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How To Clean Dog Vomit From Carpet Effectively

How to clean dog vomit from carpet

As a dog owner experienced in tackling tough messes, I understand the urgency of dealing with vomit on your carpet. Beyond the stain and odor, it’s a health issue that needs immediate attention. In this guide, I’ll show you how to clean dog vomit from carpet using my go-to stain and odor remover methods to tackle both the stain and the smell.

Key Takeaways

  • Act Quickly. Fresh vomit is easier to clean than dried vomit, so tackle the mess immediately to prevent it from sinking deeper into the carpet
  • Use Mild Dish Soap. A few drops of mild dish soap like blue Dawn mixed with warm water can effectively remove vomit stains without damaging the carpet fibers
  • Consider Enzymatic Cleaners. For stubborn stains and odors, enzymatic cleaners can be a highly effective solution. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully

How To Clean Dog Vomit From Carpet

As with dog diarrhea and urine, cleaning dog vomit is one issue you must tackle immediately. Fresh vomit is always easier to clean than dried vomit, and you’ll prevent it from sinking deeper into the carpet and pad when you get to it quickly. After tending to your pet to ensure they’re safe, you can remove vomit stains with simple household materials to prevent it from setting.

Tools and Materials

  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic spatula or other scraper
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean cloths or paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Shop vac

Step 1: Scrape and Blot the Area

With rubber gloves on, scrape the solid chunks and viscous liquid from the carpet with your plastic scraper and dispose of it in a trash bag. Then, blot as much vomit as possible with a cloth or paper towel.

Step 2: Wash the Area with Dish Soap

Mix a few drops of mild dish liquid (e.g., blue Dawn) in a cup of warm water to make a sudsy solution. Dip a soft scrub brush into the soapy water. Gently scour the vomit stain until it is gone, taking care not to scrub too hard to damage the carpet fibers.

Step 3: Rinse with Fresh Water

Soap residue can attract more dirt and worsen a stain if you let it sit on the carpet. To prevent this, rinse the area with cold water after cleaning vomit stains. 

Step 4: Dry the Area

Dry the carpet by pressing with dry paper towels, or use my preferred method and suck up the moisture with a shop vac. Unlike blotting, which can force moisture into the pad and spread it, a wet-dry vacuum will draw water up and out of the carpet. If you don’t have a shop vac, you can also use your carpet cleaner.

Step 5: Sprinkle Baking Soda (Optional)

As a mild alkaline substance, baking soda can neutralize acidic odor-causing compounds in vomit to kill the stink. Plus, it can absorb moisture from the carpet, ensuring it dries thoroughly to prevent mold and future smells. 

After vacuuming, get rid of lingering vomit stains and odors by sprinkling baking soda over the area. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight until it absorbs the excess moisture. Vacuum the powder with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, and the stain and odor should disappear!

Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

The best carpet cleaner for dog vomit is an enzymatic cleaner, an essential stain remover for any pet owner’s arsenal. Alongside the random vomit stain, these cleaners can effectively eliminate feces and urine from carpet, upholstery, and fabrics without risking damage or safety concerns for the people in the house. Some of my top product recommendations include:

Follow the instructions carefully. Note the appropriate dwell time and clean-up process. In most cases, you can leave enzymatic cleaners on dog and cat vomit stains for hours, if needed, to ensure the stain is gone.

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Clean Tough Dog Vomit Stains with Hydrogen Peroxide

Vomit stains on carpets can be tricky but are rarely permanent. Although enzymatic cleaners can remove the vomit odor and organic materials from the carpet, they don’t always clean discoloration from pet messes. For leftover patches, you may need a carpet cleaner or a DIY stain remover.

If you’re dealing with old, stubborn pet vomit stains, try hydrogen peroxide before calling a professional carpet cleaner. The peroxide’s bleaching power will fade stains and destroy hazardous microbes lingering in the fibers, making your carpet look and smell new.

Tools and Supplies

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth

Step 1: Spot-test the Hydrogen Peroxide

Fill the spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1:1 ratio. Spot-test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t discolor the carpet.

Step 2: Spray the Stain

After cleaning up vomit solids and excess liquid, spray the remaining stain with the hydrogen peroxide cleaner. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes.

Step 3: Blot and Repeat

Blot the stain with a damp sponge or cloth to lift the stain. Repeat steps 2–3 if there is still discoloration after the first attempt.

Step 4: Dry the Area

Let the area air dry or sprinkle baking soda to soak the remaining moisture and eliminate the vomit odor in the carpet.

How To Keep Your Dog From Vomiting

Predicting if or when your dog will throw up is almost impossible, but you can take a few essential steps to make sure that cleaning pet vomit doesn’t become a recurring chore.

The first is talking with your vet. If your pet has a habit of throwing up on the carpet, their doctor can perform the necessary physicals, blood work, fecal tests, and other diagnostic tests to find the root cause. They may recommend switching to a new food, trying medications, or attempting a new routine to relieve your dog’s stress and prevent future vomiting.

Tips for Preventing Dog Vomit on the Carpet

Vomiting has several causes, ranging from physical illness to mental stress. Here are a few essential tips to help you reduce the potential for vomit on your carpet:

  • Provide enrichment. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety may throw up in rare instances. While your vet may prescribe medication for severe anxiety, enrichment like mentally stimulating toys, games, and adequate playtime will help your dog relax when you’re gone
  • Change bowls. If your dog throws up from eating too fast, change to a slow feeder bowl. The barriers in the bowl make your dog forage for food, giving them breaks between each bite
  • Keep your dog off the carpet. An obvious solution is to set up your dog’s crate and toys in an area away from the carpet. Install a baby gate for when you’re gone to confine your dog to one area with their crate, food, and enrichment devices to keep them happy

Watch your dog after they vomit for other signs of illness, injury, or stress to report to your vet. While it may be a temporary bit of indigestion or overeating, don’t hesitate to contact your vet if they throw up more than once.


Noah Hoit