How to Get Vomited Milk Out of My Carpet?!

Updated on March 02, 2009
T.C. asks from Des Moines, IA
12 answers

We have had the stomach flu go around our house several times this winter and it finally happened. My 18 month old wanted to snuggle one morning which is not that unusual. I gave her a cup of milk and some dry cereal. After drinking her milk she crawled off my lap and vomited on me and all over my carpet. I cleaned us both up and got right to the carpet. I used Woolite Oxyclean carpet cleaner 3 times, used a carpet shampooer on it several times, then tried a product for kids and pets "guaranteed" to get all smells and stains out. Needless to say, I am now looking for a miracle. Please help me! I can't handle the smell anymore! It seems to get better, but a few days later the smell is back. We rent, so I can't exactly cut the carpet out to remove it. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Method 1
Get rid of the excess milk using paper towels. If you have the misfortune of the milk actually crusting, scrape it off using a plastic spoon or a plastic knife.
Use warm water and detergent to clean up and scrub the area thoroughly. If you have fabrics, it’s best that you launder them properly as well.
Soak the area and the affected fabrics in white vinegar. Mop up with paper towels, or in the case of fabrics, launder them again and let dry.
Let the area completely dry. Use a fan or a hairdryer if you have to. Use an air freshener for the meantime to cover up the smell.

Method 2
Mop up excess milk or blot the area with paper towels.
Pour baking soda on the affected area and sprinkle some cold water on top of the baking soda. Let it stand overnight.
Vacuum the baking soda to remove the residue. If there is still odor, take a bottle of club soda and give it a little shake before taking off the stopper to produce fizz. Spray on the affected area to make it wet but not soaking wet. The smell will get worse and then go away after a while.

Method 3
This is a method that may cause some dismay for coffee addicts, but it’s all for a good cause.

Clean up the excess as best as you can.
Rub unused coffee grounds into the affected area, especially on fabrics and carpets. Leave them there for a few days to absorb and get rid of the odor.
Vacuum up the coffee grounds.
Use an enzyme odor remover such as PetZyme, to get rid of the smell for good. The enzyme helps break down protein-based odors and stains, so you will really get to the bottom of the problem.

Method 4
Clean up the excess with mops or paper towels.
Use a steam cleaner and mix white distilled vinegar with a commercial carpet cleaning solution. If you don’t own your own steam cleaner, you can rent one.
Have the area dried thoroughly. If it’s removable carpets or fabrics, have them sun-dried. Otherwise, train a fan or use an industrial-grade hair blower to help completely dry the area.

Method 5
This method is usually for relatively small affected areas, since big areas will require a lot of lemons to help clean up.

Use heavy-duty detergent and some good-old fashioned elbow grease. Put in 20 minutes’ worth of intense scrubbing.
Sprinkle baking soda on top of the stain or the affected area. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
Use more laundry detergent and more intense scrubbing with cold water.
Give the stain a final rinse and finish it off with lemon juice.
Make sure the area is dried thoroughly.

Method 6
This method is said to be effective on milk spills on mattresses or futons, especially handy when you have kids in the house.
Wash the area thoroughly with cold water and detergent..
Cover the area with a thick layer of bicarbonate of soda while the area is still damp. Leave as it is for 24 hours.
Clean up the residue; wash the area again with cold water and detergent. Leave another layer of bicarbonate of soda. Repeat steps one and two until the stain and odors are completely gone.

Just remember that mixing vinegar and baking soda at the same time has very negative effects! (although your kids will think it's pretty cool).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I feel your pain. We just went through this again last week. My 6yr old son vomited in the back of our car in January. It wasn't milk, but spaghetti and garlic bread are probably just as bad! ANYWAY, we tried to clean it up that night with dish soap and water (didn't touch the smell). Then, about a week later(too cold outside), we used ammonia and water to scrub it. Then the baking soda/water paste...let it dry...vacuum up. I am preggers, so I REFUSED to drive the car for awhile, but did start driving it smell. Good luck!

PS. I think I found these tips on Just type in your question!



answers from Lincoln on

Put baking soda on it generously, and let it sit for about an hour. Vacuum it up then try cleaning it with a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. the carpet will smell like vinegar for a while, but it should clear up the sour milk smell. That's what I did for my carpet and it cleaned it up really good. An added benefit is vinegar is a natural disinfectant.



answers from Lincoln on

Get Totally Toddler from the baby aisle at Wal-mart. Spray it on and blot it up with a disposable paper shop towel. If you can't find it, I have read the ingredients and have made my own. Fill a spray bottle with about 2/3 part isoporyl alchol to 1/3 water and add a squirt of Dawn dish detergent. I have been able to get every kind of smell and stain that 2 kids can manufacture out of my carpet with this, and my light colored solid plush carpet still looks and smells like new, even though it's 14 years old!



answers from Green Bay on

Hi T.,
Melaleuca's Sol-U-Mel would do it. It got the smell of formula that had been sitting soaking in the hot sun on the carpeting of a car. It can take care of skunk smell. I am with Melaleuca. Also great for people who run daycares by the way.
best of luck,



answers from Des Moines on

Try Oxiclean and use it in a high concentration. It works better on natural stains (food, blood, etc.) versus manmade stains (grease, ink, etc.). I once got hair coloring on the carpet in the apartment I was renting, I thought for sure it would never come out, but Oxiclean worked a miracle.
Good luck.



answers from Eau Claire on

Hey T.,
I second the vote for Sol-u-mel. It is made by a wellness company, so it's safe to use around your little ones and it's gentle on your carpet. It is a natural cleaner, deoderizer, bug repellant, as well has having many other uses. This product is not available in stores, but if you'd like more info, send me a message, and I'll explain how you can order it online. It is definitely a must-have in my house! =)


answers from Minneapolis on

use vinegar full strength-blot out.....wait a few days do it again....then use diluted vinegar/water...good luck



answers from Sioux Falls on

Have you tried a product called Simple Solutions. It is sold at most pet stores or online. Pour it onto the area, let it set a couple of minutes, then blot it up, and then shampoo the area with some more simple solutions in the carpet shampoos cleaner area. Good Luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I've heard great things about Nok Out for all kinds of odor elimination.



answers from Milwaukee on

I have used a mixture of baking soda and water to get vomit smells out of carpet. You mix it together like a paste and spread is on the area, let it dry and then vacuum it out. The smell comes out with the dried powder. Depending on the amount, you may have to do this more than once.

You can also use vinegar and spray/pour it on the area. Let it dry and then clean the area again with warm water.



answers from St. Cloud on

I would suggest Bissell pet stain remover, that takes about anything, smell and stain. Good luck.

Next question: Cleaning up Potty Accidents:)