Removing vomit and the smell from your clothing

Ok, I know it's not the most pleasant of subjects to talk about, but we’ve all been there. Whether you’ve picked up a bug? Your baby had a milky burp? Maybe you’ve had a bout of food poisoning or even suffering from the aftereffects of partying too hard!

Yes, it's gross! Yes, it's smelly! And yes…. it’s not very nice to have to deal with the cleaning of any items that have been contaminated.

Do not despair! I will give you some helpful advice so you can hopefully rescue your clothing from a horrible accident.



I can’t take the grossness factor away for you, but… believe me, the sooner you attend to the items, the less awful this whole experience will be for you.


Meaning leaving the items in a bag till you build up the courage to attend to the vomit-stained item can cause you even bigger problems, for example…. Within the first 7 days, the vomit could grow harmful bacteria causing mould, plus other smellier problems, which can potentially cause irreversible damage. So, I said before… IT’S IMPERATIVE you deal with this at the earliest possible time.


(If you have mould that needs removing from clothing, please see my other blogs. I will be writing a blog on this matter in due course.)


Firstly, you need to remove as much of the vomit from the garments.


Here are a few suggestions of how that can be done.

1. Rubber gloves

If the vomit isn’t too runny, (I apologize), then this is a great way of removing vomit. Using gloves is a good idea anyway when dealing with this as there could be bacteria that could transfer onto your own hands and then in turn make you ill too.


2. Kitchen spatula

This is maybe the best approach to removing the vomit, it keeps it further away from you and you can easily transfer it into a carrier bag for disposal.


3. Stiff card or loyalty plastic cards

We’ve all got surplus plastic cards that we don’t use that would be ideal for this job. Get the two cards and use them to grasp up the vomit to be disposed of.


4. Doggy/nappy bags

If you have a dog, then you’ll be very used to this technique, but for those who do not have a dog, I will explain. Put your hand inside the bag and then pinch up the vomit turning the bag inside out still pinching the vomit, tie the bag up and then dispose of it in the normal way.


5. Kitchen roll

You can use kitchen roll as it's stronger than toilet paper, just be aware that it can leave lint marks on the items.

Great, we’ve now sorted out how to remove as much as possible before we start the cleaning process.

PLEASE PLEASE read the care label instructions before going ahead with any of these helpful ideas, and if in any doubt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, where we will gladly advise you.

For washable garments:

1. Make sure the stain is dry

This point is relevant for all clothing, carpets and upholsteries. It's so important to dry out the vomit patch before you advance to the cleaning stage. You may use cornflour or baking powder; you only need to cover the mark, so use sparingly. Leave for a good 20 minutes, you will be able to tell when it starts to dry, as little blobs will start to form. Simply use a hoover with a nozzle over the powder to rid of the excess.

2. Sprinkle some Hot or Cold water

Do not soak the area just a light spritzing is enough. Then grab a micro cloth; kitchen roll will do if nothing else to hand. Gently dab the area to remove anything left after the drying process.

3. Treat the area with a pre-wash stain remover ( we sell this product in-store)


4. Pop into the washing machine and use the hottest setting the label advises to wash the garment at and off you go!


Let the machine do the rest of the hard work for you!

For dry-cleanable garments:


If the care label says that the garment should only be dry cleaned, bring the garment to your dry cleaners.


Dry Cleaners will only accept garments that are scraped off and dry. Please note that dry cleaning cannot always remove the smell. On some occasions, it is better to use a wet cleaning system (which is not the same cleaning system as the washing machine) rather than the standard dry cleaning process.


If you need help, come and see Farthings Dry Cleaners at 143 Milton Road in Cambridge (01223 755 180) or 1 Anstey Way in Trumpington (012223 625 310). See you soon!