Can You Really Use Saliva To Get Small Blood Stains Out Of Clothing?

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A scratch, a cut, an accident — every once in a while something (hopefully minor) happens, and a little blood gets onto our clothes. If we've scratched too hard, removed a scab, or brushed past a certain type of plant, we may barely feel it but still end up with a blood spot. Although treating it immediately isn't always possible, rushing to the sink is the best course of action with blood stains. And remember that cold water is your ally here, not warm or hot water, which will set the stain, not remove it. But if you're really in a pinch, yes, spitting saliva onto a small blood stain does have the capacity to remove it.

We'll emphasize the word "small" here. You won't be able to produce enough saliva for a medium or large stain or really anything beyond the size of a few pinpricks. But if a tiny spot of blood appears on the front of white or light-colored clothing, it could still be highly visible, so use your saliva to remedy the situation. If you get a small blood spot on both your clothing and the place you're sitting, like a sofa, the spitting technique may not be sufficient for your upholstery. However, there is one product that easily removes blood from furniture: hydrogen peroxide.

How to use this saliva hack

Blood stains are known for being stubborn. Therefore, the faster you can act to remove a fresh blood stain, the more success you'll have. Your first mission is to get some privacy to take off the stained clothing. Gather as much saliva as you can and aim it directly on the stain. Rub the fabric together, saturating the stain with your spit while applying pressure, as per wikiHow. If possible, do this a few times, then run that spot under cold water. Upon inspection, if it looks like all the blood came out and you're in a bathroom with a heated hand dryer, you might dry the area. But again, if any blood remains, the heat will further seal it in. In fact, the biggest mistake people make when washing stained clothing is throwing those items in the dryer.

Although this solution isn't ideal if you're out at a business function, it is an option. It's your call whether to handle it immediately or deal with it later. Ask yourself which is more tolerable — a visible (or perhaps barely visible) blood spot or a wet area that will eventually dry and leave behind some puckering and wrinkling. 

When to move on to other methods

Alton Memorial Hospital's health blog reminds us when we're eating, our saliva starts to break down the starches and fats in our food while we're still chewing, and this is actually the first step in the digestive process. It is unclear whether the enzymes in saliva break down blood proteins or if it's the saliva's water content, but it does seem to work. However, if it's a larger blood spot or has had a few hours or days to set, you might be huffing and puffing to produce a heroic amount of spit-able saliva and find you're not able to produce enough. Or the stain has simply been there too long and is stubborn.

If you've spit more in one day than you've spit in your whole lifetime but there's no stain removal, then consider grabbing a bottle of Nature's Miracle. Although technically a pet stain and odor remover, this can be quite helpful. As with any spot remover, spray directly on the affected area and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. An alternative product you can try on clothes (or sheets) is Wine Away because it too lifts blood.