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How to Get Vomit Smell out of Car

How to Get Vomit Smell out of Car

How to Get Vomit Smell out of Car

When you need to know how to get vomit smell out of car, follow our guide to deal with the problem swiftly and efficiently. Vomit contains organic compounds like stomach acids that can damage or discolor surfaces and upholstery if left untreated. Moreover, bacteria and viruses in vomit can multiply rapidly in a warm car. However, our steps and car interior detailing tips address potential health risks and will leave your vehicle smelling like new.

Understandably, this is one car detailing chore you might want to leave to the professionals. To learn more about our green car care, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:


Steps on How to Get Throw up Smell out of Car

Whether a stomach upset is caused by motion sickness, overindulgence, or a sickness bug, vomit has a nasty odor, especially in a car’s confined space. It’s an unpleasant task but with the right approach and a few car interior detailing tools and products, you’ll soon know how to get puke smell out of car.

What You’ll Need

Here are the main items you’ll need. However, you can also try some home remedies, such as white vinegar, or use a steam cleaner for cars if you have the equipment.

  • Protective gloves and mask
  • Plastic bag and paper towels
  • Car vacuum cleaner
  • Mild dish soap
  • Bucket and water
  • Microfiber cloths

Remove Vomit From Car Seats and Carpets

If you can, clean up the mess as soon as possible. The longer vomit sits on car seats and carpets, the harder it is to get bad smell out of car. Start by doing the following:

  • Wear your gloves and mask.
  • Use your paper towels to scoop up solid chunks of vomit.
  • Place the soiled paper towels in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it responsibly.

Blot the Stained Area

Next, use fresh paper towels to remove any liquid vomit. Blot, don’t rub, to avoid pushing traces of vomit deeper into the upholstery or carpet fibers. For stubborn vomit stains, see our guide on how to remove stains from car seats.

Use a Cleaning Solution

Afterward, once you’ve cleared away all the vomit, clean as follows:

  • Dampen a cloth with a cleaning solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or a suitable car interior detailing product.
  • Then, blot the stained car seat or surface where there was vomit.
  • Rinse the cloth frequently and apply fresh cleaning solution as needed.
  • Use fresh water to rinse.
  • Leave to dry.

Alternatively, if you want to know how to get vomit smell out of car seat using vinegar, do the following:

  • Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • First, do a spot test. If okay, apply this solution to the affected area, blotting with a clean microfiber car cloth or sponge. Vinegar helps neutralize odors.
  • Allow seats to air dry. Ensure the fabric is completely dry to avoid mold or mildew growth. If this becomes a problem, see our guide on how to get mildew smell out of car.

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Also, you can use baking soda when you want to know how to get vomit smell out of car seat. It is a natural and safe method that effectively neutralizes odors and absorbs moisture.

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the clean and dried area. Let it sit for a few hours.
  • After the baking soda has had time to work, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to vacuum up the baking soda.
  • Be sure to vacuum all affected areas, including crevices and seams on seats.

Check out our tips on how to disinfect car interior to ensure you remove bacteria and viruses from vomit.

Download Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Cleaning

How to Get Vomit Smell out of Car Seat Straps

Car seat straps often end up covered in vomit whenever someone is sick. Moreover, the porous material of fabric belts quickly absorbs puke smells. Therefore, ensure seatbelts get a deep clean, too.

  • Gently scrub the straps to remove vomit residue and odors.
  • If you still notice lingering odors after cleaning, spray the straps with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Leave for a few hours.
  • Rinse and dry.

However, if you feel the car seat straps could benefit from a deeper clean, follow our tips on how to steam clean car seats to remove odors.

Vacuum Clean Upholstery and Carpets

When you have successfully completed the steps on how to get throw up smell out of car seat and carpets, vacuum the interior for a professional finish.

Air the Vehicle

After cleaning, park somewhere safe and dry and leave the windows open to let fresh air circulate through car. You can also buy an odor-neutralizing product to freshen your car interior.

Finally, we know it’s not just vomit that can leave a nasty smell in your car. So, if you need some additional car care tips, follow these guides:

Steam Clean (Optional)

For peace of mind, you may prefer to sanitize everything inside your car to ensure it’s safe and hygienic for you and your passengers. In this case, we recommend you steam clean car interior.

Steam cleaning is super-efficient when you need to know how to get puke smell out of car because it involves heating water to high temperatures, typically above 200°F (93°C). The heat helps break down organic compounds present in vomit. Equally important, steam sanitizes surfaces by killing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. So, this helps to eliminate the source of the odor and creates a cleaner and healthier environment inside your car.

Preventative Measures

Lastly, consider using washable seat covers to protect car seats from future vomiting accidents. Also, encourage passengers, especially children, to use vomit bags or containers during travel if motion sickness is a recurring problem.


In summary, knowing how to get vomit smell out of car means you can act swiftly the next time someone is sick on a road trip.

Cleaning solutions and homemade remedies will freshen seats and carpets. However, use steam to sanitize the interior and remove odors efficiently. Also, steam cleaning leaves surfaces relatively dry unlike traditional wet cleaning, which can leave surfaces damp and prone to mold growth.

But if you don’t want to do this unpleasant job yourself, enlist the help of a professional car interior detailing service to remove strong vomit odors. For example, DetailXPerts’ technicians utilize steam technology and eco-friendly cleaning practices to make your vehicle or fleet smell like new.

For more details on our greener clean, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:Download Eco Wash Benefit Guide_Get Consistent High-Quality


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