How to clean mattress stains

Jan 1, 2022 | Mattresses

If an accident involving a mattress occurs immediate treatment helps enormously by preventing the liquid seeping into the upholstery filling, where it can cause problems.

If possible, after stripping off all bedding, stand the mattress on its side – this will help prevent the fluid penetrating the mattress. Sponge immediately with cold water – but don’t over water. Here are some recommended treatments for specific fluids:


Sponge with warm solution of mild detergent or upholstery shampoo. Then wipe with cold water plus a few drops of antiseptic such as Milton.

Red wine

Blot with an old damp cloth then sprinkle the mattress with salt to help soak it up. Mix one-part white vinegar with two-part dishwashing soap.

Dampen a cloth with it and blot, then sprinkle with baking soda and leave for at least an hour.

Fruit juices

Use proprietary stain treatment – following instructions – or sponge with warm borax solution and then clear water. A strong coloured drink such as blackcurrant will probably leave a stain.

Chocolate and milk-based drinks

Treat as above and when dry use an aerosol grease solvent to clear grease – being particularly sparing if used on a foam mattress. Brush to clear deposit.


Use a proprietary stain remover, or upholstery cleaner, followed by cold water.

Oily marks

Use an aerosol grease solvent to draw stain out, rather than liquid grease solvents.

Vomit and diarrhoea

Scrape up as much solid matter as possible, without spreading the stain. Treat as for urine above.

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