As a parent of two young children, I have gotten used to cleaning up all kinds of bodily fluids. It’s not necessarily something I enjoy doing, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With that in mind, I’m always open to new and improved ways of cleaning up messes – and I want to share a new trick I learned recently.

Kids get sick and throw up, that’s a fact of life – and some kids are better than others. My 7 year-old son is a friggin’ champ when comes to puking. More times than not, he knows exactly when it’s coming and he’s able to get to a toilet or trash can in time. He does his thing, rinses out his mouth and is good to go. But nobody’s perfect, and sometimes you just CAN’T hold it in. He and I were faced with that situation recently.

While driving home the other night, he complained that his stomach was bothering him and he felt like he had to throw up. I told him to let me know if he thought it was coming and I’d try to pull over. Well he told me it was coming, but I was going about 65 and I was in the left-hand land…I could not pull over, and he could not hold it in. So he unloaded in the backseat of my car. Most of it ended up on the floor behind the passenger seat.

No big deal right? Got him home and my beautiful wife began the process of cleaning him up. I began the process of cleaning up my car. My wife, who works with kindergarteners and has seen all kinds of puke, suggested a new tool to assist in my cleaning efforts. Her suggestion – OATMEAL. I happened to have some leftover instant oatmeal that had some berries and stuff in it. So I sprinkled several bags over the affected area and left it sit and absorb overnight. The next morning I was so pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the vomit easier to clean up, but my car actually smelled better than before. My mind was blown.

My wife deserves all of the credit for this life hack, and she claims to have just kinda made it up on the fly. So next you’re faced with a pukey mess, reach for the instant oatmeal (preferably something fruity). I’m gonna keep a couple boxes in my car from now on. Hope this helps you too.