Blood and post-op guest -- your advice, please

Dear Fellow Hosts,
I need your advice, please. One of my upcoming guests will be staying at my apartment (rental of the entire unit) for a couple of weeks after a surgery. I anticipate some blood in towels and sheets but I guess that’s part of hosting guests during the post-operative period.
I’d like your valuable feedback on the best product to remove blood.Another concern that I have is whether I should not use the usual white bedding and white towels, and, instead, get something dark or maybe get a sheet set in a colorful print. Your thoughts, please. Thank you.

It would be odd for a post-surgical patient to have much bleeding. Just not part of modern surgery

I are with @smtucker – modern post-op is virtually bloodless. They do so many things laproscopically these days. A friend just had a complete hysterectomy and tumor removal – one weighing 20 ounces!! All removed through a 2" hole. Earlier this year we had a couple come to stay for 4 days; he had a hernia op and again not a drop of post-op red stuff.

@smtucker, @KenH I don’t know if it makes a difference but the patient will have plastic surgery…

Agree there should be little blood or other discharge. But, the guest may have a drain which allows fluid from the operative site to be removed and thus speed healing. Handled carefully there is little risk of spills. But if the worst happens, place item in cold water with half a cup of salt, let it soak, the salt breaks down the blood cells. Then use your normal stain removal methods,
Your guest is more likely to be open about stains if you tell them you understand that accidents happen, and it’s easier to remove stains if treated immediately and you prefer to do this yourself.

Stick to white, it can be bleached.

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Frankly, I would ask that the patient-to-be provide her own bed linen and pillow(s) and tell her you know she will understand.


We had a guest who had a cosmetic procedure done on her stomach. We picked her up from the doctor and helped her get into bed so we saw that there was bodily fluid oozing from the site of the procedure. We got a few old towels and asked her to put them between her and our sheets.

Eeegads. I probably would decline anyone recovering from something like surgery. Just not a fit, and not a thing wrong with saying so.

I had a guest coming for her second honeymoon. But she caught pneumonia on the plane and spent the entire two weeks bedridden at my house. I was sympathetic, but wanted to burn the sheets afterwards.

I’m a room for rent, not a sick ward.


Soak any blood stained fabrics in plain old cheap OxyClean. Get the powdered stuff, and mix it with very hot water.

That being said, I am going to try the salt method another poster mentioned.

Plastic sheet over the mattress and ask the guest to supply their own sheets and towels.

Supply a bowl in case of a sick tummy, and plenty of water within easy reach.

I had my hips replaced at 37 and 39 (3 yrs ago )and got haematoma ’ s after both and them things bleed, had to be readmitted but then needed to wear a mechanical devise to remove any excess blood/fluid ( sorry folks) for a month post operative.

Kinda sad, they are on their own.


We had a guest come last year post surgery and it was not fun. He was in constant pain, his wife was exasperated, he was on opioids painkillers and then proceeded to sneak a bottle of vodka into the room which he consumed. We only noticed when his wife was relaxing with one of our cats with the door open and we saw half the bottle gone.
He also required a motorized chair which he kept charged in our garage but was able to come up a small flight of stairs with a cane. He was not a bad guest but we were extremely worried for him the whole time. His wife I think enjoyed the rest while he hung out with my husband.
He left us no review for a three day stay but we did review him and mentioned that we were concerned for his condition and did let air know about the vodka and pills. Would not host again.


The absolute best thing to remove blood, especially “old blood” is hydrogen peroxide. It is quite magical to pour it on and watch the stain vanish before you eyes!

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Ahhh. I’ve had 3 c- sections, and there was blood. Most of it was while I was recovering in the hospital, but I’d assume ther first 3 days that there will be extra fluid.

I thought salt set stains? (We used to add it to the wash when we put in new tie-dyed t-shirts to set the color)

RE: tie dye [since I can’s seem to quote on the iPad.] We used to use vinegar for that.

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Thank you @smtucker, @KenH, @Alia_Gee, @Maggieroni, @SandyToes and everyone else who provided input. I really appreciate your ideas. What about bleach, or is it better to use Oxy for blood removal from sheets and towels?

I start with salt, then oxyckean, finally use bleach. As a nurse and midwife, I’ve had to deal with blood on uniforms. Hydrogen peroxide is good for carpets and upholstery, but pre check in a hidden area to see if material colourfast.
I used to care for women during home births, which were rarely messy as we had bed pads and a shower curtain liner on mattress, under sheets.

Salt works by disrupting the blood cell walls.

Thinking about it, I might put a shower curtain liner under mattress protector.