How to Remove the Vomit Smell From a Car

by Lynn Burbeck
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Car interior image by mashe from

No matter how hard you scrub, the smell of vomit seems to linger forever, particularly in a car where the lack of air flow and exposure to hot temperatures can intensify the foul smell. The key to eliminating the smell of vomit once and for all is to use cleaning products that will neutralize the odor completely. By neutralizing the high acidity of vomit stain with baking soda and vinegar, you can successfully eliminate the smell of vomit from the car interior.

Step 1

Remove as much of the vomit from the car as possible by soaking up excess moisture and removing solid food particles with a paper towel.

Step 2

Apply baking soda liberally to the affected area to help soak up some of the remaining moisture and neutralize the acidity of the vomit. Because baking soda is highly alkaline, it is ideal for breaking down acids and removing unpleasant odors.

Step 3

Leave the baking soda on the car interior for 10 minutes so that it has time to react with the gastric acids in the vomit.

Step 4

Soak a clean, white rag in vinegar, and use it to scrub the car's interior where the vomit stain occurred. The vinegar will instantly react with the baking soda to cause a noticeable fizzing action. Vinegar also has a lower pH than gastric acid, and aids in the neutralization of the odor.

Step 5

Repeat the steps above until you have completely eliminated the smell. Depending on the extent of the vomit stain, you may need to repeat the process 2 or 3 times for best results.

Step 6

Vacuum the baking soda from the car once it has dried completely.

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