14 answers

Cleaning Smell of Vomit from Car

Sorry for the rather unpleasant question, but does anyone have any advice on how to get the smell of vomit out of a seatbelt? My nephew got sick in our SUV last weekend and unfortunately when we took the seatbelt off of him (he was in a booster) to get him out and clean him up, we didn't think to clean off the seatbelt first. We were able to throw the floor mat into the wash and luckily we have leather seats so I think the smell came out of most of the rest of the car...but the smell is still there (from the seatbelt...it may even be in the seatbelt contraption, too, since we didn't clean the seatbelt first before releasing it.) Uggggggggh. Any ideas???


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Make a paste of water and baking soda. Put on the seatbelt and let dry, I usually do it overnight. Then the next morning brush the dried baking soda off and wipe with a wet sponge. I've had to do this at least twice on my son's carseat and it works great! Good luck.

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Get some incontinence spray from Walmart. It is in the section with the adult diapers (depends) usually by the pharmacy. I have been using it for years with my disabled 19 year old dd and it works great on those kind of smells (even urine and feces). Before you use it, though, make sure that all the bacteria has been killed with lysol or something.


2 moms found this helpful

Make a paste of water and baking soda. Put on the seatbelt and let dry, I usually do it overnight. Then the next morning brush the dried baking soda off and wipe with a wet sponge. I've had to do this at least twice on my son's carseat and it works great! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

STRAIGHT VINEGAR. Our cat got accidentally trapped inside our car all night and peed on my sons carseat. Just like you, I could get it all clean except the seatbelt which was undetachable from the carseat. I tried everything- soap, bleach, carpet cleaner, febreeze etc. As a last resort I tried the old grandma advice - straight vinegar. I just soaked it and let it air dry in the hot sun. It worked! It smelled like vinegar for a week or so but the small faded away nicely. No trace of cat pee or vinegar smell at all now. I would suggest putting a thick towel under the seatbelt(to protect your seats), drench the seatbelt with vinegar, suspend it with a bungee or something from your "hanger" attachment (the little hook people use for drycleaning) and leave your doors open and let it dry. They say vinegar can clean anything and I believe it! Good luck.

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Hi, I've had great results using Natures Miracle, available at the pet store. Its great, just pour it on. I would even pour it on the locking mechanism if there's vomit in there, after a day to dry, i'd follow up with a spritz of wd-40.

Put a towel in place of the person (to protect the seat upholstery from saturation as well - unless you want that smell checked too) and use Febreeze quite liberally. I've used it for urine and feces (and most recently skunk) with great success on upholstery, so I'd bet it'd work for vomit too. You might even try spraying it into the seatbelt retractor contraption since it does evaporate and isn't sticky or leave any sort of residue.

Yuck. Baking soda?
You could probably get the seatbelt replaced as a last resort, but that sounds expensive.

My daughter used to throw up in the car quite a bit. We found this amazing product from Whole Foods called Bac-out. It comes in a large spray bottle so you can get it into all the nooks and crannies. It's totally natural, non-toxic and uses live enzymes to break down odors. It truly saved us...and our car! Good luck!

Greetings C.: What a lucky little boy to have a Aunt that loves him more than the car!
I have several times faced this over the years with children generally on a long car ride or way to the doctors.
Take the seats out, use a good product like HEXOL, that is used in hospitals for this very thing. Onc the seatbealt is released so fully extended , or even opened up so that you get to all of it at once clean and then let dry.
This drying process may take a few days and the smell it strong but it will work. If you don't think you can take the seatbelt apart by yourself any mechanic should be aable to do it. If you don't do it quickly then the whoe thong will get mouldy and make it even worse. You can safely wipe the seats with HEXOL as well.(we have leather seats).
The only other things to do is take it in to have it detailed but again it means taking the seatbelt apart so have the person taht does it be someone you trust. Frankly I just did it myself with my teenage son.
Good Luck, and again what a lucky little guy to have someone that thought of him instead of the car first. ( Sorry, I have been a foster mother and seen where that is not the case). Nana G

Hi C.,
I suggest two things, first clean the area with liquid Lysol or Mr. Clean Wipe, wipe the seat belt and surroundings real good. Then I would spray some carpet Resolve cleaner on the seatbelt and then wipe real good with a hot rag. I think this help get rid of the smell. If the smell is still there, try spraying with the Lysol spray several times and let the area air out.
Good Luck.

Febreze works wonders! Good Luck!

Willert Home Products
All Purpose Household Deodorizer
One Drop

4044 Park, St. Louis, MO 63110

I don't know where to get it anymore, but that information might help you find it.

Get some oxy clean and make a solution in water. then use a damp cloth and penetrate the fabric of the seat belt in all place you think it got. pull the seat belt all the way out and wash it down and dry it with a towel. Leave the windows up for about a week, and double check the carpet and seats. The smell will go away as my son vomitted in my audi and it went away after I cleaned everything.

Good luck!

I had this happen to me also. I had my husband take the seatbelt out of the car- it wasn't that hard to do. He cleaned the contraption part of it. Then I soaked the fabric part of the seat belt in a combination of warm soapy water (dish soap) and about a cup of white vinegar (it gets the smell out) for about 30 minutes. After that I scrubbed it with a brush to make sure the vomit was all out and soaked it again for about 15 minutes. I then rinsed it and let it air dry. You might not have your seatbelt for a day or so, but at least it won't smell. Good luck!

I know that smell all to well. My kids got sick the same day and it was not good to say the least. I have a product called Sol U Mel and this thing does wonders!! I mixed it with the pre Spot from the same company and the smell is gone. I started using this mix for everything from spots on clothes to floors even kitty pee ON MY BED! Ewwww, I know trust me. I swear by this stuff now.

Here's the site: www.happyhealthyhouse.com

Best of luck,

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