I puked while driving

Say no more, except that it got in the dash, on the steering wheel, etc.

Can I safely use a hose inside a car, especially on the dash? A sponge will never adequately get rid of all that needs to be gotten rid of.

2012 Fiesta base model manual.

Did any go down the defroster vents?

You can’t use a hose and wash down the dash.

You can try using a shop vac and suck up a much as possible and then follow up with a sponge and cleaner.

Then throw the shop vac away.



You should not use a hose inside the car due to electronics/electrics and the possibility of causing mold underneath the carpeting.

Why not just take it to an auto detail shop and ask that the area be cleaned. The cost should not be very much at all and it’s worth it to let someone else hassle with it.

A local detail shop here has been running a special on cleaning the entire interior for 30-40 bucks.
If the prices are in that range in your area then just let them do the entire car in one shot.

Trade it in before it starts smelling really bad!

Don’t even think about using a hose inside the car. You’ll cause a lot of expensive damage.

If the car starts to smell bad after you’ve cleaned everything you can reach, you very well might need to take apart the dash here. That could be time-consuming or somewhat expensive, I’m afraid.

“That could be time-consuming or somewhat expensive, I’m afraid.”

When difficult to remedy and/or expensive damage to a car’s interior occurs that’s possibly a time to consider using one’s Comprehensive Insurance Coverage.

That’s what insurance is for. Let professionals figure out how to make you whole again.


Clean up the majority of mess best you can.

Then go to a detail shop(s) and it will be fine. Good luck.

This reminds me of Rick’s story of driving over a skunk in his Prius

He said even after the most extensive cleaning, the smell was unacceptable, even after much time had passed

He finally decided he wasn’t keeping the car, after the lease or financing period was over

Where IS Rick?

I hope the OP isn’t waiting to read our answers before attempting to clean it up…

Don’t Drink and Drive on the Sidewalk

No smell is forever,it depends on how much,where it hit and how well it got cleaned up and what it consisted of besides gastric fluid(a gram of musk may emit perfume for hundreds of years,but barf shouldnt)

Possibly you could see your way to change the title of the thread a little so its not quite so gross. Especially before eating or early in the morning. Maybe something like dashboard cleanup would suffice. Anyone else have the same reaction? Just to be polite?

I guess I don’t have an answer except to disassemble enough to do a good clean up, but you may want to just have a pro do it. Years ago I had a friend that did this in my VW bug and I had to clean it up. It would have been hard to get it all out except I was putting new carpeting in anyway and the seats were vinyl. The longer you wait in the hot sun, the worse it’ll get.

Anyone who’s had young kids had to deal with this at least once.

With 3 kids…at least once per kid per vehicle for a total of 6+ times.

The trick is getting in there with a washcloth and soap and water. Have to get in all the cracks…might even have to remove the seats. Then get some upholstery cleaner. Then let it air out for a few days.

I have always found the wet/dry shop vac to be a life saver.
When I first got my used 91 Explorer it would smell in the hot sun…the first owner’s dog barfed in the back and , pre-sale, it had already been to the detailer.
– not good enough —
,tried my shop vac from the carpet surface…not good enough.
had to take out the rear carpets and give the ol’ shop vac soak-and-suck ( numerous times with very hot water ) to the underside padding and the steel floor too.
using a couple different aromas of cleaners then re-vacuuming to get it the dryest possible…finally got rid of the smell.

That shop vac is a lifesaver for almost every spill. home / auto / shop.
Heck, the kids spill a plate of spaghetti on the tan carpet and it doesn’t stain if you attack it right away with the shop vac and hot water.

For your dash area, I would take off as many panels as you can first.
With a shop vac, you could use a spray bottle and vacuum so as not to soak long enough to get in electronics.

From The Department Of Redundancy Department:
I Almost Hate To Bring It Up Again (Sorry, Poor Choice Of Words, Perhaps) Repeat Myself, But This Is The Type Of Situation That Call For Comprehensive Insurance. Sometimes People Damage Or “Vandalize” Their Own Vehicles.

I believe (not 100% sure) that I did this once running a weed whip. Shortly after I finished whipping around some of my parked cars I noticed (much to my horror) that the rear glass was blown out of one. My theory is that I fired a stone at it with the whip. It would have been fairly expensive and a real mess to clean up so I triggered the comp and let the pros handle it.

Besides all that, if the pros handle it and you continue having a problem then you can go back, again. It’s part of the “you touched it last” pain in somebody’s butt (the pros) that all mechanics and most other pros are all too familiar with. That’s why they get the big bucks, right? Just joking, don’t shoot.


I’m having trouble understanding how comprehensive insurance would pay for detailing a soiled interior? Broken windows, dents, flood damage, yeah, but bodily fluids? Don’t think so.

At least one pro advertises he will work with your insurance company regarding clean-up and or interior parts replacement. Clean-up could cost in the hundreds.


I’m scheduled for class with my agent in December. I’ll have to ask and see how many I can make sick in class.

I managed A Body Shop, Once. Comprehensive Claims For Bleach Spilled In A Car After A Shopping Trip And Motor Oil Spilled On The Way To The Recycler Weren’t Too Bad.

One car, an SUV or Van was involved in a collision and was towed to our yard and sat, windows closed, locked up in the hot sun for a few days until we got keys and awaited the insurance adjuster. That car was on it’s way back from a grocery run and the groceries were still in back.

Upon opening the door, the stench from the decaying cabbage that was turning to a liquid and the new broken glass jar of mayonnaise was UNBELIEVABLE! Fortunately for us the car ended up being a total and got towed away and I wonder if some of that decision was based on one whiff from the adjuster.