How to remove blood stains from your car’s upholstery

Sep 16, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips
Here are handy tips and guide on how to remove blood stains from car upholstery and the household items you can use in the cleaning procedure.


Stains are absolute eyesores, especially on our car upholstery. Aside from being unpleasant to the eye, dirt and stains can give off a bad odor that can linger throughout the whole cabin. Still, no matter how much we try to avoid it, car seats still get stained. 

The good thing is that there are different ways to remove upholstery stains. This article from will focus on how you can remove blood stains from your car’s upholstery.

When dealing with blood stains, it’s strongly advised that you remove the stain as soon as you see it. Heat and time will make the stain set deeply in the upholstery, which may cause an unsightly permanent mark. 

clean car seat

Stains are absolute eyesores, especially on our car upholstery.

Before we learn about the different methods to remove blood stains, prepare the following materials:

  • Cloth towel
  • White cloth
  • Salt
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Large bowl (for mixing purposes)
  • Baking soda

>>> Check out: 10 must-have car care products.

Method 1: Use cold saltwater

Step 1. Blot the stained area with either a paper towel or a cloth. Do not rub the stain because doing so will only push the bloodstain deeper or spread it further on the upholstery. Try a dabbing motion to remove as much blood as possible. Also, change the paper towel or cloth if needed.

Blotting blood


You can use either a paper towel or a cloth to blot excess blood

Step 2. Create a saltwater solution by combining a cup of cold water and two teaspoons of salt. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Use only cold water, as warm or hot water will only allow the bloodstain to permanently set on the car upholstery. Make sure that the solution is still cold when being applied.

Salt, measuring cup and spray bottle


Create a saltwater solution by combining a cup of cold water and two teaspoons of salt

Step 3. Spray the stained area with the saltwater solution. If a spray bottle is unavailable, use a dampened clean cloth. Change the cloth as needed. If you’re dealing with a large bloodstain, start on the side then dab your way towards the center. Doing so will prevent the stain from further spreading.

Spraying car upholstery


Spray the stained area with the saltwater solution

Step 4. Repeat spraying and dabbing until the stain is completely removed or the cloth isn’t absorbing any more blood. Then, blot the affected area with a clean dry cloth to absorb the remaining solution.

Step 5. Dampen a piece of cloth with cold water to rinse the excess solution from the area. Do not scrub the affected area. Dabbing motions will be enough to draw out the remaining solution effectively.

Step 6. Dry the area using a paper towel or dry cloth. Press the stained area gently. If you see that there are still visible stains, it could mean a permanent stain. However, you can try a stronger method to eliminate the stain.

>>> Also check: Must-know steps on how to clean different types of car seats.

Method 2: Use a detergent or water solution

Step 1. Make a cleaning solution by mixing two cups of cold water and a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent.

Step 2. Apply the solution to the affected area. Dampen a piece of clean white cloth with the cleaning solution then apply it to the stained area.

Step 3. With a toothbrush, brush the affected area gently. Do not use a scrub brush because you might scrub the stain too vigorously, causing it to penetrate deeper into the fabric. Using a toothbrush will prevent you from brushing the stain too hard, thus preventing the stain from spreading or permanently setting in the car upholstery.

Brushing car upholstery


With a toothbrush, brush the affected area gently

Step 4. Rinse the solution by using a clean white cloth to blot the affected area. If the stain is still noticeable, re-apply the cleaning solution then scrub it again using the toothbrush. After scrubbing, rinse the affected area again using a clean white cloth.

Step 5. For the final rinse, use a cloth dampened with cold water. Rinse the excess cleaning solution thoroughly by dabbing the affected area.

Step 6. Dry the area using a cloth towel. Blotto pull out the remaining moisture until most of it is absorbed and removed from the upholstery.

>>> FYI: How to choose car seat cover in the Philippines: Essential Tips for Pinoy drivers.

Method 3: Use baking soda

Step 1. Mix two parts cold water and one part baking soda to create a baking soda cleaning solution. Baking soda contains chemical properties that make it an affordable and effective stain removing option.

Step 2. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the affected area. Leave it for 30 minutes before trying to rinse the stain.

Step 3. Rinse the affected area with the use of cloth completely dampened with cold water. With a dabbing motion, thoroughly rinse the affected area until you remove as much stain as possible.

Dabbing car upholstery

Rinse the affected area with the use of cloth completely dampened with cold water

Step 4. Blot the remaining moisture using a dry towel. Try to absorb and remove as much moisture as possible from the fabric upholstery.

Important note:

  • Wear protective gloves when dealing with bloodstains that are not yours because you might catch bloodborne diseases.
  • Avoid using anything hot to remove the bloodstain. The heat will cause the stain to set in because it cooks the protein present in the blood.
  • For leather seats, avoid using alkaline cleaners because they may damage the finish.

>>> You might want to know: Do’s and Don'ts of leather car seat cleaning.

Additional tips:

  • Always follow the right/minimum amount of cleaning solution when mixing and applying it to stain. Too much moisture can damage the upholstery and can even spread the stain.
  • For blood stains that have dried already, brush or scrape off as much crusted matter as possible before you proceed to the removing procedures.
  • Ensure that you’re using commercial stain removers (if you’re going to use one) that are specifically formulated to dissolve the proteins present in the blood. There are heavy-duty stain cleaners that may not be capable of completely removing the bloodstain because it doesn’t contain the right enzymes to dissolve the proteins.


Hanna Sanchez

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.