03 May
Smelling Like Puke

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I was driving my daughter and some of her friends to my house for a Scout meeting when one of the girls projectile-vomited from the back seat all over my car, the other children and herself. Luckily for me, my husband was home, and cleaned the car while I got the kids inside and cleaned up. I found some clothes for the sick girl, and put her soiled ones in the washing machine before phoning her mother to come get her. But now, how do I get the smell out of the car?


Covered in Puke


Oh, Dear, Dear Covered,

Ah, the joys of carpooling other people’s children. One mommy’s vomit-covered minivan is another mommy’s back door opened into an oncoming shiny new 700-series Mercedes, for which she then had to go to court to avoid paying $600 a year in insurance premiums because she had extra time on her hands to waste like that.

Unfortunately, though, we can’t always get out of taking other people’s kids around in our cars, so we simply learn to carry extra plastic bags and baby wipes, set the child-locks on the back doors (even when driving around 12-year-olds), and always, always have aspirin on hand.

I am not sure the smell of vomit can ever really be eliminated from one’s car (Anyone else having Seinfeld Beemer B.O. flashbacks?) but boy, are you lucky to have a husband willing to try. I Googled around for you (‘cuz I’m nice like that) and found a lot of people seem to have had some success using those enzyme-eater sprays found in pet stores to get rid of vomit odor. So give that a try, and leave your windows open for a while and hope for the best.

I’d like to take a step or two back, though, and address the real question here: Was it really necessary for you to launder Puke Girl’s clothes or did you go above and beyond the call of car-pooling duty? Personally, I have a reputation for being a bit nasty, so I surveyed of some of my nicer mom friends, just to make sure. Not a one of them said they would have even blinked if they’d found a garbage bag stuffed with their kid’s puke-covered clothing just outside the front door for them to collect along with their sick child. So next time (and yeah – there probably will be a next time…) bag that stuff right up and save yourself the extra laundry!



Are TMH right? Leave a comment and let us know!

8 Responses to “Smelling Like Puke”


Comment by KellyL.

LOVE your blog – so much fun! Okay, on the subject of leaving the puke clothes for the sick girl’s mom. Most moms I know would automatically do exactly what “covered in puke” did. The mother is coming to get her sick child – hopefully feels VERY guilty and will be groveling at your feet when she meets you at the door. So, wash the clothes and be done with it.


Comment by hokgardner.

I would have washed the clothes too. The poor mom has enough to deal with, and probably lots more laundry ahead of her.


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

Good luck with the puke smell. Our bunkbeds still smell, and it’s been over a year and a half since that particular vomit incident.


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

There’s a hyperlink up there if you click on bunkbeds – it’s just hard to see.


Comment by Nate's Mom.

Yep, I woulda washed the clothes, too. Cuz I’m just cool like that.


Comment by phd in yogurtry.

I wouldn’t have washed the clothes and I would have considered having the kid’s mom clean my car. Maybe the kid. Ok, not really. But dang, I’m glad this never happened to me.

I am here from Thursday’s Drive .. and glad I found you, MH.


Comment by MommyTime.

I swear by something called Nature’s Miracle. We mostly use it to remove pet house-training accidents (what it was designed for), but it gets out bodily stinks of all kinds, and we’ve had success with removing vomit smell from carpet. You can buy it online or in most pet stores. Follow the directions on the bottle.

Also, I would have washed the clothes too.


Comment by maggie.

ok, I would have laundered the clothes too…but I ALWAYS have a full load of laundry to do anyway, so what’s the big deal of adding one more set of clothes?

as far as getting rid of the puke-smell, I use the Little Green Pro-Heat by Bissell with the Pet-Stain solution. It worked when my friend’s daughter puked pink cotton-candy vomit all over the backseat of my brand new Prius. (ok, I was the one who took her to Sea World and bought her 4 cotton candies,but I digress). Even the scorching south Texas sun didn’t bring that smell back.

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