Cleaning Sour Milk Smell in a Car

When milk is accidentally spilt in the car, it can make for a persistent odor. This guide is about cleaning sour milk smell in a car.

A car seat in a car.
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Question: Getting Rotten Meat Smell out of the Car?

My husband accidently forgot chicken breasts in the car after coming back from the grocery store. We realized that when the car started smelling real bad. We used car freshners, and also left the car open a couple of times, but it didn't work. Now every time we sit in the car, it smells horribly bad. Any ideas to get rid of the smell will be appreciated. - Gina

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By Alicia 6 137 Flag

August 20, 2012

Enzyme pet stain spray. Just buy tge large refill and put it in your own spray bottle. It's about $13 at walmart, but I would bet that this would work better than anything else. Just thoroughly saturate the carpet. You can always spray it more than once. Maybe once a day, or twice a day.

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Question: Rotting Meat Smell in Car

I need help! I let me mother use my car this past week and when I got it back I smelled something awful coming from the back of the vehicle. I went back to investigate and there I found a tub of liver that had been left there for 5 days and had exploded all over the back of the car. It smells so bad I can barely stand to try and clean it.

I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of to get the smell out of the car, but nothing is working. I just read the article about the mice and the use of borox. I cleaned out the car totally, but some of the blood got into the carpet, and I am guessing that is what is smelling so terribly bad.

I scrubbed it with some household carpet cleaners. I don't want to end up having to pull up the carpet, but I fear that might be my only option. I'm in Texas, so it's quite hot right now. I don't know if the smell is ever going to leave, but I can't stand to get into the vehicle. Any ideas on how to get rid of the smell would be greatly appreciated.


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By Kathryn Visser 18 114 Flag

September 14, 2009

One time when I suddenly had one horrible smell in my car, and I slowly found out that a gallon of milk had leaked into my trunk, and my daughter didn't tell me about it. The only thing that worked to get rid of that smell was white vinegar poured until the carpeting was soaking with the vinegar, and I left the trunk lid open for several days, and when it dried, it looked perfectly fine, and no smell since.

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Question: Rotten Tomato In Car

I had a tomato spoil while under the seat of my car (not sure how it got there). After I removed the tomato, there was some juice that had soaked into the carpet. I tried carpet cleaner but couldn't get to the spot. I then tried pouring white vinegar on the area. The vinegar neutralized the smell for the most part, but not completely. And now I have a vinegar smell in the car--not good but better than the rotten tomato. My question - how do I get rid of the vinegar smell and any lingering rotten tomato smell? Thanks in advance for your help.


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By Marie 1 3 Flag

June 3, 2008

Baking soda absolutely. Let stay overnight. But you must vacuum it or the smell will remain.

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Question: Rotting Fish Smell in a Car

By leilauni 1

How do I get stinky fish smell out of my minivan?

By leilauni from Red Bud, IL

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By Diane 15 8 Flag

August 3, 2010

Just go to the place where they sell supplies for fish tanks. Get some charcoal the kind they use in the pump thingie. Then spread it around where the smell is the worst and leave it there for a few days. It will get rid of any smell. I had someone spill milk in my car and it sat for a few days in the hot sun. The charcoal got rid of it leaving no more smell. Hope this helps you.

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Question: Cleaning Spoiled Milk Odor in Car Carpet

A faulty gallon milk jug leaked a whole jug into the car's carpet. I have been trying to clean it since the leak occurred over a month ago. It still smells really bad, like something "died".

By LaRinda

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By Connie Miller K. 2 6 Flag

January 22, 2013

The problem may be that it has soaked through to the padding and the floor underneath. Putting something on top will not always take care of the problem. My suggestion would be to make a solution of baking soda and water, thin enough to penetrate the carpet and padding. Then put a fan facing the spot and allow to dry completely. Vacuum the spot thoroughly when dry. It may take a couple of applications, but this should work.

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Question: Rotten Seafood Smell in Car

By Brian 1

Someone put a fish in my car under the seat on the carpet and it baked in the heat of the Florida sun for a day. How can I get the smell out?

By Brian from Winter Haven, FL

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By Samantha 1 5 Flag

March 25, 2011

I had something similar happen to my car. After my car was cleaned, I used lemon juice in the car. Placed in a bowl close to the smell. I closed the windows for a couple of hours. After that, open your car doors and windows and let it air out.

I think I remember mixing the lemon juice with water and rubbing it directly on the seat of my car. Luckily it was the back seat. If you do this, test it on a spot that is not so obvious.

I had to repeat this process about 4 times. Now I can't tell it was ever there.

Hope this works for you.

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Question: Cleaning Sour Milk Smell In Car

By FBell 1

My grandchild spilled milk a couple of months ago in my husband's truck. Is there any way to totally remove the smell? He thinks he needs to get a new truck!

By FBell from Atlanta, GA

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By shirley 2 17 Flag

January 11, 2011

I am sure by now you have scrubbed and cleaned the best you can. With everything you can think of, but use the cheapest shaving cream you can find. Yeap, you heard me correctly - shaving cream. Scrub it into the carpet really good with a clean cloth. DO NOT wet the carpet first.

Just put the shaving cream on the carpet, and start scrubbing. Then after a few minutes of scrubbing, walk away for a little while. Let it dry for a little while. Vacuum, then sprinkle the area with baking soda. Let that sit for a while, and then vacuum that up. The longer the baking soda sits, the better. It really soaks up all that odor really well, as does the shaving cream. Shaving cream is great on so many stains on carpet in your home also. I did this when my grandson threw up in our truck, and it worked really well.


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Question: Spoiled Milk Odor in Car

By Lori Franklin 1

How do I remove odor from milk spilled on car floor mats?

By Lori

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By Annie 1 2 Flag

December 13, 2010

This may help. I use cider vinegar in the bleach compartment of my washer when my towels smell sour so I'm wondering if a vinegar/water solution may neutralize the smell in your car. I would try spraying it down and sponging it up with towels a few times.

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Question: Removing Spoiled Milk Odor from Car

I left milk in car for 2 days. It smells awful, how do I get this smell out of car?

By denisevmason

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By Roberta S. 5 1 Flag

August 3, 2014

Put an unpeeled banana under driver's seat and leave it for a week. Or put some unused coffee grounds in a bowl under the driver's seat. The fresh unused coffee is also great to keep odors out of the fridge and freezer.

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Question: Removing Rotten Food Odor from Truck

I am embarrassed to admit this, but my truck smells like rotted food and wet dog (don't ask). I have bought air freshener after air freshener. I have vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned the truck, but the smell lingers. It's making me a little crazy because my truck is clean, but still smells dirty!

By Mary S.

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By Cindy 3 287 Flag

July 23, 2012

Okay Mary. This is going to sound totally beyond belief, but if you are desperate it might be worth considering.

I honestly can't remember where we found this hint, but after one of our very ill, huge breed dogs (think huge breed "bladder") peed & soiled the carpet, interior and leather seats of our Jeep as we were transporting him to the vet hospital, someone suggested drenching the carpet with wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol. (I didn't even know such a product existed, but it can be found near the regular rubbing alcohol in our local Walmart.)

Not to worry. The dog survived the medical incident - thank goodness. Yet our main vehicle smelled worse than an uber ignored litter box in a house with many, many cats. Because our dog only peed mainly on the cargo area carpet with only random sprays of urine on the leather seats and cargo walls, we doused the carpet area with full strength wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol and used a water diluted mix to wipe down the rest of the interior.

Then, as per directions we read on the internet source of which I can not remember, we kept the windows open for 24 hours to air out and evaporate the rubbing alcohol. The Jeep smelled like Wintergreen Certs Candy Mints for a week or so, but the urine smell completely disappeared in less than 24 hours.

I suspect this has more to do with the mix of urine and rubbing alcohol than it does with dirty dog smell and spoiled food, but it did not hurt the carpet nor did the diluted solution we used to wipe down the seat backs or interior leave any lasting reminders and the awful order went away quickly.

Again, just something to consider if you can't get rotten food and dirty dog smells out of the vehicle. Use at your discretion, only (and follow a better suggestion if you can find such) but it just might help disperse the odors if you can't find a better solution. Gotta love the doggies - dirty smells and all! (Not gonna ask about the rotten food! hee hee!) Good Luck in cleaning your truck! :)

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Question: Sour Milk on Upholstery

By carly 1

How do I get rid of spoiled milk smell in upholstery?

By Carly

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By Lizzyanny 9 1,251 Flag

March 6, 2011

I would try one of the enzyme soaks from the pet store (I like Natures Miracle) they get rid of vomit urine and feces, all organic, like milk. Remember to soak as deep as the milk went, and that it wont be smell free until it is completely dry (can be several days). Good luck.

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Question: Removing Rotten Meat Odor From Car

By bugpie 1

Some meat got left in our van for 5 nights. There is no sign of leakage, but the smell is horrendous. How can I remove the smell from the air, or do I need to just wash the carpet?

By bugpie

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By Regina Forbes 2 19 Flag

September 26, 2010

I put charcoal on some newpaper and left it over night. The next day I replaced the charcoal with another batch and left it overnight. Then I bought some red apples and cut in quarters and put under the seat. To my surprise it worked! Now when I want to refresh my car I put more apples!!

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Question: Cleaning Milk Stain In Car

My wife bought a gallon of milk which spilled in the car on the carpet in the passenger seat. Fortunately, we live in a cold climate state. What should I do to prevent the milk smell from coming up?


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By adam2011 1 Flag

July 19, 2011

A half gallon of milk spilled on my rear floor mat and drenched the carpet underneath. I tried to absorb what I could and used acsponge and water to suck some of the excess milk from the rug. Then I had a car spa shampoo the area. But stench was disgusting the next day. Today I applied Simple Solution it's supposed to be Petzyme- but the company has changed the brand name. The smell has been cut in half. Now I'll see how it is tomorrow, I may need to reapply it.

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Question: Removing Rotten Meat Smell from Car

I went grocery shopping on Saturday and didn't realize I left a package of pork chops in my van until 3 days later. It has been sitting there in 90 degree weather. And the smell is unbearable. Please help!

By Lacy

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Question: Removing Squid Smell from Car

By samy.d. 1

My boyfriend and I go fishing almost everyday with squid. From putting it in my trunk when we go, my car now has this over powering squid smell. I live in Florida so when its hot it's so much worse. I need to know a way to get it out. I've tried air fresheners and airing it out. Someone please give me another idea.

By samy

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Question: Removing Spoiled Milk Smell from Car

I have split cream in my car. I have tried remedies (vinegar and warm water, car spray, am now trying Gram's remedy powder for toe jams) to try and get that smell out. Helpful hints will be appreciated.


By Dulcie

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Home and Garden Cleaning AutoSeptember 28, 2013
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