How to Get the Throw up Smell Out of a Car Seat

Updated on May 19, 2009
S.C. asks from The Colony, TX
32 answers

My daughter threw up in her car seat last week. I have tried everything that I know of to get the throw up smell out of the car seat cover & have not been successful. Any ideas of things that I can try to get the smell out?

I have washed it in the washing machine with detergent & again with vinegar, I have sprinkled baking soda on it & vacuumed it out & I have sprayed it with Febreeze & a mixture of vinegar & water. I can still smell the throw up...

Thank you!

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H.F.

answers from Dallas on

Don't forget to clean the straps. When I had a child get sick, I had the same problem. I finally realized it was the straps.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

You could use a little Oxy Clean which you can find at any store, works like hydrogen peroxide but is safer on fabrics & carpet. Also, you could try Odo-Ban from Sam's Club. It's a commercial product used by a lot of medical janitorial services that need to clean up after patient spills of various body fluids. It works. It's a little pricey, but will do the trick.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Odo-Ban from Sam's - that stuff is wonderful!! My girlfriend's son threw up in her car as well - on the seats, his car seat and even the carpet floor board. I gave her my bottle to use and she was blown away by it's effectiveness. It not only cleans away the gunk but kills the bacteria. It also has a very pleasant odor - there is NO ODOR LEFT BEHIND from the original incident.

My heart goes out to you - I hope with all of the great responses - you'll find the solution that works best for you.

Blessings,
A.

More Answers

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Try Nature's Miracle from PetSmart, it is for animal messes (stains and odors), but we discovered the enzymes work for people messes too.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Make sure it didn't get down in the car seat itself- not just the car seat cover. It may have even gotten into the big seat and the seat belt area.
K.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

You could use a little Oxy Clean which you can find at any store, works like hydrogen peroxide but is safer on fabrics & carpet. Also, you could try Odo-Ban from Sam's Club. It's a commercial product used by a lot of medical janitorial services that need to clean up after patient spills of various body fluids. It works. It's a little pricey, but will do the trick.

M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried "Nature's Miracle?" I've seen it sold in Petsmart as well as Babies R Us, same product, different type of baby offender! It might work...

M.

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S.S.

answers from Tyler on

Have you tried vinegar and baking soda?

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

I always use resolve carpet cleaner and let it air dry

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Dallas on

There's a WONDERFUL product called Bac-Out, made by BioKleen. I get it at Whole Foods on the shelves that hold household cleaners. It works GREAT!!!

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R.L.

answers from Dallas on

washing the cover and letting it dry in the sun worked for me. do not wash the straps. it can make them weak. learned that the hard way and had to order new straps from the manufacturer. they said only to wipe them with a cloth. i sprayed the hard shell with clorox anywhere spray and set it out in the sun also.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried setting it in the hot sun? I know it's been raining lately, and it's raining again. But maybe you could put it somewhere that the wind could blow through it and the sun could hit it and maybe that would help.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.:

Have you tried cleaning the foam that is connected to the actual carseat - that you can't put in the washing machine? Some vomit got stuck there once when my child vomited.

I also used Woolite Carpet Cleaner with Oxy and haven't smelled anything since.

If you haven't already tried the Woolite I mentioned above, let me tell you what I did with it. I couldn't even believe it. We had just gotten $6,000 worth of carpeting in our home and someone spilled an entire cup of coffe on cream carpet. The spill was roughly 12 inches in diameter. Well, the 'person' didn't tell me what had happened so it sat on the carpet for a couple of days. I was so flabbergasted because I thought it was too late to call in the carpet cleaners. I knew it was set. No joke - a full year goes by and I uncover the stain and soak it with the Woolite. It's GONE!

Good luck!

G.A.

answers from Dallas on

Need a steam cleaner. G. W

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
Do you happen to have a Britax Marathon? If so, I have a cover you can have. We were recently in a car accident and had to discard the car seats, but just in case I knew someone who wanted spare covers, I kept those. I gave one away already but I have a light green one. Not in perfect shape, but it smells fine! You are welcome to it if it will fit your car seat!
Good luck!
A.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Odor Ban from Sam's is GREAT!!!! My daughter had a very strong gag reflex and threw up several times in the car and in her crib. This stuff is wonderful. It works on all types of surfaces and the bottle tells you what strength to use for all types (of surfaces). Good luck!!

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

hello,
try using a fabric dryer sheet under the seat cover. You would be surprised what it can hide. It won't last forever, but it will take immediate action.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

Table salt.
Sprinkle it on the area, rub it in, let it sit for a while (15 mins) and vacuum up. It is really great on house rugs too with pet urine!

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

I had the same thing happen with my daughter years ago. I had missed some of the yuck in the belting part. I second taking the cover off the seat, going over the entire seat with some kind of cleaning solution, and then setting it in the sun. The sun is a natural way to get stains and odors out (and a couple of hours is all that's necessary). I had to take Qtips to get into all the crannies in my daughter's seat. Once I did, though, the smell vanished.

From then on I kept a small bucket in the car. Your daughter is a little small for that, but it helps later. I use just a regular bucket the kids use for sand. That way if either child starts feeling ill while we're traveling it gives them extra peace of mind and me as well! :)

Blessings to you!
L.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Take the entire car seat apart. Wash the straps and buckles too. It isn't enough to just wash the car seat cover. Wipe down the car seat itself too once the cover is off. Get every nook and cranny.

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A.R.

answers from Amarillo on

S.,

i would use the solumel and soluguard botanical. these are natural cleaners and they neutralize the odor and disinfect all in one. i'm not sure where you are but rachel looks to be in the dallas area and i am located in amarillo. please call rachel or myself so you can get these products into your hands. i know having your car smell like throw up is no fun.
hth...

A. ###-###-####

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

are you hand washing this or placing it in the washing machine? if hand washing, place with baking soda/vinegar in the sun for a day. then wash in the washing machine with perhaps downy/hot water. good luck. oh and one more thing, check with your local dry cleaners... they might have a suggestion.

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E.A.

answers from Dallas on

A drop or two (or three) of peppermint oil. Very strong stuff...but it works! :)

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

I would also like to recommend the Nature's Miracle from PetSmart & the like. It's an enzyme cleaner that breaks down the proteins (or something to that effect) and actually neutralizes the odor that way.

B.L.

answers from Dallas on

Are you sure that it's not in the car? I had the same thing happen & I washed the car seat out with the water hose & there was no more smell, but the was still some in the car so I got that cleaned up & the smell was gone!! GL

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from Dallas on

Don't forget to clean the straps. When I had a child get sick, I had the same problem. I finally realized it was the straps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I'm betting you missed a little nook or cranny, as others have suggested. Even after washing our car seat cover and blasting the belts, straps, hard plastic and styrofoam parts with a water hose, there was still a bit of a smell, so I had to go back and get the q-tips to get in a few tiny spaces. It worked.

Good luck! I've been in your shoes more than once. The smell will go away, I promise.

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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
Have you tried using Solumel or Botanical Solugard? They will do a deep cleaning, and disinfect and rid the smell. You can order this from Melaleuca. I will be glad to order it for you. The Solumel has multiple uses. You can reach me at ###-###-####. Have a wonderful day! :*)

A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I'm sure it doesn't help that it then bakes in the sun in the car either! Did you wipe everything else plastic down with a mild bleach solution? We're talking every nook and cranny and I know there are tons of them. I'd also try Nature's Miracle pet stain removal it really gets rid of stink. When our dog was a puppy it got rid of a very gross situation from our apartment carpet. You might want to treat the actual car with it too just in case! And with the straps, use something a hosiery or swim wear cleaner like Hosiery Mate which will keep them from falling apart, you only need to hand wash then air dry them.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Dallas on

we use Nature's Miracle from PetSmart on all stinky spills or accidents. it works great

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.H.

answers from Dallas on

My son has thrown up in his car seat many, many times. All I did was take the cover off, throw it in the wash, then I take the car seat and sray it with a cleaning product, anything I have at the time, then rinse everything off really good in the shower. Let it sit outside to dry, put it all together and done. I've never had any smell. Maybe you have some stuck in the car seat somewhere... it gets stuck in the buckle... that why I rinse off the seat very well. Hope you're able to find what's causing the smell.. it's not the car seat cover I'm sure... because washing it, especially using baking soda on it, would definitely get the smell out. It worked great on my couch.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Did you take the cover off and throw it in the washer? Most (but not all) of the covers are machine-washable.

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A.S.

answers from Lubbock on

I dont know.All I can say is I feel your pain!!Yuck!I had the same thing happen two days ago only to my carpet.i have even steam clean it and still can smell it.I plan on reading all the advice your getting and trying it.I just wanted you to know your not alone.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Odo-Ban from Sam's - that stuff is wonderful!! My girlfriend's son threw up in her car as well - on the seats, his car seat and even the carpet floor board. I gave her my bottle to use and she was blown away by it's effectiveness. It not only cleans away the gunk but kills the bacteria. It also has a very pleasant odor - there is NO ODOR LEFT BEHIND from the original incident.

My heart goes out to you - I hope with all of the great responses - you'll find the solution that works best for you.

Blessings,
A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Dallas on

charcoal also helps remove odors......put some pieces of charcoal on something (a plastic plate, tin foil, etc.) and set on it.....it absorbs odors and you can then discard

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