How to Clean Vomit out of Carpet. The Right Way.

by Tony Gonzalez

Someone (person or pet) just vomited on your carpet!

I know that feeling...

You probably just spent a couple of minutes Googleing how to clean vomit from a carpet.

Let me tell you something... you are lucky to have found this post! Seriously. There are a lot of blogs out there that teach people how to clean vomit stains with methods that are not appropriate... they talk about amonia, vinegar or club soda as if those products were interchangeable. I guess they haven't really tried them, or else they would've seen that those methods don't work that well.

Anyway, this post is part of a series we started earlier this year on how to clean every type of stain from a carpets. We tested 8 different methods on 28 different types of stains (ketchup, crayons, wine, gum, and many more!). We just wanted to find out for ourselves what the best way of cleaning every stain was. And we came up with the best method to clean everyone of those stains! If you want you can check that guide here. You can bookmark it in case you need it!

How to clean any stain on a carpet

Yes! We're THAT crazy about cleaning. Did you know that this blog was called "Rug Cleaning World" before it was called "Carpet and Rug World"? We take our cleaning very VERY seriously.

On this post you'll see how you can clean a carpet stain in 6 simple steps. As a summary: 1. Take care of yourself. 2. Scrape the vomit as much as you can without spreading the vomit stain. 3. Pour Baking Soda to dry it out. 4. Spray a pet stain remover (or a DIY solution) and 5. Blot the stain.

Let's try to explain the method quickly! I'm sure you want to clean it asap.

Fresh vomit stain: Steps by Step

Let's get started with the step by step process. And as always, remember that you can ask any questions you might have in our Ask an Expert section.

Step 1. Take care of yourself first

This might be quite obvious... But first things first, you want to take care of whoever vomited. It could be a family member or a pet. Maybe you have to take your child to the doctor because she/he has an achy tummy.

Take care of them first and then continue reading!

Useful tip

In case you'll be gone for a long time

Vomit stains aren't like other stains that dry up extremely quickly. So you shouldn't worry about the stain if it's only going to take you a couple of minutes until you can clean it. But if you have to go to the doctor or are going to be out for over 15 minutes just pour some baking soda (corn starch works well too) on top of the vomit and then put a towel to cover it up. This is to make sure that the vomit doesn't reach the bottom third of the fiber (which are harder to clean)
Baking soda on a carpet
When you're ready to clean it up just continue to step 3.

Step 2. Scrape the vomit

Is everything under control? I sure hope so!

Now it's time to tackle the stain.

The first thing you have to do is put on gloves! You don't want to get sick. So please put on gloves!

Gloves and cleaning product

Once you have gloves on, its time to scrape the vomit with a scraper. Use a dull scraper to make sure that you're not damagin the carpet. Remove as much as possible, without spreading the stain.

Clean a vomit stain from carpet

Step 3. Pour Baking Soda to dry it out

Once everything you've removed as much as possible, it's time to pour baking soda on top of the stain. If you don't have baking soda, corn starch works too.

Baking soda on a carpet

Let it sit for 15 minutes and vacuum the baking soda:

Baking soda on a carpet

Step 4. Spray a pet stain remover (or DIY solution)

This is when the magic should begin! There're two ways to do this. You could either run to the story (or buy online) a pet stain remover or use homemade cleaning solutions.

We're using a pet stain remover even for human vomit, because those products are great on acidic organic stains. And vomit is one of them.

If you'd like to buy a pet stain remover and don't know which one you should buy, this is the one we usually recommend because of it's price (it's super affordable) and how well it works:Resolve Pet Stain & Odor Carpet Cleaner

It's very useful for dog pee (just like we mentioned on this post.

1. If you have a pet stain remover

Just use the spray following the manufacturers instructions. In most cases you have to apply the solution directly on top of the stain and blot until the stain dissapears.

Use fresh paper towels! Or else you could be cleaning a stain with an already stained towel.

Useful tip

Don't use too much product!

We want to be able to clean the carpet using as little of the cleaning solution as possible. The less solution we use, the easier it will be to get it out later, the more solution we'll have for the future, and you prevent carpet browning too. And you can always use more if the stain is still there! So don't put a lot of solution right away. Keep adding as you see that you need to add more.

2. If you don't have a pet stain remover

This method might will be a lot slower than actually buying a product, but it should work just as well if you do it right.

We're not going to use a single product, but two.

- The first product we're goint to try is amonia. Mix one teaspoon of clear amonia to a half a cup of water. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and let it sit for a couple of minutes (2 minutes should be enough). After that, blot the stain (like it's explained on step 5. If the vomit stain hasn't been completely removed, try the next product.

- The second product we're goint to try is hydrogen peroxide 3%. Just like last time you have to apply the hydrogen peroxide 3% to the stain using a spray bottle. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and continue with step 5.

There are two reasons why we're using a two step process here. First, because we don't wan't to use a harsher chemical on your carpet if we can achieve the same result with a safer product. And second, because since we don't know what type of vomit we might be dealing with, this 2 step process will work for every pet's vomit.

Step 5. Blot the stain

It is now time to blot the stain.

We blot the stain because we want to remove the product we just used to clean the stain (whether that is pet stain remover, amonia or hydrogen peroxide) without spreading the stain.

Baking soda on a carpet


Use white towels (paper or cotton)

If the towels are any other color, you risk dying your carpet. And that would be an even harder stain to clean! This might not be a problem depending on the product you're using, but you'll always be safer if you're using white towels.

And that's it! Your stain is now gone!

Step 6. (Optional) Remove odors with vinegar and baking soda

But what if you can still smell the solution after you've cleaned it already?

Don't worry! There's a DIY technique that will help!

There are a couple of carpets deodorizers, but in my opinion this DIY solution works just as well. If not even better! Most of the deodorizers cover the smell, but this technique will eliminate it's source.

What you want to do is pour a little bit of baking soda on top of where the stain was. You'll then spray white vinegar on top of the baking soda. But don't spray too much! Half the amount of baking soda should be enough.

You should see the solution bubbling a little bit. When the fizzing sound stops stops, spray some water and blot the mix out! And the smell should be gone.

Old vomit stain

It might be possible that you find out about a vomit stain that has been sitting there for over a couple of hours (even days!) and it's already dry.

Don't worry! You can clean it too!

You have to do exactly as what it was described for fresh vomit stains. The only difference is that you have to dampen the area before removing the vomit. Use a spray bottle and spray a little bit of water. That should soften the stain. Then, proceed with step 2.

This is something that you must do first. If not, you could pull up fibers from your carpet and give it an unintentional haircut. And that's a lot harder to fix than a simple vomit stain.


And that's it! I hope that whoever vomited isn't sick and that everyone home is alright!

As you've seen, you can clean a vomit stain in just 6 small steps. And as always, if you'd like to learn more about how to clean other types of stains, check our Ultimate Guide for more information!


Tony Gonzalez Picture

By Tony Gonzalez

Carpet Cleaning and Installation

I'm Tony and I consider myself a carpet cleaning expert! I've tried the 5 most common professional cleaning methods myself, and I've reviewed thousands of carpet cleaning & installation companies. I'm currently exploring the DIY Cleaning and Installation world. It's not that hard and it's a lot of fun!

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About us

Tony Gonzalez Picture

Tony Gonzalez

I'm Tony and I consider myself a carpet cleaning expert! I've tried the 5 most common professional cleaning methods myself, and I've reviewed thousands of carpet cleaning & installation companies. I'm currently exploring the DIY Cleaning and Installation world. It's not that hard and it's a lot of fun!

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