3 Best Ways to Clean Dog Vomit out of Carpet (Quick & Easy)

When you get a dog, no one thinks about their new puppy vomiting on the floor. However, every canine is going to vomit at some point or another. The odds are, they won’t be terribly sick when it happens. Just like people, very minor things can make dogs vomit. They may simply have a stomach bug, for instance.

However, no matter what caused your pup to vomit, cleaning the vomit out of your carpet is going to be equally as complicated. Vomit can be difficult to remove from carpet thanks to its color and consistency. Carpets tend to soak everything up, which makes it even more difficult to clean the vomit out.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help your carpet get back to its original shape.

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Clean Up Fresh Vomit

You should never allow vomit to sit on the floor for very long, as it will soak into the carpet fibers and be even harder to remove later. If you want to remove it as completely and easily as possible, clean it up as soon as you notice it.

Hopefully, if you move fast, the vomit will not have reached the pad at the bottom of the carpet. If it reaches the pad, it can be incredibly difficult to clean it up completely without tearing up your carpet.

If the vomit is fresh and has not reached the pad, there are a few simple steps you can take to remove it.

person cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

1. Gather Your Gear

There are a few things you’ll need to remove vomit from your carpet. You probably have these things laying around your house. You shouldn’t rush out to buy new things, as that’ll leave the vomit on the floor for too long. Your goal is to be speedy.

  • Gloves
  • Trash Bag
  • Spoon
  • Spray Bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Old Towels

2. Put on Gloves

Find whatever gloves you have in your house and put them on. These may be dishwashing gloves or plastic gloves. Either way, they’ll be useful in this situation.

If you don’t have any gloves, you can get some plastic bags and put your hands in those. They won’t be quite as useful as actual gloves, but they will protect your hands.

3. Use the Spoon

This may sound unpleasant, but the next step is to use the spoon to scoop up the vomit into the trash bag. You’ll want to scrap the carpet as well to remove as much as possible. The goal of this step is to remove as much of the vomit as you possibly can to make the later steps easier.

4. Use the Vinegar

Next, make a quick cleaning solution using water and vinegar. Simply mix the vinegar half-and-half with the water. You can either put the solution in a cup and apply it to the stain by pouring very slowly, or you can put it in a spray bottle. Using a spray bottle is the best solution, but not everyone has an extra spray bottle laying around.

Apply the solution to the affected area until it is completely damp and saturated.

vinegar cleaner hand with glove
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5. Blot the Area

As soon as the solution has been applied to the area, begin blotting it up with paper towels. You don’t want to rub, as this can spread the vomit around. Instead, just blot so that the liquid moves straight into the paper towel.

You may need to re-apply the vinegar and blot a few times before the stain has been completely removed. You want to completely dry the area with the towels (or as much as you can) before you’re done.

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Cleaning Up Old Vomit

If the vomit has been sitting for a few hours or days, you’ll have to take a different approach. The vomit will be dried, which means it will be somewhat harder to remove than if it was wet. However, with the right method and tools, you can clean up older vomit without much of a fuss.

1. Get Your Gear

You’ll need more things to clean up older vomit than you would newer vomit. This is largely because the vomit just isn’t going to be wiped up since it is dry. Here is everything you need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vacuum
  • Gloves
  • Trash Bag
  • Spoon
  • Spray Bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Old Towels

2. Pour Out the Baking Soda

The first thing you want to do is pour the baking soda onto the vomit. Do not worry about removing the vomit beforehand – just pour the baking soda out onto it. You want to pour enough to cover it completely. More is usually better than less in this situation, so don’t be afraid to overdo it.

Now, let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. You shouldn’t allow children or dogs to access the area while you wait. You don’t want anyone playing with or eating the baking soda.

If you need to, you can place a towel over the baking soda to protect it from airflow or drafts while it sits.

3. Vacuum

Now, vacuum up the baking soda (and whatever vomit will come with it). You should dump out the contents of your vacuum right away, as you don’t want to leave the vomit sitting in there for too long, especially after the vacuum has mixed it all up. It could begin to stink.

cleaning carpet using vacumm
Image Credit: Pixabay

4. Use Vinegar

Make a cleaning solution of half vinegar, half water. The water should be lukewarm. If it’s too hot, it can help set in the stain, which is not what you want in the least. Put the solution in a spray bottle, preferably. If you don’t have one, you can use a cup. However, a spray bottle is much easier to use and ensures you don’t completely drench your carpet.

5. Blot with a Towel

Take some old towels you don’t care much about anymore and blot the stain until the cleaning solution and vomit have been removed. You don’t want to rub, as that’ll help spread the stain onto a larger area.

You may have to spray the solution multiple times to get all the vomit out. The solution should help rehydrate what vomit is left, which should make it easier to remove.

At this point, though, there shouldn’t be much left thanks to the vacuum. If you aren’t getting a lot out, don’t be surprised. It’s likely all been mostly removed thanks to the vacuum.

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Removing the Vomit Smell

Sometimes, even after removing the vomit, the smell sticks around. This is likely due to small bits of bacteria still in the area, which are causing it to smell. To remove the smell, you’ll need to take a few extra steps.

1. Get Everything You Need

You’ll need some extra materials for this step. While vinegar should remove much of the smell by itself, sometimes you need something a bit stronger. We recommend using an enzymatic carpet cleaner, which you can find at many pet stores. These sorts of cleaners use enzymes to kill bacteria, which will help remove the smell as well.

There are tons of cleaners out there. You likely have one sitting under your sink right now. These things work on all sorts of stains, not just those left by dogs.

Here is a complete list of everything you need:
  • Water
  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • Clean towels

2. Apply the Cleaner as Directed

You’ll want to read the instructions of your chosen cleaner thoroughly and then use it as directed. Usually, this involves pouring it on the stain and allowing it to sit for a short period. You’ll want to ensure that pets and children don’t come into contact with the cleaner while you’re letting it sit, as they are usually not skin-safe.

person spraying on the carpet
Image Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

3. Use a Clean Towel

Next, blot up the cleaner with a clean towel. You’ll want to remove as much of the liquid as possible using the towels. You don’t want to leave much of the cleaner on your carpet.

4. Rinse with Water

Now that you’ve gotten as much cleaner out as possible, rinse it with water. Then, repeat the same process with the towels. Blot and switch towels as necessary.

5. Get Something Heavy

After removing as much of the water as you can, put a towel on the spot and place something heavy on top. This will help soak up all of the moisture, which will also help remove the smell as much as possible.


Featured Image Credit: suchinan, Shutterstock