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How to Clean Dog Vomit From a Wool Rug: 12 Step Guide

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat and beagle on a rug

Wool rugs are super expensive. Not to mention, they are often difficult to clean, especially if you are dealing with dog vomit. Still, a hefty investment like a woolen rug requires a lot of effort and time to keep in pristine condition.

When cleaning dog vomit from a wool rug, you want to effectively clean the rug without damaging it in the process. This is a tricky scenario that requires proper tools and knowledge. Read down to learn some of the best ways to safely clean dog vomit from your wool rug.

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Before You Start

Before you immediately start scrubbing your wool rug, take a second to breathe. Doing anything rash can damage the rug. Instead, take some time to plan your course of action. Even though the vomit will dry a little during this time, that’s okay. It’s better to take your time to clean the vomit up properly than to dig right in and damage the rug.

What You’ll Need

While you are figuring out your best course of action, get everything you need for the job ahead of time.

Here are the resources we recommend because they are gentle enough to use on your rug and likely already in your cupboard:
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Wet vac
  • Clean cloths
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar

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The 12 Tips on How to Clean Dog Vomit From a Wool Rug

Now that you have everything you need to clean up the vomit, let’s get to work.

1. Protect Yourself

Cleaning up dog vomit is a nasty mess. Put on a face mask and gloves to help protect yourself from germs, odor, and mess. This will also make it easier to clean up the vomit since you don’t have to worry about any of the mess getting on your body.


2. Remove Any Chunks

Using a clean cloth or paper towel, scoop up any vomit chunks or solids. Dispose of these chunks in your trash can. Be gentle when you are scooping up the vomit so that you don’t pull the wool rug too harshly.


3. Vacuum Up Excess

After the chunks have been removed, take a wet vac and vacuum up any more excess. This vacuum will help to remove any smaller particles and dust that you could not get by hand. Try to vacuum in side-to-side motions so that you don’t catch fringe on the rug.

The girl does the cleaning with a vacuum cleaner
Image Credit: sipcrew, Shutterstock

4. Blot the Stain With a Wet Cloth

Ideally, you are now only left with a stain. To target this stain, dampen a cloth with warm water. Blot the stain with this cloth. Do not scrub or rub the rug because this will damage the woolen fibers. Gently blot to lift the stain without damaging the rug in the process.


5. Dilute the Stain

To further help lift the stain, dilute it with warm water. You can do this by spraying the water onto the stain or pouring it directly over it. Don’t completely soak the rug. Instead, add just enough water so that the stain is covered.


6. Blot the Stain With a Dry Cloth

Now, try to blot the stain using a dry cloth. This will help to absorb all the water you have added to the rug. Remember, continue to blot instead of scrubbing.


7. Make a Baking Soda Paste

More than likely, using warm water is not enough to thoroughly clean your wool rug. To go a step further, create a baking soda paste. All you need to do is mix baking soda and water together. You want the paste not to be too wet or too dry. It should have a typical paste-like consistency.

woman holding a jar of baking soda
Image Credit: Dragon Images, Shutterstock

8. Apply Paste to the Stain

Apply the paste directly to the stain. The purpose of this step is to help absorb the dog’s vomit, including its color, germs, and smell. Allow the paste to sit there until it dries.


9. Vacuum the Paste

After the paste has completely dried, vacuum it up. Vacuuming up the paste will help to pull out the odor and appearance of the stain from your wool rug.


10. Repeat as Needed

Depending on the severity of the stain, you might need to repeat steps eight and nine. Repeat these steps as many times as needed to thoroughly remove the appearance and odor of the vomit stain.


11. Dilute With White Vinegar

To further help remove the vomit stain, dilute the affected area with white vinegar. White vinegar will help to pull up the stain and neutralize any foul odors without harming the rug’s fibers.

vinegar cleaner hand with glove
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

12.  Allow the Rug to Dry

The last thing you need to do is allow the rug to air dry. Once the rug is completely dry, there should not be any trace of the vomit, and the smell of white vinegar will dissipate too.

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Why Use Baking Soda and Vinegar?

Because of how many strong detergents are on the market, you might be wondering why we specifically selected a baking soda and vinegar method instead of commercial ingredients. Simply put, many commercial cleaners are too strong for wool products.

The baking soda and vinegar are strong enough that they can remove the vomit stain and odor without damaging the rug in the process. Although you might have to repeat some steps, it’s better to go slow and steady when cleaning your wool rug, so you don’t damage your investment.

Is There an Alternative?

If you are looking for an alternative solution to baking soda and vinegar without the use of harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaners, you can opt for an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners work at effectively breaking down stains and neutralizing odors and, in most cases, can be used safely around your pets.

For surfaces and items that cannot be washed thoroughly in your washing machine or sink, enzyme cleaners are a superb replacement for baking soda and vinegar since they can be used repeatedly without damaging or discoloring.

Our favorite product for cleaning up pet smells and stains is our very own Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.  It makes clean-up a breeze because it permanently removes even the very worst smells and stains (urine, feces, vomit, you name it!) from basically any surface you can imagine. 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
434 Reviews
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...

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Final Thoughts

If your dog has thrown up on your wool rug, don’t panic. Instead, follow the 12 tips above in order to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and remove the affected stain. Our baking soda and vinegar methods are effective enough to get the job done without having to replace your—potentially pricey—furnishings.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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