From picking up their waste, laundering their bedding, to grooming their coats — dogs require a great deal of regular cleaning maintenance that dog owners are all used to doing.
But many of us are not as prepared for the unexpected tasks like cleaning up vomit when our dogs suddenly get sick. Unfortunately, as gross as it is, it’s a part of the responsibility of dog ownership. So once you’ve overcome your gag reflex, how do you clean dog vomit from carpet?
Apart from the disgusting aspect, cleaning up dog from carpet is a fairly straightforward process and usually not that difficult. The sooner you are able to clean it up, the less likely that there will be lasting effects to your carpet or rug.
Why Should You Immediately Clean Dog Vomit From A Carpet
All stains can be persistent. If you let the mess sit for too long, the vomit will begin to set deeper into the carpet fibers.
This makes it more difficult to clean the stain, and sometimes impossible. By cleaning your carpet immediately, you can avoid allowing a stain to embed itself.
Confine Your Dog Away From the Mess
Before you begin to clean up your dog’s vomit from the carpet (or anywhere else, for that matter), make sure they are put away and don’t have access to the mess. Not only can they interfere with your cleaning, but they may try to eat their vomit, which you want to avoid.
Dogs can get protective of their vomit as they see it as a food source, and some will get aggressive in their attempt to “defend” it. If they are feeling ill (they did just vomit, after all), they may also be more inclined to snap at you.
Directions for Cleaning Fresh Vomit From Carpet
Here are the best methods for removing fresh vomit from carpet.
You don’t have to use all of the following equipment in any of these methods. We have put these here as a guideline, so use only what you need to.
- Trash bags
- Disposable gloves (optional)
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda or cornstarch
- Reusable microfiber cloths
- Your cleaner of choice (store-bought or homemade – details below)
- Eliminate the Excess
The first step is to get the bulk of the vomit off of the carpet.
Put your rubber cleaning gloves on to protect your hands. This can be a very unpleasant job, regardless of how much vomit you have to clean up.
If you are easily nauseated, hold your breath or wear a mask (we all have them now), or tightly hold your nose to prevent the smell from permeating into your nostrils. If you find that you can’t do this, ask someone to help you out. (Better yet — ask them to do the job for you!)
Then, use a disposable cloth or paper towels to collect as much of the vomit from the carpet as you can. Put it into the trash bag and tie the bag tightly, so it doesn’t fall over and stain your carpet for a second time.
- Soak It Up
Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch directly onto the stain to soak up as much of the vomit as possible. Leave it to sit anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes. If your stain is small or already dry, you can skip this step and begin applying your chosen carpet cleaner.
If you’ve used any of the above ingredients to dry your stain, make sure to go over it with a vacuum. This will hoover up any excess product and will help to significantly reduce the amount of residue left.
- Pet-Safe Carpet Cleaner
Now the not-so-nice job is done, it’s time to use carpet stain removal products to finalize your cleaning. You can use a homemade mixture or a store-bought product designed for this particular purpose.
If you prefer to make your own carpet cleaning solutions, check out our quick guide below.
Mix Ingredients You Already Have At Home
The home remedy is perfect if you’re looking to ‘act quick, think later.’ However, you must always remember to read your carpet care instructions before attempting any form of cleaning!
Also, make sure to avoid using bleach as it can cause further, irreversible damage to your carpet.
Here are three different homemade solutions to clean a spot on the carpet caused by your dog’s vomit.
Cleaning Solutions Ingredients
- #1: 1 tablespoon of hand dishwashing detergent + 1 tablespoon of white vinegar + 2 cups (0.47 l) of warm water
- #2: 1 part white vinegar to 1 part lukewarm water
- #3: 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part lukewarm water
Apply Your Carpet Cleaning Mix to the Stain
- Mix your ingredients into an empty spray bottle.
- Spot test the mixture on your carpet. Start by spraying a small amount to a clean area to check that the color doesn’t transfer.
- If this is successful, spray the solution over the entire affected area.
- Blot the area dry using a towel or cloth. Once your cloth of choice is completely saturated, grab a dry one and continue blotting until all the liquid has been absorbed. Do not scrub! Scrubbing can rub the stain further into the carpet fibers.
- To sponge up the cleaning solution, use a damp cloth or towel.
- Leave your carpet to air dry.
Use Store-Bought Pet Stain Remover and Cleaner
If you have a store-bought professional carpet cleaner solution on hand, we’d recommend using this spray to cover the area. Then blot the liquid up as stated in the above method.
A Quick and Easy Way to Clean Fresh Vomit
If you’re looking for an even easier way to clean up fresh dog vomit, you can try this. Though this may not be as thorough as the above method, it can work in a pinch, especially if you are short on time or materials.
After removing any excess vomit, begin cleaning the stain. Use a scrub brush and scrub the area with a bit of laundry detergent and water to loosen any remaining particles.
Finish this process by spraying the affected area with an upholstery spray like Febreeze which will help to remove any leftover odor from your dog’s vomiting episode.
Again, this may not clean the spot as fully as other methods, but it’s a good compromise!
What To Do With Stubborn Stains or Smells
Perhaps your pet vomited, and you didn’t see it until later, or you were simply out of the house working or running errands. Your dog’s vomit can sometimes be difficult to spot until it’s too late.
Dog vomit that has already dried down can be slightly more challenging to clean up, but it isn’t impossible! Just follow these steps:
- Dampen the area with a wet sponge or towel before you begin to scoop up the dried vomit into a trash bag.
- Repeat step 1 as many times as necessary.
- Follow the instructions in the above section to finish the cleaning process.
Removing Yellow Bile
In addition to vomit, dogs also produce a lot of yellow bile that can have lasting negative effects on your carpet. Much like vomit, it may seem impossible to remove. But there are several ways to do so without having to waste your valuable time and money!
Method 1: Dilute either hydrogen peroxide or white distilled vinegar with some tap water and spray it on the required area.
Make sure you are only using one or the other and not both of those ingredients to avoid causing additional damage to your carpet. Then, using a clean, white cloth, blot the stain until it has been completely removed.
Method 2: Combine ½ cup of salt and 2 quarts (1.89 l) of cool water Keep mixing until the salt has completely dissolved. Blot the bile stain using a sponge and this mixture, then dry with a towel.
Continue this process until the stain has disappeared. Add baking soda to the site to remove any residual effects left by the stain. Once this has completely dried, simply vacuum up the baking soda.
If it you still see residue from the vomit spot, repeat any of the above steps until you are satisfied that everything is as it should be.
Our Top Tips
- Remove the vomit on your carpet as quickly as possible. If it has a chance to sink deeply into the fibers, any discoloration and odor are more likely to be permanent.
- Homemade carpet cleaning methods are widely raved about. However, though they are much more cost-effective, you have to be careful. A solution higher than 6% hydrogen peroxide is highly likely to aggressively lighten your carpet! Additionally, using widely available products like baking powder and dish soap in the cleaning process may leave a lasting residue on your carpet. Dish soap might also potentially attract dirt if it is not completely removed.
- Blot, don’t rub! Rubbing the area where your dog vomited will set the stain, and will make it so much harder to get rid of.
- If any of the vomit has dried, try dampening the affected area with cold water to loosen the stain!
- Use a disposable cloth to initially remove vomit and bile from your carpet. This is more sanitary than using one of your kitchen cloths and will make the cleanup process far quicker.
- Make sure you immediately dispose of soiled items in a trash bag.
Cleaning up vomit is one of the downsides to owning a pet. Though it isn’t impossible to remove vomit from your carpet, it can feel like a daunting task trying to restore this area of your carpet to its former glory.
You can clean dog vomit with either store-bought and homemade remedies, just make sure to do what is most cost-effective or convenient for your.
Overall, with the right method and equipment, you should be able to remove any trace of leftover stains – and any remaining smells – without much hassle.