How do you clean vomit and diarrhea out of the carpet and kill norovirus?

Even when a child aims for the trash can, some throw up usually lands on the carpet. And there isn't a diaper on Earth that can hold the liquid diarrhea of a baby or toddler who has rotavirus. So, how do you clean a carpet with vomit or diarrhea on it AND kill these viruses? You can't put chlorine bleach on the carpet or it will turn white. I tried the Little Green Carpet Steamer but it produced "mist" more than "steam". Unless your carpet is too hot to touch, you are not killing norovirus. I have searched and searched and I can't find a single official CARPET cleaner that claims to kill norovirus. However, I have found a great product that DOES kill norovirus surrogates in 1 minute that I use on my carpet. Even though the product doesn't SAY that you can use it on carpet, I have used it to clean vomit and diarrhea off of my carpet with no problems. It is Clorox® Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

. It has not bleached my clothes or carpet and only produces mild fumes. It is not available in stores but it is available on amazon.

I cleaned the carpet next to my 8 year old son's bed when he vomited with Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

. First, I used paper towel to get up the chunks. Then I sprayed the carpet until it was soaked and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I continued wiping and scrubbing with paper towel until it looked clean. Then I sprayed a little more on there and let it dry. The carpet seems perfectly fine now. No one else caught his sickness. My 2 year old also had diarrhea a few times recently and some leaked onto the carpet. I used the Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide spray again and it worked great. I can't guarantee that it won't hurt YOUR carpet but is sure works great on my light brown carpet.

on the carpet or upholstery. The Lysol can says it is safe to use on carpet and upholstery. I have tested the disinfecting power of Lysol on toilets, on the dog bed (a surrogate for my couch), and on carpet and it did great killing bacteria IF I used a ton of spray. The fabric needs to be thoroughly soaked and dripping wet with Lysol for it to kill the germs. You can see my experiment results here.

So, the first thing I would do when a child throws up on the carpet is to take care of the child. Get them to a safe place like the bathroom or put them in bed with a lined trash can to throw up in. Then, wearing gloves, use paper towel or rags to remove as much vomit off the carpet as possible and put it in the trash. Then use any carpet cleaner that you have to clean the carpet. Throw all cloths used away in the trash. When you have it as clean as you can get it, spray the carpet with Lysol disinfectant spray until it is soaked. Let it sit until it is dry. Then cover the area with a towel for a few days so people don't track any remaining germs around the house. The main downside to spraying that much Lysol is that fumes will be terrible.

If you would like more information on carpet cleaning, getting stains out of carpet, or want to know which vacuum to buy read this carpet cleaning expert website.

If anyone knows of a real CARPET cleaner that kills norovirus, please let me know. phd.annie at Please check out my page of cleaning products that kill norovirus.

--Annie Pryor, Ph.D.