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How to Remove Spoiled Milk and its Odour from a Mattress

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Spilled milk on a mattress can be a real headache, especially when it spoils and leaves behind a pungent odour. Many people can't stand the smell of spoilt milk and that's because it is a bacterial odour which can be particularly bad.

Dealing with spoiled milk stains and the accompanying smell requires prompt action and effective cleaning techniques. While similar to cleaning coffee and tea stains, the techniques used have a few differences.

In this blog, we will guide you through the steps to effectively remove spoiled milk and its odour from a mattress, restoring it to a clean and fresh state.

How To Get Rid Of That Nasty Milk Stain And It's Lingering Smell From Your Mattress

To remove a milk stain from a mattress, quickly blot the milk and remove as much as possible. Then, neutralize the milk by spraying a vinegar solution onto the stain. Afterwards use activated charcoal to get rid of that horrific smell!

For a full overview of all these steps, read on:

What You Need

Consider Buying A Steam Cleaner

The best way to truly clean and get bad odours out of your carpet, upholstery and mattress is with a steam cleaner.

These machines have the capacity to completely remove even the toughest stains and odours. Having a steam cleaner is essential if you want to keep on top of your carpets and upholstery all year round without having to spend hundreds on cleaning products and professionals.

We Highly Recommend:

This machine is the best option for removing foul odours such as milk spillages and makes light work of the stains too. Once you have this machine, all you need is water to get started with it.

Act Fast

The key to minimizing the impact of spoiled milk on a mattress is to act swiftly. The longer the milk remains on the mattress, the more difficult it becomes to remove the stain and eliminate the odour.

Follow these steps to address the issue promptly:

  1. Blot the Milk Spill: Use paper towels or clean cloth to blot the spilled milk gently. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the liquid and push it deeper into the mattress fibres. Throw the cloth straight in the washing machine afterwards as it will smell rancid!

  2. Remove Bedding: Strip off any bedding or covers affected by the milk spill and wash them separately.

Clean the Milk Stain

Vinegar Solution

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

  2. Spray the solution directly onto the stained area of the mattress.

  3. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the stain.

  4. Blot the area with a clean cloth or paper towel until the stain is lifted.

Enzymatic Cleaner

  1. Enzymatic cleaners are effective in breaking down organic stains and odours. Apply the cleaner directly to the stained area. If it's a standard mattress you don't need to worry about oversaturation, however be careful with mattresses made of memory foam.

  2. Gently scrub the area with a soft brush or cloth.

  3. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended time.

  4. Blot the area with a clean cloth or paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Neutralize That Nasty Smell

Spoiled milk can leave behind a strong odour. Here's how to tackle it:

Baking Soda

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stained area.

  2. Gently rub the baking soda into the mattress using a soft brush or cloth.

  3. Let it sit for a few hours, preferably overnight, to absorb the odour.

  4. Vacuum the mattress thoroughly using the upholstery attachment to remove the baking soda residue.

Activated Charcoal

  1. Place activated charcoal briquettes or activated charcoal powder in a bowl or fabric pouch.

  2. Position the bowl or pouch near the affected area on the mattress.

  3. Leave it for a few days to absorb the lingering odour.

Proper Drying and Prevention

  1. After cleaning, ensure the mattress is thoroughly dry before using it again. Use fans or open windows to promote airflow and speed up the drying process.

  2. To prevent future accidents and stains, consider using a waterproof mattress protector.

  3. Clean any spills or accidents promptly to prevent them from setting into the mattress fibres.

There are a lot more ways to dry your mattress quickly. Check our guide on how to dry out a mattress quickly. Also our guide on how to dry out a memory foam mattress if you have one of those.


Removing spoiled milk and its lingering smell from a mattress requires swift action and the right cleaning techniques.

By acting quickly, utilizing vinegar or enzymatic cleaners to address the stain, neutralizing the odour with baking soda or activated charcoal, and ensuring proper drying, you can effectively restore your mattress to a fresh and clean state.

Remember to always follow manufacturer guidelines and test cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress before proceeding.

With these tips in hand, you can bid farewell to the unpleasant odour and enjoy a restful night's sleep on a fresh mattress once again.

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