Bloody Sunday

Hello, I’m the assistant stage manager and props master for Adding Machine. One of the more interesting projects that I’ve been working on is a formula for FAKE BLOOD! But not just any fake blood, this fake blood must be able to wash out of Bob’s white shirt every night for up to 20 nights (including tech rehearsals)!

So I’ve holed myself up in my “laboratory”, concocting a special washable blood recipe.

After some research, I came up with some recipes that used the following household ingredients:

Laundry detergent, dish soap, food coloring, corn syrup, and strawberry and chocolate syrups (yummy!)

My research said that I should mix these ingredients together (using mostly detergent/soap) until I get the desired color/texture, and hand wash to get it out.  So I did.  I tested it on a fabric scrap of the same color and material as the costume shirt… and it did not come out.


After 6 more trials with different balances, I determined a few interesting things:

  1. Strawberry syrup stains more than red food coloring
  2. Corn syrup is GROSS.
  3. Not only does this concoction (that’s supposed to wash out) stain clothes, but it also stains hands… tables… the coffee cups they were in…
  4. If you leave a fake blood recipe out overnight, it will not harden, but it will congeal into a very strange pseudo-gelatin consistency.
  5. This day-old blood is REALLY fun to play with
  6. I needed to get back to work and figure out how to wash this gunk out.

As I was sitting in the shop my “laboratory”, I had a revelation!  Or, to be more accurate, our costumer (Susan) came by and suggested something awesome. Maybe, I just suck at handwashing, and MAYBE, it would be best if I washed it in the machine.  Besides, I can wash in the machine with bleach without worrying about hurting myself!  So let’s be scientific about this.

I took my six best recipes…

Rubbed them on some scrap fabric…

And ran it through the wash.

I nervously waited.

Finally, the moment of truth! Would my blood come out?? Or would I have to start over? I didn’t know!!! So I opened, the washer, reached in, pulled out my fabric, and…

Taaa Daaaaa!  All clean!!!

Thanks for reading, if you ever need some fake blood made, you know who to call!


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