How to remove blood stains from car upholstery

When your car upholstery ends up with bloodstains, it can be unappealing to look at. Depending on the type of car upholstery that you have, some methods when cleaning a bloodstain are better than others. It is vital to deal with blood stains right away, as fresh ones are the easiest to remove. If left for some time, along with heat, a bloodstain can set deeply in the upholstery, resulting in an undesirable permanent mark.

Read further to learn the different ways on how to remove blood stains from car upholstery effectively.

5 ways how to get rid of blood stains from car seats made of cloth

If you have gotten blood on your car upholstery, you can remove it in 5 ways. You can get rid of the blood with cold saltwater, you can use water with detergent, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide or meat tenderizer paste also removes blood.

Techniques on how to remove blood stains from car upholstery made of cloth

Let us now take a look at the techniques on how to remove blood stains from car upholstery that are cloth-based.

1# Using cold saltwater

  • Blot the site of the stain using a cloth or paper towel to remove excess blood. Avoid rubbing since this will spread the blood or drive it deeper into the upholstery. Perform dabbing motions to remove as much blood as possible, changing the paper towel or cloth as needed. 
  • Prepare a saltwater solution. Combine 2 teaspoons of salt with a cup of cold water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Remember that warm or hot water can set the blood stain permanently to the car upholstery. Make sure that you will use cool water when applying the solution on the stain. 
  • Spritz the saltwater solution on the stained area. If you do not have a spray bottle, dip a white cloth into the saltwater solution and blot on the stained area, changing the cloth, as necessary. 
  • Blot the site with a dry cloth to soak up the excess solution. Repeat spraying and blotting until the blood stain vanishes or the cloth does not absorb blood anymore. 
  • Rinse the stain thoroughly. Utilize a cloth moistened with cold water to rinse the remaining solution from the spot. Dab on the site to draw out the excess solution. 
  • Use a paper towel or dry cloth on the site by pressing it on the stained area. If the stain lingers, it might be a permanent stain but a stronger method can be effective. 
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2# Using a dish detergent/water solution

  • Prepare a solution by mixing a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with 2 cups of cold water. 
  • Soak a white cloth into this solution and apply it to the stained area. 
  • Brush the area gently, ideally with a toothbrush. Avoid brushing vigorously which can cause the stain to spread or permanently set into the upholstery.
  • Use a clean, moist cloth to rinse the solution in dabbing motions. For a stubborn stain, reapply the solution and scrub again using a toothbrush. Rinse the site again with a clean, moist cloth.
  • Utilize a cloth moistened with cold water and rinse the leftover solution. Rinse carefully with dabbing actions.
  • Use a towel to dry the site, blot the site to pull out excess moisture.

3# Using baking soda

  • Prepare a solution by mixing 1 part baking soda and 2 parts cold water. 
  • With a clean cloth, apply this solution on the site. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Use a cloth moistened with cold water. Dab on the site until you have removed as much of the stain as possible.
  • Utilize a dry towel to blot any leftover moisture. 

4# Using a meat tenderizer paste

  • Combine 1 tablespoon of meat tenderizer with 2 teaspoons of cold water to create a paste. Mix thoroughly until a uniform consistency is achieved. Meat tenderizer is suitable for removing old bloodstains. 
  • Utilize your fingers to spread the paste gently on the stain. Leave it in place for an hour. 
  • Use a dry cloth to remove the leftover paste, being careful not to spread or reapply the stain that was drawn out and soaked up by the meat tenderizer. 
  • With a cloth moistened with cold water, lightly dab until you no longer draw out any paste or stain. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Use a dry towel to blot on the site to lift away excess moisture. 

5# Using hydrogen peroxide 

  • Moisten the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for up to 30 seconds. Hydrogen peroxide should be used as the last option which has bleaching properties but it can weaken the fabric or even discolor it. Do not forget to test it on a small concealed area. 
  • Blot the site with a clean, dry cloth. If the stain lingers, reapply hydrogen peroxide and blot until the stain vanishes. 
  • With a clean cloth moistened with cold water, rinse out the leftover solution thoroughly. 
  • Dry the site by blotting with a dry towel to pull out excess moisture and allow to air dry. 

How to get rid of bloodstains on vinyl car upholstery

If you have vinyl upholstery, simply use these techniques in getting rid of bloodstains. 

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Using ammonia/dishwashing liquid detergent

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and a tablespoon of ammonia in a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with cold water and mix thoroughly. 
  • Spritz the solution on the stained area and let it sit for up to 5 minutes. This will allow the solution to work deeply into the site, cleaning it thoroughly.
  • Scrub carefully using a toothbrush.
  • Blot the site with a clean cloth. 
  • Rinse the leftover solution using a cloth moistened with cold water. 
  • Dab a dry towel on the site to draw out the remaining moisture and allow to air dry.

Methods to get rid of blood stains on leather car upholstery

For those who have leather car upholstery, you can try out these cleaning methods.

Using dish soap and water method

  • Combine ½ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap with a small amount of water. Mix thoroughly until the soap is fully absorbed by the water. 
  • Agitate the solution until suds form. 
  • Dip a soft cloth into the foamy suds and saturate it thoroughly before attempting to remove the stain.
  • Using the foamy cloth, wipe the stain repetitively using light pressure until it transfers on the rag. For persistent stains, repeat the process a few times. 
  • Use a clean, moist cloth to rinse any leftover solution. 
  • With a dry towel, use it to get rid of excess moisture. 
  • Apply a leather conditioner to prevent future stains and sealing in some moisture to prevent cracking over time. 

Using cream of tartar

  • Prepare a mixture by combining 1 part cream of tartar with 1 part lemon juice to create a paste. Cream of tartar is useful for getting rid of deep-colored stains on leather. 
  • Dab the paste using a toothbrush on the site and carefully rub. Leave it in place for 10 minutes.
  • Use a moist cloth to remove the paste. If the stain lingers, reapply the paste until the stain vanishes.
  • Rinse any leftover paste with a damp cloth. 
  • Use a dry towel to soak up leftover moisture after the rinsing. 
  • Apply a leather conditioner to seal in moisture to prevent cracking as well as prevent future stains. 


How do you remove old bloodstains?

Old or dried bloodstains can be harder to remove, but it is still possible with the following steps.

  • Soak the stain in water. Agitate the fabric carefully using your finger while holding the garment under cold, running water. This works by lifting the fibers of the fabric and allowing the stain to come out readily. Remember to avoid picking at the stain. If there is a wide area of dried blood in the fabric, it can be removed by either the running water or in the next step. Picking at the fabric will damage the fibers which would put a hole in the garment. 
  • After saturating the stain in cold running water, you must soak the garment in oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean) or any enzyme-based cleaner for a few minutes. 
  • After soaking, wash the garment as usual in warm or cool water.
  • Hang the garment to dry and check if the stain is completely removed. 
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In some cases, you have to launder the garment in the washer several times before the stain is fully removed. 

Does glycerin remove blood stains?

Glycerin can be used to remove blood stains on upholstery. Let us take a look at the steps below.

  • With a cool, moist sponge or cloth, carefully blot on the bloodstain. Avoid scrubbing since this will drive the blood deeper into the upholstery. Start on the outside border of the stain and steadily work inwards. You can utilize a toothbrush to scrape away any leftover residue before blotting. 
  • Prepare a mixture by combining a cup of cold water with a small amount of club soda. Pour this on the stained area. With a sponge, continue to blot on the stain carefully.
  • Repeat Step 2 as the stain fades. Stop blotting once it no longer draws out blood from the site. 
  • Combine 80% water, 10% glycerin and 10% laundry detergent in a bowl. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. 
  • Spray 2-3 times directly on the stained area. Scrub using a sponge in circular motions to steadily lighten the stain.
  • Once the stain is removed, pour cold water onto the site and pat dry using a towel. 

You can store the mixture of water, glycerin, and detergent for future use. 

Can vinegar remove blood stains?

When dealing with bloodstains, it is a simple task. The trick is to remove the stain right away before it dries up. When the stain dries up, it will be harder to remove, especially after 24 hours. 

Luckily, a common household product, namely white vinegar can be used to effectively remove blood stains. 

  • Before the blood dries up, pour vinegar on the site.
  • Leave it in place to soak for 5-10 minutes while blotting it using a moist cloth.
  • Repeat this process several times as needed until the stain vanishes. 
  • Once the stain is completely gone, wash the fabric normally in cold water. 

Final thoughts

Depending on the type of car upholstery that you have, it is vital to get rid of any bloodstains right away. Remember that fresh stains are easier to remove than dried up stains. With the techniques discussed on how to remove blood stains from car upholstery, you can readily deal with the stains whether you have cloth, vinyl, or leather upholstery effectively.

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