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How to Clean Vomit from a Mattress

Don’t let knowing how challenging a vomit stain is make you feel worse, especially if the stain is on your mattress. You can get vomit stains and the smell out of your mattress and bedding with our tips.

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Vomit stains on mattresses are a challenge to remove because mattresses should not be saturated with any cleaner or water. But you can clean away surface stains and remove odors with Clorox® Urine Remover using a blotting technique. This product is specially formulated to break down urine stains, remove tough vomit stains, and eliminate odors. It is safe to use on most fabrics, including cotton and polyester bedding as well as soft mattress surfaces.

You may also have stains on your bedding and not just the mattress. To remove these stains, select hot water and a heavy-duty cycle, and be sure to add the appropriate bleach along with a good laundry detergent. For vomit stains on white cotton or polyester bedsheets, use Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach; for colored sheets, pretreat stains with liquid Clorox 2® for Colors to remove vomit stains. 

What to clean first

When a vomit disaster strikes, pull the sheets (and mattress pad if there is one) off the bed and set them aside to clean after you clean any stains on the mattress. First you want to work on any stains on the mattress because mattresses are much harder to clean than bedding that can go in a clothes washer. The sooner you treat any vomit stains on the outside of the mattress, the better your chances of removing them.

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What you need

Steps to remove vomit from a mattress

  1. 1

    Wipe up excess liquid

    Remove sheets and set them aside to machine wash. Use several washcloths or an absorbent towel to wipe up any liquid remaining on the mattress. Avoid pushing the stain deeper into the fabric.

    Set aside dirty washcloths to wash with the bedsheets.
  2. 2

    Treat Remaining Stain

    Spray the remaining stain with Clorox® Urine Remover until wet.

     Spray just enough to dampen the stain; do not saturate.
  3. 3

    Wait 3 minutes

    Allow 3 minutes for the Clorox® Urine Remover product to work on the stain.

  4. 4

    Blot to rinse

    Dampen a clean washcloth with a little water, then use it to blot or dab the treated area, rinsing it.

  5. 5

    Air dry

    Allow the air mattress to air dry completely before replacing the bed linens, using a fan to increase air circulation if needed.

    If the stain is still visible on the mattress after air drying, use a steam cleaner to go over the stain, following the instructions for the machine.

The mattress must air dry completely before replacing the bedding, which gives you plenty of time to wash and dry the sheets along with any washcloths you used.

Tips for machine washing bed sheets after a vomit accident

Once you have finished treating any vomit stains on the mattress, it’s time to wash the sheets and any washcloths you used in the cleanup. Be sure to rinse away any solids before adding the sheets to your clothes washer, and select hot water and the heavy duty cycle. If you have white cotton or polyester sheets, they can be washed with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. Sheets with the color printed on may also be safe for bleach, so test first for colorfastness to bleach if you aren’t sure.

For sheets that aren’t colorfast to bleach, you can pretreat the stains and then wash them with Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive. Tumble dry on the high heat setting after washing to help further reduce germ counts.

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