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It happens. Monthly, for some of us. Here are some easy ways to get the red out fast so you can salvage your garments and get back to lying on the couch and popping ibuprofen.

For Fresh Stains
Put the fabric under cold or lukewarm running water in your sink or bathtub, letting the force of the water itself dissolve the blood. If residual blood remains, lather up some soap, and scrub the rest of the stain out with your fingers or a scrub brush. Regular hand or bath soap works really well on blood.

For Older, Dried, or Super Stubborn Stains
Dab a washcloth dipped in hydrogen peroxide directly on the spot, then rinse well with water. Toss it in the washing machine as you normally would. Even if you don’t do laundry for a few days, the stain should disappear. (Warning: This works best on whites or light-colored items because hydrogen peroxide can cause colors to fade the way bleach does.)

When you’re out of hydrogen peroxide or spot cleaner or you’re away from home and have no access to soap, crush up a few aspirin pills, combine them with water to make a paste, and put it on the stain. It’ll do a good job of removing it. A packet of salt or a few spoons of baking soda also work the same way.