How To Clean Up Vomit

By Kwabena Okyire Appianing •  Updated: 05/12/22 •  8 min read

Vomiting can be a stomach-churning disaster in any home and cleaning it up ranks high on the list of the most unpleasant tasks. 

Whether you’re the person who vomited or the one cleaning up afterwards, this is no easy task.  You have to realize that the longer you wait to tackle a vomit stain, the more it’s going to be hard to get the job done. 

Do you know how to deal with it without becoming nauseous and losing it?

With the right tools, it is possible to remove those irky stains on carpets,  bedding,  clothing and other surfaces. 

Let’s have a look at how to clean up vomit very easily!


1. Dry out the vomit stain

One of the first things you have to consider when it comes to cleaning up vomit whatever the surface, whether it’s a mattress, carpet or upholstery, you have to start by drying out the vomit before cleaning it.  

You can start by sprinkling corn flour or baking powder over the stain and leave it for up to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, it will start to clump as it dries. 

You can then use a vacuum cleaner that comes with a hose attachment to clean it up. 


2. Spray with hot water and blot

This is a simple method to clean up vomit. Do not soak but rather wet the stain with warm water.   You can do this by spraying warm water onto the stain and then using a clean, dry cloth,  such as a kitchen  roll, to blow it thoroughly.   

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It’s important to note that when it comes to removing vomit stains from carpet, there are a few routes you can take, most work well but the most most important factor is the speed factor. It’s advisable to use what is available in your kitchen cupboard to speed things up. 


1. Use a kitchen spatula to scoop it

Using a kitchen spatula will by itself put some distance between you and the vomit and this is good especially if you can’t handle any splash of it on you. 

You can easily slide the kitchen spatula under the vomit and carefully flip it into a plastic bag or any other container you have available. 


2. Use a dog poop bag to grab it

This is a good method for those who are used to picking dog poop. You first have to put your hand into the bag, turn it inside out so it looks like a glove. Once this is done, you can then enclose it around the vomit and collect it.


3.  Use stiff card to pincer it

You have to look around for some thin cardboard or card. Some cereal boxes or birthday cards will be perfect!

You can use two pieces of the card to pinch the vomit up off the carpet into a bag or container.  

It’s important that you go in for a stiff card. You don’t want it to drop once you’ve lifted it up. 


4. Use rubber gloves to pick up the vomit

Using rubber gloves to pick up the vomit is only feasible if the vomit is not too runny or watery (so sorry).

You can easily put on the rubber gloves and use it to pick up the vomit. 


5. Use kitchen roll

A kitchen roll will not work with anything that is runny or watery. However, in such a case, you should consider using any of the methods listed above.  


If you have a baby in the family or a toddler with a tummy upset, you can easily clean their mattresses without any difficulties.  

1. The most important stage is to pick up the vomit which we have already listed above. Once this is done, you can start blotting up any liquid. 

2. The next step is to mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water into a spray bottle. You then have to wet the stain then bloat it.  Remember to repeat this process until the stain disappears. 



Fabrics such as curtains, cushions or even baby clothes tend to  easily get stained. To remove the stain from fabrics once you’ve scraped off excess vomit, you have to pretreat the stain with a pre-wash stain remover. 

When this is done, allow it to work for about half an hour.  You can then put on the wash that the fabric allows or works well with. 


1. Use salt to remove vomit stains

This is a very important method especially when speed is of essence to you. If you also want to prevent the vomit stain from completely embedding itself into your upholstery or carpet, then this is the best method to go in for.  

Mix equal amounts of salt and water  and make sure the water is warm and not hot. 

Pour the saline solution over the stain and start blotting, then remove with a cloth or sponge. To make it even quicker,  you can use a microfiber cloth to pick up more of the stain. 

Read: How To Get Rid Of Hickeys


This is a step-by-step process  on how to clean wet vomit from carpet. However, before we get started, here are one things you will need for the job. 

A scrapper

Dustpan and broom

Latex gloves or rubber

Fabric cleaner or carpet

Sand, spatula,  piece of cardboard, plastic bag or paper towels.

Cornstarch or baking soda

Cleaning cloth or rag

White vinegar, dry cleaning solvent, club soda or hydrogen peroxide. 

Warm water

Spray bottle


1. Put on gloves

The first thing is to put on your gloves. This is meant to keep your hands clean from germs but at the same time, protect them from the smell of the vomit.  

It’s very important to note that there are several ways to remove the vomit but the longer you leave the chunks, the worse the stain will be.  


2. Using a scraper

Use a spatula or scraper to grab and lit the vomit off the carpet. You can then place the spew into a plastic bag or container. This method helps to reduce contact with the vomit. 

A very important thing to note is , if you’re using a spatula,  make sure it’s not the one that has gaps or holes.  This is because the vomit will fall out and it will leave you with a lot of work. 


3. Plastic Bag

This is a method commonly used to close the dog poop. You can start by wrapping the plastic bag around your hand. Once your hand is inside the plastic bag, you can then pick up the vomit and turn the bag inside out. 

You can easily seal it off after disposing of it. 


4. Hand or paper towel

Using a hand or paper towel to clean vomit is a popular method as we all have towels at our disposal.  

With this method,  you have to grab the towel and use it to pick up the vomit. It’s important not to rub it as it will end up making it worse. 

You should take note when you use a hand towel. Make sure you remove all the clumps from the fabric before cleaning it in the washing machine. This will prevent the chunks from getting stuck in the machine. 


5. Try sand

You can also try using sand. You can dust the vomit with a considerable amount of sand. Make sure it covers it completely.

Make sure it clumps together with the vomit and then use a broom to remove it.  However, if you have a thick carpet, you can go over with a vacuum to remove all the sand.


6. Don’t apply pressure

It’s important to note that applying pressure on the vomit will press it into the carpet fibers which will end up making others very difficult to remove. 


It’s time to remove the moisture once the chunks are gone. There are several ways to do this and here are a few :


Baking Soda

This is perhaps one of the most popular products to use when it comes to expelling excess moisture.  

You can start by sprinkling a considerable amount of it on the vomit. Make sure it covers it completely. You should leave it for at least 10 to 15 minutes until you begin to see dry clumps. Once you begin this, grab your vacuum  to remove the residue. 



You can use cornstarch If you don’t have baking soda. It works exactly like the baking powder. You have to go through the same process and you will see a similar result. 

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Cleaning up vomit is no easy task and no one enjoys doing it. Sometimes the need just arises and you will end up cleaning it whether you enjoy doing it or not. We hope these tips will help you on how to clean up vomit.


Kwabena Okyire Appianing