There's nothing more annoying than being on your period and leaking through to your underwear. You're left contemplating how to get period blood stains out of your favourite pants and it sucks. Even after a good spin in the washing machine or a quick scrub in the sink, those pesky stains are near impossible to get rid of. And then the inevitable happens, the knickers wind up in the bin or are destined for a life as the period pants — the slightly gross holey undies you only take out to get destroyed again next month.
But there looks like there might be a solution to those stains out. Beauty Instagram account, @brush_, posted a video showing exactly how get stains out and it's so simple! You rinse out the blood first, ring out any excess water, and apply hydrogen peroxide. You can find the bleaching agent from a local chemist or in a stain remover spray format from Waitrose. It's actually recommended by laundry detergent brand Persil too, in their step-by-step guide to removing blood stains. "A solution of 20% volume hydrogen peroxide can be used to bleach stains, diluted 1 part to 6 parts cold water." Although Persil's tips are meant to be for your kid's grazed bloody knee, it doesn't mean it won't work on period blood stains.
It probably seems logical to used boiling water to get rid of stains, but Persil recommends that blood-stained clothes are immediately washed in in cold water. It turns out hot water will actually set the stain into the fabric making it even harder to get out. Oops.
The shame around periods means those of us who menstruate aren't talking enough about things like care and stain removal. I, for one, was so embarrassed about my period and leaking through to my pants that I'd just throw my pants away, too scared anyone would see them in the laundry basket. It was a massive waste of money and meant I was buying new knickers every month. That wasn't financially or environmentally sustainable.
Having access to hydrogen peroxide, a private bathroom, and even sanitary products is a luxury for some, so there are other solutions for getting those pesky stains out of your pants, bed sheets or trousers. You never know when you might get caught out a need a quick stain removal solution.
According to Teen Vogue, some good old fashioned cold water and whatever soap is at hand can get most of the blood out. And salt is another great stain removal trick, as anyone who has kicked over a glass of red wine on a light-coloured carpet will know. Simply mix salt and cold water together, or alternatively — saline solution for contact lenses works a treat too. Lemon juice also a great alternative to hydrogen peroxide and something else that can be found in your kitchen cupboard.
Periods happen, and leaking onto your pants or your bedsheets is totally normal and just what comes with the territory. Whether you're a free-bleeder, have little access to sanitary products, or just got caught out — these stain removal tips are super helpful to make your period that little bit simpler.