The unthinkable has happened – someone in your home or a pet has vomited on your carpet. Getting the vomit, stain, and odor out is not impossible. Cleaning vomit from carpet is never pleasant, but it can be done quickly & effectively if you know how to. Even if you have no carpet cleaner or baking soda in your house, You can still find a way to clean the mess.
Find out how to clean vomit from carpet and eliminate the odour.
Table of Contents
Cleaning Vomit From Carpet in 6 Easy and Quick Steps
- Put on protective gloves and clothing, and make sure the room is well-ventilated.
- Depending on the consistency of the vomit, scrape off any solid matter with a cloth or paper towel and flush it down the toilet, or throw it away in a sealed bag.
- Sprinkle the area with an absorbent substance, like a commercial carpet deodorizer, salt, or baking powder, and leave for 10 to 15 minutes to lift vomit from the fibers.
- Vacuum up the absorbent powder and treat the area with a commercial stain remover for carpets, or a carpet cleaner, according to the instructions on the bottle. Always test a small patch of the affected area with your chosen product first before using fully.
- Use a clean damp cloth to blot the stain away, rather than scrubbing at it, as this could push the vomit further into the carpet fibers.
- Allow the area to air-dry overnight.
If the odor may persist, instead of letting the area dry, repeat steps three to five, above.
- Use a steam cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions to do a deep clean of the stained area. Steam kills germs and bacteria that often result in bad odors, but high temperatures can melt some fabric fibers, so be sure to check your carpet care guide before you start.
- Following the instructions on the label, use a disinfectant to retreat the area and make sure all germs and bacteria have been removed. Spray the stained area with a commercial carpet deodorant or a combination of water and a few drops of essential oils like citrus, tea tree, or lavender. Afterwards, you’ll be left with a clean, sanitized, and fresh-smelling carpet to be proud of.
- Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that can neutralize the nasty odor of vomit smells. Mix together a cleaning solution comprising of one part distilled white vinegar, two parts warm water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid and gently wash off the vomit stain with a sponge, or cloth. Always test your homemade cleaning solution on a small patch of the affected area first.
How to Clean Vomit from Carpet
Put on latex or disposable gloves.
You want to cover your hands to protect them from the vomit. This not only keeps your hands away from the unpleasant substance but also protects you from germs.
Scrape off as much vomit as possible.
As soon as the vomit hits the floor, grab a scraper or other flat-sided object. Scrape the thick pieces into a dustpan or plastic bag.
Pick up the vomit with a towel or paper towels.
Another way to clean up vomit is to pick it up in a towel. After gathering all the vomit you can into the towel, place it into the washer. You can also pick up the vomit with paper towels instead of towels and place them directly into the trash.
One thing to think about when washing vomit towels is that if it has chunks, they may get stuck in the washing machine.
Cut pieces of cardboard to scoop up the vomit.
Use old cereal or soda boxes or the back of a composition notebook as a scoop.
Gently slide the cardboard under the thickest sections, and then toss into the trashcan. You can make two pieces, one to push the vomit onto the other like a makeshift, disposable broom and dustpan.
Use a plastic bag.
Turn a plastic bag inside out on your hand as a makeshift glove. Use the bag to pick up any vomit that you can. Then, turn the bag right side out and tie the handles. Drop the bag in the trashcan.
Make sure the bag doesn’t have any holes in it so you don’t get vomit on your hands.
Scoop it with a spatula.
Another way you can get vomit off the carpet is to pick it up with a spatula. Slide the flat side under the vomit and lift it off the carpet. You can also use a spoon to scoop it up.
Don’t use a spatula that has slits in it. The vomit will fall through if you do.
Disinfect the spoon or spatula after you clean the vomit.
Cover the area with sand.
Immediately after someone vomits, cover it with sand. Allow the sand to combine and clump with the vomit, then use a broom and dustpan to sweep it up.
Do not rub the vomit into the carpet.
No matter which way you get the excess vomit off your carpet, do not rub it into the carpet. Pressing down when removing the vomit can push the vomit into the carpet fibers, making it twice as difficult to remove.
- Towels can result in vomit pressed into the carpet. Sliding flat objects, like spatulas, cardboard, or scrapers, under the vomit might help prevent this.
- With baking soda, remove residual puke from the carpet. Probably the worst but an extremely important step.
- Suit up with rubber gloves (and possibly any other protective gear you feel is necessary).
- Remove as much vomit from the carpet with paper towels and immediately dispose of in a plastic trash bag.
- Consider holding your nose during this process if you sensitive to smell or you can spray concentrated room spray in the area to reduce the bad odor.
- Make sure you remove as many “chunks” as possible.
- Combine 2 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Create a thick paste. You want the paste to be viscous enough to adhere to the “spilt stomach contents” but liquid enough to cover the area.
- Pour over remaining vomit. Completely cover the area, but also a little more in the surrounding carpeted areas.
- Allow to sit overnight or for 8-12 hours. The mixture will harden and hopefully absorb odor as well.
- Keep children and pets away from the area. Even though the mixture is non-toxic you certainly don’t want any of your small creatures to mess with it.
- Vacuum baking soda covered area. You may want to add a squirt or two of air freshener to not only the baking soda directly, but the surrounding air.
- Go over the area several times with the vacuum cleaner, emptying the canister between several passes.
- Wash vacuum filter and clean vacuum cleaner to remove any semblance of vomit.
Drying the Excess Moisture of the vomit
- Cover the spot with baking soda. Baking soda is a great product to use on vomit spots. It dries up the excess moisture, resulting in little clumps. Pour a liberal amount over the stain. Leave the baking soda on for 10-15 minutes, or until the clumps have started to dry. Then, vacuum the area, removing all the clumps. Repeat if necessary.
- If the vomit doesn’t have a lot of thick chunks to begin with, try spreading baking soda over the area and leaving overnight. The baking soda will soak into it and turn it into clumps.
- Use the tube to vacuum up the clumps instead of the regular vacuum head.
- Use cornstarch to dry the moisture. Another way to dry up the moisture left behind is to sprinkle cornstarch over the area. Make sure to completely cover the area. Allow the cornstarch to dry for 10-15 minutes, then vacuum using the hose tube.
- Use a clean rag and plain warm water to work out the remaining vomit. Spray or pour warm water onto the area. Using a clean rag, start blotting out the moisture. Don’t scrub because that could push any remaining debris into the carpet. When the towel gets saturated, get a clean towel and repeat.
- When you blot, put some force into it to get out the water. Press down hard; just remember not to scrub.
- Use white towels so you don’t transfer any patterns or dyes to your carpet.
- Instead of a rag, you could also use paper towels.
How to Clean Vomit from Carpet: 8 DIY Guides at Home
1. Use club soda Clean Vomit from Carpet
Fill a spray bottle with club soda, or just pour directly onto the stain. Press a clean rag to the stain, blotting up the moisture until the stain is removed. Add more club soda and use a dry, clean rag as needed.
2. Sprinkle the area with dry cleaning solvent
Put dry cleaning solvent, such as Dryel, onto a clean rag. Blot the stain with the dry cleaning solvent soaked rag until the solvent has been absorbed.
3. How to Clean Vomit from Carpet using Vinegar
- Mix equal parts vinegar and cold water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray the area with vinegar. Let the vinegar sit for 15 minutes. Then, use a dry, clean cloth to dab at the stain, soaking up the vinegar.
- After you have soaked up most of the vinegar, use a stiff brush to rub at the stain until it starts to loosen. Go back over the stain with a dry cloth again.
- You can also add 6 drops Purification essential oil to help cover the odor, and 8 drops thieves essential oil, which is thought to kill 99% of germs.
You can use white or apple cider vinegar for this.
- Don’t scrub with the cloth.
- Don’t overspray the area. You want to cover the stain, but not soak the carpet.
4. How to Clean Vomit from Carpet Using Hydrogen Peroxide
- Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water or dish soap. Pour the mixture over the carpet and let sit for 30 minutes. Gently rub the area with a rag, causing a lather to form. Blot up the moisture with a dry towel.
- Pour water over the spot afterwards to rinse the area of the soap. It’s important to rinse the soap from the carpet because soap can hold dirt and dust.
5. Make your own vomit cleaner
- Mix together 2 cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of clear dish or laundry detergent, and 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
- Use a sponge to spread the cleaner over the stain. Blot the stain with a dry, clean towel until all the moisture has been removed.
- Make sure to rinse the area after the stain is removed. Cover the area in water, then blot up with a towel. Do this two or three times.
6. Apply carpet or fabric cleaner as directed on the bottle
Use a carpet stain remover. Good ones to try are enzyme-based stain removers for pets or car upholstery cleaners. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle.
7. Use a carpet cleaning machine
Where the stain is severe, think about using a carpet cleaning machine. Peradventure you own a wet vac, use it over the stain. However, if you don’t own your own, many supermarkets carry carpet cleaning machines that you can rent.
8. Try ammonia to Clean Vomit from Carpet
- Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water. Spray or pour the mixture over the stain. Use a sponge or towel to dab the ammonia over the stain. Then, rinse with water and blot with towels.
- Don’t use ammonia if you have pets. It might attract them to the spot and encourage them to urinate there.
- Remove the stain with an iron. Spray the stain with a mixture containing 2 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Place a damp white rag over the stain. With your iron on the steam setting, iron over the spot for 30 seconds, repeating multiple times if necessary. The stain should transfer from the carpet to the towel.
- Don’t hold the iron in one place – it could scorch or burn the towel. Instead, gently slide the iron back and forth over the area where the stain is.
- Never iron carpet directly. Always put a towel between the carpet and the iron. Otherwise, you might burn or scorch your carpet.
- Apply carpet or fabric cleaner as directed on the bottle. Use a carpet stain remover. Good ones to try are enzyme-based stain removers for pets or car upholstery cleaners. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle.
Also Read: How to Clean Laminate Floors in 2019
Eliminating Odors from Vomit on the Carpet
- Sprinkle with baking soda. After you’ve cleaned the stain, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on the area. Baking soda is an alkaline and helps stop acids, which are found in vomit. It also neutralizes odors instead of covering them up.
- Let the baking soda sit overnight, then vacuum the next day. It will also help absorb any leftover moisture.
- Spray with vinegar. Mix equal parts vinegar and water together, and spray or pour onto the smelly area. It will help get rid of or at least lessen, the odor. The downside to vinegar is that it can leave a smell behind.
- Spray deodorizer. Get an odor-neutralizing spray like Febreze or Renuzit. Choose one of these neutralizing sprays instead of an air freshener. Potpourri and floral air fresheners just cover the odors, which can sometimes mix with the vomit smell and make it worse. The neutralizing sprays help eliminate the odors.
- Apply a dish soap and water mixture on the spot and just let it soak in for 30 minutes or so, then you should be able to clean it up with paper towels and/or a sponge. Use a lot of soap.
- If the vomit has dried, vacuum the large chunks and then dampen the spot with water. Treat it like it is a fresh spot.
- A combination of these methods might be needed. Try cleaning with vinegar or detergent, then finishing up by covering the spot with a baking soda and water paste.
- After vacuuming over the vomit area, replace the bag or clean out your vacuum. This prevents odors and bacteria.
- Before placing these products on your carpet, test a small area. Leave the product on the carpet for 5-10 minutes to make sure no bleaching occurs.
The Best Way to Clean Vomit Out of Carpet Immediately
- When dealing with how to clean throw-up out of the carpet, you want to move quickly. If you let the mess sit too long, the vomit will set deeper into the carpet fibers and possibly even the padding underneath. Once that happens, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of that sickly smell.
- If you have dishwashing gloves, put them on.
- Use the spoon to scrape the vomit out of the carpet and into the trash bag. Once you have removed as much vomit as possible, tie that bag tightly. The last thing you want to do is accidentally knock it over and have to start again.
- Dilute either distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide with a little tap water, and add this to your spray bottle. Note: Use either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Do not use both.
- After you’ve performed a spot test, spray the solution over the area where the vomit was until the carpet is damp.
- Blot the area dry using your towels. Each time a towel gets saturated, replace it.
- Check your manufacturer’s instructions for stain care, because you will need to give your carpet a good clean.