A period emergency, a bad papercut, or another unpleasant accident that’s caused bleeding — these are just a few examples of instances when blood can accidentally get on your office chair upholstery.
And when that happens, how can you clean it up?
If you’re scrubbing your fingers raw trying to remove that pesky bloodstain but are still coming up unsuccessful, don’t fret.
Below we’ve made a list of 6 simple ways you can get blood out of an office chair. We also address several of the dos and don’ts of bloodstain removal, as well as answer some FAQs from users.
Read on to learn more!
Table of Contents
- What makes blood so tough to remove from upholstery?
- A detailed guide to removing blood stains from your office chair
- Bloodstain removal FAQs:
- The bottom line
What makes blood so tough to remove from upholstery?
Bloodstains are what we call “organic stains” or protein stains.
A few common examples of other protein stains are sweat, feces, and urine.
Hemoglobin is a certain type of protein that exists in the blood. It’s what gives the blood its red color — it’s also what allows the clotting mechanism that stops wounds from bleeding out.
Unfortunately, this clotting mechanism is also what binds blood to any surface on which it’s spilled. This is what makes it so tough to remove.
It’s easier to get blood out when it’s fresh as opposed to when it’s dried. However, removing dried blood isn’t such a hopeless task — your techniques will just be a little different.
A detailed guide to removing blood stains from your office chair
Before you can proceed with cleaning your office chair, there are several things you need to keep in mind.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Make sure to protect your hands from harsh chemicals and cleaners by wearing gloves. Long-sleeved shirts and goggles are also a few other protective pieces of equipment you can use to safeguard yourself from harm and/or contamination.
- Consider the materials that make up your office chair. Leather is especially sensitive to harsh cleaners, so you want to make sure that the cleaning technique and products you use are compatible with your chair type.
- A good rule of thumb is to try out the mildest upholstery cleansers before moving on to stronger solutions. This helps prevent unwanted damages and possible discolorations.
- Don’t wet the affected area with water. Only keep it slightly damp to avoid “pushing” the bloodstain deeper into your office chair stuffing.
- Using hot water will only help the bloodstain set onto your office chair surface, so avoid using it at all costs.
- Don’t rub or scrub the chair surface too much. This can cause your office chair surface to wear — it may also cause the skin on your hands to tear. Blotting is the best technique to use when cleaning out blood.
- Using colored rags to clean out bloodstains can possibly make things worse. This is because dyes can get caught up in your office chair upholstery, therefore adding to the stain. As much as possible, use a white clean cloth to remove blood stains.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the best ways to get blood out of an office chair. We’ll be including the tools and products that you can use for your reference. It’s up to you if you use them or not — however, we do recommend that you do.
So, without further ado…
1/ Using isopropyl alcohol
- Grab a cloth or a cotton ball and dampen it with rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol to the affected area. Make sure not to get it too wet — just damp enough that the blood starts transferring from the office chair surface to the white cloth.
- For much tougher stains, you may need to rub the affected area. Not too hard, just enough. Make sure to only scrub in one direction. Avoid circular motions as this can damage the office chair upholstery.
- Continue rubbing and blotting until no gets transferred to the cloth anymore.
If this method doesn’t work, there are others you can try.
2/ Using cold water
- Fill the spray bottle with clean cold water. Spray some water on the affected area, but make sure not to get it too soaked.
- When you start blotting, work your way from the edges to the center of the stain. Avoid scrubbing when you’re using cold water as this can cause damage to the chair surface.
- If you’re dealing with a tough stain, try using a wet and dry vacuum to clean out the blood.
- Repeat the steps until the stain is no longer visible.
3/ Using washing soda
- Mix three parts washing soda and one part water, make a paste in a bowl. Spread the paste all over the affected area — make sure that it’s fully covered.
- Let the paste sit for at least an hour. But if you aren’t in hurry to get it cleaned, you can leave the paste on overnight
- When the paste has dried, use your white cleaning rag to wipe away the solution. If the stain isn’t fully gone, you can repeat the steps above until you’re left with a clean surface.
- Use a damp cloth to remove residual soda.
4/ Using dish detergent
- Mix one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with two cups of water in a mixing bowl or basin.
- Remove any dry blood crusts from the chair surface with the rough side of the sponge.
- Get your white cleaning rag and dampen it with the water and soap mixture. Dab the cloth onto the stain until the blood starts transferring to the cloth.
- Repeat step 3 until you’re happy with the results.
- Once you’re done, let the chair air dry to see if it requires more cleaning.
5/ Using hydrogen peroxide
- Take the bottle of hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stain. Make sure to cover the entire affected area — avoid soaking the fabric.
- Let the hydrogen peroxide settle for five minutes.
- Using the white cleaning rag, wipe away the excess peroxide. Blot the stain until the blood starts transferring to the white cloth.
- Using a damp cloth, wash away the remaining peroxide from the chair surface. Repeat the steps above until the chair is completely clean.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your chair upholstery is made of dark or vivid colors, this technique might not be the best choice. The bleaching properties present in hydrogen peroxide can cause permanent damage to the office chair color and material.
6/ Using enzymes
If you’re unfamiliar with enzymes, they are essentially proteins that are designed to break down other proteins like sweat, urine, feces, vomit, and — of course — blood.
For this method, you will need to purchase some kind of detergent that contains enzymes. One such product is the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent above or anything that uses an enzyme-rich formula.
- Mix two tablespoons of Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent in two cups of water.
- Dampen your cleaning rag with the soap and water mixture. Apply the mixture to the affected area until blood starts to transfer from the chair to the cloth.
- Repeat the same process until all the blood has been cleaned out.
- Let dry to see if the stain has been completely removed.
Bloodstain removal FAQs:
Does salt get blood stains out?
Salt can do a decent job at removing minor bloodstains. However, if you’re dealing with a bigger, tougher stain, you’ll need something stronger like hydrogen peroxide.
Does vinegar remove old blood stains?
White vinegar is one of the best natural stain removers you can find. That being said, it’s not always the best product to use when it comes to blood stain removal.
If you’re cleaning a surface with a cotton covering, vinegar might cause the material to break down and tear.
It’s best to use milder solutions — such as cold water and soap mixtures — to clean out stains on softer, more delicate surfaces.
Can blood stains be permanent?
Short answer: yes.
If you leave a bloodstain unattended for too long, the blood dries and stains the deeper parts of the surface that’s been affected. This increases its likelihood of developing into a permanent stain.
Bloodstains don’t have to be a death sentence. When you happen across a bloodstain or if you get into a situation where you cause one, the methods that we mentioned above can help significantly decrease the likelihood of permanent stains on your furniture and chairs.
Consider the material that your office chair is made of before proceeding to apply cleaning solutions to its surface. This way, you can avoid unwanted damages and erosion.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.