How to Clean a Blood Stain from Car Upholstery


There are different ways to clean a blood stain from car upholstery. The method you choose will depend on the type of fabric your car seat has. Deal with the blood stain immediately. You will have a harder task removing the blood stain from your car upholstery once it sets in.

Edit Steps


Cloth Car Upholstery


Cold Saltwater Method

This process works best for fresh blood stains.

  1. Blot the stained area using a cloth or paper towel to remove the excess blood. Don’t rub, just blot as rubbing might spread the blood stain. Try to remove as much of the blood as you can and change the cloth when needed.
  2. Mix 2 teaspoons of salt with 1 cup of cold water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Hot or even warm water can set the blood stain permanently to your car upholstery.
  3. Spray the saltwater solution on the stained area. If you don’t have a spray bottle, dip a clean, white cloth on the saltwater solution and blot it on the affected area.
    • If you are working on a large stain, start on the edges and work your way towards the center; this is a strategy to contain the stain and to prevent it from spreading.
  4. Blot the area with a dry cloth to absorb the solution. Repeat the spraying and blotting until the blood stain is gone or the cloth is not absorbing any more blood.
  5. Use a cloth damped with cold water to rinse the remaining solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Use a dry towel or cloth to dry the area. If the stain is still visible do the other stronger methods.


Detergent and Water Method

Liquid dish-washing detergent mixed with water can effectively clean the blood stain from your car upholstery.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish washing detergent with 2 cups of cold water in a large bowl to make a detergent solution.
  2. Soak a clean, white cloth with the solution and apply it to the affected area.
  3. Gently brush the stained area with a toothbrush. Do not scrub too hard, as this might cause the stain to spread or go deeper into the fabric of your car seat.
  4. Blot the area with a clean, wet cloth to rinse the solution. Repeat the applying, scrubbing and rinsing process, if needed.
  5. Use a cloth damped with cold water to rinse the remaining solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Use a cloth towel to dry the area.


Baking Soda Method

Baking soda’s chemical properties make it a great help in removing blood stains. It is also natural, safe to use and inexpensive.

  1. Mix 1 part baking soda and two parts cold water in a large bowl to make a solution.
  2. Apply the solution on the stained area using a clean cloth. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Use a cloth damped with cold water to rinse the remaining solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.


Meat Tenderizer Method

This method can be used to remove old blood stains. Blood contains protein and meat tenderizer breaks down protein. This makes meat tenderizer an effective blood stain removal agent.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of meat tenderizer with 2 teaspoons of cold water in a small bowl to make a paste.
  2. Spread the paste on the blood stain and gently rub it with your fingers. Let it sit for 1 hour.
  3. Brush off the excess paste with a cloth.
  4. Use a cloth damped with cold water to remove the remaining paste. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.


Hydrogen Peroxide Method

Hydrogen peroxide works great on blood stains but use it as a last resort because it has bleaching properties that can weaken the fabric of your car upholstery. Make sure to pretest on a hidden spot on the upholstery.

  1. Moisten the affected area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  2. Blot the foamy substance with a clean dry cloth. Repeat the applying and blotting process until the blood stain on the car seat is gone.
  3. Use a cloth damped with cold water to rinse the remaining solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.


Vinyl Car Upholstery


Ammonia and Dish-washing Liquid Detergent Method

Ammonia is a strong cleaner that can break down the protein in blood. But remember to first dilute it with water and pretest on a small hidden spot on the car upholstery.

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of dish-washing liquid and 1 tablespoon of ammonia in a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with cold water.
  2. Spray the solution on the blood stain and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the affected area with a toothbrush.
  4. Blot the spot with a clean cloth. Repeat the spraying, scrubbing and blotting process until the blood stain is gone.
  5. Use a cloth damped with cold water to rinse the remaining solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.


Leather Car Upholstery


Dish-washing Soap and Water Method

Soapy water can effectively remove blood stains from leather. Use only mild soap.

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish washing soap with a small amount of water in a small bowl to make a solution.
  2. Stir the solution until lots of soap suds are formed.
  3. Dip a soft cloth on the soap suds.
  4. Gently wipe the blood stain with the soapy cloth. Repeat the process when necessary.
  5. Use a clean damp cloth to rinse off the solution. Make sure to rinse the area thoroughly.
  6. Use a dry towel to extract the moisture.
  7. Follow up with a leather conditioner. This will help prevent future stains and seal some added moisture into the leather to prevent it from cracking over time.


Cream of Tartar Method

Cream of tartar can remove deep-colored stains like blood from leather.

  1. Mix 1 part cream of tartar with 2 parts lemon juice in a small bowl to make a paste.
  2. Use a toothbrush to apply the paste and gently rub on the blood stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Brush off the paste with a damp rag. Repeat the applying, rubbing process until the stain is gone.
  4. Use a clean damp cloth to rinse off the remaining paste. Make sure to rinse the area thoroughly.
  5. Use a dry towel to extract the moisture.
  6. Follow up with a leather conditioner. This will help prevent future stains and seal some added moisture into the leather to prevent it from cracking over time.


Edit Tips

  • If the blood stain is already dry, scrape or brush off as much of the crusted matter as you possibly can before proceeding with the removal method.
  • If you use commercial spot or stain remover for blood stains, make sure they are made from proteins.
  • Remember to keep whatever cleaning solution to a minimal to prevent too much liquid going into the car upholstery.


Edit Warnings

  • Do not use anything hot on blood stains. The heat will cook the protein that is in the blood and this will cause the stain to set in.
  • Do not use an alkaline cleaner on your leather upholstery as it may damage the finish.
  • Never mix ammonia and chlorine bleach. It will result to hazardous fumes.
  • Avoid using oil-based cleaners for vinyl as it can cause the vinyl to harden.
  • Do not inhale ammonia, it is hazardous.
  • When handling blood that is not yours, wear protective gloves to protect yourself from the risk of catching blood borne diseases.
  • Be cautious when working with leather as its surface is very delicate and can easily get damaged.
  • Avoid using harsh detergents, solvents and abrasives on vinyl or leather upholstery as this can cause damage on the material.


Edit Things You’ll Need

  • White cloths (all methods)
  • Cloth towel (all methods)
  • Salt (Cold Saltwater method)
  • Paper towels (Cold Saltwater method)
  • Spray bottle (Cold Saltwater, Ammonia and Dish-washing Liquid Detergent methods)
  • Liquid dish washing detergent (Detergent and Water, Ammonia and Dish-washing Liquid Detergent methods)
  • Toothbrush (Detergent and Water, Ammonia and Dish-washing Liquid Detergent methods)
  • Ammonia (Ammonia and Dish-washing Liquid Detergent method)
  • Large bowl (Detergent and Water, Baking Soda methods)
  • Baking soda (Baking Soda method)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (Hydrogen Peroxide method)
  • Small bowl (Meat Tenderizer method)
  • Meat tenderizer (Meat Tenderizer method)
  • Cream of tartar (Cream of Tartar method)
  • Lemon juice (Cream of Tartar method)
  • Leather conditioner (Dish-washing Soap and Water method)


Edit Related wikiHows


Edit Sources and Citations


Article Tools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>