Whether you or your child has had an accident or you work in a caregiving environment such as an emergency room, you may find that you get blood on your clothes and shoes from time to time.
Having children means that you are likely to need to get blood out of shoes quite regularly as they run into bumps and cuts as they grow.
Bloodstains are one of the most difficult stains to remove from shoes and clothing so you may be overwhelmed at the prospect of removing them from your items.
This article looks at the best ways to remove blood stains from shoes so that you can do so with as little stress as possible. We will look at many household items and commercial products that can have your shoes looking as good as new.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
Why are Blood Stains Tricky To Remove
The hemoglobin in blood clots when it is exposed to air which is great in terms of stopping a bleed but also proves difficult for it to be removed from various surfaces.
As the blood clots, it becomes thick and sticky which means it is not easy to clean off items such as clothes and shoes.
Shoes often have little nooks and crannies around the fastenings and where the sole is attached to the main part of the shoe so getting blood all over your shoes can be a problem.
When shoes are white or light colored it can be even trickier and any attempt to clean the stain can spread it further and cause more damage.
The Best Methods to Remove Blood Stains
To remove bloodstains from shoes you will need the following items:
- Clean cloths: dark-colored microfiber cloth is best or you can use old rags
- Liquid dish soap: most people will have this in their home and it is commonly used to remove stains
- Hydrogen peroxide: this can be used on both old and new bloodstains
- Protective gloves: so that you do not irritate your hands
- Water: for rinsing and flushing items but also to protect you from the blood if it is not your own
Full Steps to Remove Bloodstains from Shoes
1. Blot The Stain With A Damp Cloth
If you have fresh blood on your shoes it is best to try to clean straightway before the blood starts to clot and the stain forms. Blotting your shoes with water using a damp cloth can help get the worst of the blood out.
You should blot rather than rub as you do not want to force the blood into the fabric. You should work from the outside of the stain so as not to spread the stain.
Even if the blood is not fresh you should make this your first step in removing bloodstains from shoes. You should use a new section of the cloth as you go along so that you do not push the blood from the cloth back into the fabric.
If necessary, you should change the cloth if there is a lot of blood to remove.
2. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide
Pouring a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto a clean cloth can help remove tough blood stains. You should follow the same dabbing motion as you followed in step one, being careful not to rub the stain and force the blood deeper into the shoe.
You should test a small area of the shoes before using hydrogen peroxide as it may damage or discolor your shoe.
You may be able to check the label on the shoe or the brand website for advice on cleaning if you are unsure of what cleaning solutions will cause damage.
For the majority of shoes, hydrogen peroxide will not cause damage.
3. Rinse With Water
Once you have finished using the hydrogen peroxide you should take another clean cloth and rinse the shoe with clean water. Once you rinse with water you should be able to see if the remaining blood has been removed effectively by the hydrogen peroxide.
If there is still some blood on the shoe then you should go back to step 2 and repeat the dabbing with hydrogen peroxide. Once again, repeat the water rinse process and look to see if the stain has come out.
4. Scrub With Liquid Soap and Water
If you are happy that the stain has been removed then use liquid soap and water to fully clean the hydrogen peroxide away from your shoes. Once again, you should use a clean cloth so you do not work any blood back into the shoes.
The steps above will mean that the shoes get wet and you should allow them to dry naturally rather than applying heat via a hairdryer or a radiator, for example. If the stain has not been removed from the shoe the heat may set the stain making it difficult to try other methods.
If the above 4 steps to removing blood from your shoes do not work then you can try one of the methods shown below.
If you happen to have talcum powder/baby powder handy then you can apply it to fresh blood by mixing it with a tiny bit of water to make a paste. The paste can be applied to the stain and will soak up the blood from the shoes.
You can use a soft brush or old toothbrush to remove the paste as it soaks up the blood.
Acetone or Rubbing Alcohol
For stubborn stains, you can use acetone/alcohol on your shoes by following the below steps
- Pour the acetone into a bowl
- Soak a clean cloth in the bowl
- Blot the stain moving from the outside in. Be careful not to rub too harshly as it will push the stain into the shoe
- Spray with hairspray to remove the most stubborn bloodstain
- Continue to blot with the acetone until the stain begins to go away
Applying ammonia to the bloodstained area can help remove difficult spots from your shoes.
You should take care to use gloves and a face mask/goggles to protect your hands and face as ammonia is a very powerful product that can affect your eyes and respiratory system.
- Pour a small amount of ammonia into a bowl of water
- Use a clean cloth to dab a little of the solution from the bowl
- Starting from the outside of the stain inwards dab the cloth onto the shoes to remove the stain
- Continue to rub the stain until it comes out. You will most likely need multiple cloths
Liquid laundry detergent is a good alternative to liquid dish soap as it can be strong enough to clear away bloodstains. Use a color-safe bleach detergent as these are designed to get rid of stubborn stains on light clothes.
- Apply a laundry detergent directly to the blood stain on your shoe
- Dab with an old soft toothbrush and leave for 20 minutes
- Take a clean cloth and dab it with water and then on to the shoe to clean away the detergent along with the blood
Distilled White Vinegar and Lemon
If you prefer using homemade solutions over commercial products distilled white vinegar is a cheap and easy solution. Vinegar, along with lemon, is a great way to clean many household items and it works well on blood stains.
This method is also very good for grass stains on white shoes.
- Mix 1 part water to 1 part distilled white vinegar into a container and squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon
- Leave to steep for 30 minutes and then spray onto the stained area
- Dab with a clean cloth dipped in water to remove the stain, following the same outside to inside method
- Rinse with a clean cloth and water to remove reminder of the vinegar and lemon solution
- Leave to air dry, in the sun if possible
Baking soda is another classic homemade cleaner as it can help lift stains from materials and get your shoes back to the way they were before your accident. Baking powder is especially good for white shoes and can revive the color of the shoes if they are beginning to look a little yellow.
- Mix baking soda with water until it makes a thick paste
- Spread the paste directly on the stain and leave for 15 minutes
- Used a soft brush or a sponge to gently dab the shoes in a circular motion to remove the stain
- Rinse with lukewarm water and allow to air dry
- Repeat this process if you can still see a stain
You will likely use a lot of water when employing this method so try blotting the shoes with a paper towel to remove excess water.
While getting blood on your shoes is an inconvenience it can be cleared up early using various household solutions. Instead of throwing your stained shoes away you can try using our easy 4-step meths to remove bloodstains or use common products such as baking soda and vinegar to revive the look of your shoes.
Last update on 2023-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API