Read at Your Own Risk: Helpful Tip for the Stomach Flu
It happened again. This might be the 7th time since Labor Day. So I consider myself somewhat of an expert at this kind of thing. Especially since the first episode lasted on and off for 6 weeks, one while my parents were visiting, one over my birthday (this was the worst for all of us), then 3 weeks later while on a very tropical vacation. You would think I got this by now….
“Mommy, my tummy hurts.”
I dismissed it, when I now hear “My tummy hurts” I usually direct him towards the bathroom with promises “I won’t, I’m not, I am not coming in, I promise…just give me a holler when you need help and I’ll be right here.”
Nothing happened, but “Mommy, my tummy still hoots (hurts).” Hmmmmm, he seems fine. He went to T-ball this morning, loved it. Was enjoying a visit with his Pop Pop and Gramma and seemed fine. so.
I went for a run, Matt put the boys down for a nap. Upon my return, still sweaty from my run I hear shrieking coming from G’s room and book it up there. (side note: I run these stairs, two at a time, at least 30 times a day, often times carrying either a 33lb-er or 18lb-er on my front or back…when I am load-less it is almost as if I can fly up those stairs.) And good thing I did because I found G, tucked into bed, half of his face and head and sheets and pillows and pillow pets (4), and blankets and bed frame and carpet and books and wall COVERED in vomit.
Sorry for the detail. Hope you weren’t eating lunch.
Then I remembered the Vomit Carper Cleaner. Every Mother Needs This pin but at the time was more thinking “I’d like to get this off of my sobbing child” than “Hmmm, I wonder what the BEST and most effective way to clean this up would be?” BUT, as I told you before, I have been here MANY, MANY times prior to this, and with a child that has a sensitive stomach, I knew this wasn’t the end of it. So we took care of our current situation, put him back to bed (repeat x4) and then I went searching for the pin (on my iPad, while, no joke, watching G nap so he wouldn’t get sick on himself. I caught him 4 times while sleeping.)
Ok, so we’re going to get gross here, but I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have had to clean it up at some point in your life. And if you have never had the pleasure, I’m sure you will get what is comin’ to ya soon enough.
First, this recommends scraping away the larger chunks with cardboard. I would recommend using a fork instead, that way you can kind of scoop away and you are not grinding it into the fibers of the carpet like cardboard would do. (I still can’t believe I am writing about this.) Plastic utensils work great for this.
Next, I read all of the measuring and ingredients she used and I was like, “Seriously, f’ that. Salt? Dish soap? Alcohol? I have run all over the house for that so screw that, I am going to stick with my good ‘ole trusty vinegar.” I use vinegar for everything! (Here are 45 uses for vinegar in case you are curious!)
So I doused the area with cold water (instead of spraying, like the pin advises) and tossed a folded bath towel on top to soak everything up.
Toss the towel aside, spray on vinegar, dousing it, you want it very wet. (I always have a spray bottle of diluted vinegar and water under the sink**, I just added straight vinegar to the almost empty bottle.)
Again, since I have been dealing with this for some time now, I have a dedicated nylon bristle scrub brush that is used only for cleaning carpet stains. Similar to:
Gently work the carpet fibers in an upward motion (make sure not to spray yourself in the face as the bristles come up.) Gross, I know, but still, I wouldn’t be telling you this is if I haven’t had some sort of experience with it.
Clean the brush off in a separate bucket of warm water and keep brushing (essentially, that is what you are doing) the area covered in vinegar until everything is pulled up from the fibers. So she recommends using a sponge. 1) sponges are my nemesis and I despise them more than anything in this world. 2) Using a sponge just smooshes everything into the carpet fibers. This is not what you want to do. You want to pull those fiber up and brush.
I then flush with warm water, alternating soaking it up with a folded bath towel until it it clean. At this point I feel it is ok to start patting and scrubbing the carpet with a towel, rather than a brush because all of the solid pieces should be out by now.
Pull out the baking soda (I Costco-ize this as well. Because it comes in a 13.5, resealable bag with built-in handle. And then I won’t have to buy baking soda for 6 months or so.) and sprinkle, let sit for an hour and vacuum up.
Now that I type this out, it does sound time consuming. But seriously, we’re talking about cleaning up PUKE, I think you would want to be as thorough as possible and so you kind of expect it to be time consuming. Except when the pukes overlap and well, seriously? Why am I writing about this again? I’m sorry, I’ll stop talking about vomit.
Except, it hit me on Monday.
*This could be a major exaggeration as I cannot recall the exact price of my jugs of vinegar at Costco. Then again, it may not.
**I give this to G to help me clean. He cleans nose and hand prints off the windows, cleans the table, counter tops, floor, chairs, carpet, garbage cans, pantry door, couch, etc. you get the idea. The kid likes to clean. So I would rather him use something harmless and useful. He does a great job and loves helping out. Plus, that is one less (see above) that I don’t have to clean myself!