Gymnastics Level: 5
I was wondering, my sister just got new grips and her finger got a little blood on them. It really bugs her. Is there a way to wash the blood off or get rid of it?
As I have already said in an article on Bloody Rips and Grips, rips are a badge of honor in the sport of gymnastics. But I know some girls are very particular about what they wear, so here is what you can do.
The first cleaning procedure to try would be to try to use simple soap and water (more soap, less water). Water is not good for leather and could cause the grips to wear out more quickly so as little water as possible should be used. It will likely take more than one cycle of cleaning, rinsing and drying to get the blood out.
It should be noted that regardless of what you do, the color of the leather in the grips is not likely to come out without some mark. The mark will just not be a blood stain, but may still be a cleaning product stain or mark of some type and size (the size of the area you put any of the cleaners on).
If it becomes apparent that soap and water is not going to take out the stain, the next cleaner to try is hydrogen peroxide. You will need a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, paper towels and cold water. Soak a paper towel in clean, cold water, wring it out and set it aside. Keep several dry paper towels available. Soak the corner of a dry paper towel in hydrogen peroxide. Dab the hydrogen peroxide solution in the smallest possible area, just covering the blood stain. Wait for bubbles to form on the wet spot. When the blood stain area starts to bubble, pat the area dry with a clean, dry paper towel. Immediately wipe the area with the damp paper towel. Wipe it dry with another clean, dry paper towel. Wait five minutes. The blood stain should disappear. You may have to repeat the treatment. Make sure you observe all of the safety and warning tips about using hydrogen peroxide that are on the bottle.
If the blood stain doesn’t respond well to the hydrogen peroxide treatment, you can try one of the professional leather cleaning products, like Lexol, Pure or Bayes Leather Cleaner. They are much more expensive (like $25.00 a bottle). Follow the instructions on the bottle.
If you have still not gotten the results, you are looking for, you could consider taking the item to a professional dry cleaner or leather care specialist and see if they think they can clean it. I don;t know anyone who has ever done this.
Again, consider, she should consider just toughening up and considering the blood a badge of honor or keep it covered with chalk. Good luck.