How to Clean Up Vomit

November 14, 2018

Viruses, bad food, and car sickness are some of a mama's worst enemies. Because they all lead to you and your rubber gloves cleaning up vomit.

And Let's be honest, kids have a tendency to throw up in the worst places.

That means that you might find yourself looking for a way to clean vomit out of your car, your carpet or even worse, your bed.

But here's the thing, what if you can't bring yourself to scoop up that soupy mess with a rag? Or what if you just have NO IDEA how to even begin to clean up an entire pile of vomit?

Fortunately, there are some tricks that can help you clean up that smelly puddle of puke without vomiting yourself.



What You'll Need

TO DRY UP AND REMOVE VOMIT FROM HARDWOOD FLOOR

TO DRY UP AND REMOVE VOMIT FROM Carpet or Fabric

  • Rubber gloves
  • A moisture absorbent (ie. Kitty Litter, Baking soda, Cornstarch, or a Commercial Absorber)
  • Broom and dustpan (preferably a handheld)
  • Plastic bag or Trash Bag,
  • Paper Towels
  • Sanitizer
  • Clorox
  • A cleaning bucket

Step 1 - Remove any clothes, sheets or throw rugs that got caught in the crossfire.

Shake out excess vomit from laundry before washing

The first and most obvious step is to remove anything that can be washed in your washing machine. So grab a trash bag, a pair of gloves, and a face mask (if you have it) and set to work.

You will want to Remove any excess vomit from clothing or throw rugs before placing them in your washing machine. This can be done by simply scooping up the affected item and dumping it into a trash bag.

Then wash in warm water and rinse in cold. Be sure to use a fabric softener for the removal of odors. If you do not have a fabric softener on hand, you can also use vinegar.

Note: If the amount of vomit is overly excessive on sheets and throw rugs, you may want to consider absorbing it first as mentioned in the next step.

STEP 2 - SOAK UP THE VOMIT FOR EASY REMOVAL.

Most people tend to think that the first step for cleaning vomit involves getting their face right down in the action and begin scrubbing. Not only is that unsanitary, but it may cause you to upchuck as well.

But if you won't be scooping up the mess by hand, you may be wondering what to clean up vomit with.

You'll want to remove everyone from the area and sprinkle something over the mess to dry up the vomit first. 

My personal first choice is kitty litter because it not only soaks up the moisture but it also removes the smell from the room fairly effectively. However, if you don't have kitty litter on hand, you could sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, baby powder, or even flour to produce the same result. Be sure to sprinkle enough to cover the entire mess.

Let the mixture sit for at least five minutes then check to make sure you've sufficiently soaked up all liquid. If not, you'll want to re-sprinkle and wait an additional 5 minutes.

PRO TIP: How Schools Clean up Vomit

 Do you remember your elementary school days when the kid sitting next to leaned over and puke all over the floor? The janitor would come in the room and sprinkle some magic powder on the mess and within 10 minutes, all was right with the world again.   Have you ever wondered where to buy that magic power that schools use to clean up vomit?   You should!  Because trust me... that stuff is by far the best.  I like to keep some on hand for all kinds of bodily fluid messes.

Step 3 - Remove the dried up vomit

Using a broom, carefully sweep up the entire mixture. Even if you are cleaning vomit from carpet or fabric DO NOT use your vacuum for this step unless you want to also clean, sanitize and deodorize the inner workings of your vacuum cleaner. If you find it difficult to get all the smaller bits, you may also try a small handheld broom or even a scrub brush for sweeping.


If you are trying to remove vomit from a hard floor, now is the time to sanitize.

Put on a pair of gloves and use a wet paper towel to wipe up any excess. Then, use a disinfectant to spot clean the area. Remember to let the disinfectant air dry in order to ensure that you've killed off all germs.


If you are trying to clean vomit from carpet, you'll need to continue with the next steps to ensure that you do not leave any vomit stains.

STEP 4 - CLEANING UP THE VOMIT STAIN FROM CARPET OR FABRIC

This DIY recipe is by far the best one I've found for removing the smell and stain from carpet or fabric, but if you're going to be using a commercial product, I would highly suggest this one made by Woolite.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Solution and Deodorizing Recipe to clean up vomit from carpets 


Spray the affected area until saturated and then use an old washcloth to blot aggressively. If you feel that you've sufficiently removed the stain, you could stop here and allow the area to air dry. 
However, I prefer to follow this step by "rinsing" the area with carbonated water in order to agitate the stain from below. Blot again with a clean cloth.

Simple DIY Disinfectant

Simple DIY Disinfectant
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Two cups of warm water
  • Half cup of distilled vinegar
  • One tablespoon dawn dish soap
  • Three tablespoons rubbing alcohol

Tools

  • Spray Bottle

Instructions

  1. Mix water, vinegar, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  2. Use immediately.

Notes

Cleaners like vinegar and alcohol can evaporate when left inside of a spray bottle making the mixture less potent. Therefore, a fresh batch should be mixed up for each cleaning.

Step 5 - Dry the Affected area.

Allow the area to sit for at least 15 minutes to become disinfected. If you have a wet/dry vac or a steam cleaner handy, you may want to soak up any excess moisture at this point. Otherwise, allow the affected area to thoroughly air dry.

I keep a small dehumidifier handy for any time I clean our carpet, cars or beds. This ensures that the area dries up quickly, eliminating the chances of mold spores developing.
 

Step 6 - Remove the Smell of Vomit from your carpet

For this step, it is best if you use a commercial carpet freshener like this one. (Keep it in stock with Prime Pantry)

However, if you do not have one on hand (or prefer not to use chemicals) you could also sprinkle more baking soda over the area.

The box says to wait 15 minutes before vacuuming, but I personally suggest 30 minutes as it really gives the room a fresh scent and leaves your home feeling clean.

Step 7 - Freshen and disinfect the air in your home.

Freshening the air in your home will have a huge effect on whether or not your home feels clean. I personally like to keep an air purifier running to help keep germs and bacteria at bay. Even better, you can use scented filters to leave your home smelling really beautiful.

However, if you're battling a virus, then an air purifier may not be enough. You may want to consider using a diffuser with essential oils to disinfect and boost your immune systems. Our favorite is On Guard by DoTerra but most providers have a version of this that will work just fine.

Step 8 - How to Sanitize your broom and other cleaning supplies

BROOM CLEANING:
Pour 1 part Clorox to 4 parts hot (not boiling) after into a bucket that is large enough to dip your broom/scrub brush. Let the broom soak in the sanitizing mixture for up to 10 minutes. Using gloved hands, you can gently loosen any remaining debris and allow the broom to air dry.

If you choose not to discard your cleaning rags, you can machine wash them in hot water. Add laundry softener or vinegar to ensure there is no remaining odor.

Reusable gloves: If you opted for reusable gloves you will need to sanitize those as well. Place gloves on your hands and pour a capful of Clorox directly on the gloves. Then proceed to wash your gloved hands under running water. Take care not to get the Clorox/water mixture on your arm above the gloved as it can irritate your skin.

How to avoid future puke disasters

When little ones are sick, they often can't make it to a toilet before they begin to throw up, that's why it's important to give them a bucket to keep with them in bed in case of emergency. You may also want to purchase a plastic mattress cover for his/her bed. This means that any future vomit accidents can be easily wiped up.

How to Clean up Vomit in a car.

What You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • A moisture absorbent 
  • Handheld Broom and dustpan 
  • Plastic bag or Trash Bag,
  • Paper Towels
  • Sanitizer
  • A Cleaning Cloth
  • A Vacuum (Wet/Dry)


Step 1- Find an appropriate place to clean up

Best case scenario: You drive straight home, tend to your little puker, and then get started on the car.

Worst case scenario: You're on a road trip across the country and your car is covered in throw up. Drive to the nearest carwash, gas station, or superstore. After tending to your sickling follow these steps to deal with the mess!

Step 2 - Soak up the Vomit for easy removal

My personal first choice is kitty litter because it not only soaks up the moisture but it also removes the smell fairly effectively. However, if you don't have kitty litter on hand, you could sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch to produce the same result. Be sure to sprinkle enough to cover the entire mess. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes to absorb the liquid.

In an emergency situation (Like the road trip I mentioned above), You could also use paper towels to soak up the mess. Not ideal, but completely doable.

Step 3 - Removing the dried up vomit

Using a handheld broom, sweep up all of the now dry vomit and dispose of it in a plastic bag or garbage bag

To completely remove the puke from the carpet, you'll now need to clean an sanitize the area.


Step 4 - Cleaning up the Vomit Stain from carpet or fabric

Purchase or make a disinfectant cleaner.

Then spray the affected area until saturated and then use an old washcloth to blot aggressively. If you feel that you've sufficiently removed the stain, you could stop here and allow the area to air dry.

However, I prefer to follow this step by "rinsing" the area with carbonated water in order to agitate the stain from below. Blot again with a clean cloth.

Step 5 - Dry the area

Allow the area to sit for at least 15 minutes to become disinfected. If you have a wet/dry vac on hand (or have gone to a car wash) then you may want to suck up excess moisture at this time. Otherwise, use the heat or air conditioning unit in the vehicle to keep air moving in order to dry the area thoroughly. Leaving moisture in your vehicle with all of the doors and windows closed could lead to mold. You could also try a commercial DESICCANT like this one.

Step 6 - Freshen the carpet

For this step, it is best if you use a commercial carpet freshener like this one. However, if you do not have one on hand (or prefer not to use chemicals) you could also sprinkle more baking soda over the area.

The box says to wait 15 minutes before vacuuming, but I personally suggest 30 minutes as it really gives the room a fresh scent and leaves your car feeling clean.

Step 7 - Avoid Future puke disasters

If car sickness is the main issue for your family then you may want to take measures to protect your vehicle.
If possible, consider
purchasing leather seat covers and plastic floor liners. At a bare minimum, keep car sickness bagsa moisture absorbent, and absorbent underpads (pee pads) in your vehicle for emergencies.

If you liked it, Pin it!  

Thank you.
 We appreciate your shares!

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small fee for anything purchased through a link (at no cost to you.)  I only promote products that I fully support. You can read my full disclosure HERE.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}