Posted on: January 23, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 1

Vomit stains are a common problem for people who own pets or who’ve had a run-in with a nasty bout of sickness. Fortunately, you don’t have to despair over vomit stains staying forever. Keep in mind that while it’s tempting to not handle fresh vomit, it’s usually better that you attend to it immediately. Like most stains, vomit stains are harder to remove when they’re old and dried up. Here are some ways you can get rid of vomit stains.

Use Household Items

If you have kids or animals in your household, it’s understandable for you to be cautious about using chemical products when it comes to dealing with vomit stains. If you want to do your cleaning the natural way, you can make some homemade concoctions using ordinary household items to solve your problem.

  • Mix a cup of water with a cup of white vinegar and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Work up some suds from the solution and use a clean sponge or scrub to use on the vomit stain. Rinse, and if you still see a bit of the stain showing, give it another round of brushing.
  • Another method is to first removing by blotting up the vomit stain with paper towels and disposing of them. Follow it with a clean rag soaked (but not dripping wet) in cold water. Wipe the stained area with the damp rag and blot it off with a separate clean dry rag. Continue blotting out the water-dampened stain until the vomit’s stain color has faded considerably. Take note that it will probably take a lot of rounds alternating between the wet rag and the dry rag before the stain fades. As a final step, put a layer of baking soda on top of the stain and let it sit there until the baking powder soaks the dampness and dries again. Once completely dry, vacuum it off the surface.
  • The third method is pretty similar to the second one. First thing to do is to remove as much of the vomit as you can using paper towels. Use a sponge to apply salt water directly on the stain. The ratio of salt to water is half a cup to two quarts of water. Sponge until you observe the stain fading or until it is completely removed. For more stubborn cases, soak the area with cold water for 30 minutes, followed with another round of sponging, this time with a bit of liquid detergent. Put a layer of baking soda over the vomit stain and leave until the baking soda is dry, after which you can vacuum the powder up. Press down a towel on the damp area and leave until is completely dried.
  • This method will involve less rinsing than others. After clearing away most of the vomit, cover the area with a generous amount of baking soda. Allow the baking soda to set or when you observe that it has absorbed most of the smell or the damp vomit. Vacuum off the baking soda completely. Make a solution made from one part warm water and one part white vinegar and spray directly onto the vomit stain. Scrub thoroughly and rinse.
  • Here’s a method that will require a minimum of household items to use: after mopping up what you can, cover the stain with a layer of salt and cover entirely with a damp cloth. Leave on for a six hours before removing the cover and vacuuming the salt.
  • For the last method, after removing what you can of the vomit by using paper towels, follow it up by sponging cold water all over the stain. Sprinkle unseasoned meat tenderizer generously over the stain and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with more cold water, air-drying and then finishing off with a thorough vacuuming.

Warm soapy water mixed with dish washing liquid and used with a sponge or scrub has also been reported to be effective for vomit stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid that is common in products designed for cleaning and stains. Products like OxiClean and Bio-Ox Citrus Concentrate contain this acid, which makes it easier to remove the stains. A product containing 3% hydrogen peroxide should be enough, and after cleaning up first with paper towels, follow up by spraying the hydrogen peroxide solution directly on the soiled area. Leave it for five minutes before using a clean absorbent cloth to press down on the stain to blot. Do not rub the cloth against the stain. Repeat blotting until the area is dry. If you are not satisfied with the result, repeat the whole process again.

Keep in mind that before using any kind of chemical on fabrics, you should test it first by applying the chemical on a small corner of the fabric before proceeding.


Ammonia is also an effective compound in getting rid of vomit stains and the accompanying smell. Combine 1/4 cup of ammonia with a cup of warm water and mix well. Use a sponge to scrub this mixture all over the soiled area. Rinse the area with a mixture of water and liquid detergent. You can repeat the method if you are not satisfied with the results.

If you don’t have ammonia, applying club soda instead of the water-ammonia solution will work as well.

Never ever mix bleach with ammonia. The combination of the two can release toxic gases that can seriously put you in harm if exhaled.


Before using borax, make sure that it’s safe to use on the fabric or surface you want to use it on. Once you’re sure, soak the fabric or garment in a solution of one litre of water with two tablespoons of borax powder. You can also use the same solution to scrub it directly on the stained area. Borax is especially useful for greasy stains, which, admittedly, vomit can contain.

Commercial Stain Removers

If all the previously mentioned methods of removing vomit stain hasn’t worked, perhaps it’s time to turn to commercially-available products made to target organic stains. Pet odor and stain removal with enzymes are useful to break down protein-based stains and odors. Stain gels and sticks are also available, so don’t be afraid to try them out.

Trying out different methods of getting rid of vomit stains are part of a learning process. Find out what works best for you and share your experiences with others. After all, this is a common problem in many households. Good luck.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of vomit stains.

1 people reacted on this

  1. Hydrogen peroxide, what a great idea! Thank you so much for this article, it has really helped me get a stain out of my carpet. I recently switched food for my 5 year old cat, to a so called “better/healthier brand”, well… then
    there was the stain….I believe what stains carpet so bad is the red dye the manufacturer uses. So….old food went into the garbage, new food has no red pieces in it, and my cat Marvin….he’s a happy camper now!

    Thanks again for the article!

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