Cleaning up vomit is one of the worst cleaning tasks around. When it lands on carpet, you have a double task: remove the odors and the stains. The key is using the right process to break through the mess and remove it for good.
You Will Need:
- A dust pan
- A plastic bag
- Paper towels or old rags
- An absorbent powder:
- Baking soda
- Corn starch
- A vacuum
- Enzyme-based cleaner (ex: Kids ‘n Pets, Nature’s Miracle) or
- A homemade cleaning solution:
- White vinegar
- Dish liquid
Steps to Clean the Carpet:
- Start by removing as much of the vomit as possible. Use a dust pan or other scraper to remove as much as possible. Wrapping a plastic grocery bag over the dust pan works well, then simply fold the bag back off the dustpan when ready to contain the mess.
- Next, blot the area with old rags or paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible.
- Cover the area with a generous amount of either baking soda or cornstarch. Either of those products will soak up the excess moisture. If you don’t have either of those, salt can be used instead.
- Allow it to sit on the area for 10-15 minutes.
- Vacuum away the baking soda or corn starch with a vacuum.
- Next, you will treat the area for the odor and/or stains that may be present.
- Apply an enzyme-based cleaner. These are readily available in the cleaning aisle or with the pet supplies. These cleaners eat up all the remaining matter, removing any odor or stain as it does. If these cleaners are not available, you can use a solution of one part white vinegar in two parts water with a squirt of dish liquid.
- Apply a generous amount of cleaner to the area.
- Wait a minute or two for the cleaner to work.
- Blot it with a clean cloth or paper towels to remove the cleaner and the stain. Continue blotting until you have removed as much moisture as possible.
- Repeat steps 8-10 as needed.
- Once the area is clean, use a damp cloth to sponge the area to rinse. Any cleaner residue that remains on the floor will attract dirt in the future, leading to a dirt stain.
- Blot with a dry cloth or paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible, then allow the area to air dry.
- Vacuum the dry surface to restore the texture once the area is dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- If you are sensitive to the smell, place a drop of strong cologne/perfume, lotion or minty toothpaste under your nose before you begin.
- Consider putting your hand inside a plastic bag while cleaning the mess to prevent touching it.
- For best results, clean the carpet immediately. The longer the vomit sits, the further it will soak into the carpet and padding and will be more difficult to remove.
- If you do not have a vacuum, you will need to scrape up as much of the vomit as possible using a dull knife or spoon, then start with step 7 above. You can brush the area to restore the texture once it is clean instead of using a vacuum.
- After vacuuming the area, dispose of the contents in the vacuum. This will help prevent odors and bacteria growth inside the vacuum.
- If there is a lingering smell in the area immediately after cleaning, place a bowl of either white vinegar, baking soda or fresh coffee ground near where for vomit was located for an hour.
- The above cleaning methods will work to kill a majority of bacteria and other pathogens that may be in the vomit. However, if the vomit is from someone with a contagious illness (food poisioning, viruses, etc.) and you want to disinfect the area afterward as a precaution, use the guide How to Disinfect Carpet.