How to remove milk stains

You’ve been hard at work in the kitchen, trying to create the perfect meal for your family. Suddenly, you realize there are a few pesky milk stains on your white dress shirt. What do you do?

In the world of cooking, one of the most common ingredients is milk. Whether it’s in cereal, oatmeal, chocolate cake, or hot chocolate, milk is a necessary part of many recipes. However, like any other liquid, it can take up to three hours to completely disappear once it’s spilled.

If you spill milk on a white surface like a shirt or pant leg and don’t have time to get it out before it stains, there are several ways to remove the stain. Depending on the type of stain and how much milk was spilled, one approach may be better than another. Here are four methods that you can try if you need to remove a milk stain from clothing:

Milk stains can occur in various situations, such as accidental spills or when feeding young children. Regardless of the cause, it’s essential to act promptly to prevent the milk from setting into the fabric or surface and causing permanent damage. Let’s explore effective methods to remove milk stains from different materials.

Removing Milk Stains from Clothing

When dealing with milk stains on clothing, follow these steps:

  1. Blot up the excess milk: Start by using a white cotton towel to blot up any excess milk gently. Be careful not to rub the stain, as it may spread further.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: In a bowl, mix 2 cups of cold water, 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Stir the mixture well until the ingredients are fully combined.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution: Using your fingers or a soft-bristle brush, apply the cleaning solution to the milk stain. Gently rub the stained area in a circular motion, ensuring the solution penetrates the fabric fibers.
  4. Rinse with cold water: Thoroughly rinse the treated area with cold water. This step helps remove any residue from the cleaning solution and milk stain.
  5. Repeat if necessary: If the milk stain persists, repeat the previous steps until the stain is fully eliminated. For stubborn stains, you may need to use a specialized stain remover or consult a professional cleaner.

Note: This method is not suitable for silk, wool, cashmere, or any dry-clean-only articles, as they require specific cleaning techniques. In such cases, it’s best to seek professional help to avoid damaging the fabric.

Removing Milk Stains from Upholstery and Carpet

When milk spills on upholstery or carpets, follow these guidelines to remove the stain effectively:

  1. Blot up the excess milk: Immediately after the spill, use a clean cloth, sponge, or several sheets of paper towel to blot up as much milk as possible. Press down gently to absorb the liquid.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of cold water. Stir the solution to create a soapy mixture.
  3. Dip and wring a cloth: Dip a clean cloth into the soapy solution, then wring out the excess liquid. The cloth should be damp but not dripping.
  4. Blot the stain: Gently blot the milk stain with the cloth, applying light pressure. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may spread the stain or damage the fabric.
  5. Rinse with cold water: After treating the stain, rinse the area with cold water to remove any remaining soap residue.
  6. Repeat if necessary: If the milk stain persists, repeat the above steps until the stain is completely gone. For valuable or delicate upholstery and carpets, it’s advisable to consult a professional cleaner to avoid causing further damage.

Note: Avoid using this method on silk, antique or vintage upholstery, or silk or wool carpets, as they require specialized care. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance.

Additional Tips for Milk Stain Removal

  • Act quickly: It’s crucial to respond promptly to milk spills to prevent the stain from setting. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to remove the stain entirely.
  • Use cool or lukewarm water: When cleaning milk stains, always use cool to lukewarm water. Hot water can cause the proteins in milk to set, making the stain harder to remove.
  • Soaking method: For stubborn milk stains on clothing, soak the affected garment in a bucket or tub of cold water for approximately five minutes before washing. This soaking helps loosen the stain and facilitates easier removal.
  • Liquid laundry detergent: Another effective technique is to rub liquid laundry detergent into the stained area and let it soak in room temperature water for about 30 minutes before washing. This method can be particularly useful for older or set-in milk stains.


Milk stains can be a nuisance, but with the right approach, they can be successfully eliminated. Remember to act quickly, use appropriate cleaning solutions, and consider the fabric or surface you’re treating. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to tackle milk stains on clothing, upholstery, and carpets effectively.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: Can I use warm or hot water to remove milk stains? A1: It’s best to use cool to lukewarm water when dealing with milk stains. Hot water can cause the stain to set, making it more challenging to remove.

Q2: What if the milk stain doesn’t come off after repeated attempts? A2: If the milk stain persists despite multiple attempts, consider using a specialized stain remover or consult a professional cleaner who can provide expert advice and assistance.

Q3: Are there any fabrics or materials that require special care when removing milk stains? A3: Yes, silk, wool, cashmere, dry-clean-only articles, antique or vintage upholstery, and silk or wool carpets should be treated with caution. It’s advisable to consult professionals or follow specific care instructions for these items.

Q4: How long should I soak clothing with milk stains before washing them? A4: Soak the stained clothing in a bucket or tub of cold water for approximately five minutes before washing. This pre-soaking helps loosen the stain and enhances the chances of successful removal.

Q5: Can I use bleach to remove milk stains? A5: Bleach is not recommended for milk stain removal, as it can react with the proteins in milk and potentially worsen the stain. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions and avoid using harsh chemicals.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.