How to Naturally Clean Vomit Off the Carpet {Plus an All-purpose Carpet Cleaner Recipe}

DSCN4553I was happily typing away, writing a blog post on the computer the other day, when my almost 3-year-old son stepped up beside me then projectile vomited onto the carpet. Then, he moved to a different spot and did it again. Thick chunks of wonderful smelling milk puke were all over the carpet.

I immediately rushed him and my younger son out of the living room before either of them could play in the vomit. I changed the Little Mister’s clothes and wiped his face off then cuddled him for a little bit to see if he was okay. He said he felt much better now (which makes sense, if my tummy hurts then I throw up, I usually do feel a lot better afterwards). So I put both boys in the Little Mister’s room with some toys to play with while I went to deal with the vomit.

As you can imagine, being the mom to two rambunctious little boys, this is not the first time I’ve ever had to deal with cleaning vomit off the carpet, and I’m certain it won’t be the last.

Here’s how I clean up the vomit without using any chemicals. This is important to me, especially in the living room where my boys play most of the day, because I don’t want them to inhale or ingest anything that can hurt them. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove any excess vomit with a towel. And I just mean the excess. If it’s all liquidy, then it should be okay.
  2. Sprinkle the remaining vomit generously with baking soda. It pays to have huge containers of baking soda on hand all the time!
  3. After waiting 15 minutes to allow the baking soda to absorb the moisture, vacuum the vomit. I usually get my hubby’s wet/dry vac from the garage for this step, but I’ve heard many other moms just using their regular vacuum as well (using the tube instead of the vacuum’s head).
  4. Spray generously with carpet cleaner (I use the recipe below). Let the cleaner absorb into the carpet.
  5. Scrub away with a brush or sponge. Scrub in all different directions to get all over the fibers of the carpet.
  6. Spray and scrub repeatedly as necessary.
  7. If the vomit smell still lingers, mist it with some plain white vinegar. Be sure to test an obscure section of your carpet with vinegar first to make sure it doesn’t damage it.
  8. Cover with a cloth and allow to dry.

I prefer to use the simple recipe below for carpet cleaner because it is a natural cleaner and because all the ingredients in it are technically edible, so I don’t have to worry about my kids being around it. Also, the vinegar serves as a sanitizer and helps to remove odors. I prefer not to use any soap in my carpet cleaner because soap (even natural soap) has a tendency to leave a residue on the carpet, which can draw dirt to the spot later on.

Natural All-purpose Carpet Cleaner

Yield: 2-1/4 cup


  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda


  1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle over the sink. The solution will fizz as the acidic vinegar and the base baking soda blend, but the fizzing will go down.


IMPORTANT: Test this cleaner on a small, obscure patch of carpet before using it full-force.

Oh, and the Little Mister is doing just fine. I’m not sure what caused him to puke, if he had a tummy ache, had drank some sour milk, or simply gagged. In any case, he’s back to good health and just as energetic and silly as ever!

How do you clean up yucky messes?



Editor/Contributor at Measuring Flower
TJ is a former chef with a Bachelor of Science degree in writing turned stay-at-home wife to a loving, hard-working husband and mom to two very active, adorable little boys.



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