Whether you work hard, play hard or just work around the house and yard – having an accident that results in bleeding is an eventual certainty. Blood stains in clothes doesn't have to mean they're ruined – learn how to get blood stains out of clothes so you don't have to throw them away or turn them into rags!

Like most stains, how to get blood stains out of clothes is a function of timing. If the stain is new or recent (i.e. still wet) it should be treated one way, if the stain is old, dried and set – it should be treated another. Through the course of this article, we'll look at both.

Remove Wet Blood Stains -

It's important with blood stains to remember two things, keep the stain wet and do not apply heat. Dried, "set" blood stains are much more difficult to remove. If you have a wet blood stain, check your house for the following things: peroxide, vinegar, salt and paper towels (or something else highly absorbent).

· There are a couple of approaches when using peroxide to get blood stains out of clothes. One is to soak the stain in pure peroxide for 15-20 minutes then wash normally in cold water with detergent. If the stain is fresh and in small supply this tends to work well and requires the least amount of physical effort.

· Another way is to pour some peroxide directly onto the stain where it will begin to bubble, allow it to bubble for 10-15 seconds then dab with a paper towel. The peroxide and bubbling action should lift the stain off the fabric and is absorbed/removed when you soak it up with the paper towel. Once the stain is gone (or almost entirely gone), follow up with a run through the wash cycle on cold with detergent.

· Soaking in saltwater is another suggestion. Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to a bowl of cold water and soak. As the blood is lifted out of the fabric, dump the water and repeat as often as needed. Once finished, wash normally in cold water with detergent.

· Vinegar works well for some too, but be warned – vinegar can be damaging to clothing. Apply vinegar directly to the stain. As the stain begins to break up dab it something absorbent (like a paper towel or cloth). Once the stain is gone, rinse with cold water and dab with a different paper towel/cloth. Repeat until the vinegar smell is removed.

Remove Dried Blood Stains –

If the stain is old, already dried and/or has been run through the wash and "set" after going through the dryer it'll take some effort to get the blood stains out of your clothes.

· Wet the area with peroxide and sprinkle enough baking soda on the stain to make a paste. Find a brush (like an old toothbrush) and mix it into the stain. Perform this process from both sides, rinse with cold water and peroxide and repeat until the stain is gone. Wash in cold water with detergent and dry.

· I haven't tested this myself, but some have suggested using Milton sterilizing tables, the kind used for cleansing baby bottles. Place the garment in a large pan (or bucket) of cold water, add 2 Milton tablets and let is set for 4 hours then wash normally.

· Last but not least there is of course commercial stain removers that you can use to get blood stains out of clothes though these tend to have mixed results. I've heard people mention Zout Stain Remover and OxiClean as working well to get blood stains out of clothes.

Just remember when trying to get any blood stain out, after washing – always tumble dry. Don't apply heat. You can repeat the stain removal process repeatedly as needed but once heat is applied your chances of successfully removing the stain diminish significantly. Also when applying detergents, chemicals or substances to clothes always try them on an inconspicuous area first to ensure they don't damage the fabric.

Now you know how to get blood stains out of clothes! Have butter stains? Learn how to get butter stains out of clothes – how to remove butter stains.