How to Eliminate the Smell of Spilled Sour Milk

When you spill milk, a careful, thorough cleanup is crucial to prevent odours. Any residual milk left in carpet or fabric will develop unpleasant odours because the milk will spoil rapidly at room temperature. Using basic household ingredients, you can neutralise spilt milk odours in fabric, furniture or carpet.

Clean up as much milk as possible with the absorbent cloth. Squeeze out excess milk from the cloth and saturate it with water to wipe up the spill. Continue this cleaning process until you have removed as much milk as you can with the cloth.

Spray the spill area with water from the spray bottle.

Sprinkle Borax generously over the spill area to cover it completely with the cleaner.

Scrub the Borax into the fibres of the carpet or fabric using the scrub brush or sponge.

Leave the Borax on the area to dry. The drying period may take as long as 12 to 24 hours, depending on how wet the area was.

Vacuum up the Borax after it dries completely. Use the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to remove every trace of the Borax from the carpet or fabric.


Treat the milk spill as quickly as possible to neutralise odours. If you allow the bacteria to begin developing and create odours, it may be more difficult to eliminate the smell.

Things You'll Need

  • Absorbent cloth
  • Spray bottle (filled with water)
  • Borax powder cleaner
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Vacuum cleaner (with brush attachment)


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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.