5 Easy Steps on How to Get Vomit Smell Out of Mattress

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how to get vomit smell out of mattress

Removing vomit smell from mattress

When looking at how to get vomit smell out of mattress, it’s important to clean the mattress thoroughly first. An easy way to get vomit smell out of a mattress is to use common household cleaning items, including white vinegar and baking soda, both of which reduce odor, and rubbing alcohol, which helps to sanitize your mattress.

Woman could not sleep while it was very late Premium Photo
Dealing with your baby’s vomit in the wee hours of the morning can be tough on your sleep.

You know the struggle. It’s 3 AM and you wake up to the sound of vomiting, followed by that awful smell that makes you want to vomit too. Every mom knows the pain of waking up in the middle of the night to her child crying and vomiting.

It’s bad enough to have to clean it up while you’re fighting off sleep and trying to keep your sick child comforted, but it’s even worse when you wake up the next morning to a mattress that stinks like nothing else. Even if your child vomits in bed during the day from infant reflux, it doesn’t get any better.

It’s a big question, how to get vomit smell out of mattress, and we’re here to tell you that no, you don’t have to burn it or wrap it in ten layers of plastic wrap.

You don’t even have to hire a professional cleaner or spend lots of money on fancy chemicals from the store. Never fear, there are ways to easily get that awful smell out of your child’s mattress (or yours!).

In this article we’ll give you tips on how to get vomit out of a mattress, as well as how to remove vomit smell from mattress using cleaning items you probably already have around your house. Read on to find out how!

What you’ll need:

  • A vomit-covered mattress!
  • Absorbent paper towels and/or clean, dry rags
  • A bowl or container
  • Hot water
  • Laundry or dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
Baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap - great ingredients to clean vomit from mattress
Baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap: three great ingredients for cleaning your mattress. Source: Admiring Life

How to get vomit smell out of mattress

When you’re going to clean vomit from a mattress, first get that vomit off of the mattress. This is the first step in getting your mattress back to its original state, and it’s a very important step.

Do this right away, don’t let it dry as it will be harder to clean up, and will make the leftover smell worse. Use a dustpan, paper plate, or even a bowl or plate to scoop up the vomit and seal it up in a plastic bag. Make sure you wear gloves to avoid all of those icky germs!

Step 1: Wash bedding

Immediately wash all of your bedding at a higher temperature to get rid of the smell as well as any stains and germs. Get as much vomit off of the bedding as you can.

Talkingcampers.com recommends soaking your bedding in a solution of Borax (you’ll need to dissolve your Borax powder first) and 1 cup of regular laundry detergent for a few hours, then washing as normal.

Step 2: Clean up any residue

Before we get to how to get puke smell out of mattress, it’s important to clean off any leftover residue. Your goal is to get it as dry as possible.

Here’s how to clean puke off a mattress: use clean, dry paper towels to dab at the remaining liquid. Make sure you dab, not scrub! Scrubbing will spread the remaining liquid and germs around and imbed them into the fibers of your mattress, and once they’re in there, the smell will be harder to get out.

Once you’ve gotten as much liquid up as you can, spot clean your mattress. Fill a bowl or container with warm water and squirt or two of mild detergent (you can use laundry detergent or dish soap).

Soak a rag or paper towel in the water and dab at the spot. Pat with another clean towel to soak up the water.

Alternatively, this recipe for mattress cleaning spray uses similar ingredients. You will need:

Combine the ingredients in a bowl or spray bottle. Dab on or spray, and use a clean, dry cloth to dab up the liquid.

common household items that are helpful in cleaning vomit from a mattress | Babyjourney
Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol are inexpensive, common household items that are helpful in cleaning vomit from a mattress. Source: My Four Letter Life

Step 3: Further clean vomit from mattress with simple ingredients

With vinegar

After cleaning as much as you can with soap and water, use vinegar and water to further clean your mattress. Vinegar has the added benefit of disinfecting and deodorizing as well as cleaning, so it’s a win-win!

Make a solution of half white vinegar, half water and either spray it on with a spray bottle, or dip a cloth in and pat onto the mattress. Let it dry completely, then repeat the process as needed until the stain is gone.

You can point a fan directly at the spot to help it dry out faster, or use a hair dryer.

With hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is also a great ingredient for cleaning vomit from your mattress. Dab or squirt it on, and use a clean cloth to dab up the stains. It will look like the hydrogen peroxide is staining your mattress at first, but it will dry clear.

Step 4: Disinfect with rubbing alcohol

To ensure that all of those nasty germs are gone from your mattress, follow up with some rubbing alcohol, which will further disinfect your mattress. The best way to do this is to pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle.

Make sure you have good ventilation in the room as the alcohol lets off some pretty strong fumes. Open a window if need be, and turn on any fans. Spray the spot where the vomit was and let it dry completely.

Again, you can use a fan or hair dryer to help it dry. Keep any kids or pets away from the mattress while it is drying.

Step 5: Finish with baking soda

The final step in removing vomit smell from your mattress is to employ a kitchen staple: baking soda. Baking soda is great at neutralizing unpleasant odors, plus it will help absorb any leftover moisture and ensure that your mattress stays smelling nice and fresh.

Grab a box of baking soda – it doesn’t have to be new – and sprinkle a generous layer on top of where the vomit was. Let it sit for a couple of days to really absorb any leftover odor.

You can put your sheets and blankets on over the baking soda and even sleep on the bed. Add a towel over the baking soda first if you’re worried about any of the powder coming through your sheets.

Next time you change your sheets, just vacuum up the baking soda, and your mattress should be as good as new!

Bonus Tip: Make a scented mattress spray

If the tricks above aren’t enough to help you rid of the vomit smell out of mattress, you can make a spray with vinegar and essential oils for extra odor control. Added to the power of white vinegar, essential oils not only have a variety of amazing scents, but also have a variety of different cleaning and sanitizing purposes.

Ingrdients for mattresss spray to get vomit smell out of mattress | Babyjourney
Ingredients for mattress spray. Source: The Organised Housewife

This homemade mattress spray from theorganizedhousewife.com features Eucalyptus oil which has purifying properties, as well as lavender oil, which has antibacterial properties and as an added bonus, helps promote a peaceful sleep.

Other essential oils in this spray can be either tea tree oil or peppermint oil (or both!). Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial and antiviral, which will help to get rid of odor-causing germs. Peppermint oil deters pests such as bedbugs.

What you’ll need:

Combine all the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake to combine. Spray your mattress with it and allow it to sit for a few hours.

Puke-Proof your mattress

Even though vomiting can come on quite unexpectedly at times, get ahead and avoid stressing out from thinking how to clean vomit from mattress by puke-proofing. This will save you time in the middle of the night, and you can move on to getting back to sleep faster.

5 ways removing vomit smell from mattress | Babyjourney
Waterproof mattress pads protect your mattress from all kinds of liquids. Source: The Company Store

Today’s Parent suggests puke-proofing your beds by making bedding sandwiches. Invest in a few inexpensive waterproof mattress pads.

When making the bed, start with a mattress pad and a sheet set, then add another mattress pad and sheet set on top of that. When your child vomits in the night, you can easily just remove the top sheets and pad and throw them in the washer (make sure to remove as much of the vomit as you can first), and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up your mattress and having any lingering odor.

How to get vomit smell out of a room

Sometimes after a bout of vomiting your room can have a lingering vomit smell. And maybe you live in a cold place and can’t open the window to get rid of the smell. Here are some tips for getting that awful smell out.

  • Make sure to wash everything that has come into contact with vomit.
  • Fill a bowl with white vinegar and set it in the room. It will get rid of the smell quickly.
  • Run a diffuser and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Additional Helpful tips

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from germs.
  • If you can’t stand the smell of vomit, block the odor by chewing mint gum or rubbing a mint-based or other strong-smelling ointment under your nostrils.
  • Always clean up vomit in a well-ventilated space. Open windows and turn on any fans to help the odor disperse.
  • Clean and disinfect any tools that you used.

Vomit Smell No More!

Next time you wake up to that dreadful smell of vomit on a mattress, don’t panic. With these easy steps and tips on how to get throw up smell out of mattress, you can get rid of that nasty smell and bring your mattress back to its original state.

You don’t need to go out and buy expensive products to clean your mattress; just use simple products you already have in your kitchen!

Stock up on white vinegar, baking soda, and rubbing alcohol so you’re prepared for the next time your child doesn’t make it to the bathroom. Get some waterproof mattress pads so you don’t have to do any cleanup at all.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about how to remove vomit smell from a mattress, please feel free to add to this discussion by leaving a comment below.

how to get vomit smell out of mattress

The Author


Hi, my name is Schianne, wife to my high school sweetheart and mother of a beautiful and clever little girl. Click here to learn more about us.

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