How to clean puke, cat or dog vomit and it’s stains and smell out of carpet

Pet stains

Nobody likes to think about it, but if you have pets, accidents happen. Whether it’s a sick cat or a nervous dog, sometimes they end up making a mess on the carpet. And when it’s vomit, you need to act fast to prevent stains and get rid of that unpleasant odor. But don’t worry; with the right approach, you can clean it up in no time and leave your carpet looking good as new. In this article, we’ll walk you through two effective methods for cleaning pet vomit from carpets, using vinegar and baking soda.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Paper Towels or Clean Rags: To blot the vomit and remove as much as possible.
  2. Vinegar (White or Apple Cider): A natural deodorizer and cleaner.
  3. Baking Soda: To absorb odors and lift stains.
  4. Warm Water: To dilute the vinegar and help in cleaning.
  5. A Spray Bottle: For applying the vinegar solution.
  6. A Soft-Bristled Brush: For working the baking soda into the carpet.
  7. A Vacuum Cleaner: To remove the baking soda after cleaning.
  8. Gloves: To protect your hands during the cleaning process.
  9. A Plastic Bag or Garbage Can: For disposing of the used paper towels or rags.

Method 1: Cleaning with Vinegar

  1. Remove the Solids: Start by removing as much of the vomit as possible. If it’s solid, use a spoon to scoop it up. If it’s more liquid, blot it with paper towels or a clean rag.
  2. Dilute the Stain: Mix a solution of one part vinegar to one part warm water in a spray bottle. Apply this solution liberally to the stain, ensuring it’s well saturated.
  3. Blot the Stain: Using a clean rag or paper towels, blot the stained area to lift the vomit and the cleaning solution out of the carpet.
  4. Rinse and Repeat: Rinse the area with water and blot again. You may need to repeat the cleaning and rinsing process several times to completely remove the stain and odor.
  5. Air Dry: Allow the carpet to air dry completely. Make sure the area is well-ventilated to speed up the drying process and to help disperse any lingering odors.

Method 2: Cleaning with Baking Soda

  1. Blot the Area: Just like with the vinegar method, start by blotting the area to remove as much of the vomit as possible.
  2. Sprinkle Baking Soda: Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the stained area. Make sure it’s completely covered.
  3. Work it In: Using a soft-bristled brush, gently work the baking soda into the carpet fibers. Be gentle to avoid damaging the carpet.
  4. Let it Sit: Allow the baking soda to sit on the stain for at least 15 minutes, or overnight for tougher stains.
  5. Vacuum: After the baking soda has sat, vacuum the area thoroughly to remove the baking soda and any lifted stain and odor particles.

Commercially Suitable Cleaning Products:

  1. Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover: Specifically designed for pet messes, this product helps remove stains and odors efficiently.
  2. Bissell Professional Pet Stain and Odor Removing Formula: Works well with carpet cleaning machines for a deeper clean.
  3. Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover: With a powerful, enzyme-based formula, this product is tough on stains and odors.


Dealing with pet vomit is never pleasant, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s definitely manageable. Whether you choose the vinegar method or the baking soda method, you can trust that you’re using safe, natural solutions to tackle the mess. Just remember to act quickly and be thorough in your cleaning, and your carpet will be back to normal in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use these methods on any type of carpet?
These methods are generally safe for most types of carpet, but it's always a good idea to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first to make sure the carpet doesn’t fade or discolor.
What should I do if the smell persists?
If the smell persists after cleaning, you can try repeating the cleaning process or using a commercial pet odor neutralizer.
Can I mix vinegar and baking soda together for cleaning?
While vinegar and baking soda can be effective cleaning agents, mixing them together creates a bubbling reaction that may not be as effective for this particular cleaning task. It’s best to use them separately.
How long does it typically take for the carpet to dry?
The drying time can vary based on the humidity and temperature, but generally, it should take a few hours for the carpet to completely dry. Make sure the area is well-ventilated to speed up the process.
Are there any safety precautions I should take when cleaning pet vomit?
Yes, it’s advisable to wear gloves to protect your hands and to dispose of the cleaning materials properly. Also, ensure the area is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling any odors.
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