If a milk spill isn’t treated correctly it can leave a terrible smell in addition to forming a stain on the carpet. Like any other spill or stain, it is best to attend to it immediately. If you have a white or cream coloured carpet, and you can’t really see the stain, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to treat the spill. The fat and protein in milk will stick to the carpet fibres and backing, providing a great food source for bacteria and if the milk isn’t cleaned up, the result can be a horrible smell.
In addition, while you might not be able to see the stain if you have white or light coloured carpet, over time dirt will stick to any milk residue that remains in the carpet resulting in a dark stain.
What type of milk is it?
With a lower fat content, skim milk is likely to cause less damage than full fat milk. So, if the kids spill full fat milk then time is of the essence. If skim milk is spilt then your response time isn’t quite as important.
For a fresh milk spill, blot using a clean cloth or paper towel placing heavy downwards pressure on the towel.
Mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent. DO NOT use hot water as this may set the stain. Sponge the stain using the diluted detergent solution and blot dry using a clean white cloth or paper towel.
Rinse the stain with fresh water by sponging the area with fresh water and blotting with a thick absorbent cloth. We recommend using a towel folded double and either standing on the towel or applying downwards pressure with your knuckles. Keep blotting until you’re unable to remove any more moisture from the carpet.
As a final step, we recommend lightly spraying the carpet with Electro 3 carpet stain remover and wiping with a clean cloth. This will help remove any remaining stains in addition to any invisible fat from the milk still attached to the carpet fibres.
If stain remains and you do not have Electro 3 carpet stain remover, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of warm water. Using the ammonia solution, sponge onto the stain and blot dry. Repeat step 3, thoroughly rinsing the carpet (failure to rinse away all the ammonia may cause long term damage to the carpet fibres so only use ammonia if absolutely necessary).
Milk stains can generally be removed using the steps above or in the carpet cleaning process. If flavoured milk is spilt, follow the steps above but as flavoured milk contains a dye, if you’re not able to remove the stain in total, we suggest immediately calling your Electrodry carpet cleaning technician for further assistance.
Why does my Carpet Smell?
If you’ve treated the spill, but you can smell an odour from the milk after several days, then it’s likely that some of the milk has penetrated through to the backing of the carpet and underlay. Your Electrodry carpet cleaning technician will be able to inject an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal product into the carpet and underlay to permanently remove the cause of this odour.
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