BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Removing Vomit & Spit-up Smells
Berkeley Parents Network >
Household Management >
Removing Vomit & Spit-up Smells
My daughter recently threw up and my husband just grabbed her
comforter and put in the washing machine. Shouldn't you try to
wipe most of it off into the toilet or the garbage? I mean
putting partially digested food in the washing machine doesn't
seem right! But anyways, we have been lucky so far our child
hasn't ever gotten sick before, so this was our first
experience. So we were wondering, how do you clean up throw-up
effectively? The smell still seems to be lingering in her room
on the rug..... and oh my gosh how would you get the smell out
of a car?
Kid barf is way grosser than adult barf, as kid's bile is more
concentrated and smellier than adults! Sorry if that offends anyone, but
it is the truth. Actually, who has time and presence of mind to start
spraying and washing at 2 in the morning when your child is ill? Wad up
the whole mess of sheets and blankets and leave it outside or someplace
where the smell won't bother anyone and come back to it the next day if
you can't get to it then. The only thing, don't let is get hot by baking
in the sun, then you will have a problem. Yes, when you can stomach it,
put your gloves on and scrape the solid parts into the trash or toilet.
The important part is wetting the stains and soaking them. I wet them
with water, squirt on some Spray and Wash, and come back in an hour or
longer. Then, I rinse the stained area in cold water, and rub the area
with a soap bar (not a natural or glycerin type, just good old white
soap- Ivory or Dove will work too.) Scrub the stained parts of the cloth
together and let the soap lather, rinse in cold water, if it still looks
bad, repeat with the soap, let it sit longer, then more rinsing and
scrubbing. When is just a faint outline or less, then throw it in the
washer for a washer cleaning with detergent. I have been able to even
get blueberry barf stains out of a pale white 100% cotton sheet this
way. As for barf on carpet, I know how to deal with that from our dog,
who was a professional barfer. There is an enzyme cleaner targeted for
kids, I forget the name of it if you buy it a Babies R us store, but if
you buy it in the pet stores it is called Nature's Miracle. They are the
same products, probably the one for kids costs more though. It is a
clear liquid that you squirt on the stain and it breaks down the smelly
enzymes in barf. The directions are on the bottle.
One last thing, I used to have a cartoon posted on the fridge that made
me laugh everytime I looked at it: it showed a toddler, a dog and a cat
standing in front of a wheel with a spinner on it. The title of the
spinning wheel was ''Who will Barf Today.'' Best wishes!
I don't know if it was the proper way, but we dealt with a
middle-of-the-night, all-over-the-bed barf by just throwing everything
in the washer with lots of soap and hot water. As for barf in the car,
we tried a number of things and the only one that worked was a full
detailing at Touchless Car Wash (I think that's the name) on Oxford in
downtown Berkeley, across from the Cal campus. They cleaned the whole
car thoroughly (a much better job than the first car wash we tried),
then sprayed on some orange scent to cover up anything that was left.
Help! We have 6 month old twins and our apartment has acquired
the distinct smell of sour milk which I notice upon entering the
apartment from the outside. I'm guessing it's from multiple spit
ups on our old loveseat and the carpet. We try to clean this up
as it happens, but that's not always possible and/or not solving
the problem. We also keep windows open as much as possible, but
that is not a permanent solution. We're renters and relatively
broke, so ripping up the carpet/buying a new loveseat are not the
best options. Any ideas?
Hi. The best things for cleaning your couch and carpet would be to rent a steam
cleaner from Albertson's or Safeway (like rug doctor - it comes with attachments for
furniture cleaning). Perhaps that alone will do the trick. Then I would suggest
buying a product (for pets) called
Eliminodor, the general purpose one. Eliminodor is expensive ($17 per bottle @
PetVet on Potrero Ave in El Cerrito, but
it's worth it!). It has worked wonders on pet and kid odors for us! Good luck.
First of all, as your babies get older and their digestive
systems mature, they should spit up less.
For the moment, invest in lots of burp cloths (they're cheap),
and keep them handy in every room (in every hand?) to clean up
Also, make sure to burp your babies often as they are feeding.
(Every 5 min. nursing or every ounce from a bottle) Lots of milk
on top of an air bubble will send the whole thing up and out.
Cover the loveseat with a sheet or blanket, and lay a blanket on
the floor where you put the babies. You can toss these in the
wash when they get dirty.
You can use upolstery cleaner on the love seat, and before you
move out, have the carpets steam-cleaned in order to get your
cleaning deposit reimbursed.
Chuck the sofa. Get a cheap one second hand and cover it with a
cheapo plastic tablecloth ( they have a bunch of 'em at Longs)
until your kids are older.
When I had this problem in my car, the only thing that worked
was soaking the whole area in Febreze. And I do mean soaking -
the car reeked of Febreze for a day and a half! But then . . .
it smelled as though nothing had ever happened. The smell has
Have you tried ''Bac-Out''? It is a great product which you can
buy online or perhaps at Whole Foods. You apply it directly to
spit-up and ''good'' bacteria do their thing to get rid of as much
of the spill/stain as possible.
--Mom of the spit up queen
Candles can do wonders. Get some secure candle holders or candle
plates and light a couple of candles for an hour or so a day.
Sometimes just having strongly scented candles out unlit can make
a difference. We are finding they're a great help with the
pervasive baby poop smell in our apartment. Illume is a great
brand, a bit pricey, but without the ''fake'' smell of many candles.
As for spit-up, can you put an old blanket on the floor for them
to play on? Then just toss it in the wash whenever it looks too
another smelly-apt renter
There are several inexpensive solutions. You can try them 1 by 1
or try a combination of these things. There's febreeze that you
can spray on carpet & sofas. Carpet fresh is another. Just
sprinkle on the carpet then vaccuum. Glade plug ins. In each
room, put a plug-in in. It lasts for about a month. To you the
smell will only last for a week or so, but when people come over
they will still smell it. I usually put them in outlets that are
hidden behind a piece of furniture so that no one else can see
it. Next, there's some great new candles at bath & body works. I
just bought one called raisin cookies. Oh my goodness, you can
just leave the cap off & the room will smell good always. When
you light it, it just gives an extra umph! Lastly, I have also
bought some oils. You buy the container that they burn in
(forgot the name of it) & you put a tealight candle underneath
it & it puts off a nice smell. I purchased the oils at the body
shop. I passed by their store one day & I could smell the scent
outside. I had to o inside & ask about it, & I got the exact
same scent that they were burning. Well good luck! I seem to
like the last 2 best because it's less labor, makes the house
seem nice & cozy, & the scents are strong but still delicate for
senitive noses & babies.
Help! My 12 month old daughter threw up in her car seat and I
am having the hardest time removing the smell. Does anyone know
of any product or home remedy to remove the odor of vomit? We
have a Britax Roundabout, and removed and hand-washed the car
seat cover (the instructions advised against machine washing),
but it still smells. Also, she managed to completely soak the
harness straps, which are not removeable. The foam underneath
the cover smells too. Should I dry clean the car seat cover?
But then what about the straps and foam? Any adivse would be
I have successfully used baking soda to remove vomit smell and many
other odors. You could try sprinkling it onto anything that isn't easily
washable. You can dissolve it in water - I would use about a teaspoon
full per cup of water - and wash the object. My favorite use - I have a
little long haired dog that likes to eat grass and vomit. I mix some
baking soda in a cup, dip a washcloth in it. put a corner in her mouth
and leave it there for a moment, and use the rest of rag to wipe her
face. All traces of the smell are gone immediately. I'm sure it would
work on kids too.
Try BacOut. You can get it at WholeFoods and sometimes Safeway,
etc. It is a natural enzyme eater and has a pleasant clean
smell. It will remove the smell from the foam and the straps
(it's goiod for pee too)! My son vomited in the carseat a few
months ago and we used BacOut on the straps, ect.
FYI, I did remove the carseat cover and I washed it in the
washing machine on a gentle cycle and hung dry it without any
problems. I know of at least two other moms who have washed
their Britax car seat covers in the washer successfully as
well!! Just wash it, it beats the stink and if you think it's
bad for you, imagine your poor child sitting right in it!!
We've used ''Nature's Miracle'' (liquid form) for many years now.
It's worked for us on all manner of infant and childhood bodily
fluids/solids. First clean the area as well as possible, then
douse/soak with Nature's Miracle. It has natural enzymes in it
and is available at pet stores (we go to Pet Food Express). Good
Family of Vomitters
I'm sorry, but I have no good advice for this problem. I had to
laugh, though, because it reminded me of my old car. I bought it
from a family with two young kids. These kids must have puked on
not just their car seat, but also the car's seats, too (maybe
this also happend to you?). I took the car to a detailer. He
ended up cleaning the interior three times. When I asked him
why, he said ''I couldn't get rid of that funky smell''. Over
time (i.e. years, not days) the smell diminished, except when it
rained. The moisture in the air must have activated the old,
dried vomit. A single guy at the time, I can't tell you how much
grief my friends gave me for driving a car that smelled like
baby puke. So my advice is wash it the best you can, keep it out
of the rain, and live with it as the smell will fade with time.
Either that, or get a new seat.
I machine washed a Britex Roundabout seat cover with no problem.
I didnt put it in the dryer though... You can also order a new
cover for the roundabout on Britex.com, or whatever the company
website is. They are about $50. Also, I forget how I did it,
but I also removed the straps and washed those by hand as
You can totally run the Roundabout seat cover through the
washing machine. I had this exact problem with extreme amounts
of vomit and I just removed it and ran it through the washer.
It takes a long time to dry so you should plan for that. For
the straps I used baking soda mixed with water and it worked for
the most part. Also, a salesperson at Rockridge Kids suggested
using Mother's Little Helper if it happens again.
-No more smelly seat!
this page was last updated: Oct 7, 2008
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network