How To Get Milk Smell Out Of Carpet

Have you ever had to deal with a milk spillage on your carpet? If you are a parent, then you’re not alone. Milk spills can be a nightmare to clean up! Not only does it leave behind an awful smell, but it also leaves unattractive milk stains in its wake. While some may think that cleaning up the excess milk is enough, additional steps must be taken to eliminate the nasty smell left behind by spilled milk. So how do you remove sour milk smells from carpets quickly and effectively? This post discusses how to get milk smell out of carpet using some simple products you probably already have at home.

glass of milk spilled on carpet

Why Does Spilt Milk Leave Such a Bad Odour?

Everybody knows the terrible feeling of spilling a glass of milk on the carpet. Not only does it create a mess that is tough to clean up, but it also creates an awful odor that lingers for days. Have you ever wondered why milk smells so bad when it’s spilled on the carpet?

When milk first spills onto carpet, it often leaves behind a sweet smell. However, over time, this scent becomes an unpleasant, sharp odor that can linger even after the liquid has been cleaned off. This is because of the proteins and carbohydrates found in the cream of the milk, which start to break down and sour as they come into contact with oxygen and moisture. Milk contains lactic acid, which reacts with carpet fibers and breaks into smelly molecules called thioesters. The bacteria in spilled milk also produces an odor compound called putrescine, which creates that “sour milk” smell we all recognize. As this happens, bacteria begin to grow, resulting in the bad smell of spilled milk.

To find out how dry cleaners remove stains read this post

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What Can I Do To Get Rid of Milk Smell From Carpet?

Before we proceed, it’s important to determine if the milk stain is dry or wet. This is because each type of stain requires a unique approach to address it effectively.

Cleaning a wet milk stain

Speed is the name of the game when dealing with a wet milk stain.

  • After removing the surface liquid, the next step is to clean up any remaining milk residue.
  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a bowl and apply a small amount to the stain with a sponge.
  • Make sure to use a gentle circular motion when scrubbing so that the solution penetrates deep into the fabric or fibers of your carpet.
  • After several minutes of scrubbing, use a cloth to blot away the remaining solution.

Cleaning a dried milk stain

  • For dry milk stains, sprinkle some baking soda onto the affected area and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
  • This will help absorb any moisture that may still be hiding in the fibers of your carpet or fabric.
  • Afterward, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all traces of the baking soda and any remaining residue from the spilled milk.

Additional methods to remove milk smells from carpet.

Once you have tried one of the methods above, there are additional measures you can take to eliminate the sour odor of milk from your carpet. It’s important to test in a hidden carpet area before proceeding with any of these cleaning techniques and to wear protective gloves and goggles if needed.

Always remove the excess milk.

Clean up the spilled milk immediately, using a paper towel or cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. It’s important to address the spilled milk quickly to prevent any potential damage and pungent smells. Whether on a hardwood floor or carpet, using a paper towel or cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible is vital. This will prevent the milk from seeping further into the surface, causing stains or a lingering odor. Plus, the quicker you respond, the easier it is to clean up.

glass of milk spilled on a carpet

Mild dish soap.

  • Start by gently blotting the stained area with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Then, mix a tablespoon of mild dish soap and two cups of warm water in a bowl.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the solution and carefully dab at the stain until it loosens.
  • Work from outside the stain towards its center to avoid spreading it further.
  • Finally, rinse, blot the area with a damp cloth, and let it dry.
  • Repeat these steps as needed until all traces of the stain have vanished.
  • You may need a professional carpet cleaner if you cannot remove the milk stains. Choose a cleaner that is designed for use on carpets and follow the directions carefully.

Use baking soda and water to neutralize the smell of the stale milk.

  • Mix the baking soda and water together, apply the solution to the area, taking care not to oversoak the carpet fibers, and allow it to sit for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Then, using a clean white cloth or sponge, gently blot the area with plain cold water to remove the solution and the stain.
  • Afterward, use a fan or hair dryer on a low setting to help speed up drying time.
  • You could also mix the baking soda and water to make a thick paste. Then, when the poultice has dried, you can vacuum up the residue.

White vinegar and water to break down the milk odor.

Mix the vinegar and water together, spray onto the affected area, and gently blot it with a damp cloth. The vinegar breaks down the milk proteins while also neutralizing any odor. Not only is this method effective, but it’s also eco-friendly and budget-friendly.

Hydrogen peroxide

  • Cleaning milk stains on carpets can be tricky, especially when the stain has dried. Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide is an excellent solution for milky stain removal.
  • To remove the stain, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts cold water and apply it directly to the stained area using a spray bottle or soaked cloth.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to allow the hydrogen peroxide to work its magic.
  • Next, gently scrub away any remaining residue, use a clean cloth or sponge, and then blot the area with a dry towel or paper towel.
  • Finally, rinse gently with cool water and let the carpet or rug air dry completely before walking on it.

Rubbing alcohol

  • If you’re looking for an effective way to remove milk stains from carpets, rubbing alcohol is your best bet.
  • Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Blot the area with a dry white towel. This should help absorb any remaining liquid and break up the proteins that cause staining. Rubbing alcohol can also be used to remove stains from hardwood floors and for upholstery cleaning as well!

Powdered laundry detergent

  • To make a paste with powdered laundry detergent and warm water, use a measuring cup to combine two tablespoons of the powdered laundry detergent with two cups of warm water.
  • Apply the laundry detergent paste to the milk stain on the carpet and allow it to sit for several minutes. The longer it sits, the better your chance of removing the stain from your carpet fibers.
  • After a few minutes have passed, use a dry cloth or paper towel to blot up as much of the paste as possible.
  • After completing this step, use a damp cloth to rinse away any remaining detergent from the carpet fibers.
  • Finally, use a dry towel to blot up any excess liquid on the carpet fibers.


  • Sprinkle cornstarch over the milk stain to absorb and dry any excess liquid.
  • Then, lightly brush or vacuum it off and blot it with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
  • Once the stain is completely removed, rinse the area gently with warm water and allow it to air dry.

Cat litter

  • Sprinkle kitty litter over the split milk area to absorb the liquid. This will absorb any residual smell and moisture from the spilled milk. Sprinkling kitty litter over the spilled area can absorb the liquid and make it easier to clean up.
  • Letting it sit for an hour allows the litter to work its magic, maximizing the milk captured.
  • Once the time is up, sweep up the larger clumps, then vacuum the litter and any remaining milk.

Odor neutralizer

  • After cleaning the spilled milk off your carpet or fabric, it’s important to use an odor-neutralizing agent such as Febreze to tackle any remaining odors.
  • To do this, spray onto the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away any excess with a cloth. This is an easy and effective way to get rid of sour milk smells from carpets for good!

Professional carpet cleaner

You may need a professional carpet cleaner if you cannot remove the milk stains. Choose a cleaner that is designed for use on carpets and follow the directions carefully.

How to prevent milk stains in your carpet

Now you’ve gotten rid of the milk smell on your carpet, it’s important to prevent future spills from happening and to be mindful while handling liquids.

  • Be sure to keep an eye on any glasses of milk when you are in a busy area of the home, and ensure they are placed far away from surfaces such as carpets or soft furnishing, which can absorb spilled liquids.
  • It’s better to use cups with lids and straws like these for children and not allow them to drink milk in areas with carpets or rugs.
  • Use a protective coating on your carpets. A good quality carpet protector will help keep spills from seeping into the fibers of your carpets and make them easier to clean up. Professional carpet cleaning services should be able to advise you on the different types of protective coating available to you.
  • Keep your carpets well-vacuumed and free of dirt and debris so that future spills cannot set in and stain.

To read how to strip laundry without using borax, read this post

Now you know how to get the milk smell out of carpets, let me know if you’ve any more tips in the comments below!

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