If you have ever had the misfortune of being sick, throwing up, vomiting, blowing chunks (whatever you want to call it) on a carpet, then you undoubtedly are aware of the carnage that can ensue after such an incident!
Cleaning up vomit is a stomach-churning experience that batters the senses with physical mess and a most unfortunate of smells. So how do you clean vomit from a carpet and how on earth can you get rid of that tangy aroma?
Read on to discover when and how to clean up vomit from a carpet using household products and ensure that your carpet looks as good as new, free from dirt, residue, and potent smells.
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When Is The Best Time To Clean Vomit From A Carpet?
Cleaning Fresh Vomit
The best time to clean up vomit from a carpet is as soon as possible after the incident has happened.
Letting vomit sit on any porous surface like carpet will allow it more time to soak into the carpet's fibers, and, therefore, it will become more difficult to remove stains or odors.
The first step is to clear up as much of the vomit that is sitting on the carpet's surface using a brush and dustpan, towels, or paper towels.
Anything you use can be easily washed and disinfected after use to ensure there are no bacteria, dirt, or germs on the cloth or utensils.
Once the excess vomit has been removed, you can continue to clean the carpet with one of the advised cleaning solutions listed below.
Cleaning Dried Vomit
Unfortunately, an immediate clean-up is not always possible with vomit, either due to the time of the incident or the sick individual being too unwell to deal with it straight away.
Perhaps your pet left you a nice surprise for the morning, or your child didn't alert you after they had been sick. Whatever the reason, cleaning dried vomit from the carpet is a more arduous task than cleaning fresh vomit.
First, the dried vomit will need to be made wet again with warm water to allow it to be broken down and removed.
A note of caution, this could unleash some pungent and consuming aromas, so keep the room well ventilated at all times to keep your stomach steady.
Once the vomit has been dampened, you may continue with the usual cleaning process used for fresh vomit.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and cold water in a spray bottle and shake it well to ensure the solutions mix properly. Spray this vinegar solution over the affected area and allow it to soak for between 15 and 30 minutes.
Next, soak up any excess solution and carefully scrub the stained area using a sturdy brush, this will lift the dirt and residue out of the carpet and make it easier to wipe up.
Baking soda is another commonly used aid in cleaning and works wonders with tough stains, engrained residue, and in the removal of moisture. It's even used to remove odors from old mattresses.
Liberally cover the affected area of the carpet and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. You will quickly see the baking soda forming into bigger lumps as it absorbs the excess liquid from the carpet.
Once the process is finished, simply use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the residue for a clean and dry carpet. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary to ensure the stains and odors are removed from the carpet.
For determined stains or especially moist areas, again, apply generously, but this time leave it for a few hours or even overnight if you're not seeing quick results.
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Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic and disinfectant that can be used to kill germs and bacteria, as well as being an incredibly effective cleaning aid.
Mix a solution that is one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water, then spray this over the affected area and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, use diluted dish soap in place of water for more bubbles and cleaning power.
Next, scrub the carpet to build the solution up into a foamy lather and see as the stains are lifted from the carpet. Soak up the excess solution with paper towels or a clean cloth, and then rinse the carpet with some warm water.
Failure to do so may result in remnants of the solution building up, causing a dirty carpet.
Can I Use An Iron To Clean Vomit Stains?
Steam is one of the most efficient methods of cleaning everything from kitchen counters, garden patios, and also carpets. You can use your regular iron for an impressively effective method of removing even the most steadfast of stains.
Spray a vinegar solution that's equal parts water onto the affected area, and then lay a towel or cotton cloth over the area. Use the iron's steam button and continuously glide the iron over the towel or cloth for between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
Be attentive and keep the iron moving, as sitting in one spot could easily burn through the towel or cloth and permanently damage the carpet below. The steam should lift the stains out of the carpet and onto the towel or cloth, leaving clean carpet below.
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How To Remove Vomit Odors
Often the most uncomfortable part of cleaning up vomit is the unfortunate and quite disgusting vomit smell. This can frequently be such a pungent smell that people struggle to even approach the vomit to begin clearing it up.
To make this task a little more comfortable, keep the room well ventilated, wear a clothes peg on your nose, or, alternatively, use a scented scarf or cotton wool to block the aromas from sneaking up your nose.
There is a wide range of products designed especially to combat challenging aromas in the household, including a variety of carpet cleaners, carpet shampoos, and deodorizers.
This product from Woolite is particularly great, as it comes with an integrated brush for ousting tough stains.
However, to save some money and take a less chemically reliant approach to cleaning your carpet, you can use a number of household products for the same result.
White vinegar, baking powder, and hydrogen peroxide are all effective solutions for removing the unwanted stink of vomit from the carpet.
Of course, after cleaning the carpet with these it can leave a lingering aroma of vinegar or peroxide… better than the vomit but not ideal!
To combat this and create a more desirable aroma throughout the room, try using essential oils as a fantastic natural alternative to other products.
Choose your preferred essential oil, though, from personal experience, lavender and peppermint are notably effective at removing unwanted odors from vomit.
Simply mix five drops of the oil in with baking soda before allowing it to sit on the carpet to absorb the stains and smells (see also 'How To Get Oil Out Of Carpet').
Cleaning up vomit from a carpet is certainly not a desirable task to undertake! Hopefully, this guide will help you do an efficient and cost-saving cleaning job the next time you have the misfortune of dealing with a vomit-stained carpet.