1. Items to Gather to Clean Vomit from a Car
Collect the necessary items, and get ready to clean the interior. Some of the items for vomit cleanup serve a similar purpose, such as the sponge and a scrub brush. You can decide what items work best for your vomit clean up situation.
- Disposable cloth or rag
- Scrub brush
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Garbage bag
- Activated charcoal
- Paper towels or shop-style absorbent towels
- Rubber gloves
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Hot water
- Vacuum cleaner
- Plastic utensil
- Safety glasses
- Dust mast
- Spray bottle
- Round tooth picks
- Carpet odor remover (optional)
- Essential oil diffuser (optional)
2. Protect Yourself as You Clean
Vomit can contain bacteria and viruses. Make sure you have protective gear when you clean the vomit deeper from within the surfaces. Wear rubber gloves, a dust mask and protective eye wear or eyeglasses. This may seem like an unnecessary precaution, but you should protect yourself.
3. Clean Up the Vomit as Quickly as Possible
If you act quickly, the vomit clean-up will be easier. The vomit will have less time to absorb and set into the fabric upholstery and other areas of the vehicle. Clean up the vomit before it has dried if possible.
4. Tackle the Surface Vomit and Any Solid Chunks Within
Put your rubber gloves on, and get your garbage bag ready. Wear a dust mask to potentially dampen the smell. You can use a plastic utensil to pick up and scrape as many of the particles as you can off the upholstery and carpet. Fresh vomit will likely have multiple layers. Use paper towels to remove any remaining particles or solid material from the vomit.
5. Clean the Surface and Mid-Level Vomit From Your Car
Use the paper towels to blot and absorb the fresh vomit and moisture. Do not use a back and forth scrubbing motion. Dab the affected area until it is virtually dry. You may have to use up to half of a role of paper towels to accomplish this.
6. Clean the Remaining Vomit From Your Car
There are several ways and cleaning agents you can use to get rid of the vomit and vomit stains. There are advantages to each, and they can perform differently. You can use baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, or a commercial cleaning agent. If you have to clean vomit from your car more than once, you can determine which method works best.
7. A Multi-Step Process To Clean All the Vomit From Your Car
To get the most complete results, you can often combine one method with another. Each home cleaning agent has different cleaning properties, and can interact with the soft surface and clean in a different way. You can begin with vinegar and continue with the baking soda treatment.
8. Cleaning Vomit From Your Car With Vinegar
This method for cleaning vomit involves combining distilled white vinegar, dish soap and warm water. Mix about three cups of vinegar, a tablespoon of dish shop in a bucket of warm water. The vinegar has cleaning and odor-eliminating properties.
Be sure to have on your protective gear including gloves, a dust mask and eyewear.
Use a scrub brush and a sponge dipped in the liquid mix you have prepared. Begin with the brush in a circular motion as you work the cleaning solution into the vomit-stained area. The brush will disrupt the fibers in the fabric upholstery and loosen the micro vomit particles.
Dab the area dry with a paper towel or disposable rag. Use as many towels or rags as necessary. Repeat the brush vomit-cleaning process one to two more times. Be sure to blot dry in between cleanings.
Soak the sponge in the cleaning mixture. Ring out the sponge a little. Scrub the area in a back-and-forth motion with the sponge. Blot dry the excess moisture with a towel or absorbent cloth.
9. Washing Vomit From Your Car With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a key agent to eliminate smells and provide a deeper clean. Baking soda is an inexpensive and effective product for cleaning.
Spread the baking soda on the wet vomit area. Do not be shy with the amount as you spread it up to ¼-inch thick. The baking soda will immediately go to work. Some experts recommend adding a spray of lemon juice to this mixture to eliminate vomit smells. Leave the Arm & Hammer or another brand of baking soda on the stained area for three to five hours. The longer it sits on the moist vomit, the more it will absorb.
Vacuum the baking soda with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. Be thorough as you make persistent contact with the vacuum end attachment against the car interior. This will also help remove the remaining moisture. Determine if the vomit aroma still exists. Repeat the process as necessary, and leave the baking soda on for a few hours to eliminate the lingering smell.
10. Cleaning Fresh Vomit From Your Car With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has properties that can eliminate this problem in your vehicle. Mix the hydrogen peroxide with a 50/50 mix of water in a spray bottle. Be cautious not to leave the mixture on fabric upholstery to long as it can lighten some fibers.
Spray the solution on a low-profile area to test the action. After you spray it, leave it on for a few minutes, and thoroughly blot up the cleaning solution with paper towels.
11. Using Steam as a Cleaning Solution for Vomit
After you are done cleaning fresh vomit chunks and solid matter from the area, you can deploy steam as the next agent. Using a steam cleaner with an extractor will remove the liquid vomit, remove excess moisture and sterilize the surfaces.
12. Using an Enzymatic Cleaner to Clean Vomit From Your Car
An Enzymatic cleaner is an off-the-shelf cleaning product that uses enzymes to break down stains. This type of cleaner will break down protein-based stains and get rid of the foul smell that comes along with it. Follow the manufacturer instructions on the bottle.
13. Absorbing the Lingering Smells
The vomit smells from the odor causing bacteria can linger in your car. A car air freshener will simply mask the foul stench. For vomit, you will need to use more than an air freshener to eliminate the smell. Taking action with an overnight cleaning treatment is necessary to eliminate the unpleasant odors. You have great options on what to use.
13.1 White Vinegar
Pour white vinegar in a bowl. Leave the white vinegar in your vehicle overnight for at least 18-hours. If you have a larger SUV, you can use two or three bowls of white vinegar. The vinegar will naturally absorb the ambient odors.
13.2 Baking Soda
Vomit is acidic. The properties of baking soda allow it neutralize acidic odors. Open up the lid of the soda, and let it sit in the car overnight. Many soda boxes are designed with a “pull up” function that is made to absorb odors. You can leave that in your car for a week or longer and not have worry about spilling the box.
13.3 Coffee Grounds
Although black coffee grounds are less absorbent than other solutions, they are extremely cost-effective. If you want to get the vomit smell reduction job done fast, this is an effective technique. Coffee grounds will not entirely eliminate the smell, but they are effective in the short term.
13.4 Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is very effective at absorbing odors. You can purchase it in a package that exposes its large surface area. This allows for masses of pores to absorb the vomit smell. You can also use charcoal briquettes. Untreated charcoal briquettes are common. They also work to remove bad smells, including vomit. Leave the activated charcoal in and let it sit in your car overnight.
13.5 Another Choice On How to Remove Vomit Smell From Car Surfaces
There are carpet powders you can buy at your favorite department store. You can sprinkle these on the clean and dry carpeting or floor mats. The odor-absorbing properties of these can be effective. You simply vacuum them up.
14. Getting Back Into Your Car and Enjoying Your Trips
After you have applied an odor-reducer technique, you may want to introduce a strong fragrance to freshen the car. You can use an essential oil diffuser to effectively deliver a pleasant fragrance of your choice.
15. Windows and Doors
If you are treating the vomit smell in your garage, leave all the windows open overnight. This will allow the odor to dissipate. You can also keep all the doors open to allow fresh air in. Be sure to shut your dome lights off in your car so your battery does not drain.
Check this guide for car windows cleaning fast and efficient
16. Cleaning Vomit From Hard Surfaces in Your Car
Seat belts, door handles and other controls can present special problems when cleaning up vomit. The vomit liquid can seep and cake in the cervices of these switches and buttons. Use a round toothpick to get the vomit out from the edges of the controls.
Use vinegar on a damp cloth to wipe the area. Do not soak this area. Use sanitizing wipes to clean and sanitize the hand controls and surrounding surfaces. If you use a steam cleaner, this will also sterilize the area.
Surfaces, such as door panels and dashboards can be easily cleaned. Use a paper towel to remove the vomit. Discard the towels in the garbage bag. Use a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture to finish the cleaning job on these hard surfaces.
17. Special Notes for Leather Upholstery in a Car
Leather is especially absorbent. The acidic properties of vomit can discolor leather upholstery. Leather can also hold the foul smell longer, which can make removing vomit smell challenging.
You can rid the leather of vomit using 50/50 vinegar and water mixture. Some leather can discolor with cleaning solutions. Apply the cleaning mixture on a microfiber cloth to a hidden area of the leather to test the results. There are commercial leather cleaning products you can buy. If there are vomit stains in the seams and stitching of the leather seats, you can use a soft-bristle brush on that area.
Steam cleaning is also very effective in cleaning car leather.
18. Commonly Asked Questions
Q. What neutralizes puke smell?
A. There are many great and common household solutions that will rid your car or truck of puke smell. You can use baking soda, vinegar, black coffee and activated charcoal.
Q. Will vomit smell eventually go away?
A. Vomit smell will not go away on its own. You will need to treat the surface of the vomit stain as well as the ambient air to rid the area of vomit smell. Keep the resale value of your car as high as possible by eliminating the vomit smell.
Q. How do you get the smell of vomit out of your car Reddit?
A. Clean the fresh vomit right away. You have great and effective options to treat the area. Use scrubbing techniques with odor-neutralizing agents, such as vinegar, baking soda and charcoal. You can use these products directly on the affected area and then later as an air-odor absorbent. Another great option is using ozone machine