How to Clean Up Less Than Glamorous Vomit Messes On Couch

Accidents happen and more often than not they are less than glamorous. Someone or something has vomited all over the living room carpet. What do you do? Whether it...
How to clean vomit from carpet

Accidents happen and more often than not they are less than glamorous. Someone or something has vomited all over the living room carpet. What do you do? Whether it was your child, your pet, a friend, or you yourself we have some simple cleaning solutions to put the glam back in your day. I won’t sugarcoat this; it’s going to be a messy job, so you’re going to want to grab some gloves before we get to work!

There are several methods you can use to pick up the initial mess. Often, the vomit will be chunky or lumpy for lack of better words. You will want to scrape up as much of the mess as possible, as quickly as possible. Once it dries, the mess will be much more difficult to lift, especially if it’s in an upholstered or textured surface.

Coming from personal experience, I have a dog that has a rather sensitive stomach. Every now and again he will get into something which he later expels all over the house. If I’m lucky, he will upchuck on the hardwood floors, which isn’t too difficult to clean up. All that is normally involved in the cleanup is some paper towel for the pick up and a simple vinegar, lemon juice and water cleaning solution.

The solution for hardwood or laminate flooring:

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 3 liters warm water
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice

The vinegar will act to disinfect and cut through the grime left from the mess as the lemon juice leaves the area smelling fresh and clean. Make sure not to use more than the recommended amount of water as this will negatively affect your wood flooring down the road. Since wood is absorbent, it will suck up any excess moisture left behind which will cause it to warp. If there is any leftover liquid, be sure to go over the space again with a dry mop.

How to clean vomit from carpet

Sometimes the family dog decides that he needs a change of scenery and the dear boy decides to upchuck all over my carpets instead. In this case, I use a piece of cardboard to scoop the mess. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use cardboard. You may choose to use a spatula, dustpan or any other flat, rigid material or object you don’t mind getting a little messy. I like to use cardboard, simply because I can throw it directly in the trash afterward. Going at the mess with paper towels or a plastic bag is not a good idea because this will further push the vomit into the carpeted or upholstered area.

Removing Excess Liquids

Baking Soda

Once you have the majority of the clumps lifted, you’ll want to try to remove any excess liquids next. Baking soda always saves the day here. If there’s one item I always keep stock of in my home, it’s baking soda. In order to suck up the remaining liquid from the vomit mess, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda onto the area. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours or until small clumps are apparent. Vacuum the area to remove the clumps. If moisture is still present, repeat the application and vacuum when dry.


One other method that seems to work quite well is the application of cornstarch. Like baking soda, cornstarch also absorbs liquid. Completely cover the area by sprinkling a liberal amount of cornstarch and let it sit for a good 20 minutes or so. Once it has been left to soak up any of the excess liquid, vacuum the area.

Tackling the Stain

Club Soda

Next, you’re going to want to get at that stain. Club soda is my go-to when I don’t have much else on hand. You can either pour it directly on the stain or spritz it on after pouring it into a spray bottle. Either method works just fine. Once the area has been wet with the club soda, take a cloth and dab. Repeat, until the stain has been lifted completely.


You can also use vinegar as a cleaning agent for stains like this. However, you’ll want to dilute it with an equal amount of cold water. Combine the mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz the area until damp but not soaked. Let the solution sink in for about 20 minutes or so and then use a cloth to dab the stain after the allotted time is up. Next, take a scrubber brush and loosen up as much of the stain as you can. Return with the cloth and dab some more. You can sprinkle some baking soda over the area and leave it for at least one hour to sit and soak up any odors that may remain; then you can vacuum up and consider that mess conquered!

Make your own solution

If you want to try your hand at your very own stain cleaning solution, consider this one:

Simple DIY Solution for Vomit Stains

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
  • 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol

Start by grabbing a mixing bowl and combining the 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of salt, then add in ½ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, followed by 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. You can either apply the solution with a sponge or cloth directly from the bowl or pour the solution into a spray bottle and spritz the area. I like to use the spray bottle method, this way if there’s extra solution left over I can use it again in future. Take the sponge or cloth and dip it in the solution and blot over the stained area. You’re going to want to rinse the area fully by blotting it with just water and a clean cloth.

Although I hope that these tips have been useful to you, I hope for your sake you don’t have to use them often!

Cleaning Tips

37 year old entrepreneur and writer. I recently sold my 15 years old cleaning company and I now focus on my second passion; Writing.