We could tell you we are writing this because flu season is here, but because we want to talk about kids being ill (and throwing up) it really doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Kids have a tendency to be sick and throwing up all through the year. I know, what’s up with that? It’s just one of those things that parents have to accept and deal with because it’s the truth.
No one likes to vomit, or clean it up, but you can’t just leave it there, can you? It might dry up, but that smell, yeah, anyone out there sympathy vomiters? One whiff, one gag, and there they go barfing, too. Hopefully that isn’t you, but your spouse or another of the kids (and it doesn’t create more mess for you).
The problem is that kids never seem to make it to an easy-to-clean-up spot on time. They always seem to hit carpeted areas, and in some instances, run through the house, spilling their guts all the while. Here at Tidy Tabs, we want to help you get through it, so here is a step-by-step process to get it cleaned up.
How to clean up after someone vomits on your carpet
- Immediately grab some gloves (and a mask if you have one) and use a dustpan to scrape up as much as possible. If you need a utensil, use a plastic spoon or fork so you can toss it afterward.
- Blot the spot on the carpet with paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.
- Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the wet spot and let it sit for about 15 minutes. The idea is to absorb any moisture that lingers, along with the odor.
- Vacuum up as much of the baking soda as possible. It is best to use a wet/dry vac or carpet shampooer if possible. Remember to discard any filters or clean out the canister afterward to eliminate the smell.
- Use a pet stain product or enzyme-based cleaner on the damp spot to further neutralize the smell. If you don’t have anything of this nature, use a mixture of vinegar and a little dish soap** to clean the spot. Blot up the wetness with paper towels and then clean white towels.
- Air dry. Repeat the cleaning step if any odor remains after the spot has dried.
**Use a sparing amount of dish soap, because although many are good grease-cutting products, they often leave an oily residue on carpet which will attract dirt in the future.
A word to the wise about germy school supplies
In the beginning, we told you we wanted to talk about kids getting sick. As adults we know all the precautions we can take to eliminate the germs and bacteria that make us sick. But parents, and kids for sure, don’t think much about all the germs that are carried to and from school on their school supplies and materials. It’s a good idea, along with getting out a new toothbrush, washing linens, and coats, to take a few minutes to address their backpack and its contents.
- Books, notebooks, and binders: Use a cloth dampened in water and a disinfecting product to wipe all these down. Most covers are durable enough and if you are concerned about damage, dry them off afterward.
- Lunch bags and boxes: These should be cleaned frequently and for sure after a child is sick. Again, use a cloth dampened in water and a disinfectant (non-toxic). Then, use a scrub brush to get into seems and crevices. Dish soap is a good grease-cutting solution for lunch residue you know is lingering. Hang it out to air dry.
- Writing utensils: Same treatment and then spread them all out on a towel to dry.
- Backpack: Be prepared for the amount of filth you will find on a backpack. Clean it inside and out. Be sure to pay particular attention to the zipper pulls. A good scrub brush will help you get into the seams and crevices to lever out the dust, dirt, and debris.
Add a bottle of hand sanitizer to the other do-bobs that are hanging on the backpack and encourage your child to use it. In addition, ask them (we can try) to use the wipes you slide into the pocket of the backpack to wipe down desktops and lockers. Remind them how much they hate vomiting … and where the germs come from.
One more suggestion …
Since the recommended protocol these days is to cough into the crook of your elbow instead of just covering your mouth with your hand, that means the germs are most likely being captured in clothing. For starters, remind your child that linking arms with their bestie might be sharing more than affection for each other. Secondly, that sweater or sweatshirt that they wear day in and day out might need a more frequent washing if you can wrench it away from them, their locker or backpack.
Here at Tidy Tabs, we know leave our customer’s homes clean and sanitary, but we can’t account for everything that happens in between our visits. For that reason we want to stress that it is important to clean up vomit as soon as possible. Don’t wait until later, or leave it for us, because the longer it sits, the worse the stains and smell.
We have answers if you have questions. Then give us a call at 317-426-7806 to schedule a free estimate and to get started with regular cleaning of your home.