How to Get Rid of Vomit Odor

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How to Get Rid of Vomit Odor
Image Credit: Anastasiia Krivenok/Moment/GettyImages

People can get sick and throw up due to illness, food poisoning or too much alcohol. If you're wondering why that vomit smell is so unpleasant, it comes from stomach acids and bile. The latter works to digest fatty foods, and when it comes up along with half-digested food, the smell can be pretty unbearable. Worst of all, it can linger, staying in the air even after you clean up the vomit.

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Cleaning Up Vomit

A vomit smell can last for days after attending to the initial mess. If all goes well, the smell should eventually dissipate on its own. However, you might want to open the windows and use fans to help the air circulate faster.

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Of course, if you want to get rid of the vomit smell sooner, clean up the source as soon as possible. The vomit is often not found until it has already dried up. You may need to spritz water on it first to soften it so you can remove it.

Removing Vomit From Fabric

To clean vomit from fabrics, put on a pair of rubber cleaning gloves and gather together a sizeable old spoon, a trash bag, hydrogen peroxide or distilled white vinegar along with a spray bottle and old rags. Wearing the gloves, scrape the vomit with the spoon and put it into a trash bag. Immediately tie that up tightly and place it in a trashcan.

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Dilute either hydrogen peroxide or vinegar (not both) with a bit of cool tap water in the spray bottle. Then, test the spray in an inconspicuous area on the surface where the stain is located to ensure that the peroxide or vinegar won't damage it.

Next, spritz the stain until the surface is damp and then blot it with the clean rags. Every time a rag gets saturated, swap it with a clean one. You don't want to rub the stain into the fabric; otherwise, you may never get it out. After the stain is gone, you can thoroughly clean the fabric.

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Getting Rid of Vomit Smell

If that vomit smell is still in the air, there are a few other suggestions to try. Pet carpet deodorizer can do the job. Sprinkle a lot of it onto the area, let it rest for about five to 10 minutes and then vacuum it up and do a sniff test. If the deodorizer did not work, repeat the process but let it sit longer before vacuuming. Baking soda can also remove vomit smells when applied in the same way.

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Other homemade methods can also eradicate vomit smells. Place a container of white vinegar, coffee grounds or activated charcoal next to the stain and let it sit overnight. This method is a perfect way to get vomit smells out of cars, and you'll only need about 5 tablespoons. Repeat this for three days and the smell should be gone. You can also try air fresheners designed to tackle harsh smells or rent a steamer. That last option will be the most expensive one, but these will give you a deep clean and are very easy to use.

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