How to Remove Vomit From a Car's Interior

by Brooke PierceUpdated July 12, 2023

Baking Soda, Vinegar, and water.

Accidents occur, including people getting sick in your car -- and you may find yourself with the unpleasant task of cleaning vomit from the interior of your car. There’s no need to buy fancy cleaning products for this job! Removing vomit and getting rid of the vomit smell in your car may seem like a challenge, but you can easily clean your car's interior using household products. The sooner you have a clean car, the better.

Items you will need

  • Protective gloves

  • Face mask

  • Spoon

  • Absorbent cloth or paper towel

  • Cloth towel

  • Water

  • Detergent

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Brush

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Air fresheners

  • Upholstery protectant

1. Scoop out the vomit.

Be sure to wear rubber gloves and a face mask while cleaning the car's interior and keep your windows open to air out the car. Use paper towels to get rid of most of the solid matter and throw them in a separate plastic bag. Then, use a spoon to scoop out the watery vomit that is mixed with solid particles. Soak an absorbent cloth in water mixed with dishwashing liquid and wipe the area where you have scooped the vomit.


Do not scoop the throw up roughly, as it may fall underneath the surface of the area you are cleaning, making it harder to get to and clean the vomit.

2. Wash the mats and covers.

Remove the car’s mats and any other removable accessories. Wash them with a detergent and ensure they are clean. Let any excess moisture dry in the sun before returning them to the car. For dried puke in the car upholstery or car carpets, use a brush to scrub in either a store bought upholstery cleaner or the cleaning solution mentioned above. Do not use excessive force, as it may damage your interior. Using a wet cloth towel, pay attention to the lining of the car interior and remove any other solid material. You may also add essential oils to get rid of the smell of vomit that might remain. Use warm water on a damp cloth for hard surfaces. Go back in with a disinfecting spray on the hard surfaces to fully clean your car.

3. Disinfect your upholstery and remove the odor.

To disinfect the upholstery, mix equal parts water with white vinegar in a spray bottle and and rub the affected area with it. Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda on the exposed area and rub it lightly to help get rid of the vomit odor. After 30 minutes, clean up the baking soda using a brush and then use a detergent to clean the surface. Let the wet parts dry and then use a vacuum cleaner to get the rest up. Be sure not to use bleach on any car seat, especially if you have dark car seats or leather upholstery.

4. Use an air freshener.

After your car is clean and dry, spray air freshener with an odor eliminator to cover up more of any lingering smell or any musty car air that was already there.


Use upholstery protectant to protect the surfaces you have cleaned against future accidents. This will act as a preventive measure that will make your work easier next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

More Articles

article divider