Show me someone who menstruates, and I’ll show you someone who has woken up to a murder scene beneath the sheets – no horse’s heads involved. Let’s face facts, period stains are part and parcel of menstruating and can happen to menstruators young and old alike.
Whether you miscalculated Aunt Flo’s arrival, she sprung upon you with a red-velvet surprise or your tampon just wasn’t cutting it, too many cute pairs of panties have been condemned to the world’s trash cans. It’s time for a lesson in period blood stain removal, ladies!
While you’d be forgiven for thinking these pesky stains are as troublesome as red wine, they are unlike their crimson-y counterpart in that they’re actually EASY to remove – a resounding yay!
First Off, Grab Your Basic Tools!
You will need the following:
- An old toothbrush
- A small bowl
- A spoon
The most important and miracle-working weapon you’ll need at your disposal (and which also happens to be the most inconspicuous) is cold water, baby! Using hot water on blood stains is a big no-no as it will encourage the proteins to set the stain into the fabric even more, so it’s cold water rinses and machine washes all the way.
If you’ve caught a stain red-handed, as in, you’ve spotted it before it’s had time to fully dry, then you’re in luck! As soon as you can, rinse the fabric under a flowing cold water tap. The blood should dissolve easily and any residual marks can be removed with a little bit of hand soap or with a round in your washing machine. Ta da!
Whites n’ Lights
C’mon, wearing a pair of white jeans when your period was about to start was a game of Russian roulette and you know it! Luckily any splatters of crimson are easily vanquished with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide or some lemon juice. In fact, these both work well with all kinds of stains, however they can cause colors to bleach if not monitored closely, so best to use them for lights only.
Simply soak your fabric in a sink of cold water for 30 minutes, then add a few squirts of hydrogen peroxide or the juice of one lemon. Leave for another 30 mins then wring out your fabric and toss in the machine on a cold wash.
Old n’ Dry
Yes, even old, dried-in stains can be shifted with a little bit of know-how. A little more tricky than the previous steps, you’ll need some unseasoned meat tenderizer to loosen up these stains. Meat tenderizer breaks down the fibers in blood and is widely available in grocery stores, however if you can’t get a hold of any, a spot of vinegar will do! The acetic acid in vinegar works in the same way as tenderizer does in softening the blood’s fibers.
First of, soak the fabric in cold water for 1 hour, then rub a generous spoonful of tenderizer on the stain. If you’re using vinegar, soak the stain in a bowl of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Leave the fabric for 30 minutes then shake off any excess or rinse. Pop in the washing machine on a cold wash and marvel at how handy you are!
No matter how wacky your bed sheets or fluoro your undies, period stains are easily removed from the most vibrant of fabrics with just two ingredients – salt and cold water (obvs)!
Mix together 1 part water to 1 part salt until thickened. Soak the stain in cold water and then use an old toothbrush to scour the stain with your salt scrub. Stains should lift with limited effort and any residue is easily eliminated with a spin in your washing machine.
Baking soda is a miracle ingredient; it can be used to whiten your teeth, to relieve insect bites, deodorize your cat’s litter tray, and yes, to even remove blood stains! Simply mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part cold water, then smear over the stain. Leave for 30 minutes, or until dry, then scrape off the excess with that old toothbrush. The pièce de résistance? Chuck it into the machine and say “Cya later, alligator” to those pesky stains. Hazzah!
When it comes to dealing with period stains, the best offense is a good defense! Use a period tracking app so that you know when your period is looming, always keep emergency period protection in your bag and finally, consider switching to a menstrual cup. Cups give you up to 8 hours of protection and can cover your lightest to heaviest flows, making stains a lot less likely. Lily Cup Compact is excellent at safeguarding against stains as it is the only cup that is collapsible and that fits into a tiny case the size of a tin of lip balm so you can carry it with you wherever you go.
So there you have it, a leak-proof lesson in some serious adulting – you’re welcome!
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.