How to Get Rid of Vomit Odor

Opening your windows and letting fresh air in is a good way to get rid of vomit odor.
Opening your windows and letting fresh air in is a good way to get rid of vomit odor. (Image: window wreath image by Jorge Moro from

The odor of vomit can linger in areas for several days, especially if the area is small and does not have adequate ventilation. Whether someone is ill with a stomach virus or has overindulged in alcohol, the scent of vomit in the air can make other people in the area nauseous just from smelling the odor. Often, if a person is ill, the scent of candles and air fresheners can make them feel even worse. There are a few ways to get rid of the offensive odor by actually absorbing and neutralizing it without just covering up the smell with scented sprays.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Clean towel
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Unscented candles

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Clean up the vomit with paper towels and wash any clothes or bedding that was affected as soon as possible.

Open all the doors and windows to allow ventilation and fresh air to get rid of the odor. Open them even if it is very hot or cold outside, and turn on any ceiling fans for a few minutes.

Clean the area thoroughly with a clean towel dipped in a solution of one part distilled white vinegar and one part water. Vinegar will neutralize the odor and the vinegar smell will disappear within minutes. Vinegar will not harm any upholstered fabrics or flooring except marble; plain water should be used on this type surface.

Sprinkle baking soda heavily over the area as soon as it dries and on any carpeting or other item that cannot be machine washed, such as the upholstery of a couch.

Leave the baking soda mixture for at least 30 minutes, but a couple of hours or overnight would be even better.

Vacuum up the baking soda. It naturally absorbs and neutralizes odor, according to the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. (see ref 1)

Light unscented candles in the area to help dissipate any remaining odor.


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