How To Clean Vomit From Perforated Leather Seats (Plus Remove Smell)

Perforated leather seats have tiny holes that make the leather more breathable than normal leather. It is a popular choice especially in luxury cars. But how hard are they to clean spills including vomit?

Here Is How To Clean Vomit From Perforated Leather Seats:

Perforated leather is harder to clean than normal leather due to the small holes. The easiest ways include:
Hot Water and Brush Method
Baking Soda and Water Method
Steam Cleaner
Toothpick method
Please note: After the cleaning method you will need to deodorize the leather to remove the smell of vomit.

Below we have detailed these methods to remove vomit with ease, so your car can be clean again.

How To Clean Vomit From Perforated Leather Seats

Hot Water And Brush Method

1. First, you will have to get your car seats as clean as possible with a vacuum cleaner. You should use the vacuum’s powerful suction to remove excess dirt and most of the dried vomit from your seats.

Make sure that you are thorough. Do not stop until all you see on your seats are some little specks of vomit that are hard to remove with a regular cleaning tool.

2. Next, throw away the vacuum hose and take out your brush and hot water. Get some hot water by boiling it in a pot or using an electric teapot. Get a scrub brush, preferably one with hot water cleaning power.

Take off the seat covers of your car seats and place them somewhere that they will not be ruined by water. Remove any leather accessories as well before you start cleaning with hot water.

3. Now, take your brush and dip it into the boiling water. Brush off the little specks of vomit found on your leather car seats, ensuring you get rid of all of them.

You can also use a cotton bud to get rid of these specks on those hard-to-reach areas around your seats and near buttons or other accessories on the seats.

4. Once all the vomit spots are cleaned off, turn it off when the hot water from your brush is no longer warm. Now, dry your brushes or use a dry powder to clean them so that they do not get wet again. You should have a perfectly clean leather seat by the time you are done!

Baking Soda And Water Method

Mix 3 parts water with 1 part baking soda. Stir until thoroughly combined and leave at least 10 minutes before proceeding.

Use a dry towel or mop to wipe away excess vomit and dry as much of the area as possible.

Spray or apply the water/baking soda mixture liberally. It can be tricky, as it will start bubbling and fizzing. Continue to wipe the area until no more bubbles form and the bubbling stops.

Use a clean, dry towel to remove any remaining moisture on the leather. If you have time, leave your seats in a warm environment (such as a car left in the sun), so they can fully dry overnight.

If you want to avoid cleaning the vomit off your seats, try rubbing a mixture of 1/2 cup of vinegar with one tablespoon of salt into the surface. That should be done as soon as possible. NOTE: While this method seems simple, it can still damage your seats if not used properly!

Steam Cleaner

Using a steam cleaner to clean vomit from leather seats is easy. You need a steam cleaner, a bucket (preferably) and some water.

Place the bucket under your seat in the section where all your vomit was. Fill up the bucket with water. Place your vacuum attachment on the steam cleaner and turn it on. While waiting for steam to come out of your attachment, you can begin cleaning vomit stains from your leather seats by scrubbing them gently with an old toothbrush or any other brush available in your home.

After scrubbing your vomit stains, wait for the seat to dry. The steam will evaporate all of the water from your bucket and remove all of the moisture from your leather seats so that it dries. That will also help kill any bacteria left on the seat stain, which could cause bad smells in the future.

Gum Stimulator/toothpick Method

Start by removing as much of the vomit as possible using paper towels. If you have a wet vac, you can use that to suck up what remains in the seat (clean out your wet vac afterward).

Apply a solution of white vinegar over the area and let it soak in for about twenty minutes. The vinegar will help loosen up the dried mess to be scrubbed off easily.

Next, spray the vinegar on your gum stimulator/toothpick and scrub it into the leather. Alternatively, you can soak a lint-free paper towel in warm water and wring it before using it to clean the leather seat. That would assist in loosening vomit residue.

Use a rubber-tipped gum stimulator to prod and poke at the perforations. After that, you can use a clean, dry microfiber piece of cloth to wipe down your seats.

When you use a wet vac to clean up your vomit residue, vacuum up all the remaining vinegar and your gum stimulator/toothpick residue. Once you have finished with the vinegar, apply some leather conditioner to your seat and let it dry overnight. Then use a dryer to finish off any last bits of dried vomit on your seat cushion.

White Vinegar And Water

For stains on leather, you can use vinegar regularly. Vinegar is reasonably simple to use and there are many home remedies for removing stains from leather surfaces.

You can also buy a product that combines several ingredients to remove vomit from your car seat. To make it yourself, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt or a homemade mixture of 1 cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, two cloves crushed, and 2 cups baking soda. Add equal amounts to the spots where you see the vomit staining the leather and leave it overnight.

Finally, use a damp sponge and wipe off all the moisture from your leather car seat, making sure you do not apply any pressure since this may cause more damage to your leather seats. You can also use a clean, soft cloth or towel to wipe off the moisture from them. After wiping down the area, make sure you let it air-dry before sitting in it again.

Baking Soda And lemon Juice

Mix an equal amount of warm water and baking soda, work into the stain with your hand or toothbrush, then wipe away with a damp cloth. Repeat as needed until you are satisfied. Then, apply a mixture of equal amounts of lemon juice and warm water to the stain (about half cup) to help neutralize it. Leave it on for an hour before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Baking Soda And White Vinegar

Mix an equal amount of warm water and baking soda (about two tablespoons), work into the stain with your hand or toothbrush, then wipe away with a damp sponge. Repeat as needed until you are satisfied. Then, apply a mixture of equal amounts of white vinegar and warm water to the stain (about half cup) to help neutralize it. Leave it on for an hour before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Ways To Remove Vomit Smell From Perforated Leather Seats


One of the ideal ways to remove the vomit smell from your leather seat is by contacting a professional cleaner.

If the seats are lightly stained, you can try using a household cleaner or a slightly dampened towel with a small amount of detergent and let the air dry. Professional cleaners can help get rid of the smell of heavily stained seats and get the leather clean again.


For car seats, there are several options available to combat vomit odor. Car fresheners can be found at most grocery stores or discount department stores or easily be ordered online.

However, please note that alcohol-based air fresheners are not recommended as an alternative to cleaning vomit out of leather seats because they contain high concentrations of ethanol, which is highly flammable, making it a dangerous option. Methanol (wood alcohol) in products such as Febreze is also not recommended because it has a strong smell.


If neither cleaning nor deodorizing work, skip steps 1 and 2 and try this one.


Squeeze fresh lemons onto any stained seat coverings in your vehicle to combat against vomit odor. Lemon juice contain an acid that will help break down any stubborn stains that have been left behind.


A chemical odor-elimination product (like Lysol or Clorox) can easily fix your problem. You need to mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of white vinegar and two cups of water.

Spray this mixture all over the leather seats (make sure you get into all the cracks). Let it act for a couple of hours, and then use a damp cloth to clean it up. Let it dry completely before using it again.

This method works especially well with vomit that was recently spilled on seats.


If the vomit smell is offensive, you can add five drops of benzene to the water. Mix this solution with alcohol and spray it all over the leather seats. Let it act for a few hours (make sure you get inside all the cracks).

When you are done, wash the surface with warm soapy water, dry them off and apply some leather conditioner before using again. This alcohol-based mixture only works on older leathers (and not on Nappa leathers).

This method is not recommended for interior surfaces, but it can help remove vomit from leather seats.


Mix 1 part of cinnamon powder and three parts of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly and use a damp cloth to clean up the seat surface. Let it dry completely before using it again.

This method works especially well with vomit that was freshly spilled on seats.

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