Summer's here, and we are smack dab in the middle of yard work, outdoor recreational activities, hunting and fishing. It is inevitable that we will get dirt on our hands and grass stains on our knees as we are soaking up the great outdoors in warmer weather.
Grass and mud stains are easily dealt with, but there are other stains that may get on and into clothing that need more vigorous attention. We're talking about blood stains----whether they be due to yard work injuries, hunting and fishing activities, or even falls and scrapes, one of the most difficult substances to get out of cloth is a blood stain.
While a small portion of staining might be acceptable for your outdoor wear, you don't want to have large stains threaten to ruin your outdoor look. Take these simple and effective steps to minimize staining and remove the worst of it, saving your clothing for more outdoor fun and frivolity:
Treat the stain as soon as possible
The more recent a stain, the more likely you are to be able to get it out. If you notice blood on your clothes, treat it as soon as possible to prevent drying. If you simply can't deal with it at the moment, throw the garment in some ice water and serious soak time before you attempt to remove the stain later.
NEVER place the garment in hot water to begin with
Nothing sets a good blood stain like hot water; this will literally seal the deal. Hot water will cause the stain to sink deeper into fabric, making it almost impossible to get out. Soak in cold water instead for several hours or overnight for best results.
Use running water if possible
If you notice that the stains are still fresh, remove your garment and hold it taut under cold running water. You'll be surprised at how much you can remove with this simple method of water running through the fabric. Immerse the stain in cold water for a little bath for the remaining area, and you'll see freshened fabric in no time.
Use soap....any kind
The combination of hand soap, laundry soap, or even dishwashing soap with cold water is genius when dealing with blood stains. You may have to go over it a few times, but as you continue to work the soap into the cloth and rinse, you'll see a return to lighter happier days, reflected in your newly freshened garment.
Try lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide
Both lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide are powerful bleaching agents; only use these on lighter garments, however, as they will both result in a little bit of color loss on darker garments such as jeans and jackets.
Apply some aspirin or baking soda
Both crushed aspirin and baking soda can be mixed with water to make a paste; apply to the stains and rub in, letting your garment sit overnight. Launder as usual, and you should be good to go once more.
Invest in some blood-specific products
If you are a seasoned or regular big game hunter, you are likely to get your fair share of stains on clothing. Why not invest in some oxygenated cleanser or some enzymatic cleaner as part of your regular laundry routine? Many of these tough stain products are designed to work on blood and other items that are difficult to remove; having these on hand after a gaming weekend will be in your best interest if you want to protect your hunting gear.
Use salt or saline
Both of these common household products are incredibly effective at removing blood stains when you have little else to fall back on. Simply rub a bit into the stain and let sit for at least 30 minutes before laundering as usual. Voila......you're good to go!
While it is not always ideal to have to deal with blood stains on clothing, the good news is that you now have several strategies for dealing with everything from freshly stained to deeply soiled clothing. You won't have to replace your favorite garments with these tips and tricks for getting your clothes clean. Have a great and grimy outdoor season!