How to Clean Up Vomit On A Mattress

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels

  • Cleaning rags

  • Dish soap

  • Water

  • White vinegar

  • Enzyme odor remover

Get the sick out of your bed as quickly as possible to avoid stains and smells.
Image Credit: pojoslaw/iStock/Getty Images

Flu season, children and pets ensure that your household beds will at some point be a target for illness and vomit. Unlike clothing, bedding and even some rugs, mattresses cannot just be tossed into the washing machine to be cleaned and deodorized. Because of this, they require special care and attention to avoid long-lasting smells or stains. Clean mattresses safely with products already found and used in your home to keep the mattress looking and smelling pleasant without introducing harmful chemicals into the sleep environment.


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Step 1

Remove all bedding, including the mattress cover and sheets. Place them immediately in the wash to dissipate the odor in the room.

Step 2

Eliminate any solids from the affected area of the mattress by picking them up with a paper towel or disposable rag.

Step 3

Blot the stained area of mattress with a clean paper towel or rag to absorb as much liquid as possible.

Step 4

Add a squirt or two of dish soap to a container of warm water, enough to make a soapy solution.


Step 5

Dip a clean rag into the soapy solution, then squeeze out excess moisture.

Step 6

Blot the vomit stain with the damp towel until visible remains of it are removed.

Step 7

Pat the wet area with a clean towel or rag damped with plain water to remove the soap solution from the mattress.

Step 8

Mix a solution of 1 part cold water and 3 parts vinegar in a bowl or bucket.


Step 9

Dip a clean rag into the vinegar solution to dampen, and squeeze out excess moisture.

Step 10

Blot the affected area of the mattress with the vinegar solution to clean, disinfect and deodorize the stains and smell. The vinegar smell dissipates as it dries.

Step 11

Allow mattress to air dry completely, using a fan or hair dryer if desired.

Step 12

Spray the affected area of mattress with an enzyme odor remover, specifically made to treat protein-based stains, if the mattress still smells of vomit.


Step 13

Sprinkle the dry mattress with baking soda to absorb any leftover vomit odors.

Step 14

Replace clean mattress cover and other bedding.

Step 15

Vacuum up baking soda when you change the sheets next time.


Consult a professional cleaning service if you cannot remove vomit smells or stains from your mattress on your own.

Protect yourself from the germs or getting sick yourself by wearing vinyl gloves.

You can also use ammonia in place of vinegar.


Harsh chemicals can cause long-term damage to your mattress and your health, so stick to natural cleansers.



Ashley Garay

Ashley Garay began writing professionally in 2010. Her areas of expertise include parenting, homeschooling, and natural living. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and Spanish from West Chester University. Garay's writing research covers many eclectic topics, helping her become a force to be reckoned with at trivia night.