How to Clean Fake Blood (and Real Blood, Too) From Carpet

We want to clean your blood! (Said in our best and corniest vampire voice.) All kidding aside, Halloween can really wreak havoc on your carpet. Every holiday has its own set of unique stains and Halloween is no different. Sticky candy, makeup spills, and muddy trick-or-treat shoes are just a few of the many Halloween messes that can end up in the carpet and other soft surfaces in your home. But the scariest stain during Halloween has to be the bloody stains. In fact, the most common stain removal question we get around the Halloween holiday is, “How do you remove blood stains (fake and real) from carpet”?

How to Remove Fake Blood Stains from Carpet

Did you know fake blood is actually HARDER to remove from carpet than real blood? There are several variations and forms of fake blood available for purchase, including liquid and powders. Most store-bought fake blood products are either alcohol-based or corn syrup based and include FD&C Red #40 (red dye). Because of the permanent nature of FD&C Red #40, it is very hard to completely remove fake blood stains. The amount of time the stain is allowed to set can also impact the stain removal results. It is important to act quickly and try not to let the stain set. There are also an endless amount of homemade fake blood recipes available online. It really doesn’t matter if the fake blood is store-bought or homemade; the cleaning process, materials and recommended cleaning product are the same.

  1. Start by blotting the stain area with a white paper towel or cloth to remove excess liquid. For powder form, grab a spoon and carefully scoop up as much of the powder as you can before running a vacuum cleaner over it to suck up anything that is left.
  2. Next, use a grease and oil fighting solution like Rug Doctor Spot and Pre-Treat Dual Action Cleaner to saturate the stain.
  3. Use a white sponge or cloth to gently agitate stain. Work your way from the edge of the stain inward towards the center to contain the stain in its original area and not make it larger.
  4. Blot with a white paper towel, pressing deep into the stain.
  5. Spray water on the stain to rinse and blot with a white paper towel again, pressing deep into the stain.
  6. Allow area to dry and then repeat as needed.

If the stain is still visible after completing the listed steps above at least twice, you will need to use a portable spot cleaner. A portable spot cleaner can significantly diminish the stain further because it uses suction to extract the stain from the carpet fibers. It will provide a deep clean that can pull the stain from deep within to the carpet backing. Follow directions as indicated on the portable spot cleaner. Because the fake blood stain is one of the persistent stains, a professional-grade deep cleaner would deliver the best results. We recommend renting a Rug Doctor Pro Portable Detailer and Spot Cleaner and use with Rug Doctor Spot + Upholstery cleaning solution. This spot cleaner is designed with professional-grade suction power and has a motorized brush to help you with the scrubbing. Find a rental location near you with our rental locator.

You can take these same actions to remove other Halloween stains like makeup, food, and candy stains.

How to Remove Real Blood Stains from Carpet

Real blood is easier to remove than fake blood because of enzymatic cleaners that have been specifically developed to attack biological stains – like blood. Enzymatic formulas speed up chemical reactions that break down biological matter. There are several formulas on the market, but we recommend Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator Plus. It is a pro-enzymatic formula that is scientifically engineered to remove biological stains like urine, feces, blood and more. It works on carpets and hard floors. To remove real blood stains from carpet, follow the steps below.

  1. Act as quickly as possible, since it is harder to remove blood once it has dried and set into the carpet.
  2. Blot away any excess blood with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel. If the blood has dried, try gently scraping away with a spoon.
  3. Generously spray the stain area with Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator Plus. Be sure to thoroughly wet the area allowing the product to reach carpet backing and pad. Spray beyond the perimeter of the stained area surface in case liquids expanded below the surface. Do not blot or wipe, as enzymes need moisture to work.
  4. Place a damp white paper towel over the treated area and let dry naturally. Allow the area to remain moist overnight.
  5. Once dry, if discoloration remains, repeat steps until stain is removed.

If the stain is not removed after repeating the steps above at least twice, we recommend using a portable spot cleaner with a concentrated enzymatic cleaning solution. Renting is an option as discussed earlier with fake blood, or you can purchase one and have it handy for future stains. Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner is small and compact and perfect for biological stains like urine and blood. Use the spot cleaner with any Rug Doctor pet concentrates. All of our pet concentrates are pro-enzymatic formulas. Follow directions for spot cleaning as listed on the machine and cleaning solution bottle. If you are still experiencing discoloration, you can try blotting with 3% hydrogen peroxide.  It is very important that you carefully blot, not rub or scrub. Rubbing can damage texture of the carpet.

The above steps work for all biological stains like urine, feces, and vomit – human or pet. A bonus feature of Rug Doctor pro-enzymatic pet concentrates and sprays is it also discourages re-marking. Since the formulas are designed to break down the matter, pets have a hard time finding the area for re-marking.

Scary Blood Stains Are Scary No More

Keep this information handy. Should you find yourself in a bloody situation this Halloween, you will be ready and armed. Rug Doctor wishes you a scary, safe and Happy Halloween!