HOW TO CLEAN VOMIT AND IT'S SMELL

“My stomach hurts!” These are usually the last words or thoughts you or your child have just before vomiting. You rush for a bowl or a towel, but, it’s too late. Today, let’s discover a few effective ways to clean vomit and the smell.

Throw up, barf, tossing your cookies, praying to the porcelain god, blow chunks, upchuck, puke, or whatever slang words you prefer can never actually lighten the experience.  Vomit and the stomach acid it brings with it is one of the most excruciating pains and brings the worst of smells.

This feeling usually hits us so fast that there is little you can do to minimize the damage. The last thing you want to do is to have to clean it all up. However, it must be cleaned. There are different remedies for different surfaces, so let’s explore those now.

Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can sign up here.

Struggling with the daily housekeeping chores? Check out my ebook on this topic, entitled Make Over Your Homemaking. Use this link to get it at a discounted price.

To clean vomit from Carpet:

Special Note:As a precaution, check your carpet manufacturer instructions for cleaning, especially for wool or specialty fabrics. If you do not have care instructions, consider calling a professional carpet cleaner for advice.

 Carpet is probably my least favorite surfaces to try to clean vomit from. Just thinking of this makes me queasy. This is certainly not a job for the faint hearted.  If you have some plastic gloves, grab those and put them on first. First, start by scraping  off the excess vomit. You can do this with a spoon or some type of spatula. Toss this into a trash bag.

Next, use some distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a mixture of dish soap and water to soak the surface. It is not recommended to mix the vinegar and the peroxide, so choose one, not both.  Use a microfiber cloth or something of similar fabric to blot and absorb all of the excess moisture. Repeat until the surface dries, each time using a new towel to blot and absorb the moisture until it’s dry. 

Once the carpet is as dry as you can manage, sprinkle baking soda all over the damp surface. If you have pets or small children, cover the area with a dry towel and close off the room, if possible. The longer you can let the baking soda sit on the carpet, the better chance you have of removing the odor. Also, weather permitting, consider closing off that room and opening the windows to freshen the air. 

After you believe the odor is improved, vacuum away the baking soda from your carpet. Repeat this entire process as needed. 

To clean vomit from Upholstery:

Special Note:As a precaution, check your furniture manufacturer instructions for cleaning, especially for wool, velvet, leather, or specialty fabrics. If you do not have care instructions, consider calling a professional dry cleaner for advice.

To clean most fabric furniture surfaces, the preferred method is the remove the cushion covers and pillow covers if at all possible. If you can do this, you can wash them in the washing machine with a fabric-safe detergent on a gentle cycle. Then, to avoid shrinking, hang them to air dry. I recommend washing them in cold water to keep your colors from fading.

If the vomit has caused the cushion itself to get wet, you won’t be able to machine wash that. Instead, use the carpet cleaning method above to surface clean the cushion. Dust with baking soda to deodorize and absorb the odors. Then, vacuum the baking soda away once it has done it’s work.

To clean leather furniture, a simple mix of diluted dish soap and water should clean shiny leather surfaces, but I would not recommend that for matte or suede surfaces, as you will likely just create a large spot. If in doubt, test the underside of your furniture fabric to see how your surfaces will react. Contact your dry cleaners or furniture salesperson for professional advice.

To clean vomit from Clothing and Bedding:

If the fabric is white and is bleach-safe, you can wash the soiled clothing in your washing machine with laundry detergent and bleach. 

Important Tip: Never pour bleach directly onto any fabrics. Instead, follow your washing machine instructions to pour the bleach into the appropriate space. 

If the item of clothing or bedding is a specialty fabric or expensive, try to remove the vomit as much as possible by scraping it and blotting it. Then, take the soiled clothing/bedding to the dry cleaner as soon as possible for professional removal.

Assuming your items are not white, not specialty fabric, and can be machine washed, you should proceed with that method. I do recommend washing the vomit soiled clothing/bedding separately though, to avoid ruining the regular laundry. Repeat the machine wash method as needed to completely remove the odor. 

If you have stubborn stains, try a stain removal spray and follow the instructions on the bottle. 

To clean vomit from Pillows:

Remove the outer cover of the pillow and follow the upholstery cleaning instructions above for cleaning the cover.

Special Note: If your pillow has a tag with care instructions, follow those.

The actual pillow itself, provided it is cotton or polyester filled and not down, can be machine washed and air dried . Avoid putting anything that is filled with down or down alternatives in your washing machine. This method should clean the pillows well but may cause them to become misshapen. If this happens, tossing it in the dryer might just make it worse. Instead, try to squeeze and manipulate the pillow back to the desired shape after you remove it from your washing machine.

If you have vomit on your mattress, I have a completely different blog post designated to just cleaning bed mattresses. Check it out for some tips.

I hope you now have a better understanding of how to remove vomit and it’s smell. Better yet, I hope you feel better! Chances are, you’ve stumbled upon this information while you are ill or are caring for a loved one who is ill.

A handy tip for stomach flu is to keep a large bowl and towel nearby to help aid in catching the vomit. Then, you can simply pour it into the toilet and rinse your bowl. My kids know we have a “throw up bowl” specifically for that purpose, so I never use it for food preparation.

Be sure you store it separately from all of your other kitchen bowls. You can use a plastic kid’s Easter basket or Halloween bucket, too, as they are usually the perfect size for this purpose. 

HOW TO CLEAN VOMIT AND IT'S SMELL

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My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Kids’ Rooms list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.

Also, to keep up the general housework, you may need to create a daily housekeeping schedule that suits your specific needs. To do so, I have created a helpful series you can read here.

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Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can sign up here.

Need “Declutter Your Home” checklists for each room? Read more below.

How to Declutter the Guest Room or Your Kid’s Room checklist can be found here.

 What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house?

Also, my How to Declutter Your Laundry Room and Patio checklist is found here.

My How to Declutter Your Coat Closet/Hall Closet/Linen Closet checklist can be found here.

Next, you can find my How to Declutter Your Home Office checklist  here.

What is the best way to declutter?

Find my How to Declutter Your Attic checklist by clicking  here.

The How to Declutter Your Garage checklist can be found here.

My How to Declutter Your Living Room checklist can be found here.

How to Declutter Your Kitchen Checklist can be found here.

What is the best way to declutter?  What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house?

The How to Declutter Your Entry/Foyer/Mudroom checklist can be found here.

My How to Declutter Your Clothing checklist can be found here.

Also, a How to Declutter Your Bedroom checklist can be found here.

How to Declutter Your Bathroom checklist can be found here.

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Step 1: Check out this post on the 1st step you should take to get organized. Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can sign up here.

Step 2: Create a daily Housekeeping Schedule. You can use this series to start to set up your own schedule. You can also use this simplified weekly schedule.If you often ask: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Or, if you struggle to get organized and have tried and failed time and again, you can likely find out which of these 11 reasons cause you to fail to get organized.

Step 3:   How do you remove clutter?.…Sign up for the Declutter Series and get your entire home decluttered in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.”Declutter Your Home” checklists are provided in each email.

Step 4: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Use a timer and use the Deep Cleaning Checklists above. They will help you get your home sparkling after you’ve decluttered. 

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Check out the most popular posts on deemiddleton.com: 

14 Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

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How to Create a Daily Housekeeping Schedule

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Also, check out a great post on decluttering over here from becomingminimalist.com. Joshua Becker has some great tips on decluttering and minimalism.

For further reading, check out the fly lady here. She has some great cleaning and decluttering ideas plus excellent organization tips to get you started.

Happy Decluttering!