How to Clean Puke from a Carpet

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Okay, whether you have a house full of pets or kids, chances are there will come a time when you will have the dirty little job of cleaning up puke from a carpet. Hopefully it is not that beautiful $500 throw rug you bought for your foyer or the newly installed carpet in your living room- but if it is…you will need sound advice to avoid making it worse than it was before!

One of the factors in cleaning puke from a carpet is that there is odor and stain. As you are probably aware- often you can clean the stain but the lingering odor can remain for months. Most of the products sold on the market do a fine job at masking the odor; but not really eliminating it. This is especially true with biological stains like puke, urine or feces. Ultimately you want something that will do both!

No matter how much stain guard or resiliency your carpet is said to have; there are just some things stronger. Puke is one of those things! So How to clean puke from a carpet? Follow this simple advice! One of the biggest factors in how effective you will be is how quickly you get to the vomit stain. Right away is optimal; although not always possible especially when you come home from work to find that you car threw up at the front door!

  1. The first step needs to be done right away and involves picking up the substance. Use a spoon or spatula to remove the vomit working hard to not spread it around even further. Ensure that you all the solid material is removed – using a vacuum to get smaller pieces.
  2. The next thing to do is to take cool water from the faucet and blot the stain with a sponge or wash cloth. It is best to allow the cool water to set on the stain for 20-30 minutes. NEVER use hot, as hot water sets in stains!!!
  3. The third step is essentially the same except there is salt added to the water. Use around a half cup of table salt to 2 quarts of water; mix well and blot the stain again. Use a clean, dry towel towel to blot the stain up. This step will need to be repeated several times to see results.
  4. Allow the carpet to dry and if the stain is still present, you can repeat these steps. Often using baby laundry detergent (designed for organic stains) or a clear colored dish detergent with the cold water may be needed to further lift. But keep in mind that detergents can easily bleach carpets. Even using a ‘test area’ is inaccurate because it can take up to 3 days for the detergent bleaching to take affect.
  5. Since the odor is probably still present; use baking soda and sprinkle it on the area allowing it to sit. Make sure the area is damp but not soiled with water. The soda can get for several hours depending on the stain and extent of the odor.
  6. Use the vacuum to thoroughly vacuum up the baking soda and other debris that may have lifted or be left behind.
  7. Use a dry clean towel and blot the stain until the towel comes out clean. It is best to step on the towel and leave it until the area is dry.

If this method of removing puke from a carpet does not work there are other things that you can try which might be effective. One of the tricks from removing any type of stain from carpet is to blot and never rub and always use COOL water! Here are a few other tips! For all of these the first step of removing the solids is the same!

  • Use dry cleaning liquid (available at most stores) to douse the stain, mix with cold water and blot away. A hand held dry cleaning attachment can also be a very effective tool at removing the yellow bile stain.
  • If you are concerned about the odor of a stain (especially luring or vomit) you should put rubbing alcohol in a bottle and spray the area while it is wet. Make sure all debris is removed first! Spray the alcohol liberally and when it dries the alcohol will help evaporate the smell. (Many odor fighting products are mostly alcohol for this reason)
  • If you have tried everything; and the stain is in a noticeable area- you may think about using a razor blade and cutting out that piece of carpet. You can then use a spare piece or one from under the couch and fit it back in. Carpet glue will adhere the seams and it will make the area less noticeable.

Perhaps one of the reasons that hard wood and laminate floors are becoming so popular is because homes with children and pets can ruin a carpet in a matter of week. Don’t despair! If you just love the feel of carpet in your home; it may be worth investing in insurance, replacement or a cleaning service to come in every few months to keep the carpets looking fresh! Removing puke from a carpet CAN BE DONE, it just takes patience and lots of work!

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