Say goodbye to period stains

Your period is over for another month! Arrivederci. Au Revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. Hwyl fawr, baby. *waving emoji*

Except, you might find you’re left with a few…  um, souvenirs of those magical days. In your knickers, on your sheets, inside your pyjamas, maybe even an unlucky sofa cushion – we’ve all been there. Honestly, we have.

But fear not, these aren’t the kind of weird souvenirs that your aunt brings you back from Torremolinos and asks to see every time she comes around. No, these souvenirs are ones you are fully allowed to ditch.

First up…

Don’t panic. We know this feels easier said than done, especially as you shove your pants into your sleeping bag in horror and race to your friend’s bathroom for an emergency laundry session. But this happens to everyone, we promise. There is barely a woman in the UK right now that doesn’t have a slightly stained pair of ‘period pants’ somewhere in her underwear drawer.

TL;DR? Here's the important stuff:
  • Do not panic. This happens to basically everyone.
  • Try holding the stained area taut under cold running water for a few minutes. If it refuses to budge, try rubbing in soap or bodywash and rinsing again.
  • If that doesn’t work, give salt, contact lens solution, baking soda or lemon juice a go. Or just ’fess up and ask a laundry whizz for some help – you’ll survive, we promise.

Bottom line: you should never have to be embarrassed about nature doing its thing. No one should ever make you feel bad about leaks and stains, no matter how expensive the bedding. If anyone does, the shame is aaall on them.

But because you can’t keep buying new underwear and life is too short to walk around with a bottle of Vanish in your bag, here are some DIY methods that might help in a sticky situation…

Keeping it old school

To remove blood stains from lightweight fabric such as knickers or sheets (i.e the main culprits), try holding the stained area taut under cold running water for a few minutes. If the stain is refusing to budge, add whatever soap or bodywash you can find nearby and massage it into the stain, then try again.

Sometimes the best solution really is the simplest. Or the simplest really is the best. We can’t remember which way that saying goes.

Everything but the kitchen sink

No joy? Don’t worry, there are a lot of other options.

Have any salt handy? Sprinkle some (okay, a lot) over the stain and give it a good, hard scrub. Rinse it off and wash the fabric as normal.

Or if you’re out of salt and happen to have some contact lens solution (saline) handy, you can use that instead. Mind blown.

For a darker fabric, have a rummage around your kitchen cupboard for some baking soda. Mix it with water to form a paste and then spread it on the fabric. You should probably allow it to sit for at least half an hour, so you have plenty of time to watch another episode of PLL, but you can leave it overnight if you prefer and then wash the item as usual.

Or for light-coloured clothes, you can also try a more tropical vibe. Squirt some lemon juice on the stain and leave it in the sun for a while before washing. But this could cause discolouration on darker items, so test it on a tiny bit of the fabric first.

Still code red?

Sometimes stains can be stubborn, so it might take a few tries before everything’s back to normal. And even if you can’t get all of the stain out, don’t worry too much. Sometimes it’s more of a ‘see you around’ than a proper goodbye.

Let’s think of those stains as ‘period ghosts’. Aw.

Image: Katie Edmunds