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How To Clean Vomit From Car: 7 Best Cleaning Solutions

Any mess in your car will make it look untidy and sometimes cause a bad odor. Even if you do not use your car regularly, you need to keep it clean all the time. If you have ever been stuck being a designated driver for your drunken friends, you know how much your car interior can suffer.

Whether it is from a grown-up, a sick child, or a pet, vomit is disgusting and will leave a bad odor in your car. You need to know how to clean vomit from a car so that you can get rid of the smell too. This will come in handy when you are not near a car detailing or car wash.

7 Cleaning Solutions To Clean Out Vomit From A Car

The vomit is acidic and damages your car’s interior. Apart from the dirt, vomit also leaves an odor that can linger for a long time in the car. This is why you need to find a way to clean it out as soon as you can. The following are some solutions and ways to clean out vomit from your car interior:

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

When you make a mess or anyone in your car vomits, your first step is to clean it out. If you have some cleaner in your vehicle, you can use it to clean out the area. First, use paper towels or tissues to clean the solid materials from the vomit and throw them away. Take the cleaner and spray on the surface and use a cloth to wipe out the area.

Clean several times until the area is clean, and then you can let it dry by leaving the door open for a few minutes. Once you are done cleaning the car, hang an air freshener in your vehicle so that you can get rid of the smell. Remember that cleaner will only work effectively if you clean the vomit immediately.

2. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Vomit with bright colors that those from soda, wine, or kids who have eaten too much candy will cause a strong stain. This stain can take a long time, even if you scrub hard with car shampoo or cleaner. It would help if you had something stronger to take care of the stain and also the smell. Baking soda will help neutralize the stain so that you can easily clean it out.

Before you use baking soda on the stain, you need to clean out the vomit using a cloth or paper towels. You can also use water and a cleaning solution to clean out the area before baking soda. Start by sprinkling the powder on the stain after you finish cleaning the area. Leave the baking soda for a while so that it can soak up the stain. You can then use a clean cloth to clean it out and repeat the process as many times as you need to. Ensure you dry the area and leave a car door or window open for a few minutes so that the smell will not linger in the car.

3. Febreze


When you are done cleaning the vomit from your car, the smell might still linger. It would be best if you had a solution that will leave your vehicle smelling fresh so that you can take a ride comfortably after cleaning it. Take a bit of Febreze and pour some of the solutions on the location of the vomit after cleaning. Make sure the area is dry before you spray the Febreze on it. You can press it dry with a towel after it has completed its work of deodorizing the car.

4. Nature’s Miracle Cleaning Solution

Nature’s Miracle Cleaning Solution

Vomit has acidic compounds no matter what the person who threw up ate. You need to ensure that you clean it out and keep your car interior from getting permanent stains. Whether on the seat or the carpet, you can use a simple solution to clean out the stain successfully. Nature’s miracle is available in hardware stores and is easy to use so you can clean your car at home.

This solution has active enzymes that will eat away at the vomits compounds and remove any odor from the spot. Once you scoop out any solids and clean out the vomit from the area with a cloth or paper towels, pour the solution on the area. Leave it for 3 to 4 hours to absorb the vomit from the area. Use a towel to blot the area and remove all the excess water before letting it dry.

5. Vinegar


The moment you notice vomit on your car, you need to clean out any solid matter from the area. Any car owner should always have a bottle of vinegar handy because it is a multipurpose cleaner. If the smell is pungent, you might consider wearing a mask. It would be best if you also protect your hands using gloves before you start cleaning.

Once you clean out the solids from the vomit, you can pour the vinegar on the stained area. Leave it for a few minutes to one hour, and then use a damp cloth to clean the stain. Vinegar will clean the surface and also leave your car smelling fresh.

6. Vacuuming


To use a vacuum, you will need to remove the big pieces from the vomit first. You can then use an old toothbrush and a regular car cleaner to scrub out the area. Mix water and regular car shampoo in a bucket and use it to clean the area. You can then use the vacuum to remove the dirt and the liquid from the surface. Vacuuming will save you time and will ensure that you take out all the dirt from the area. This is also the most effective method to clean vomit from hidden places. If the person vomited between the seats, cleaning using other procedures will not work.

If you are vacuuming the carpet, ensure that you first use a carpet brush to loosen the dirt.

7. Steam Cleaner

Steam Cleaner

A steam cleaner is one of the most intense pieces of equipment to deep clean your car interior. It will clean out the vomit and sanitize your car to have a fresh and healthier area. If you are not sure about the vomit in your car, you might need a steam cleaner. This is mostly the case; if you take someone to the hospital and throw up in your vehicle, you need to clean it out and eliminate any bacteria that might also get you sick.

Read Also: How To Clean Yellow Headlights? – 8 Best Cleaning Methods

Tips to Successfully Clean Vomit From Your Car Interior

Even though you might already know how to clean vomit from a car, you need to ensure you also get rid of the smell. This is because the vomit smell might linger inside your vehicle even for days. It is very uncomfortable, and you might also throw up just because of the smell. The following are tips to help ensure you clean vomit from your car completely:

Clean Up Immediately

As soon as the mess is made, you should clean it out so that it does not stick on your upholstery. Remember that vomit is acidic, and if left for a long time, it might cause damages and to your upholstery. Have some paper towels in your car for emergencies so that you can use them to soak and clean up the mess. If you are still on the road, you can clean the mess and place the paper towels in a plastic bag and throw them out when you can.

As soon as you can, you can stop the car and clean out the mess. You can leave the stain and clean it as soon as you get home but make sure you clean out the vomit first. Even after you clean out the vomit, the smell might still linger, so make sure you clean it as soon as you can.

Get Rid Of The Smell

Even after you clean out the vomit, the smell will remain in the car. This smell can take hours, and in some cases, even days before it is all gone. If you leave the vomit for a long time before cleaning it out, the smell will linger for a longer time.

After cleaning the stain, you should leave the car windows down for a while to leave the smell. Alternatively, you can use Febreze and other sweet-smelling solutions on the stained area. His will help contain the smell and leave your car smelling fresh.

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a jar and then pour on the area. Use a cloth to blot the area after leaving it to sit for a few hours and then clean it out with a dry cloth. It will remove the stain and also leave the car smelling good.

Steam Clean The Car

If you can access a professional, you can consider paying for steam cleaning. This cleaner will remove the pathogens that remain in your upholstery and get rid of the smell. It might not make sense to buy your steam cleaner so a professional can do the job for you well. You can also ask the nearest hardware or supermarkets if they have the machines to let out at a fee.

Use Air Freshener

Sometimes no matter how much you clean the car, a pungent smell might still linger in the air. This might be because your car upholstery absorbed the scent. Air fresheners can work effectively to make sure your car smell great again. Consider investing in-car air freshener as opposed to the spray because the smell fades out fast. Once you hang the air freshener on your mirror, it will be felt in the whole car.

With these tips, you will clean out your car and leave it smelling fresh.

How To Handle Vomit From Your Car Interior?

You may have better luck trying to prevent vomit from getting to your upholstery than cleaning it out. There are a few ways you can use to ensure you keep your car carpets and chairs clean from vomit at any time.

Have Plastic Bags In The Car

A few plastic bags in the car will help if you suspect that anyone in the vehicle will be sick. You can pass a plastic bag to anyone who feels like they are going to be sick. You can then throw away the bags in the nearest trash can when you finally stop. These bags will also help you if you are carrying kids and a sick person.

Pull The Car Over

If you are on a road where you can pull over, you can stop and let the sick person throw up before you continue your journey. Sometimes, when driving through a dirt road, you can stop and open the car door when you need to throw up.

Avoid Food In The Car

If you ride with people who get car sick, eating in the car will probably worsen things. When driving your kids around, avoid giving them sodas and other foods that might make them sick. Sometimes people throw up because of the smells, and when the tummy is full, it is easy for anyone to throw up.

Use Covers

If you are going to carry your pet to the vet or driving around, you need to cover your seats. There are specific car covers that are made to protect seats when you have pets in the car. These covers are easy to clean, and they will leave your car seats clean no matter the type of stain the pet leaves. To protect your carpeting, you can also use plastic covers when carrying people who might get sick in the car.


When cleaning your car of vomit, you may need intense methods, especially when dealing with sick people. However, you need to ensure that you have ways to keep the vomit from your upholstery. Keep the moisture away from your electronics when cleaning so that you do not damage your car stereo and other things while trying to clean out vomit.  Do not be afraid to get a little intense with sanitizing if you are worried about bacteria from vomit that is not yours.

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