Author Topic: PROPS: "Blood" cleaning techniques  (Read 6819 times)

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erhartnett

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PROPS: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« on: May 27, 2008, 08:15 pm »
I am working on a production of Reefer Madness. We are trying to find a recipe for blood and a way to clean it that is easy and fast.  Once a week, we have runs that give us one hour to clean the costumes and set before the house opens again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 03:11 am by PSMKay »

ewharton

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 09:21 pm »
I've done many shows that used blood. We've used safe blood (ie non-toxic) but I'm not sure what company makes it (but it tasted like mint).
It always came off the set (including a carpet once) with dish soap and a sponge.
good luck!

Britney

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 10:12 pm »
I did a production of Big Love which involved A LOT of blood (upwards of 20 blood bags a night on white wedding dresses/tuxedos) and we used a really hard-core dye remover in the wash between shows.  While the clothes were (inevitably) slightly pink by the end of the run, the dye remover worked very well to get out the blood consider the volume of blood and the fact that the clothes were white.

It was an industrial-strength (literally) dye remover/stripper and we had to wear rubber gloves to wash the clothes. We soaked the clothes overnight in a bucket with the dye stripper and then put them in the wash with regular detergent the morning of the show.

That said, if the dye doesn't have to be edible you might also consider using a detergent based blood.  There is a recipe for a Woolite based blood. It's not as realistic (much pinker/foamier) but it does come out of clothes rather well.

I don't know exactly what brand the dye stripper/remover was, but for some reason Rit is coming to mind. I would just look for the strongest dye stripper you can. Also, keep in mind that this worked very well because the clothes were WHITE. I assume an industrial strength dye remover will wreak havoc on colored clothing.  The best I can suggest there is washing a few times in color safe Woolite bleach.

Hope that helps!

jmc

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2008, 11:33 pm »
'Nappy San' {Diaper - detergent / in your currency}
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LisaS

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2008, 11:37 pm »
I don't know the actual formula that the show I did used, but I'm pretty sure that the ingredients were red food coloring, corn syrup, and laundry detergent.  The detergent in the blood itself helped it not set in to the clothing and made it easier to get out by just sticking the dress in question in a bucket off soapy water and then with some extra scrubbing.  The clothing could probably be put in a washing machine and dryer (the dress I dealt with was hand wash only).

ScooterSM

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 12:25 am »
We had good success for a production of Akhnaten with adding laundry detergent to a commercial blood.  I can't remember the brand of blood that we used (Ben Nye maybe?) but we used a 1/5 detergent to blood ratio and it worked well coming out of linen that got pretty saturated.  Tide brand detergent worked best.  Wardrobe just hand rinsed it really well, and then ran it through the wash/dry cycle.  If it was just spots it could be rinsed and dried with a hair dryer. 
****This method cannot be used with blood that comes in contact with any actor's eyes, mouth, or other bodily orifice!*****

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killerdana

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 02:10 am »
If you're making your own blood (and not using it anywhere near eyes, mouth, etc.) you can forego the corn syrup and make the blood just with detergent and food coloring (use a teeny bit of blue with the red to keep it from looking too fake).  Use a detergent like Tide Free that's mostly colorless.  If you make the blood about a week in advance the bubbles will settle and won't look too soapy.  You should test any recipe you use on similar fabrics in advance to make sure that the blood will wash out before you put in on the real costume.
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MarcieA

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 09:54 am »
You can also use a blue detergent to help with the color and it cuts down on the amount of dye (food coloring) used.
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hbelden

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 08:19 pm »
For detergent-based blood (good idea, generally, for cleaning costumes) MAKE SURE that your actors don't have allergies.  If possible, if they don't have allergies, still start with hypo-allergenic detergent.  I love the blue-detergent idea, though, wish I'd tried that before!

For two show days; there's no way around it if you're using liquid blood, you need duplicate costumes.  Bring this up right now with your production team, because if they haven't been planning for it, this could be difficult to fix now.

You could also think about using non-liquid coloring on the clothing; the clothing piece is always "bloody" but just covered.  Say the character who's shot/stabbed/bitten wears a coat when stabbed; then removes the coat to get to the wound, and oh look! there's blood everywhere.

just some ideas...
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erhartnett

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2008, 08:53 pm »
Thanks for all your help. I am still concerned because the blood will have to cover one of the actors faces.

Aerial

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 04:19 am »
On a recent production of Richard III that we did, for an especially hypo-allergenic blood, we used Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo as the base.

I've also worked on shows that have used Simple Green as the base, producing a nice dark color, but again, you probably wouldn't want that on someone's face. 

It helps that if anything is done onstage before the end of the show (and I apologize, I don't know your show), to start soaking it immediately.

carebear3885q

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #11 on: Jun 12, 2008, 07:47 pm »
Rubbing Alcohol works on all blood...
Carrie

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Re: "Blood" cleaning techniques
« Reply #12 on: Jun 14, 2008, 08:17 am »
How many costumes will have to be washed out?  Is creating two sets of the costume a viable option?  This gives you more time to wash out blood so that you are able to do it properly and completely and aren't putting wet clothes onto an actor for the second run of the day.
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