How do I clean pet vomit from fine fabric and furniture?
Pets are great for companionship, but they aren’t so good about cleaning up after themselves….
The first thing to do is remove as much of the vomit as possible. A spatula and paper towels work great for the big chunky stuff, however it is the liquid portion that does most of the staining and smelling. The solutions for both surfaces are similar, however the furniture has the added dimension of cleaning the cushioning, or padding, which has soaked up this offensive liquid.
Depending on the type of fabric, there are different care guidelines. An excellent resource is www.fabriclink.com. The best general advice is to pick up an active enzyme (often marketed as enzyme based) detergent or additive. The enzymes will actually digest the proteins contained in the vomit. Allow the mixed enzyme to soak into the stain for at least one hour before laundering as normal following the regular care instructions for the fabric.
The furniture will require the same attention, however, since your sofa won’t fit in the washing machine, you will need to rent an upholstery extraction machine, which is just a carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Once the surface residue has been removed, apply the enzyme mixture, and allow it to soak. The powerful suction from the extractor is needed to remove the vomit residue, the enzyme solution, and the rinse water from the padding. Using too much chemical, or leaving excessive rinse water in the area being cleaned, can result in mildew forming inside the cushion, so thorough extraction and proper drying is a must!
Good quality chemicals, specifically enzyme based detergents, can be found at commercial janitorial supply stores while an extractor can be rented at almost any large grocery store. Given the expense of renting the equipment, and the cost of chemicals, it is often a better value to hire a professional for the job. A reputable company will have much more powerful equipment, and so long as you alert them to the specific problem (vomit), they will be able to provide the proper chemicals for the job.