How To Clean Vomit From Carpet

How To Clean Vomit From Carpet

Cleaning carpet stains is not easy, especially if your carpets are made from natural fibers. They are known to hold on to marks and odors, which can be quite frustrating to do away with. If you happen to get vomit on your carpet, you know just how bad it can get. You may use all the tricks that you have learned, and still, nothing works. Most people prefer getting rid of the mats altogether, but since that is not always an option, you have to look for other ways to clean.

Many people often opt to get professional cleaners, but that presents much higher costs than a home intervention. While it is difficult to get rid of vomit from the carpet thoroughly, there are a few ways to do it. You may have to combine several tricks, but you will achieve the goal eventually. However, the number one rule remains that you take care of stains as soon as possible. This ensures that you have an easier time cleaning. This piece highlights the various ways to remove vomit from your carpets.

How to pre-clean a vomit stain

As mentioned earlier, the faster you can take care of a stain, the easier it will be to be rid of it completely. This is why pre-cleaning is very important so that if you are unable to attend to the issue, it won’t get a hold of your carpet. The following are some of the pre-cleaning steps you could take:

  • The first thing you must do in any situation where there is vomit on your carpet is to scrape as much as you can. Get some gloves and a dirt scraper or even a thin piece of cardboard. You can even use a part of a cereal box if it is hard enough; it will do the job.
  • It is also essential to take care of the smell before it becomes horrible, and there are a few ways you could do that. One, you may use dishwashing soap and some warm water to get rid of any remaining vomit. While the dishwasher is not a deodorizer, it is better than nothing.
  • If there is some wetness on the carpet and you don’t want to use a vacuum since it may stink, use cornstarch. It is an excellent way of drawing out the moisture, so your carpet is dry, so it doesn’t develop a foul odor.
  • Salt is also great for absorbing the extra moisture and helps to control odors. You can pour a pile on the spot before you get time to clean properly.

These steps ensure that the vomit doesn’t dry on the fibers of the carpet hence making it more challenging to manage. It is also a significant move when you want to ensure that the odor doesn’t stick for too long. Try and get as much of the slimy parts out of the carpet, the soap will aid in this, and then leave it for when you will have everything to clean correctly.

What should you do if you don’t have time to handle the stain?

Sometimes you don’t even have an opportunity to scrape off the vomit from the carpet, but it is essential to try something. In the case of an emergency, for example, if you need to take a child to the hospital, there are some things you can do.

If you have a yard and some soil available, you can use this to cover the vomit until you return. The idea is to soak up the vomit, so it doesn’t sink into the carpet. Sand or soil does this well, so you can quickly pour this on the stain. 

The big issue with using sand is that it helps to some degree but does nothing for the smell. Because of this, it is best to get an absorbing powder that could also take care of any odors. For this, you could use baking soda since it will both absorb much of the liquid and ensure that the smell isn’t bad. This doesn’t eliminate the stain, so you will still have to clean it well. The next part includes some proven ways to ensure your carpet looks and smells good as new.

How To Clean Vomit From Carpet 3

How to get rid of vomit stain from carpet

As much as pre-cleaning steps are essential, you cannot stop there since soon enough, the stain will hold, and you will have to deal with the worst odor ever. This is why you must find time soon to take care of it properly. 

There are so many ways to clean your carpet using regular household products and some store-bought cleaners. The most important thing is understanding the stain, your carpet type, and the effectiveness of any method applied. The following is a guide that shows some of the best ways to eliminate vomit stains and odors.

Dishwashing soap

If the stain on your carpet has not dried out and you took pre-cleaning steps, then the color is more comfortable to remove. Dishwashing soap is excellent since it is readily available and does a great job eliminating odor and stain. It is also straightforward; hence it is easier to clean thoroughly. For this, you will need the following:

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Gloves
  • Warm water
  • A spray bottle
  • Sponge or piece of cloth

The first step is to mix water and dishwashing soap in the spray bottle, use the ratio 2:1. In this case, a spot test isn’t necessary since the mixture is very mild on any carpet. However, there is no harm in doing it for safety purposes. Shake the mixture well, then spray generously on to the mat. Allow this mixture to sit for at least ten minutes. 

Next, take a sponge or an old piece of cloth and use it to remove the vomit stains. If you find it a bit dry, you may spray some more soap mixture as you clean. You can rub lightly on the carpet or pat if the marks are not challenging to remove. Repeat this process until the patch is completely clean. 

Remember to use some of the warm water for rinsing, so you don’t have soap residue. Wet the sponge and lightly dab on the spot, then use a dry cloth to get rid of the extra moisture. You can even use a vacuum cleaner if available then allow it to air dry. Pay attention to the area in the following days, so there is no odor.

Baking soda

This is a super ingredient to use whenever you are cleaning around your home; hence it is almost always available. While it is used when pre-cleaning, it is just as great for eradicating vomit stains. It can be used in combination with other chemicals to give excellent results. However, when using this method, it is best to spot test as it reacts with natural fibers. You will need the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Sponge/ cloth

Using baking soda is an excellent option, especially if your carpets are white of lighter nude shades. It bleaches, which is why you need a spot test, especially for colorful mats. To use it for cleaning, mix baking soda, dishwashing soap, and a little water in a spray bottle. Shake to mix well, then spray generously on the fibers then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. This is to allow the dried-up particles to become loose and more comfortable to remove.

Use a sponge or a cloth to rub off the particles. You can always apply some more mixture as you clean to simplify your work. If you feel a lot of resistance when cleaning, spray some more of the solution, leave it for another 15 minutes and try again. 

Remove any excess residue using a damp piece of cloth and finish off using a vacuum cleaner. If you feel that the odor is not entirely gone. Make a mixture of baking soda and some vinegar. This is great for absorbing any unpleasant smell.


This is another powerful household cleaner that is most likely in your pantry. Vinegar is fantastic for cleaning vomit stains since it has deodorizing effects on the fabric. It is also an excellent natural and mild bleach that is great for lighter colored carpets. There are various ways you can use to clean a vomit stain, and the following are the requirements for the job.

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Salt
  • Piece of cloth

One of the easiest ways of cleaning using vinegar is to make a mixture of vinegar, dishwashing soap, and warm water. Use the ratio of 2:1:1 since the vinegar is more essential. Spray directly on the stain and leave it to sit for a while. Apply generously, especially if the vomit dried on the carpet for best results. Next, take the piece of cloth, dampen it using the mixture, and dap on the stain while picking up the pieces using gloved hands.

Mixing baking soda and vinegar is an excellent alternative for the tougher stains with a strong odor. The chemical reaction between the two substances helps in agitating any dried particles. This method is simple since you only need to pour some baking soda directly on the areas with stains. Pour the vinegar directly on the baking soda on the carpet. Let this stay for at least ten minutes, then wipe lightly using a piece of cloth. If you don’t get the desired results, you can repeat the process, then rinse using a damp cloth and vacuum.

You can also use vinegar with plain warm water, and you can expect great results. However, this method is best if you don’t have a massive stain since it is not as potent. Add vinegar and water into a spray bottle using the ratio 2:1 and splash this on the colors. Let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes, then use a cloth to remove the excess vomit.

Hydrogen Peroxide

It is easy to get hydrogen peroxide from the store, and many people use it as a safe disinfectant around the house. However, that isn’t the only thing that it is suitable for; it is an excellent bleach, and when mixed well, it cleans stains effectively. It is also one of the best solutions you can have when dealing with foul odor from old vomit. You will require the following to start:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Warm water
  • Dry cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner

After taking the pre-cleaning steps highlighted above, make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in the ratio 2:1. Remember, since hydrogen peroxide is quite potent, it may affect your carpet, so doing a spot test is essential. 

Shake the solution well in your spray bottle then apply it generously on the affected spots. Leave this for about ten minutes, then use the dry cloth and rub on the carpet until all the vomit is out. Spray some more of the mixture on the rug to be sure that you’ve got everything. You can pat dry using a clean cloth or use an easier vacuum cleaner.

Club soda

It is an excellent alternative if you don’t have any other products for cleaning vomit stains. However, it only works for new and easy to remove stains. If you did an excellent job of removing most of the vomit on the carpet, this could work for you. Requirements include:

  • Club soda
  • Warm water
  • Dry towel or cloth
  • Vacuum

Club soda is excellent for cleaning stains since it is colorless, and the gas in the liquid helps in loosening the vomit from the carpet fiber. You only need to pour the soda directly on the stain then let it stay for about five minutes. Take a dry cloth and remove the pieces of vomit and pat the area dry. Since club soda has sugar, you should rinse the spot you just cleaned using a damp cloth. Pat the area lightly, ensuring that you remove the soda residue. 

How to deal with the smell?

One of the above methods of getting rid of vomit likely worked for your carpet, and there is no unsightly stain. However, often you may realize that the odor is still there. Depending on how large the spot was, the smell can be quite bad. If this is the case, you need to apply a different approach depending on what you used to clean. The following are great ways to remove stubborn odors from your mats.


Yes, it seems like a counteractive way of getting rid of vomit from your carpet, but it works very well. You only need some ammonia and some dry pieces of cloth. Apply the ammonia directly onto the stain and blot using some fabric until you have removed all the moisture from the carpet. Repeat this until there is no more odor on your mat.

White vinegar

If you didn’t use vinegar when cleaning, then you should try it out to get rid of the odor from your carpets. You only need to spray some directly on the affected area then bolt dry using some paper towels or pieces of cloth. If it is proving difficult, you can also add some baking soda, which also has a deodorizing effect. If you want an even better outcome, you could use vinegar with some baking soda. This is best if the odor is still there after trying all the other methods.

Steam cleaning

If your vacuum cleaner has a steam cleaning feature, then this could be the easiest way of dealing with any odors on the carpet. If you don’t own one, you can always rent one for a couple of hours since it will be much cheaper than getting professional help. You can use some detergent or fabric softener when using the machine for excellent results. However, check the recommendations to know how to use it, so you don’t damage your carpet or vacuum cleaner.


There are many deodorizers in the market, and many of them are effective in removing odors from carpets and upholstery. You can check online for reviews of the best brands. The most important thing is to check whether it is safe to use on the carpets. Some of them may affect the fabric, especially for natural fibers. However, use the deodorizer as the last option after trying all the other cleaning methods. This is because it may have the opposite effect if you apply it to a strong odor.

When dealing with vomit on your carpet, whether it is from people or pets, the most important thing is to be very quick about it. If you leave it too long, then you may have to get rid of the whole carpet. This is because vomit gets a hold of the fiber quickly so that cleaning would be hectic. However, you can remove most stains without any problem using the DIY tips explained above. It is rare for you to need expert help unless the color was huge. Always try out different methods if you are not satisfied with the results.


Jenny Carlow

I’m the owner and probably who’s writing you will mostly read here (sorry in advance!), after testing over 100 vacuums, I’ve got the knack of pretty much within the first 5 minutes being able to tell you how good a vacuum is. Some say it’s a super power…

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