Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

I left three half gallons of milk in my truck by accident. Naturally in 10 degree weather they all broke. Can anyone tell me how to get this horrible spoiled milk smell out of the carpets before I go mad? Thanks!

Pattie from Bridgton


Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

The first thing you need to do is be sure all of the milk is out of the carpet and upholstery. If you don't have an (extraction) carpet machine (like the big green clean machine, or the many others like that), ask around and borrow one to clean the carpet. If you can't borrow one, you might try using a wet-dry shop vac and a cleaner like Resolve, or something similar.

Once that is done, and the carpet is thoroughly dry, you can sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit a day or two, preferably with your car closed up and in the sun. Then vacuum thoroughly, its probably worth the dollar you would spend to use the really heavy-duty one at the self-serve car wash.

If this doesn't take care of the odor, you may not have gotten all the milk up. If you are pretty sure you did, the next step would be to put some plates with fresh coffee grounds (can be the cheapest brand, but not used) in the car, with it all closed up, for a day. Longer if needed.


If you spill milk in the trunk, be sure that you have checked under the carpet, like in the spare tire well! Hose down the spare tire (and check its inflation while you have it out!) Make sure the carpeting in the trunk is clean, then try the baking soda, coffee as needed.

You can also use charcoal briquettes to help absorb odors. And you can still use them for the barbeque later. Editor's Note: Be sure to use the plain charcoal briquettes, not the kind that have lighter fluid in them. (03/04/2008)

By Jilson

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

You can get rid of this problem but it will take time and effort. You will need to buy the following:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Paper Towels

You need to get the milk out of the carpet. Take towels and soak up the milk from the carpet. Step on the towels to make sure you put enough pressure on the towels to soak up the milk. You are done with this step, when you no longer notice enough milk in the towel.


Switch to the following technique:

  • Wipe with baby wipes, blot with paper towels (to blot in this case means to either step on the paper towel to extract fluid or to press hard with hands).

  • Continue this as long as it takes until there is no wetness coming through the paper towel when you press or blot.The baby wipes work to take out the smell and act as a sponge to soak up the milk.

  • For the amount that you spilled, this will take many towels, wipes and paper towels and probably an hour using this technique, but in the end, the baby wipes will take up the smell and the paper towels will take up the wetness. (03/04/2008)

By Dee

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

I had milk spill in the back of my van in the middle of summer. I sprayed it with plain white vinegar and soaked the area. Once it dries the smell is gone. You may have to repeat a couple of times, but it works great. (03/05/2008)

By Eileen

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

I know they are not so labeled, but the vacuum cleaners for car interiors at car washes are actually wet/dry vacs. Go to one with lots of sudsy water in jugs, and liberally scrub and rinse as many times as it takes. I did this for the time I threw up in the truck, so suddenly I couldn't pull over. (03/07/2008)

By kimhis

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

Have you tried sprinkling baking soda over the carpet generously and rubbing it in and letting it sit for a while? Applying that several times, may get the odors out. I had to do that when a dog got sick in my car. If that doesn't work, maybe spraying it with a vinegar /water mix?


By Janice

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

Apples. Cut apples in halves, put in a bowl and leave in your vehicle, it will remove the smell. White vinegar also helps. (03/07/2008)

By Dartsmom

Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

I had a zucchini roll under the seat in July and after 4 days in the heat it smelled like raw sewage. I cleaned the carpet as much as I could and then used Febreze. It worked.


By Lynn


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