How to clean vomit out of perforated leather seats? (Quick Guide!)

How to clean vomit out of perforated leather seats
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A vehicle with perforated leather seats always looks elegant and stylish. Keeping your perforated leather seats in optimal condition, on the other hand, may prove to be more challenging.

We all know that life happens. You may be out on a wonderful trip with excellent weather when your kid, or someone else’s child, accidentally vomits all over your leather seats. Or, you end up being the designated driver. And we all know how that ends.

The idea of seeing your expensive car seats possibly ruined is heart-wrenching. It’s not just about cleaning the seats, but also about getting the smell out.

There are three steps to cleaning vomit from perforated leather seats. Remove as much of the vomit as quickly as possible with a paper towel. Wash any remaining vomit from the seats using water and mild soap. Then, remove the odor using vinegar and water or an odor remover.

Most effective way to clean vomit out of perforated leather seats?

Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to take the car in for a quick valet when someone vomits on the car seat. But, what if you are not close to a car wash? How will you get to work cleaning that mess up?

If you act quickly, you can save your perforated leather seats from disaster!

Clean up

The first and most crucial step is to clean the mess up as quickly as possible. Do not leave it overnight. It will soak into the seats and become hard and caked. Firstly, removing dried vomit is a lot more challenging than removing it as soon as it happens. In addition, leaving it to dry, because you just don’t feel like doing it right now, will cause the smell to seep into the foam of the seats.

Use a paper towel to remove as much of the vomit from the seat as possible. A dry paper towel will soak up most of the liquid on the seat as well. Keep sweeping up any liquid until there is no more on the surface and no more liquid is absorbed by the paper towel.


The next step is to wash the perforated seats to remove as much of the odor as possible. For this step you will need the following:

  • A small bucket
  • A mild cleaning soap
  • Water
  • A soft fiber cloth
  • A soft sponge

The best cleaning soap would be soap with a mild PH5 balance. Baby shampoo, if you have it on hand, is also ideal. It is gentle and won’t damage your perforated leather seats. In addition, the baby shampoo has natural oils that help to protect the leather of the seats. Alternatively, any mild soap with a neutral PH balance will suffice. Add water and a small amount of baby shampoo or mild soap to the water.

Dab the sponge into the water mixture and work it into the perforated seats to scrub out all the vomit and any liquid that may have seeped into the seat. Gently scrub until you have removed as much of the vomit as possible. Wipe the area dry with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth when you are done gently scrubbing.

Air-dry the seats

You need to remove as much of the odor as possible as quickly as possible. Anyone who has had vomit in their vehicle will tell you it’s a nightmare if not addressed as quickly as possible. But, before proceeding to remove the odor, it’s best to allow the car seats to air dry. Underneath the perforated seats are foam. A lot of the moisture from the vomit and cleaning may have seeped into the foam.

It’s important to allow the seats to fully dry before proceeding. Open the car doors to create ventilation in the vehicle. Do not park the vehicle in an area under direct sunlight. The heat may worsen the situation. Instead, park the car in a shaded area while it dries.

Remove the odor

The final step in the process is to remove as much of the odor from the vehicle as possible. Washing the seats may only clean the seats, but may not be enough to remove the odor.

Luckily, there are a few home remedies and professional remedies that you can apply to help eliminate the horrible smell left behind by vomit. Firstly, you could make a mixture of white vinegar and water. Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Use a spray bottle to administer the contents onto the leather seats. Don’t worry, the mixture won’t damage your leather seats. Spray the mixture over the affected area and use a soft sponge to scrub the area. Remember, you don’t want to drench the seat. Just enough to clean it.

Remove any excess liquid with a dry, lint-free towel. This technique should loosen whatever vomit is left behind and help to completely eliminate any odor left behind. It’s quick and effective. And the best part is that you have everything in your kitchen cupboard.

Alternatively, you could opt to have your car seats professionally cleaned with a steam cleaner. Many stores rent out cleaning machines and cleaning detergents that are specifically designed for perforated leather seats. This is an added step that will ensure that there is no smell left after you have properly cleaned your vehicle.

Another home remedy is baking soda. This is a somewhat messier option though. Generously sprinkle baking soda over the affected area after you have cleaned it. Leave the baking soda for a few hours and then vacuum it up. You may be surprised at how well this technique works.

For a more professional approach, you could opt to use an odor eliminator. This will eliminate the smell rather than mask it. It’s as simple as spraying the odor eliminator over the affected area and waiting for it to do its magic.

Alternatively, other products on the market work just as well to remove stains and odors. This is an easy, effortless method. You simply have to spray the product onto the leather seat and allow it to sit for three to five minutes before removing it.

How to remove dried vomit from perforated leather seats

If, for whatever reason, you only notice the vomit the next day after it has had the opportunity to dry, do not worry! There are ways and means of removing dried vomit from your car seats.

The steps for removing dried vomit are similar to removing the vomit as soon as it has happened. Start by removing as much of the dried vomit from the seat as possible. You can opt to either vacuum up the dried vomit or you could use a dry paper towel to remove it. Then the most important step is treating the stain.

You can opt to apply one of two methods as previously discussed. You could either treat the stain with a water/vinegar mixture. Spray the mixture onto the stain and scrub it lightly with a soft sponge or soft fiber towel. The second option is to use equal parts mild soap and water. Scrub the mixture over the stain until it is removed and most of the odor has been lifted from the seat.

Can you steam-clean the perforated leather seats?

We mentioned earlier that you could opt to have your perforated seats professionally cleaned. Well, you could steam clean the seats at home as well. There is one thing to keep in mind when steam-cleaning at home. This option only really works on light-colored leather. Dark colors may fade from the temperature of the steam.

Furthermore, always read the instructions from the cleaning agent and professional-steam cleaning machine on how to use the items correctly. Leather may be durable, but it is also very delicate and should be treated as such.

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