Removing Blood from Fabric
What is the best way to remove blood from fabric?
This is a call we receive periodically, and talk about in our Laundry Training class. When dealing with blood in fabric there are several concerns to be aware of. First is how to remove the blood, but second is how we handle the item that has blood on it.
When dealing with bodily fluids we must use precautions and proper PPE to insure we do not place the person laundering the fabric at risk of blood borne pathogens. Please follow OSHA requirements for Occupational Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens.
Once the items containing blood are delivered to the laundry we can remove the blood in one of two ways. If the blood stains are occurring on a frequent basis and the volume is fairly high we can address the removal of blood in the laundry formula for the commercial washers. We do this by adding a cold water flush to the beginning of the laundry cycle. This prevents the hot water from setting the stains into the fabric and making it much more difficult to deal with. If the blood is a once in a while event we can rinse or soak the item in cold water to remove the blood.
The key here is to identify the blood before washing so we can use the correct process to remove the blood without setting the stain in the fabric.