There are many unpleasant stains that possess the power to ruin your day – old food, new food, dog poop, spilt milk, etc. Yet there is one that is above all others and has the ability to turn your stomach around in a second. Yes, you guessed it. Vomit. Still, no matter how nasty this is, just like any other carpet stain, it has its weaknesses. So, for your convenience, we have gathered some handy tips and tricks on how to get sick out of your carpets, without adding to the puke pile that is already there.
Before we begin though, we must point out the most important “regulations” when it comes to cleaning vomit from carpets:
- The Golden Rule of cleaning a stain immediately after it appears applies even more when you’re cleaning sick from your carpets. A settled vomit stain is extremely difficult to remove and the smell does not fade out – it becomes worse.
- Don’t rub the spew into the carpet fibres, only gently blot the area.
- Put a drop of some strong perfume, toothpaste or lotion under your nose if you are easily affected by the smell.
- Whether you decide to treat an area with a cleaning detergent or a homemade solution, always do a test on a small inconspicuous part of the carpet.
How to get vomit out of your carpet
- Protect yourself by putting on a face mask and latex gloves. Open a window or two to let some fresh air into the room.
- Get rid of the solid matter. Scrape as much as you can and either flush it in the toilet or throw it in a sealable plastic bag. If the vomit has already dried, vacuum whatever you can, and slightly dampen the area to prepare it for the next steps.
- Pour enough baking soda over the spot to cover the sick completely. You need to leave the bicarb to work its magic, drying the clumps and lifting the vomit from the carpet. If you prefer not to use baking soda, then cornstarch, salt, and carpet deodoriser are good alternatives.
- Vacuum all the dried out clumps until they are completely gone.
- Apply a commercial stain remover or an enzymatic carpet cleaner on the stained area. If you are using the commercial remover, make sure to read the instructions beforehand, and just as we said in the beginning, always do a test on a small patch first. For alternative cleaning solutions, scroll down, or click here.
- Blot the stain carefully with a damp microfibre cloth.
- Let your carpet air dry through the night. If you can, keep your windows to speed up the process.
To learn more about how enzymatic carpet cleaners work, scroll a bit down, or click here.
How to get the sick smell out of your carpet
Okay, you followed the directions but the unpleasant smell remains. Fret not! Arm yourself with patience and soon your nostrils will get relieved from the stench.
- You need to do everything from the previous tip, just without the drying out part.
- Perform a deep cleaning of the whole stained area with a steam cleaner. Make sure the fabric of your carpet permits it. Sometimes, due to the high temperature, carpet fibres melt and it’s not pretty. However, if there is no problem, the steam will kill germs and bacteria, which are the main reason for this awful smell. If you don’t own a steamer, consider arranging a visit from a professional carpet cleaner.
- Treat the area with a disinfectant, again, carefully following the label instructions.
- Spray the carpet with a store-bought carpet deodoriser or prepare a solution of water and a couple of drops of essential oil like vanilla, tea tree, lavender or something citrusy.
Alternative cleaning methods
Here are a couple of alternative cleaning methods that can help you to deal with the stench, as well. Perform steps 1-4 and then use one of the following techniques:
Cleaning vomit with club soda
Pour club soda directly on the stain, enough to cover it completely. Now take a clean dry cloth and press it to the area. The club soda should transfer the stain from the carpet to the cloth. Repeat until satisfied with the results. Rinse with cold water.
Make your own vomit cleaner
Alternatively, you can make your own cleaning solution that would be able to both remove the stain and ensure that the smell is gone for good. You will need to mix 2 cups of lukewarm water, ½ cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of any soft laundry detergent, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. It sounds a bit like a mishmash but all of these ingredients play an important role in removing the vomit and getting rid of the smell. Use a sponge to gently spread out the solution over the stain. Let it stay for 2-3 minutes and blot the area with a clean microfibre cloth to get rid of the moisture. Rinse with cold water until all of the homemade cleaning solution is completely gone. Blot the carpet again with a cloth and let it air dry.
Cleaning vomit with white vinegar
Vinegar is the perfect solution for many smelly stains, and sick is no exception. You will need white vinegar and a bit of cold water.
Make a 1:1 solution of the two and pour it in a spray bottle. Apply this mixture on the affected area. Leave the vinegar to work its magic for around 15 minutes. During that time the carpet should have already soaked up most of the vinegar mix. Now, grab any old stiff brush and rub the stain to loosen it up. Dab the area gently with a clean cloth until the residue is gone.
If you still sense the unpleasant odour, you can add around 6 drops of any purification essential oil and 8 drops of a Thieves one. The combination of both is said to remove up to 99% of germs. While cleaning and using the oils, be careful not to soak the carpet.
Removing vomit stains with professional carpet cleaning by Fantastic Services
Removing sick from carpets is an unpleasant and smelly task, that sometimes can take up more of your personal time that you are willing to spare. That’s why in cases like this, we recommend using our professional carpet cleaning services that will give you the best results possible with minimum hassle.
The technique that we use is called the hot water extraction method, also known as steam cleaning. First, the carpet technician pre-treats the stain with a relevant detergent. After that, they turn on the carpet machine and go over the stain. The machine injects a special detergent and water into the carpet fibres. Immediately after that, the water is sucked out along with the detergent and all of the dirt and residue, leaving your carpet clean and fresh.
Leave the nasty vomit stains to the professionals. Click more to learn about our carpet cleaning options.more
How do enzymatic cleaners work?
Using a bio-enzymatic cleaner is like sending an army of “good” bacteria to fight the dirt in your carpet. The bacteria in those cleaners creates special enzymes that decompose other molecules, such as the ones a vomit stain would contain. Those broken pieces of molecules are now “food” to the good bacteria. They are consumed by it and decomposed again into carbon dioxide and water. This process is repeated until the food supply for the bacteria is finished and they are left to be washed away next time you clean the carpet.
However, the fact that we are comparing those enzymes to an army does not mean they are actual living organisms that have the ability to reproduce and grow. They are more like little hammers made to break down the bigger molecules nobody likes.
There are three main types of enzymes in a bio-enzymatic cleaner and each one is responsible for decomposing different stains:
- The proteases have the ability to break down protein-based molecules like blood and food.
- Lipases are the ones taking care of all the fat molecules, such as grease and oil.
- Amylases decompose starch molecules.
If you want to learn the ins and outs of carpet maintenance, read our blog post on the topic. It’ll show you how to clean a carpet and keep it fresh at all times.
- Always replace your vacuum bags or clean the machine properly after you use it to remove sick from your carpet. Don’t let the bacteria and odours settle in your vacuum.
- If there is still a lingering smell around the area you’ve just finished cleaning, just place a bowl filled with white vinegar, baking soda or coffee grounds. Leave it overnight and be careful not to spill it.
- The longer you let a vomit stain sit on your carpet, the harder it will be for you to get rid of the smell.
- Before you start cleaning, always check with the manufacturer’s instructions on your carpet so you don’t end up damaging it.
Do you have any experience in cleaning sick from carpets? Let us know in the comments below.
No matter of the cleaning method, remember to always do a small spot test on hidden part of your carpet. Depending on the size, nature, and age of the stain, some of them might be impossible to remove. We cannot take responsibility if any of the above-mentioned methods do not work on your carpets. Read our disclaimer here.
Posted in Carpet Cleaning
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