Baking soda will remove the milk smell from your rug.

How to Get Spoiled Milk Out of a Rug

by Chris Deziel

All adages about crying over spilled milk aside, that moo juice you just discovered on your living room rug isn't exactly a laughing matter, either. There's more than one way to deal with the unpleasant odor -- but the first order of business is to clean up as much of the offending liquid or, if it has been there for a while, solid matter as possible. When you're doing this, keep in mind that using certain cleansing agents may hasten the chemical processes producing the rancid odor and make matters worse.

Blot up as much of the milk as you can, using paper towels. Don't rub the area; just dab it, press down and let the milk soak into the towel.

Make a solution containing 2 cups of warm water and 1 teaspoon of dish detergent. Soak the area with this solution, using a sponge.

Cover the affected area with baking soda, and then mist it with water, using a spray bottle. Leave the baking soda there until the area dries. The baking soda may turn yellow as it soaks up any residue you weren't able to clean off.

Vacuum up the baking soda. Brush the rug with a scrub brush, and vacuum again. Repeat until all the powder is gone.

Spray lemon juice on the affected area if it's still stained. Leave the lemon juice for 15 minutes, and then wash it with water and blot the area with paper towels.

Items you will need

  • Paper towels
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum
  • Scrub brush
  • Lemon juice


  • If the rug is small enough to move, take it outside and wash it thoroughly with a garden hose. Then cover the affected area with baking soda and let everything dry in the sun.
  • Sprinkling the spill with white vinegar and covering it with coffee grounds are two other ways to deal with the odor.


  • Protect the color in your rug by making sure the detergent you use doesn't contain bleach.

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.

Photo Credits

  • Spike Mafford/Photodisc/Getty Images