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The occasional leaks and stains are just another part of life with periods. We’ve all dealt with them at some point, whether it’s on our clothes, mattress, sheets, or favorite pair of underwear.

It may seem like a lost cause, but don’t be hasty to throw anything in the trash just yet. We’ve got you covered with ways to remove and prevent these pesky surprises!

Having our periods can be stressful. Along with experiencing pain and mood swings, some of us also deal with the anxiety of potential leaks, especially during our first periods and while sleeping. And although menstrual blood stains are inconvenient, it’s good to remind ourselves that they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Having an unpredictable menstrual cycle is completely normal, and sometimes stains happen despite our very best efforts to keep them at bay.

So here are a few tips and tricks you can try not only to remove tough period blood stains, but also to prevent them from happening in the first place.

emptyHow to get period blood out of your underwear and clothes

If you find that there’s some menstrual blood in your underwear, try not to worry — there’s a solution for everything. Consider keeping a backup pair of underwear in your bag so you can change out of the stained ones and feel more comfortable; this will also give you some time to assess your options to get the blood out.

Whether it affects just your underwear or the leak spreads to your trousers as well, there are ways to remove period blood stains so that you can continue going on about your day, fearlessly.

emptyAct fast and give it the cold-water treatment

Basically, the fresher a period stain is, the easier it is to remove. So, if you do notice blood on your clothes, try dealing with it as soon as possible. Not giving the period stain an opportunity to dry will make it much easier to take care of later. If you’re running late, the best thing you could do is throw the fabric in cold water and let it soak.

The temperature of the water is key! Especially if the item is light-colored and made of lightweight materials (like cotton underwear or your go-to summer dress), cold water is your best friend. Hot water is a no-go when trying to remove a blood stain. Running fabrics under warm water will only further set the stain, making it even more challenging to remove.

emptyThe soak and blot technique. Add a dash of salt to that!

The soak and blot technique is as easy as one-two-three and works best on thicker fabric, like your jeans.

  1. To start, soak a washcloth (or any fabric you don’t use anymore) in cold water, wring it out, then blot the stain from the inside. (Remember to avoid rubbing as that will only spread the blood.) Keep blotting until there is no more blood coming off on the washcloth.
  2. Soak your garment in cold water for 30 minutes.
  3. Afterward, toss it in the washing machine with cold water and gentle detergent.

Is the stain still sticking around even after the soak and blot technique? Try salt. It has strong dehydrating properties, which means it can absorb water and blood and act as a super stain remover. You just need to make a paste of salt and cold water and apply it to the period-stained area. Let it soak for several hours, if not overnight, before throwing it in the laundry as usual.

emptyHow to get period blood out of sheets

We’ve all been there – fast asleep, minding our own business, when our period pays a surprise visit in the middle of the night... the next day there is blood all over our sheets. Ugh! It doesn’t make for the best of mornings but try to be patient, these things happen. The good news is there are some tricks to get rid of those pesky blood stains.

Remove dried blood stains with vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide

You might need something strong to tackle stains that have dried and set in on your bed sheets. Luckily, you can use common household items such as vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide. Here’s how to:

  1. Soak a sponge in vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Blot the blood-stained area.
  3. Run the stained area under cold water.
  4. Repeat until you’ve lifted as much of the stain as you can.

These ingredients work like a charm on light-colored fabrics but be aware that they can cause color loss and fading on darker ones. So, it’s a good idea to test them on a small area first just to be on the safe side.

emptyUse a stain remover

Stain removers are also a great solution! Just strip your sheets, then pour the stain-removing product of your choice directly onto the stain (you may prefer to dilute it with a little water, depending on the product application instructions) and let it sit for a few minutes to work its magic. To finish off, gently dab the spot with a wet towel, and pop the sheets in the washing machine.

emptyHow to get period blood out of your mattress

Sheets may not be the only casualty on the nights of our periods and some flows are so mighty that they may go beyond. That can seem like a terrible inconvenience given the fact that mattresses can’t be thrown in the washing machine ⁠— don’t give up your hope though! That just means that you need to make do with tackling the blood stains directly.

emptyThe magic of baking soda

Baking soda acts as a rough exfoliant, great for breaking up or spot-treating tough period stains.

  1. Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a little cold water and cover the stained part of the mattress with it (how much really depends on how large the area you are dealing with is).
  2. Allow the paste to sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush).
  4. Finish off the process with the dab and blot technique you'd use on clothes.

emptyPreventing period stains

Though staining from menstrual blood is completely normal, there are some things you can do to try to avoid the hassle altogether.

Know Your Flow

Often, it all comes down to wearing the right level of protection. If you have a super heavy flow and find that you are bleeding through, you may need to wear a higher-absorbency pad. At night time, you may want to wear a pad specially designed to give extra protection as you sleep, like our Saba® Buenas Noches™ Maxi Overnight With Wings.

Plan and Be Prepared

If you know your period is on its way, wearing liners can help prevent any blood stains, and leave you feeling dry and confident. If you’re struggling with mattress period stains, then investing in a good waterproof mattress protector can also give you some extra peace of mind while you sleep.

Picking the right period product and planning ahead can go a long way, but sometimes the unexpected happens and that’s ok. Remember that if you don’t succeed in getting rid of blood stains on your first go, try again. Like most things related to living with periods, sometimes you just need to give it more than one pass to get it right.