How to Remove and Avoid Fake Blood Stain This Halloween

How to Remove and Avoid Fake Blood Stain This Halloween

Worried you can’t clean fake blood stains after Halloween? Find out how it stains, how to safely remove it, and how to avoid it on different items and fabrics.

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Fake blood products are a staple for Halloween preparations. So is the mess you’re left with after the fun ends. It’s a pain in the pumpkin to clean because fake blood does leave stains.

The stain is even more difficult to clean than real blood. This is due to an ingredient called FD&C Red #40 — that’s red dye. Dyes seep into and soak on the threads of fabrics and other materials. It permanently changes the color of fabrics.

How Does Fake Blood Leave a Permanent Stain?


While real blood can be cleaned with something as simple as salt paste, lemon, and even a meat tenderizer because it is a protein-based stain, fake blood stains can be difficult to remove.

Another reason that may affect the stain removal result includes the time it took for you to take action on it.

The best way to remove the stain is to act quickly and treat it as soon as possible.

Types of Fake Blood:


  • Store-bought fake blood

  • Store-bought fake blood can be in liquid gel or powder form and used in costume design, special effects (SFX) makeup, and party make up for Halloween. Corn syrup can give it a thick consistency while alcohol-based fake blood has a runny consistency. They can be permanent on fabric if dyes are used.

    Usual coloring ingredients: FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1

  • DIY fake blood

  • You can create your fake blood at home using non-toxic food coloring, water, and corn syrup. It’s also easier to clean with the right materials. If you use water-soluble coloring ingredients, you can create non-staining fake blood.

    Usual coloring ingredients: Red food coloring, red poster paint, cocoa mix, tomato paste, ketchup, beet, pomegranate juice, strawberry and chocolate syrup, and red velvet cake mix.

    How to Clean Fake Blood on Different Types of Materials

    Fake blood can stain clothes, shoes, and skin. It can also leave marks on shoes, appliances, and furniture. Before attempting to clean any item, make sure to check the manufacturer's label on how to care for it properly.

    The fake blood you bought from the store may also have usage instructions that will help you determine how to remove it. Here are ways to clean them on different types of surfaces:

    Remove Fake Blood on Clothes

    Things you’ll need:

    Steps to clean:

    1. Blot up as much of the fake blood as possible with a clean cloth.
    2. Apply talcum powder on the stain and rub it on the surface.
    3. Then let it soak in vinegar overnight.
    4. Wash it with laundry detergent and cold water.
    5. Rinse and let it dry.

    Pro tip: If the stain is old or dried, try soaking the garment overnight in the vinegar solution before washing it. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the soaking and washing process.

    Remove Fake Blood on the Carpet

    Thing you’ll need:

    Steps to clean:

    1. Blot up as much of the fake blood as possible with a clean cloth. Make sure not to rub or agitate the surface fibers to avoid the stain from setting deep on the carpet.
    2. Use an enzyme-based stain remover to break down the stain without damaging the fabric. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
    3. If the stain is not fresh, you can mix one part white vinegar with two parts cold water in a bowl.
    4. Dip a clean cloth into the vinegar solution and blot the stain.
    5. Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry with paper towels.
    6. If there remains a light stain mark after drying, use carpet shampoo for extra cleaning power.

    Pro tip: A carpet cleaning expert also recommends using rubbing alcohol to clean fake blood stains on your carpet. 

    Remove Fake Blood on Shoes

    Things you’ll need:

    • Cold water
    • Dish soap
    • Hydrogen peroxide for white shoes or vinegar for other materials
    • Clean cloth
    • Toilet paper

    Steps to clean:

    1. Blot up as much of the fake blood as possible with a clean cloth.
    2. Apply the hydrogen peroxide using a sprayer on your white shoes and let it sit on the stain for 15 to 30 minutes. You can use vinegar if the shoes are in another color. This is enough time for the bleaching properties of this ingredient to work on breaking down the color.
    3. Then apply some dish soap on the area and gently rub it to break down the stain. Then run it in cold water to rinse.
    4. Use a clean cloth to wipe away the moisture if your shoes are leather. If your white shoes is canvas, wrap it on toilet paper to lift any remaining stain from the shoes.

    Pro tip: Be careful not to over-wet the shoes, as this could damage the material. If the stain is stubborn, you may need to repeat the process.

    Remove Fake Blood on Curtains and Sheets

    Things you’ll need:

    Steps to clean:

    1. Blot up as much of the fake blood as possible with a clean cloth.
    2. Soak the curtains or sheets in a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts cold water for 30 minutes.
    3. Wash the curtains or sheets as usual in cold water with laundry detergent.

    Pro tip: If the stain is old or dried, try soaking the curtains or sheets overnight in the vinegar solution before washing them. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the soaking and washing process.

    Remove Fake Blood on Furniture, Appliance, and Other Home Surfaces

    Things you’ll need:

    • Cold water
    • White vinegar
    • Stain remover
    • Clean cloth
    • Paper towels

    Steps to clean:

    1. Blot up as much of the fake blood as possible with a clean cloth.
    2. Mix one part white vinegar with two parts cold water in a bowl.
    3. Dip a clean cloth into the vinegar solution and blot the stain or use a natural stain remover and leave it on for 15-30 minutes.
    4. Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry with paper towels.

    Pro tip: Be careful not to saturate the surface. Do not wet appliances that may be damaged from the water. If the stain is stubborn, you may need to repeat the process.

    Remove Fake Blood on Skin

    Things you’ll need:

    • Shaving cream
    • Mild soap
    • Warm water
    • Petroleum jelly or baby oil (optional)
    • Washcloth or soft sponge

    Step to clean:

    1. Wipe away any excess fake blood with a damp washcloth.
    2. Apply shaving cream and lather on the area. Then wipe or wash it off.
    3. The next step is to use mild soap or makeup remover to gently clean it off your skin.
    4. Gently rub the soap or makeup remover into the skin with your fingers, a washcloth, or a soft sponge.
    5. Rinse the area with warm water.
    6. If the stain is stubborn, you can try applying a small amount of petroleum jelly or baby oil to the area.
    7. Let the petroleum jelly or baby oil sit on the stain for a few minutes, then rub it away with a washcloth or soft sponge.
    8. Rinse the area with warm water and pat dry.

    Pro tip: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubs on your skin, as this can irritate it. The community on the Reddit thread r/techtheatre also recommends using baking soda paste to remove fake blood on the skin and avoid using corn syrup as it’s more difficult to wash off.

    Avoid These Cleaning Ingredients

    When getting rid of fake blood from clothes and other types of fabrics, it’s best to avoid these ingredients. They may ruin the fabric or cause discoloration.

  • Harsh bleach
  • Harsh bleach may interact with the fabric and may remove the color from your clothes. Opt for oxygen-based and color-safe bleaching ingredients to preserve the quality of the material.

  • Abrasive scrubs
  • Abrasive scrubs can damage the fabrics of your garments. It may change the texture and may leave unsightly marks. When dealing with fabrics, it’s best to use non-abrasive materials.

  • Dryer or heating elements
  • A dryer or other heating elements will help set the stain on the fabric. It will make it more difficult to remove the stain from clothes. 

    Tips to Prevent Fake Blood Stains

    While staining may not be completely avoided, there are things you can do to make the clean-up process easier for you after the trick-or-treat celebration ends.

    • Use water-based fake blood or those labeled “washable”.

    Water-based fake blood is easier to remove than oil-based fake blood. These are usually also labeled “washable”, which means they are easier to remove than other products on the market.

    • Make your fake blood at home.

    Creating fake blood at home is easy. You’ll be able to choose the ingredients and determine which coloring items are easier to clean up later.

    For example, instead of using a red dye that may cause permanent color changes on the fabric, you can use kool-aid or pomegranate juice that can be removed after a few washes. You can also use washable red poster paint or any water-soluble paint.

    • Apply a layer of petroleum jelly on your skin

    Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or vaseline on your skin before applying fake blood. This provides a layer of protection between your skin and the coloring ingredient. It will also limit the staining on your skin.

    What You Need to Know About Removing Fake Blood

    • The best way to remove a fake blood stain is to act quickly and treat it as soon as possible.
    • You can buy washable and non-staining fake blood or create your own using only mildly staining ingredients
    • Apply a layer of petroleum jelly on your skin before applying fake blood to make it easier to clean at a later time.
    • Do not use harsh chemicals and abrasive materials to prevent damage to the fabrics of your garments when removing fake blood.