Vapor rub helps you tolerate post-stomach flu cleanup

Amazon: Vicks VapoRub Topical Cough Suppressant Ointment, 50-gram Boxes (Pack of 3)No matter how cute it sounds, a "tummy bug" wreaks household havoc. The inevitable aftermath is a foul-smelling cleanup job. If parenting hasn't already cured you of the heaves-when-dealing-with-bodily-fluids, Cheryl's tip may help you get through the worst of it.

Cleaning up throw-up when the kids have stomach flu makes me want to (literally) throw-up.  A bit of Vick’s VapoRub under your nose can help you not to smell it as much when cleaning it up.

(Kind of gross topic, but I had to do it the other day and I remembered this tip. Don’t remember where I heard it though.)

A companion hack: sprinkle baking soda over the…substance in question…to reduce the smell and make cleanup easier. Baking soda is also good for deodorizing a mattress or carpeting after the major cleanup is over.

RelatedVomit hack: Keep the training potty nearby

And: Compressed air de-barfs electronics


  1. says

    Thank you for this. I didn’t used to be bothered by cleaning it up, but for some reason anymore I can barely get through it with out joining in on the “activity” myself. Both tips will help me a lot, though I hope not to have to use them :)

  2. says

    While you probably don’t have it at home, Oil of Clove is a favorite of disaster aid workers. It doesn’t irritate the skin and nasal passages like Vicks does.

  3. says

    People who work in environments with seriously foul odors usually report that after a minute or two the brain suppresses even the worst kind of smell (as long as it’s not changing).

    If you can make it through those first horrible moments, it’s far better to remain on the job site and complete the task as quickly as possible.

    Breaths of fresh air just restart the whole sensory process while sticking with the stench turns it into olfactory wallpaper.

    I think of this every time I’m called upon as barf-a-palooza’s clean-up crew.

  4. Deb says

    This is actually an old trick used by medical students while dissecting cadavers. A smear of Vicks on your facemask and you’re set!

  5. says

    Hrm. Sorry if this double posts, but TypePad seems to have eaten my comment:

    One of the best tools to deodorize–after the initial mess is cleaned up–is to spritz the soiled area with white vinegar. The vinegar smell can be overwhelming on top of everything else, but it quickly vanishes as it dries, taking more unpleasant odors with it.

  6. says

    Haha, I used a something similar to this when I was pregnant. Whenever I was anywhere I scented something that was making me gag/want to puke, I would use my Burts Bees chapstick and rub it under my nose. Same scent! Great tip!

  7. says

    Going to a king tempurpedic mattress to the floor has done some damage. ;) My flight leaves back to LA tomorrow. A beautiful long vacation almost