Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by Chase Manhattan
Ever had a vomiting accident in your car? People often vomit out the window instead of inside the car. That’s not a good idea though, vomit can damage the paint job. If somehow vomit got on the exterior of your car, you may be wondering: How to clean vomit from the car exterior?
- Spray vomit stain with WD-40
- Let the goo loosen up
- Wash off the vomit
- Wash your car
- Re-polish & Wax
The cleaning process depends on how big and dry the vomit is. A step-by-step guide follows.
Can Human Vomit Damage Car Paint
Everyone has been in a situation where some of the car passengers had to puke. Whether it’s from being drunk or it’s just a bad road, it’s an unpleasant situation.
The best thing to do in these situations is to stop the car and let the person puke outside. You can’t always do that. For instance, if you stop on a highway you may cause a crash.
The intuitive thing that people do is puke out the window. That way, there will be no stain on the seats. More so, you don’t have to deal with the vomit smell.
However, that may not be a great idea. The vomit will stick to the side of your car. It contains stomach acid. And we all know that any type of acid is bad for the paint.
If you are wondering whether stomach acid is strong enough to damage car paint, yes it is. For the first few minutes, your car may be safe. But if it dries and becomes solid matter, there will be a stain on the exterior. This is why its important to know how to clean vomit from a cars exterior.
Dried stomach acid accompanied by vomit will form solid chunks on the exterior of your car. When these are removed, there is a chance that the acid has damaged the paint and the paint will come off as you remove the chunk. We suggest soaking your car with a foam cannon when possible, prior to doing this.
How To Clean Vomit From Car Exterior
Now, how quickly you get rid of the vomit is really important. Dried vomit leaves a stain and it’s much harder to get rid of. Vomit is best cleaned when it’s fresh.
How To Clean Fresh Vomit
If you are lucky enough to be able to quickly clean the vomit, you don’t have to worry about anything. Stomach acid is strong enough to damage the paint job but not that fast.
Fresh vomit on a car is cleaned just by rinsing with a water hose. All you have to do is hose down the stain. Make sure you are pushing it down, and not contaminating the rest of the car.
Remember, this only works if the incident happened in your yard for instance. So, you are able to quickly hose the vomit. You can’t do this while you are driving. If you’re on the road, a laser car wash is a touch free option that will remove vomit from your car without scratching the paint.
Let’s say that you were able to get to a car wash or to your house in a few minutes. You should still rinse with a garden hose. There are high chances that you will have a stain though.
So, you still may have to get rid of some dried vomit and treat the stain with something. We will talk about that soon.
How To Clean Dry Vomit
The worst scenario is vomiting outside the car’s window on a long trip. The truth is, you won’t be able to stop and clean the stain. Nor you will be able to find a car wash, especially if you are on the highway.
By the time you are able to clean the car, there will be a lot of dry pieces of solid matter. The liquid will turn into a stain. Your car’s paint will stain like it started to fade.
I agree, this is not ideal. Don’t worry though, there is a solution. Your car won’t look like that always. There are three ways to approach this.
[Recommended Article: How To Remove Wax From a Windshield]
Cleaning Method 1
The best way to clean a vomit stain is to go to a car wash and pay for the right cleaning services. Take your car to a professional cleaner service. These places offer the usual car wash but will treat vomit stains specifically for an additional charge. This is probably the most conservative options as these professionals are well versed in the art of protecting a car’s clear coat.
The thing is, you can’t be sure if your car will need re-polishing and other treatment. Also, the cleaning solution you will be using matters too. These places have cleaning solutions specifically for vomit stains.
Cleaning Method 2
If you feel like you can clean the stain on your own, by all means, do it. You will also have to re-polish and wax the exterior.
- Soak up any liquid left with paper towels.
I don’t think there will be any liquid left but just to be sure, check if there’s any left.
- Apply a bug & tar remover or WD-40.
You need to use something that will dissolve the goo and acid. There are plenty of cleaning products you can choose from. I recommend a bug & tar remover or WD-40. WD-40 is my preferred substitute.
- Let the stuck vomit dissolve.
- Wash off the vomit.
Just a quick rinse with a water hose will do.
- Wash the entire car.
- Repolish your car.
- Add a coat of wax.
If you do this right, and the stain is not that bad, you may have gotten rid of the stain. If the stain persists, go to a professional.
Don’t have access to WD-40? There are plenty of WD-40 alternatives for a car wash.
I know that some of you don’t want to choose something as strong as WD-40. So, there’s something you can use as a mild solution.
- Mix Dawn Dish Soap With Water.
In a bucket of water, add Dawn Dish Soap. It’s the strongest dish soap but still mild enough for your car.
- Soak a microfiber towel in the bucket.
Don’t let it be soaking wet. Just absorb the soapy water. Make sure you are using a damp cloth on the car.
- Place the damp cloth over the stain.
Try to stick it to the stain.
- Hold the cloth over the stain.
This should dissolve vomit. But it a good period of time. The soap is not that strong, so it takes time for the vomit to dissolve.
- Wipe away the dissolved matter.
- Rinse with hose.
- Wash the car with shampoo.
- Re-polish & wax.
Use a foam cannon for a quick, scrub free, way of washing your car. The foam suds will agitate any dirt on the cars surface so that it can easily be removed with a quick rinse from a water hose. Make sure that you’re using a high tier car wash soap for the maximum amount of suds.
How To Clean Vomit From Car Interior
I know that some people went the other way and puke inside the car. This is not that bad for the car. It’s bad for the passengers because they have to deal with the vomit smell.
It’s really easy to get rid of vomit inside a car. There are several ways you can try.
Take your car to a steam cleaning service. It’s an easy and effective way to get rid of stains on your car seats and upholstery.
Professionals encounter vomit inside a car very often, they will have a predetermined approach to quickly remove any vomit.
More so, cleaning vomit is kind of nasty, especially if it’s too much. So, save yourself some trouble, and pay a cleaning fee.
- Collect solid matter and throw it away.
Chances are, there is going to be a pool of liquid and solid matter that you can’t wipe away. Either vacuum that with a shop-VAC or collect it with something.
- Add a stain remover.
Choose an appropriate stain remover. Whether it’s for the carpet or for the seats.
- Scrub with a soft brush.
- Wipe with a clean microfiber towel.
- Remove solid matter.
Vacuum the car or collect the big stuff with something.
- Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the stained area.
- Let the solution sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Optional: add baking soda.
- Scrub with a soft brush.
Be sure that your soft brush is scratch free
- Wipe with a clean cloth.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
How Much Does It Cost To Clean Vomit From A Car
It depends on the cleaning service you go to. Some have fixed prices, some work on hours. Usually, it’s 100$ for the first hour, and 80$ for every other.
Can Vomit Stains Be Removed
Vomit stains can be removed both from the car’s exterior and interior. Car interior vomit stains can be removed with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Car exterior vomit stains have to be re-polished and waxed.
How To Clean Vomit From Car Seat Straps
You can use our recommended product, or you can steam clean the straps as we discussed. If you choose to use the chemical, be mindful to allow time to dry before using the car seat again. The chemicals could agitate gentle skin.