How to Get Throw Up Smell Out of Couch

Throwing up on a couch can be a messy and unpleasant experience. Not only do you have to deal with the physical cleanup, but you also have to tackle the lingering smell that can permeate your couch. In this article, we will explore effective methods to get rid of the throw up smell from your couch, backed by research and expert advice.

Understanding the Science Behind the Smell

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s important to understand why throw up leaves such a strong and persistent odor. When you vomit, stomach acids and partially digested food come into contact with the upholstery of your couch. These substances contain volatile compounds that evaporate into the air, creating the unpleasant smell.

Additionally, the porous nature of most couch materials allows the odor-causing molecules to seep deep into the fabric, making it challenging to eliminate the smell completely. However, with the right techniques and products, you can successfully remove the throw up smell from your couch.

1. Act Quickly

The key to effectively removing the throw up smell from your couch is to act as soon as possible. The longer the vomit sits on the fabric, the more difficult it becomes to eliminate the odor. Follow these steps:

  • Put on gloves and remove any solid debris with a paper towel or plastic bag.
  • Blot the affected area gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Do not rub the stain, as it can push the vomit deeper into the fabric.

2. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Once you have removed the visible vomit, it’s time to prepare a cleaning solution to tackle the smell. Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Mix one cup of warm water with one tablespoon of dish soap.
  • Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to the mixture.
  • Stir the solution until the ingredients are well combined.

3. Test the Solution

Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire couch, it’s essential to test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration. Apply a small amount of the solution to the test area and blot it with a clean cloth. If there are no adverse effects, you can proceed with the cleaning process.

4. Clean the Affected Area

Using a clean cloth or sponge, dip it into the cleaning solution and gently blot the affected area of the couch. Work from the outside of the stain towards the center to prevent spreading the vomit further. Repeat this process until the smell is no longer noticeable.

5. Rinse and Dry

After cleaning the affected area, it’s crucial to rinse away any residue from the cleaning solution. Dampen a clean cloth with plain water and blot the area to remove any soap or vinegar residue. Finally, allow the couch to air dry completely.

6. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerful odor absorber and can help eliminate any remaining smell from your couch. Follow these steps:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire couch, focusing on the previously affected area.
  • Gently rub the baking soda into the fabric using a soft brush or your fingers.
  • Leave the baking soda on the couch for at least 24 hours to allow it to absorb the odor.
  • Vacuum the couch thoroughly to remove the baking soda residue.

7. Consider Professional Cleaning

If the throw up smell persists despite your best efforts, it may be time to consider professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have access to specialized equipment and cleaning solutions that can effectively remove stubborn odors from your couch. Additionally, they can provide deep cleaning to ensure all traces of vomit are eliminated.


Dealing with the throw up smell on your couch can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques, you can successfully eliminate the odor. Acting quickly, preparing a cleaning solution, and using baking soda are effective methods to tackle the smell. However, if the odor persists, it’s advisable to seek professional cleaning services. Remember, the key is to act promptly and follow the steps outlined in this article to restore your couch to its fresh and odor-free state.


1. Can I use bleach to clean the vomit stain?

No, bleach is not recommended for cleaning vomit stains on couches. It can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. Stick to the cleaning solution mentioned in this article for safe and effective stain removal.

2. How long does it take for the smell to disappear?

The time it takes for the smell to disappear depends on various factors, such as the severity of the vomit stain and the type of fabric. With proper cleaning and odor removal techniques, the smell should dissipate within a few days.

3. Can I use air fresheners to mask the smell?

Air fresheners may temporarily mask the smell, but they do not eliminate it. It’s best to focus on removing the odor at its source by following the steps outlined in this article.

4. Is it possible to remove vomit smell from a leather couch?

Yes, it is possible to remove vomit smell from a leather couch. However, it’s important to use cleaning solutions and methods specifically designed for leather upholstery to avoid damaging the material. Consult a professional cleaner or refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best approach.

5. Can I prevent vomit smell from lingering on my couch?

While accidents happen, there are a few preventive measures you can take to minimize the chances of vomit smell lingering on your couch. Consider using couch covers or protectors that are easy to remove and wash. Additionally, avoid eating or drinking on the couch to reduce the risk of spills and stains.

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