How To Get Vomit Stain And Smell Out Of Stuffed Animals

  • By: Tiffany Peris
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Apart from being used as toys, stuffed animals are also used as comforters. But what do you do if your kid vomits on the stuffed animal? Do you throw it away? What if you already cleaned the vomit from the stuffie, but the vomit smell is still there? How do you remove vomit stain and odor?

To remove vomit stain and smell from a stuffed animal, you have to pretreat the stain before washing the stuffie with ordinary detergent. You can treat the stain with vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, baby powder, dish soap, bleach, and cornstarch. You should then wash the stuffed animal with a washing detergent, and the vomit stain and smell will be gone.

To ensure that the vomit and the smell effectively come out of the stuffed animal, you should clean the stuffie when the vomit is still fresh. Nevertheless, even after the vomit has dried up, you can use different household products and get the vomit out of the stuffie. In this article, different methods that you can use to remove puke from a stuffed animal have been explained.

Will Vomit Smell In Stuffed Animal Go Away Over Time?

By using different household products that you already have in your house, you can remove vomit stains and smell on your stuffie. Whether the vomit is from an adult, a kid, or even a sick pet, you can use different household products to remove the vomit smell from the plushie.

You can sometimes remove the vomit stain from the stuffie only to realize that the plushie still has a vomit smell. In such cases, you need to rewash the stuffie in the washer. When rewashing, add a half cup of vinegar to the detergent compartment to ensure that the smell will be entirely removed.

To ensure that the vomit smell in the stuffie goes away, you can leave the stuffie outside in the sun for a few hours. The UV rays have a bleaching effect and can kill the odor-causing bacteria and make the vomit smell disappear.

Moreover, if you wash the stuffie and rinse it correctly, the vomit smell is likely to go away. Unlike the urine smell on a stuffed animal that can last a long-time on the plushie due to the salt deposits, the vomit smell on the stuffie will most of the time be removed by washing the stuffie.

Can You Remove Vomit Smell And Stains From Stuffed Animals?

The puke smell on stuffed animals can be irritating. Some people throw away stuffies with vomit as they cannot stand the smell. The good news is that with the right household products, you can remove the vomit and vomit smell on your stuffed animal and have the soft toy smell fresh again.

Stomach acids and bile cause the foul vomit odor. Bile is a greenish-yellow liquid that consists of a digestive fluid produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and used in digestive fatty acids. When someone vomits, bile might come along with the not fully digested food, making the vomit smell pretty bad.

To ensure that the vomit stain is entirely removed, ensure that you pre-treat the stuffed animal with a stain and odor remover before washing it. After pre-treating the stain, you must clean the plushie with enzyme-based detergent.

Are Vomit Stains On Stuffed Animal Permanent?

Vomit stains on stuffed animals are not permanent. However, as with ink stains, if the stains are not treated well, and the plushie is dried in the dryer when the vomit stains are not entirely removed, the vomit stain could become permanent.

To increase the chances of ensuring that vomit stains will not be permanent on your stuffie, always ensure you act quickly whenever you realize that your stuffie has a vomit stain. If the stain is not fresh, do not wash or dry the stain before pre-treating and removing the stain. If you wash and dry the plushie when the stain is not entirely removed, the stain is likely to set in and become almost impossible to get out.

Even when the stain is fresh, it might be a good idea to pre-treat the stain so that any residues that might have been left on the stuffie if you washed it without pretreating the stain are avoided. To be safe, ensure you pre-treat the stain before washing the stuffie.

Do Vomit Stains Wash Out Of Stuffed Animal?

If you try to wash vomit stains out of stuffie with water alone, you will not remove the stain. This is because plain water cannot remove bile and stomach acids in the vomit. Besides, water will not remove any fats or oils in the vomit.

For old vomit stains that have already dried on your stuffie, washing the stained plushie in the washer is highly unlikely to be effective if you do not pre-treat the stain first.

The stain must be pre-treated before you wash the stuffie since if you wash the stuffie and dry it in a dryer when the stain is not entirely removed, you might not be able to remove the stain.

If your stuffie is non-washable, you should pre-treat the stain and dab it with a clean damp cloth.

How To Get Vomit Smell Out Of Stuffed Animals – 7 methods

Before treating the vomit stain on the stuffie, ensure you remove as much vomit on the stuffie’s fabric as possible. You can use a blunt spatula, an old credit card, or a blunt object to scrub off the vomit.

For fresh puke stains, use an absorbent towel or a paper towel to blot as much vomit as possible from the plushie’s fabric. When blotting the vomit, ensure you do not wipe or rub the stain since that could spread the vomit to other parts of your fabric or push it further into the fiber and make it hard to remove.

Since the type of food eaten before one vomited on the stuffie will determine the type of vomit stain you are dealing with, you should be ready to try more than one puke removal method discussed in this article. Alternatively, you can apply the stain removal process a few times if the vomit does not come out at the first trial – very unlikely.

If your stuffie has electronics on it and is non-washable or its care tag states that it cannot be washed, you should dab the stuffie with a clean damp cloth once you have pre-treated the stain.

1. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

To remove small volume stains on a stuffie, you can use lemon juice. However, if you have older vomit stains, you should mix lemon juice and baking soda to create a strong stain remover.

Lemon juice is rich in acetic acid, which can help break down the stain molecules on the plushie, while baking soda will help lift the stain from the stuffed animal fabrics.

When you apply lemon to the stain and then apply baking soda, you will notice fizzy carbon dioxide bubbles, which give doughs and batters an airy texture dissolving the vomit stain on the plushie’s fabric.

1. Using a blunt object such as an old credit card or a spoon, scrape off any solid vomit from the stuffed animal.

2. Using a spray bottle, spray the stain with warm water to refresh it. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can dampen a towel and use it to wet the stain.

3. Apply enough baking soda to the stain and ensure that the stain is fully covered with baking soda.

4. Cut a lemon into two halves and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the baking soda.  

5. Allow the baking soda and lemon juice to sit in the stain for at least 30 minutes.

6. Using a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush, brush the baking soda and lemon into the stain.

7. Using warm water, rinse baking soda and lemon juice from the clothing.

8. Check and confirm that vomit stains are gone. If not, repeat the process or use another stain removal method.

9. Wash the plushie using a regular washing cycle in the washing machine.

2. Vinegar

The sourness of vinegar comes from acetic acid, which brightens food taste and makes a dish balanced. Thus, the acetic acid will loosen the vomit stains, ensuring that the stains will eventually be removed from the plushie.

In addition, the acetic acid will also neutralize the vomit smell and leave your stuffie smelling fresh. To avoid staining your stuffed animal with vinegar, use white vinegar.

1. Mix white vinegar and warm water in a ratio of 1:1.

2. Soak the puke-stained stuffie in the solution of vinegar and water. If you can’t soak the stuffie, use a towel to dampen the stain with the solution.

3. Let the stuffie soak in the solution for 25 minutes.

4. After 25 minutes, use a spare toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to scrub the stain.

5. Rinse the stuffie with warm running water. If you can’t use running water on the stuffie, blot it out with a damp towel.

6. Wash the plush toy with a washing machine. You can also blot the plushie with a wet towel.

7. Before drying the stuffie, ensure that the puke stains are all gone. If there are some stains, repeat the stain removal process.

3. Dish Soap

The dish soap used to wash dishes is one of the best vomit stain removers. This is because the soap has special chemicals known as surfactants. These chemicals break down fats, oil, and other dirt on dirty dishes to wash away the dirt in the washing process.

You don’t need special dishwashing soap to remove your soft toy’s vomit smell and vomit stain. Any brand of soap dish that you already have in the house should be fine.

1. As with most stains, start by removing dried vomit from the stuffie by using a blunt object such as a spoon.

2. Apply a few drops of the soap dish to the stain.

3. Use your fingers or a soft brush to rub the soap dish into the stain.

4. Rub the soap dish into the stain until the vomit stains are entirely removed from the stuffie’s fabric.

5. Rinse the stuffie with running water. Use a damp cloth to blot out the stain and soap dish if you can’t use running water on the stuffed animal.

6. Wash the stuffie in the washer.

7. Repeat the process if needed.

4. Baking Soda

As an alkali, baking soda will remove vomit stains and vomit smell from the stuffed animal. In particular, when baking soda is introduced to the stain, it will ‘soak up the stain molecules and remove them from the plushie’s fabric surface.

However, baking soda will be most effective if used on a fresh vomit stain. If the puke has already dried up, you can soak the stain with warm water to refresh it.

1. Using a blunt object such as an old credit card, remove as much vomit from the stuffie’s surface as possible.

2. Soak the stained section of the stuffie with warm water.

3. Sprinkle baking soda on the vomit stain and leave it for at least 4 hours. Baking soda will soak most of the vomit from the stuffed animal fabric during the four hours.

4. Use a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush to brush the baking soda into the stain.

5. If you had a stubborn vomit stain on your stuffed animal, you can sprinkle baking soda on the stain again and repeat processes 3 and 4.

6. Brush off baking soda from the stain and rinse with warm water.

7. Wash the stuffie in the washing machine. If your stuffie cannot be washed in the washer, use a clean damp towel to blot it.

5. Cornstarch

Since cornstarch is finely ground, it is super absorbent and arguably even more effective than baking soda when neutralizing bad smells and removing stains.

1. For a dry vomit stain on the plushie, spray the stain with warm water to refresh it.

2. Spray cornstarch on the stained section of the stuffed animal so that the stain will be fully covered with the cornstarch.

3. Allow cornstarch to sit for at least 30 minutes.

4. Using a clean damp towel, blot the stain until it is removed from the stuffie. It would help if you changed the towel as you spot the stain so that you don’t transfer it to other parts of the stuffie.

5. Wash the stuffie once the stain is entirely removed.

6. Bleach

Chlorine and non-chlorine bleach are great at getting out stains and odors on colored and white fabrics. However, you need to be careful with the type of bleach you use to remove vomit from the stuffie since if you use the wrong bleach, you will ruin your stuffed animal.

Please note that this method might not be ideal for stuffies that cannot be washed since the technique requires you to soak the stuffed animal, and a soft toy that cannot be washed would be ruined once it is soaked.

If your stuffie is white, you will use chlorine bleach. For a stuffie that is colored, non-chlorine bleach will be used. If you are not sure whether you can bleach your stuffie or not, you can spot test the bleach on a tiny spot of the stuffie’s fabric.

1. To protect your hands from bleach, wear protective gloves.

2. Use a blunt object to remove dried vomit from the stuffie.

3. Using the ratio specified by the bleach manufacturer, mix bleach and water in a bucket.

4. Soak the plushie with vomit stain in the bucket with a water and bleach solution.

5. Leave the stuffed animal soaking for 2 hours.

6. Remove the stuffie from the bucket and wash it in a washing machine using a soft, gentle washing cycle.

7. Baby Powder

As a tremendous absorbent, baby powder or talcum powder can be used to remove vomit stains and odors on stuffed animals. When sprinkled on the vomit stain and allowed to sit in for some time, the powder will soak the stains and neutralize the vomit smell.

As long as you have time to allow the baby powder or talcum powder to sit in the stain, the stain removal process is highly effective.

1. To refresh the stain and make it easy to remove, spray the stain with warm water.

2. Sprinkle baby powder on the puke stain. Ensure that the puke is covered with the powder.

3. Leave baby powder to sit in the stain for at least 6 hours.

4. Using a soft bristle brush, brush off the baby powder from the stuffed animal fabric.

5. Check your stuffie in and ensure vomit stain and smell are gone.

6. If the stain and smell are still there, repeat the stain removal process.  


When your stuffed animal has vomit stains and smells, please don’t throw it away. You can remove the stains using any methods discussed in the article. However, to ensure success in removing the stains, you have to remove them immediately after noticing them.

Once vomit stains have set in on the soft toy fabric, the stains will be hard to remove. You can use any preferred method to remove vomit stain and smell from the stuffed animal. Let us know the method you used and the outcomes.