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How to Clean Up Vomit on Furniture

Kris Gleba
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Learn how to use everyday ingredients such as baking soda, white vinegar and neutral soap to remove vomit from fabric, wood and leather furniture.

No one moves faster to clean up a mess as a caretaker does immediately after someone vomits anywhere other than the bathroom. Vomit is one of a small number of sicknesses to elicit such shock, horror and (almost) superhuman response to collect as much of it as possible before a piece of furniture is ruined. Rest easy, even if you can't relocate the sick person to the bathroom before the incident; you still can clean the affected area and restore it to its once pre-sickness glory.

Cleaning Upholstered or Fabric Furniture

When cleaning vomit off furniture, the first step is to always remove as much of the solid matter as possible before you start the cleaning process. Wear rubber gloves and use a plastic knife to scrap the sick into a plastic bag-lined bowl. When you're finished, gather the ends of the bag, tie them together, and throw it in the trash.

    Spray water on vomit.

  1. For dry or caked-on vomit, spray water onto the area to loosen it. This will make it easier to remove the vomit.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda.

  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the area, says COIT Cleaners. Let the baking soda sit for several hours, which will give it time to absorb the stain.

  4. Vacuum baking soda.

  5. Remove the baking soda from the couch with a vacuum.

  6. Use more baking soda.

  7. Sprinkle more baking soda, if needed, to absorb more of the stain. Again, let it sit for several hours. If more baking soda isn't needed, skip to Step 6.

  8. Vacuum baking soda again.

  9. Remove the baking soda with the vacuum.

  10. Dab Club Soda

  11. Cover the once stained area with club soda. Remove the club soda with a clean, damp cloth. The stain should be gone.

  12. Tip

    Use this same method to remove pet vomit.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Make your own vinegar solution to clean vomit from furniture. Vinegar is a germicide and a mild disinfectant, and it doesn't leave a residue. You won't even have to rinse the area after cleaning. Another bonus: vinegar is a natural deodorizer and will neutralize the not-so-pleasant aroma of vomit.

    Mix water and vinegar.

  1. Mix together a quart of lukewarm water and 1 cup of white vinegar.

  2. Remove loose vomit.

  3. Remove as much of the vomit as possible with a plastic knife while wearing your rubber gloves.

  4. Spray vinegar.

  5. Spray the vinegar solution on the stain until the area is wet. Let it sit for five minutes.

  6. Blot.

  7. Blot the liquid with a clean rag. Inspect the area. If the stain persists, repeat Steps 8 and 9 until it's gone. The vinegar solution will also work on pet vomit and fecal stains.

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Once you have removed the bulk of the problem, get to work to prevent both future stains and odors.

    Remove loose vomit.

  1. Remove the rest of the sick with a terrycloth or paper towel.

  2. Rub in soap.

  3. Carefully rub a solution of water and neutral soap, one that doesn't contain any lye or potash onto the dirty area from the outside to the center of the area.

  4. Rinse.

  5. Rinse the soapy area with water to remove a majority of the soap.

  6. Blot (and Vacuum)

  7. Blot the area with a clean, dry towel. If washing suede, rub in a circular motion and then vacuum.

  8. Warning

    Don't use saddle soaps or cleaners made with harsh chemicals to clean your leather furniture. They will harm your furniture.