Removing Milk Stains From Leather?

August 15, 2008

Leather CouchI had a gallon of milk in a paper bag in the back seat of my car that I forgot was there. When I remembered it was in there two days later and took it out, the heat had busted the jug, and the milk was gone, all down into my perforated leather seats.


Now, several days later, the smell is horrible, and nothing will get rid of it. Nothing got on the carpet, it all when into the perforations in the leather. I've soaked the back seat in Lysol twice, sprayed every smelling thing I can think of, and nothing has budged it. I don't know what to do anymore. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Drut from Arkansas


By Judy (Guest Post)
August 18, 20080 found this helpful

Could some of the milk have run down behind and under the seat? You might need to pull the backseat out and clean under there.

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By deLadyBex (Guest Post)
August 18, 20080 found this helpful

There ia a product by Don Aslett called X-O odor neutralizer. It works wonders and is used for sour milk stains all the time. I have used it on cat odors You can find it at, look It up as X-O concentrate, or by Don Aslett products. You will have to allow it to sit once sprayed on the leather to get out the odor that penetrated it pores and seams lines.


After you clean the seats, do allow them plenty of fresh air even if you have to use a portable fan in the car seat to refresh and dry it. Then condition the leather to renew the leather finish. It will BE successful, and let us know how it worked out for you. I use X-O all the time.

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August 18, 20080 found this helpful

Things that remove smells are baking soda and coffee grounds -- but not together. You could try washing the area with baking soda in water. Put a bucket of coffee grounds in the back seat and let it sit for a couple of days to see if it helps. I think with this powerful a smell you might have to go with some sort of commercial cleaner. This is not just a sour milk smell, but a rotten milk smell. And you have to contend with the leather -- so you don't want to use too strong a commercial cleaner, unless it is specially for leather.


This might be the time to contact a commercial car cleaning place and see if they can guarantee that they can get the smell out and not ruin the seat.

Another thought I just had -- can you remove the seat entirely from the car? The milk has obviously soaked well into the seat, and all the padding and such is soaked with this rotten milk. You have to be able to get at that with whatever you use, and just washing the surface is not going to do the trick.

Good luck with this. I think you are going to have to go to a professional cleaner.

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August 18, 20080 found this helpful

A friend had something similar happen in her Mercedes. She was never able to get the smell completely out. I would see a professionl too.

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January 22, 20180 found this helpful

Will X-O remove the milk stains from the leather seats? I have had the seats professionally steamed and the milk stains are still there, no smell.

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2 More Questions

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December 20, 2007

How do I get milk stain out of my favorite leather shoes?

Sven from Snowmass, CO


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
December 20, 20070 found this helpful

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE removes pretty much any ORGANIC stain. That means any stain that comes from a natural substance. Thus, It'll remove blood, red wine, hot cocoa, coffee or latte & grape "juice", but NOT grape "kool-aid" & won''t remove artificial colors or dyes.


The hydrogen peroxide works with oxygen fizzing out & eating up the milk. It leaves no residue, so no need to rinse it out. Just pour it on, let it fizz & do it's thing, repeat if necessary & blot with a clean white rag. On some things (like large wall to wall carpets with many stains) it's best to put the peroxide in a well marked small spray bottle & just spray it on the stains. Always test peroxide or ANY stain fighter in an inconspicuous area first!

---> The problem you'll have, is that you'll have a "water mark"... which you might already have from the milk. The peroxide could amplify that. Test the peroxide in an underneath or inside area first & let it dry to see how the leather (& it's dye) reacts. If it was me I'd think about using mink oil (or another product that soaks INTO the leather) to darken the WHOLE leather piece after removing the milk stain. This way you'll get rid of any "water marks" (or "milk marks" as the case may be...) Mink oil is NOT bad for leather as you may have heard... mink oil is very bad for the cotton or other fiber of the STITCHING...because it actually breaks down the stitching material faster. So be sure to NOT get any mink oil on the stitching.


*** If the piece of leather is expensive, & you're unsure, then first either buy a piece of leather scrap or go to a thrift store & buy an old leather coat, a leather belt or a purse & spot that with milk, let dry & then remove it with the peroxide... & see what happens. This way you'll make any mistakes of the sample piece first!

---> An old boyfriend of my had a VERY old & beat up leather coat... It looked like it was beyond repair... It was Totally trashed!... Anyway, I got it to looking like new with the same color of shoe polish (use black shoe polish for black leather or brown for brown leather, etc.) I first removed any organic grime with peroxide & any non-organic grime with cheap shaving cream. Then, I let the coat dry overnight & polished the whole thing just like it was a large shoe (with shoe polish). I then let the shoe polish dry & buffed it to a shine like you would a pair of shoes... This coat was so messed up I had to "shoe polish" it again, then re-buff it. But, this I'll tell you... When I was finished, he REALLY thought it was a new coat!... And since we rode the Harley all the time in the rain (Seattle weather) Each & every Autumn, I'd take our leather coats & chaps outside on the porch & hang them on a hanger & totally drench them with may coats of silicone. Yes, these days they'll tell you not to use silicone, (It can darken the leather) but I've been using silicone on my leather coats & shoes each fall for over 15 years, & the silicone works wonderfully to resist even the heaviest downpour if you put on enough coats of it. But NEVER use silicone on suede or micro fibers.


If you have any questions, go to a shoe repair shop & show them your leather piece & ask them what you should do... Shoe repair guys know their stuff!

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December 21, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Sven - the milk had a tiny bit of fat in it, so use something detergent, like a mild dish soap solution.

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By Gins (Guest Post)
March 6, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much. I spilled cranberry and grey goose on my red boots. There were water mark stains :(. I used hydrogen peroxide and it worked. I cannot thank you enough.

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January 17, 2004

How do you get milk spots off a leather couch?


January 19, 20040 found this helpful

The best thing to use is warm water and Dawn dish soap. Use a terry washcloth - the little nubbies get into the grain of the leather. Anything else might be too harsh on the leather.

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By valerie (Guest Post)
February 29, 20080 found this helpful

I did use the dawn Thriftyfun. But it did not work.

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