If the worst happens and you end up with some vomit on clothing or bedding, getting it clean is a must. The smell is unpleasant to say the least, so it’s vital to get the item clean as soon as possible.
But can you put vomit in the washing machine? Read on to find out the best method for cleaning up sick.
Can You Put Vomit in the Washing Machine?
You can’t (or shouldn’t) put vomit itself in the washing machine. Unfortunately, you’ll need to remove as much of the actual vomit first and then pre-treat the item to remove as much smell as possible.
Failing to do so could leave solid matter in your washing machine, blocking its drain (and causing a smell).
To get your item ready for the washing machine, follow these steps:
- Remove solids, either with a paper towel or by shaking the item out over the toilet. Ideally, all you want to be left when you wash the item is a slight liquid stain.
- Rinse the item with cold water. Vomit contains protein, so this helps prevent the stain from setting too badly.
- If possible, pre-treat the item with an enzymatic stain remover, such as Simple Solution Pet Stain and Odour Remover.
- If you can’t use this, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on the area. This will effectively remove any smell.
- Remove the bicarb with a paper towel and then put the item in the washing machine.
- Wash on the hottest setting the fabric can handle (typically 60 degrees Celsius) and use a heavy-duty detergent.
- Check the item after a wash. If any smell lingers, wash it again, but this time add around 100 ml of white vinegar to the wash.
- Allow the item to air dry once you’re happy the stain and smell have come out.
What’s the Proper Way to Clean Vomit?
Vomit is considered a biohazard, and if the person vomiting has a stomach bug, their vomit is considered infectious. As such, you should take plenty of care when cleaning it up.
This is why we use the hottest setting on our washing machine that the fabric can handle. It can help to kill potential nasties in the vomit, and vomit is typically a type of stain that reacts well to high temperatures.
Some other tips include:
- Ideally, wear rubber gloves when interacting with vomit-stained fabric.
- Make sure you deal with the vomit as quickly as possible. Leaving it can allow stains to set, which can be difficult to remove.
- You should run your washing machine on a 90-degree Celsius setting after washing the stained item, as this can help disinfect it. You shouldn’t need to use a washing machine-safe disinfectant, but it won’t hurt if you have some.
Dealing with vomit isn’t high up on anyone’s wish list, but knowing the method in advance will help next time you need to clean up some sick.
Just make sure you take care to protect yourself from any potentially harmful viruses and bacteria while doing so.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.