One thing cats do well is throw up, which is always a lovely thing to clean. If you licked the hair off yourself all day, you’d barf, too! Speaking of which, the most popular form of cat throw-up is the hairball (or log), and the easiest way to clean that off your sofa or carpet is to just let it dry (tell your housemates to watch their steps), and simply lift or scrape it away (dry). Don’t use liquid cleaners on a hairball barf— those will smear the hairball goo into your carpet.

If the barf is not a ball- or log-shaped clump of hair, but an icky liquid or food-based slime, here’s what to do: Carefully blot up the excess throw-up with a rag or paper towel, taking care to rub as little as possible into your rug. Then mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one-half tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. This will make a thin, spreadable paste. Spread this paste over the barf spot, covering it completely (double the mixture if needed). Let sit until dry (two hours to overnight), then vacuum. The barf goo should come up with the dried baking soda paste. If the cat barf is on a delicate or patterned material (such as an Oriental rug…yikes!), please test this paste on an inconspicuous area, since hydrogen peroxide can yellow some materials.

More help with tricky cleanups…


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