Good morning. We know, you’re not quite sure what happened last night: All you know is that you invited a few buddies over to celebrate the new year, and the next thing you know you wake up with a wicked hangover, all of your friends are gone and you’re left at home with vomit somewhere highly inconvenient. So after you down that bottle of painkillers you’re gonna have to get cleaning. Here you go then — a guide to cleaning puke from just about everywhere.
Let’s start here, as you can’t very well clean your house in that puke-covered T-shirt from last night. According to Debra Johnson of the Merry Maids home cleaning service, you’ll want to start by first scraping off the clothes as much as possible. From there, she says to, “dampen the stain with warm water and cover it with a ¼ inch of baking soda.” After that, get the white vinegar — make sure you have A LOT of vinegar, as you’re going to need it. Pour the vinegar over the stain, and the baking soda is going to begin to fizz.
Get a toothbrush and rub out as much of that stain as you can. Then rinse it out with warm water and wash those clothes in your washer by themselves. Allow them to air dry, and if you still see some residual stains, just do it all over again (except the scraping — if they still need scraping at this point, hoo boy, maybe it’s time to go clothes shopping).
Obviously this is the next most important thing to clean after your clothes, as you’ll have to procrastinate cleaning your place for at least an hour before you actually get started. To clean the phone, “The Germ Guy” Jason Tetro, host of the Super Awesome Science Show, advises that you get some alcohol wipes and scrape the surface clean, then just keep rubbing until you get it all up. This is pretty much all you can do without damaging the phone, so it might take some time. If it was a particularly wet puddle of puke it was sitting in, you may need to bring it to a repair place so they can clean it like they would if you dropped it in the toilet.
Your Bed, Couches and Chairs
Okay, you’re done procrastinating, so now it’s time to fix your disgusting home. For the bed, Johnson says you’re going to start by scraping what you can from the sheet, then following the same steps that you did for your clothes.
If it soaked through onto the mattress, scrape what you can off the bed then sprinkle baking soda over the affected area. Let things sit for a few hours, then vacuum the baking soda off the bed. Then do it again: Just sprinkle on another coat of baking soda and vacuum after letting it sit for a few hours. Next, get some club soda and pour it over the affected area, before rinsing the area with water on a clean microfiber cloth.
For couches, chairs and other upholstery, you’re going to want to follow these same instructions (aside from the part about the sheets).
Hardwood, Tile and Linoleum Floors
Before you get on your knees, you’re going to want to prepare a vinegar solution. Johnson says to mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, one tablespoon of vinegar and two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oils to get your house smelling a bit nicer, which it sounds like you’ll probably need.
Okay, the floors. So first, pick or scrape up whatever big chunks *throws up in mouth a little* you can with paper towels. Then dab the area with water and cover the spot with baking soda. After letting it sit for a few minutes, sweep up the baking soda with a dustpan. Next, you’re going to use that vinegar solution and spray the area on the floor. After another couple of minutes, use a microfiber towel to dry the area. Get a new microfiber cloth with water and rinse the floor. Finally, dry the area with another new, dry microfiber cloth. Did we mention you should invest heavily in microfiber cloths?
Put on some dishwashing gloves, then dampen the stain with water. Use a spoon to scrape the vomit up *vomits in mouth again* and put it in a trash bag. Use your vinegar spray to spray the carpet. After a couple of minutes, blot the carpet dry with a microfiber cloth or an old dish towel. If that isn’t sufficient, Johnson says you may have to look up the carpet manufacturer’s instructions on deep cleaning it.
Yep, someone nailed the wall. Sigh. To get rid of it, Johnson says to scrape what you can with a dry microfiber cloth, then get a melamine sponge, like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and follow the instructions on the packaging. Before you get really scrubbing though, she recommends that you first spot-test a small portion and let it dry to be sure that you’re not going to do any damage to the paint.
Under the Fridge
For this one, use a microfiber covering on a mop and douse it in water and vinegar, then scrub what you can reach. If you can’t get it all, you’re going to have to pull out the fridge and follow the instructions for the floor.
Inside the Fridge
Dang! Inside the fridge, too? Eesh. Well, for this, Johnson instructs you to remove everything from the fridge and chuck whatever’s been hit. Then you’re going to want to remove whatever puke you can with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. After that, grab your vinegar solution and spray the crap out of the areas hit. Let it sit for one minute and then wipe clean. That’s it, but let your fridge dry out before you put everything back in.
Counters and Tabletops
Much like the inside of the fridge, you’re going to want to remove everything, scrape, then spray with the vinegar solution. Let it sit for a minute, then wipe it clean and let it dry before you put all your stuff back.
That Residue on Your Toilet
Well, it seems that someone made it to the toilet, but there’s still that bit of pukey residue left over. For this, put on some dishwashing gloves, then use hot water on a microfiber towel to disinfect the seat. Then spray with that vinegar solution on the areas that were hit. Use a toilet brush to scrub where you need to and flush.
You’ve been so busy scrubbing floors and cursing out your friends that you failed to notice that your poor dog was also a victim of the barf tsunami that hit your house. If you can’t get him to a groomer right away, Kimberly from Kimberly’s Grooming in New Windsor, New York, says to “bathe him with that Dawn soap with the duck on it.” Or, if your dog is super-resistant to baths, you can try to clean just that area with witch hazel or even — you guessed it — vinegar.
Your Front Lawn
Finally, your house is clean, but as you take out the 30 bags of scraped puke and soiled paper towels, you find another spot on the lawn. For this, all you can do is use cold water from a hose. That’s it. Just keep spraying until you can’t tell it’s puke anymore. Bleach will kill the grass, as will boiling water, and while you may be tempted to burn it, you risk setting your whole house on fire, so just stick with cold water.
Inside Car (Leather and Fabric)
Of course. While you hope you weren’t drinking and driving, somehow puke got in your car, too, so you’ve now got to clean that. For this, Johnson advises that you start with a toothbrush and scrub whatever vomit you can off of the seat. Then use a small vacuum to suck up that scraped vomit *again with the mouth sick*. Moisten that area with the vinegar solution and let it sit for a few seconds, then scrub the solution into the stain. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to blot the area until it’s gone.
Once your car seat is dry, you can drive to each of your friends’ houses to kick all of their pukey butts individually.