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How to Remove Vomit from Carpet

Starclean Cleaning Service Tallahassee > News > How to Remove Vomit from Carpet

Cleaning up vomit ranks high up on the list of most unpleasant tasks, but with the right tools (and some rubber gloves) it is possible to remove this icky stain from clothing, bedding, carpets and rugs and other soft surfaces.

Like other spills, your best bet is to tackle the mess as soon as possible. Carolyn Forté, Executive Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, recommends three different methods depending on the stained object in question, but you’ll want to stock up on a few specialized cleaning supplies — in addition to white vinegar and baking soda — for your best chance at success.

Supplies Needed to Remove Vomit:

How to Remove Vomit Stains From Washable Fabric

teddy bear on bed

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Whether you’re saving a favorite item of clothing or your kid’s bedsheets, check the care label and follow these three simple steps for cleaning washable fabrics:

  1. Scrape off excess vomit.
  2. Flush the area with cold water.
  3. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover, like Shout Advanced Gel.
  4. Launder using the hottest water safe for the fabric.
  5. Skip the clothes dryer until you’re sure the stain is completely removed.

    1. How to Remove Vomit Stains From Carpet

      baby crawling on carpet

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      For easier removal, get to this stain as quickly as you can to keep it from seeping deep into the carpet pile.

      1. Start by scraping off excess vomit with a spoon, removing as much as possible from deep in the pile.
      2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain to absorb any remaining residue and odor. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming.
      3. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing soap, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Using a clean, white cloth, gently sponge (don’t rub) the stain with this solution and blot. Continue sponging and blotting with a clean section of the towel until the stain is gone and the liquid is absorbed. Now sponge with cold water to completely rinse out the detergent/vinegar solution. Blot well and air dry.
      4. Fluff the carpet with your fingertips. If the stain or odor remains, try an enzyme-containing pet stain carpet cleaner like we recommend for upholstery below.

        1. How to Remove Vomit Stains From Upholstery

          happy toddler boy playing in sitting room

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          Your couch isn’t a goner yet, but you’ll want to keep an upholstery cleaner formulated for pet stains, like Bissell Professional Pet Stain & Odor Remover, on hand to save your furniture. “It contains enzymes that work on the vomit and the odor, just like it does for other pet stains,” Forté says.

          1. First, scrape off excess vomit and blot up as much residue as you can.
          2. Lightly spritz the stain with the cleaner and blot with a clean, white cloth working from the outside of the stain into the center to keep it from spreading. Repeat until the stain is gone. Rinse well with a clean damp cloth and blot.
          3. Cover the area with a moist towel for at least 12 hours to keep the enzymes working. Remove the towel and air dry.

            1. How to Get Rid of Lingering Vomit Smells

              Removing a vomit stain is often only half the battle. Even after the stain is gone, a rancid odor can linger in fabrics. And once the area gets warm or damp, the smell re-emerges. What this usually signals is that odor-causing bacteria are still present and feeding on some leftover vomit residue.

              For very faint whiffs, try sponging the area with warm or hot water to dissolve and remove any bits of residue. Once dry, work a little baking soda into the fabric with a soft brush. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then vacuum. To remove stubborn or strong odors, use an enzyme-based carpet and upholstery cleaner formulated for pet stains according to label directions. After rinsing, cover the area with a moist towel and keep the towel moist for up to 72 hours to keep the enzymes working to more thoroughly remove the stain and the smell.

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