How To Clean Vomit From a Carpet

Cleaning professional scrubbing vomit out of carpet

If we’re lucky, vomit happens on a hard surface that’s easy to wipe clean. However, it doesn’t always go that way and often lands on carpet. Read on to find out how to clean vomit out of the carpet.

Why You Need to Act Quickly

Vomit can lead to permanent stains and be a health hazard, so you need to remove it immediately.

Understanding how to clean vomit from a carpet starts with analyzing its composition. Vomit typically contains stomach acids, food particles, enzymes, and bile, all of which contribute to its staining and odor potential. The high acidity can damage carpet fibers, leading to lasting discoloration and deterioration.

The organic nature of vomit provides a breeding ground for bacteria. This could result in health hazards and persistent, unpleasant odors. Prompt removal helps maintain the carpet's appearance, prevents bacterial growth, and ensures a hygienic environment. This swift action minimizes the risk of long-term damage and helps maintain a clean, odor-free space.

Preparation for Cleaning

In preparation for cleaning and learning how to get throw-up out of a carpet, first gather the following supplies: disposable gloves, mask, paper towels or a cloth rag, a plastic scraper, white vinegar, baking soda, and a quality carpet cleaner. Make good ventilation a priority during the cleaning process, as that’s the best way to minimize odors and facilitate quicker, more efficient stain removal.

Immediate Cleanup Steps

Grab disposable gloves and a mask to help prevent accidental brushes with icky substances and lessen the stench factor while cleaning vomit. Scrape up as much of the vomit as possible with a dustpan. You may be able to clean vomit out of the carpet with a spoon if there isn’t too much of it.

Blot the rest of the vomit on the carpet with rags or paper towels, absorbing moisture to prevent odors from lingering. Cover the area with baking soda and leave it for about 15 minutes to absorb any remaining moisture.

Vacuum up as much baking soda as possible to remove more vomit from the carpet. Use a wet/dry vac if you have one. Don't forget to empty the vacuum cleaner bag or clean the canister thoroughly afterward.

DIY Cleaning Solutions

The best carpet cleaner for vomit is an effective DIY cleaning solution using common household items. A mixture of white vinegar and water is a powerful option. Combine equal parts of both to create a solution that neutralizes odors and breaks down stains.

For tougher stains, apply a baking soda paste, made by mixing baking soda with a little water to absorb and lift the stain. Other useful remedies include a mixture of dish soap and water or hydrogen peroxide (test for colorfastness first). These solutions are cost-effective and environmentally friendly, making them ideal for regular household use.

Tips for Odor Elimination

Use an enzyme-based cleaner to kill any lingering odors. These detergents break down odor-causing proteins. Vinegar and dish soap can also be effective. Apply a liberal amount. Blot again with clean rags or paper towels. Allow it to air-dry. Repeat if smells remain.

Dealing with Stubborn Stains

Person vacuuming vomit out of carpet

Dealing with older or stubborn vomit stains requires more intensive approaches. To clean vomit from the carpet in these situations, start by rehydrating the stain with warm water and mild detergent. Allow it to penetrate and loosen the dried material. Then, use a combination of white vinegar and baking soda for their natural stain-removing and deodorizing properties.

For deep-set stains, use a carpet steam cleaner or a specialized enzyme cleaner that breaks down organic matter. Test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the carpet fibers.

Professional Cleaning Considerations

When DIY methods fall short, especially for persistent vomit stains, use professional carpet cleaning service. This not only ensures thorough cleaning, but also contributes to the longevity and maintenance of your carpet, preserving its appearance and hygiene.

Cleaning Help When You Need It

Once you’ve got the vomit cleaned up, you then need to focus on the rest of your home’s cleaning needs. This will all be a bit overwhelming, so give yourself a break. Call Molly Maid® to find out about our excellent cleaning options. All our services come with the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which guarantees the job done is right the first time. Get a free estimate today!