18 answers

Spilled Milk in the Car

My daughter spilled a half-pint of milk in the back seat of my car. I have leather seats, so I wiped the spill up immediately. The next day, though, my car smelled pretty horrible, and I found a good bit of the milk had leaked between the seats and had pooled on the carpeting of the car flooring under the seats. It dried and spoiled - and then proceeded to super-spoil in this heat! I have a 4Runner, so I have the seat lifted and the car doors open to let it air out. I have sprayed Febreeze, so now my car smells like Clean Breezes and Spoiled Milk.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what I might do to get the stench out of my vehicle?

2 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

I havn't had the milk experience, but have had some success with baking soda (then vacuum up with dust buster) and baby stain remover spray (for the smell) on other kids spills on fabrics in my home. Hope this helps!

Did you try cleaning the carpet with TuffStuff? It works wonders on carpets and fabrics. I use it all the time with my upholstery cleanings. It can be found in the automotive department at WalMart, etc. It is safe to use on foam seats as well, but not the actual leather. Good luck!

More Answers

My Dad is a car salesman from his home. He swears that all you do is cut an apple in half and put it under a seat for the day with all the windows rolled up. He uses this trick if he has a car that smells of smoke or has any bad odors. Good Luck. I have found yucky getaway bottles and I know how bad it can smell. I actually have never tried but let me know if you do and how it works.

I will be of absolutely no help to you and I am truly sorry for what happened because that is a big bummer ... but thanks for a great laugh!! I once bagged a stool sample for my dog, double plastic bags, and left it in the car overnight so I wouldn't forget it the next morning ... oh boy ... that smell had permeated both bags and made my hot car reek! It made me gag, laugh and a bit perterbed all at the same time. I think you're aloud to cry over this spilled milk! But what a great story to tell in so many years to come

I'm not sure where you live, but if you look for your local professional Chem-Dry, and tell them what happened, we have the right treatments to get rid of the smell and stain. The proteins in the milk do smell bad. Watch out for the Febreze, I have smelled some HORRIBLE stench from vehicles and people who used it. It seems to help at first but then it breaks down esp. in hot weather. Oh, my, smells like they're dying . . .
Anyway, we can help at All-Star Chem-Dry in the Marietta, GA area, or wherever you live there is probably a Chem-Dry near you around the world.
Spilled milk is how I found Chem-Dry but that's another story . . .

I had spolied meat in the car - yes really smelled since the meat was in the car for 2 weeks in the summer. Apparently a package had fallen out of my grocery bag and slid underneath the seat. I took newspaper and balled it up and left it in the car for about 2 days - the carbon on the paper absorbs the smell. I would also highly suggest getting the carpets cleaned in the car

I havn't had the milk experience, but have had some success with baking soda (then vacuum up with dust buster) and baby stain remover spray (for the smell) on other kids spills on fabrics in my home. Hope this helps!

I didn't have time to read all of the responses so sorry if I'm repeating something! I think I would probably sponge clean the carpet with some resolve carpet spray and then try to towel dry it as much as possible. Then spray the area with a vinegar and water mix. Mix the two in a spray bottle and add a drop or 2 of your favorite essential oil - orange and peppermint are pretty strong, but tea tree is antibacterial and antifungal (may help with mildew). Then just allow it to air dry. Let us know what works for you!
Good luck......sounds pretty gross <<LOL!>>
God Bless you & your family (even the one who spilled the milk!).

Wow - the responses are all over the place!

A lot of the "odor eliminators" that you see on the grocery section with Renuzit, Glade, Febreze, etc. "work" by numbing your sense of smell and covering it with perfume.

Try the pet section or pet store, and look for one of the "enzyme" odor removers. (Some of the ones other people mentioned are probably enzyme-based.) Nature's Miracle is the one I've used most often. This stuff may take a few days to work, but I've used it to TRULY ELIMINATE car urine from carpets and a sofa and vomit from the interior of a BRAND NEW car. Ugh!

Usually you douse the area thoroughly, so that it gets deep into the cushioning - you want it get as deep into the foam as the milk got. If you miss a spot, you'll have to go back later as I did, so pour it on. Then you have to wait for it to COMPLETELY dry. If it's a carpet, it may take several days, and THE SMELL WON'T BE GONE UNTIL IT'S COMPLETELY DRY. (In the case of the sofa, the foul smell REALLY permeated deep into the foam of the sofa, so after a week, I drenched the area again, even MORE thoroughly, and the second time got it all.)

As a bonus, all the enzyme cleaners I've seen are fairly safe and non-toxic.

And since it's summertime, you may have your car steam up with all that liquid in it. If you can park it in the garage with the windows open at night, and try to use a parking garage or a shady spot if you take it out in the day.

Hi S.,

Try cleaning with a product called ODOBAN.

Be blessed and continue to be a blessing...

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