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How to Get Milk Out of Carpet and Eliminate the Smell Too

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Knowing how to get milk out of carpet quickly can be such a lifesaver!

Spilled glass of milk on carpet with text title "How to Get Milk Out of Carpet".

As a mom of young kids, spilled milk is something you have to deal with quite often. These accidents can happen anywhere and get on everything – from your child’s clothes to any surface they’ve been on, including carpets!

And trust me, milk stains are something that need your attention ASAP. Not only because they can be quite unsightly, but also because you wouldn’t want any unpleasant smell lingering when it dries up!

So, if you’re looking for ways to get milk out of the carpet fast, we’re here to help. Keep reading to find out why milk stains are so bothersome and our tips and tricks on dealing with the problem quickly and effectively!  

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What Makes Cleaning Milk Stains Difficult?

You might think a splash of milk on the carpet doesn’t pose much of a problem. Unfortunately, milk is not as innocent as it seems! 

Spilled glass of milk on carpet.

In general, cow’s milk is comprised of almost 87% water, while 13% is from carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s great when you drink it or use it to make Mexican Hot Chocolate, but once it’s spilled on your carpet, it spells nothing but trouble.

This is because when the protein and enzymes in milk dry up, they form a tight bond with the fibers of your carpet, making the task of getting them out difficult.

Additionally, if it’s not dealt with immediately, milk may cause a yellowish stain on your carpet. Even worse is that you’ll eventually have to deal with the smell!

When milk goes bad, you’ll know it from its sour, rancid smell. This is due to the presence of bacteria that convert milk sugars into lactic acid over time, and the process doesn’t stop even if it’s already spilled.

So if this smell is coming out of your carpet – then you know there’s some trouble afoot!      

What Do You Need to Get Rid of Spilled Milk From Carpet?

The key to avoiding dealing with stains and odor is to act fast. As much as possible, try to work on the carpet when the spill is fresh.

Here are the items you need to get rid of freshly spilled milk:

Different Methods of Removing Milk Spills From Carpet

Try these methods to remove milk spills from your carpet. With the right steps and a bit of elbow grease, your carpet may look good as new!

1. Dish Soap Method

Dish soap is a good household item for accidental milk spills on your carpet. For this method, you need to:

Bottle of dish soap, cloth and sponge on white background, for how to Get Milk Out of Carpet.
  1. Use paper towels or an absorbent cloth to soak up as much milk as possible. Blot the area gently so the paper towel will absorb most of the milk without pressing it deeper into the carpet. 
  2. Keep blotting until the paper towel comes away dry. 
  3. Mix at least 2 cups of cold water with several drops (about 1 tablespoon) of dish soap.
  4. Use a clean sponge or cloth and dip it in the solution until it’s damp and not oversaturated.
  5. Next, start lightly blotting on the outer edges of the milk stain and slowly work your way toward the middle.
  6. Rinse the cloth or sponge and dip it into the dish and water solution again before blotting the stain.
  7. Keep dabbing the stain until you’ve covered all the affected areas, and it’s no longer visible.
  8. Blot the area one last time with a damp cloth or sponge.
  9. Dry the area using a clean cloth or towel. 

Alternatively, you can also follow these steps:

A woman cleaning a carpet with gloves and sponge, demonstrating how to effectively remove milk stains.
  1. Mix water with dish soap and put the mixture in a spray bottle.  
  2. After the paper towel has absorbed much of the milk, spray the affected area repeatedly with the water and dish soap solution.
  3. Allow the solution to set into the carpet. This will enable the soap to work on loosening the milk from the carpet fibers, making removing it easier. 
  4. After about 30 minutes, gently scrub the affected area. Be sure not to scrub too hard and damage the carpet even further.
  5. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with water. 
  6. Dry it using a clean, dry cloth.

2. Distilled White Vinegar Method

Vinegar is simply one of the most versatile household products out there. This is because you can use it not just for cooking but also for cleaning around your house! 

Bottle of white vinegar on a white surface, a solution for removing milk stains from carpet.

Vinegar is good to use for treating and removing milk stains effectively, thanks to its acidity. For this method, you need to:

  1. Mix equal parts of cold water and distilled white vinegar (1:1 ratio) in a bowl.
  2. Soak a cloth in the solution and wring any excess liquid out. 
  3. Start dabbing on the stain, starting on the edges and working your way towards the middle. 
  4. Rinse the cloth in water, dip it in the vinegar solution, and keep working on the stain until it’s no longer visible.
  5. Use a damp cloth to dab at the area one final time to remove any traces of vinegar.
  6. Lastly, dry with a clean cloth or towel.

Getting Rid of Dried Milk Stains From the Carpet

If a stain has already developed before you got around to dealing with the spill, addressing it will require extra effort. The good news, however, is that the stain can still be removed!

You will need:

Follow these steps:

  1. Using a scraper or a dull knife, gently scrape the dried milk from your carpet. Try to remove as much hardened or solidified milk as you can. 
  2. After scraping, you may vacuum the area to remove more of the remaining milk.
  3. Next, mix a cup of cold water and a tablespoon of dish soap in a bowl.
  4. Then, dip a cloth into this cleaning solution, ensuring to wring out any excess liquid. You may also use an old toothbrush to clean the stain.
  5. Start dabbing on the carpet stain from the edges and work your way towards the middle.
  6. Rinse the cloth in water, dip it in the dish soap and water solution, and dab on the stain again. 
  7. Repeat the process until the stain is no longer visible.
  8. Blot the area one last time with a damp cloth or sponge.
  9. Dry the area using a clean towel or cloth.   

How to Get the Milk Smell Out of Carpet

Now that you’ve dealt with the eyesore of a stain, it’s time to tackle the more problematic aspect of milk stains: the rancid odor.

You will need to use baking soda to get rid of the smell. Alongside vinegar, baking soda is a convenient household staple ready to take on your toughest cleaning tasks – including the odors milk leaves behind!

Baking soda in a jar with a spoon for removing milk stains from carpet.

Here’s how you can use baking soda to take the smell of milk out of your carpet:

  1. After you’ve removed the stain using either dish soap or vinegar, make sure to dry the affected area well using a clean towel or cloth.
  2. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the affected area of the carpet. 
  3. Let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight if possible. This will give the baking soda time to neutralize the smell of old milk.
  4. Afterward, remove as much baking soda as possible using a spoon or your hand.
  5. Finally, vacuum your carpet to remove any traces of baking soda from it.      

If you don’t have baking soda to work with, you can try using either cornstarch or coffee grounds as a substitute. 


Will Using Vinegar or Baking Soda Stain the Carpet?

Fortunately, working with either vinegar or baking soda will not stain your carpet. That’s because white vinegar has no coloring properties, so it’s safe to use.

Baking soda, on the other hand, may be tough on things that need cleaning, but can also be quite gentle on the fabric of your carpet.

If you’re unsure, however, you may wish to test both items on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Sprinkle baking soda or pour vinegar in the area and wait a few minutes.
If no stain develops after, that means they are safe to use on the rest of the fabric. 

Can You Use Bleach to Get Rid of Milk Stains?

While bleach can effectively remove stains, using it on carpets is generally not advised. This is because the active ingredients in bleach might break down the pigments in the fabric, causing discoloration and further damaging your carpet.

That’s why it’s better to use more gentle cleansers like soap or vinegar to treat carpet stains and smells.   

When Should You Call a Professional to Clean Spilled Milk Stains on Carpet?

Consider using a professional cleaning service if: 
– Much of the carpet has been stained with milk.
– The stain is very old and the stain is noticeable as it has set very deep into the carpet.
– If the carpet still smells.

Use These Ideas to Get Milk Out of Carpet Without Delay

Removing stains left behind by milk on carpet may be tough, but it’s not impossible!

Using dish soap or vinegar with baking soda can help you turn back the hands of time – and make it seem like the spill never happened in the first place!  

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