve seen it online * here)

Aaaanyway, even if you’ve got a rockin’ laundry detergent sometimes you need a little extra cleaning power, and today looks like it’s going to be one of those days.  I had him remove his shirt and I took it into the bathroom and poured a little peroxide directly on those blood spots.  Now I’m not a chemist or anything, but I’ve read there’s something about a protein in the blood reacting with the peroxide blah, blah, blah.  I don’t need to know WHY it works, I just want it to work!

I've discovered a secret for getting blood stains out of our clothes - EASILY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

So, after I let the peroxide soak on the stain for about 10 minutes I threw that shirt into the washer with some of my magical homemade laundry detergent.  I know that heat will set a stain so I set the water temperature dial to cold.  Then I turn the cycle dial to “soak”.

I love that my washer has this option.  But even if yours doesn’t you can let it fill and begin to agitate, then stop the washer for a few minutes to get the same result.  I don’t know if soaking is even necessary after the pretreatment I’ve already done on the shirt.  But it’s an extra step I always use when I’ve got something stained and want to give it an extra chance to get GONE.  After the washer goes through the soak cycle I wash as normal (again in COLD water) and use the high-spin option to get as much of the rinse water as possible out of the cloth.

I've discovered a secret for getting blood stains out of our clothes - EASILY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Now it’s time to dry this load.  For environmental reasons I always line-dry my clothes.  I discovered years ago how much energy a dryer takes for a single cycle and although we have a nice higher-end dryer I’ve not turned it on in years.  Now my clothes-drying method of choice is especially important with this load.  (remember above when I warned that heat will permanently set the stain??) 

So I hang the clean laundry on our *retractable clothesline and wait for it to dry.  If you don’t have a clothesline you’ll want to air dry your previously-stained item – perhaps a folding clothes rack or even hang the shirt on a plastic hanger with plenty of air to circulate around it.

VOILA!  No more blood stains.  If there did happen to remain any hint of the stain I can simply pretreat again since I’ve not heated this stain in the dryer to permanently set it, although that’s seldom necessary.  Now thankfully RancherMan’s way-too frequent skirmishes with our fences have never resulted in a full-on gusher.  But for the blood stains we deal with here on the ranch this treatment method has never failed me.

I've discovered a secret for getting blood stains out of our clothes - EASILY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

So to recap, to treat blood stains on your clothes…

  • Treat the stain immediately
  • Pour peroxide on the blood stain (first test material for color-fast)
  • Let the peroxide soak into blood stain for approximately 10 minutes
  • Place item in washer and let soak for at least 10 minutes IN COLD WATER
  • Wash as normal (IN COLD WATER)
  • Air dry (DO NOT PLACE IN DRYER)

So there ya go, a little secret weapon I’ve discovered to battle one of our common laundry monsters – blood stains.  It’s inexpensive, doesn’t require the purchase of a specialty product, and it’s been very effective for us. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

~TMH~

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32 thoughts on “Blood-Stains: Laundry Problems On The Ranch (and maybe your house too!)

  1. Charlene Asay

    I need these tips. My husband is a vet and we live on a farm. Thanks for sharing. I would like to invite you to link up with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up Party. Sunday-Wednesday. Check us out http://thinking-outside-the-pot.com/?p=2808

    Reply
  2. Jamie Marie

    I am going to admit something slightly uncool about myself right now! My family considers ourselves to be homesteaders, but I can’t stand line dried clothes and bed clothes! Everything is so stiff and itchy! I hope my homesteading friends will not think less of me! Lol, great post on removing stains, thanks for sharing on the homesteader hop!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      There’s no judgement on this site Jamie – you don’t have to spin your own wool or resort to an outhouse to homestead right where you are, city or country. I think where line-dried laundry is involved you either love it or you don’t, and that’s ok! We love it, and I especially love both the fresh aroma as well as the crisp feel of sheets after they’ve been line dried. And doing laundry the way we do has the added bonus of saving money since I’m not running the dryer, making our clothes last longer since they’re not being beat up by the dryer and my most favorite benefit: the sweet memories of helping my beloved grandmother hang up her laundry when I was a child. But we’re not all in the same place, we don’t all like the same things. Bloom where you’re planted! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Tracey Torres

    Great post! I love your blog. Vinegar poured directly on the stain is one of the most effective methods to clean blood. Blot until the stain is removed and rinse with water to remove the vinegar smell. I have read some method with baking soda, too. Greetings!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ll have to give that a try sometime Tracey, I’ve never heard of that before. I know the peroxide has been screamingly successful for most of our random blood stains in our clothing.

      Reply
  4. Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

    It’s always good to have some stain removal tips up my sleeve since I have two kids! Thanks so much for sharing your tips at Share The Wealth Sunday! xoxo Lisa

    Reply
  5. Elaine

    I have been using peroxide on blood stains for years!! Thanks for Linking up at My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week!! Pinned!

    Reply
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  7. Terri Presser

    Thanks for sharing these great tips, am bookmarking it for when I need it. Thanks for linking up at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    Reply
  8. Donna Allgaier-Lamberti

    The best and cheapest stain remover I haave ever stumbled upon (I was desperate and had tried everything I had in the house!) is Lava bar soap. I wet the clothing, wet the bar of lava and rub it in and let it sit. I might have to repeat this several times but it works 99% of the time. No chemicals and very very frugal! For oil and grease I use Pine Sol poured on the stain right from the bottle. It really cuts the grease and oil. Works every time! These are trial and error techniques found through 64 years of home keeping!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      RancherMan recently had a favorite shirt that had a stain right on front (looked like coffee splash to me…) Since I make my own laundry detergent and it works wonderfully 99.9% of the time, I took a partially-used bar of the Fels Naptha bar I use in that detergent recipe, wet it & treated the stain like you do with the lava soap. I held my breath & ran the shirt through the washer. I was very pleased to see the stain disappeared completely! Coffee stains can sometimes be tricky. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Sandra

    Thanks for sharing your laundry tips at the HomeAcre Hop this week! Will be sharing on our HomeAcre Hop Faves Pinterest Board.

    Reply
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  12. Simple Nature Decor

    Great tip! Love this i have lots of stain issues! From doing lots of DIY’s. Thanks for sharing this in my Fabulous Friday Party Thanks Maria

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      It’s made a big difference to some of our laundry stains. Of course you want to check to make sure the clothing is color safe since peroxide can fade non color-safe fabrics, but we’ve never had a problem with any of the fabrics we’ve treated here. ~TMR~

      Reply
  13. ColleenB.

    tomato juice also works on removing the skunk smell; been there, done that. Don’t know if I would want to give a dog a bath in tomato juice or not; especially a white dog. You’re just going have to train Bailey to stay away from them skunks. Good luck with that one as dogs like to chase anything and everything. Sometimes just too curious for their own good. We just had a couple sprinkles of rain but it’s still Hot out. Not enough drops to even get the sidewalk good and wet :{ We sure could use a good couple inches or more. I’m trying to stay cool. Working inside making greeting cards

    Reply
  14. ColleenB.

    Barb wire is nothing to mess around with when it comes to getting a cut or scrape. I remember when I was younger I had to go get a shot due to rusty barb wire. Not fun at all….I hate having shots I remember my mother always had hydrogen peroxide on hand of which she used for number of uses including being encountered by a skunk; human or your dog. Just mix a fresh 16 oz. bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and a tsp. of dish soap to clean your dog. The skunk odor disappears and your loveable pet is once again allowed in the house. :} One nice thing about HP is good for a great number of uses. Between vinegar and HP they are a couple of my best cleaning products. To ward off fungus from your plants; add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants. Use 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide added to one gallon of water for your plants.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Good to hear from you, my friend. 🙂 And yes you’re certainly right Colleen, lots of dangers messing with barbed wire – especially if it’s rusty. I’ve heard about your skunk-spray remedy before and wondered if it worked, especially since we now have RancherDog Bailey. Sooner or later we know it’s coming… LOL Good to know it really works. Stay cool today, it’s supposed to be a hot one. ~TMR~

      Reply
  15. Tracy @ OurSimpleLifeSC

    I have tomato juice on a white t-shirt I have laying on my washer right now…I am going to go try your method and see if I can get it out! Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Elise @frugalfarmwife.com

    Peroxide is pretty amazing stuff, eh? i found out about the peroxide-blood thing a while back – it’s like a miracle! And has saved so many of our clothes.

    Reply
  17. daisy

    I’ve used peroxide as part of a carpet cleaning mixture. Works like a charm! I miss using my clothesline in the summer. Too humid outside here to do much good! Thank you for joining us on this week’s Maple Hill Hop!

    Reply
  18. Karen

    Peroxide… Who knew? That interesting bit of info. is sure to come in handy. Recently we had to wrangle with a large tree that fell across our road. In these types of situations, my husband can sometimes end up looking like a slasher got hold of him. “Honey? What happened?” Response, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that was there.” Another reason to keep the peroxide handy. 🙂 Great tip… Thanks.

    Reply

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