Cleaning Guides

How to Clean Milk Stains from Your Sofa

No matter how hard you try to avoid spills and stains, they always seem to appear out of nowhere. That said, one of the most common stains that you can find on your furniture is milk. 

Generally, cleaning milk should not be a problem if you know how to treat the stains correctly. To help you out with this task, we have gathered the most practical solutions on how to clean milk stains from your sofa.

So, if you:

  • Have a milk stain on your upholstery piece;
  • Wish to know how to get rid of the stain once and for all;
  • Want to prevent the sour odour from sticking to your couch,

Read on – this article is for you.

Does milk stain couches?

Yes, there’s a chance you’ll get stains on your couch if you spill milk. Milk contains proteins and fats that can leave behind residue on fabric surfaces. When milk is spilt on a couch, if not promptly cleaned, it can seep into the fabric and cause discolouration. The proteins and fats in milk can bind to the fibres of the couch material, resulting in visible stains.

These stains may appear as dark spots or patches on the fabric. The extent of the staining can depend on various factors, including the type of fabric, the amount of milk spilt, and the duration before the stain is addressed. It’s important to clean up milk spills quickly and properly to minimise the chances of permanent staining.

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How to remove milk stains from your sofa

Before we start, here is the list of tools and supplies that you will need. Depending on your preferred cleaning method, you might require some of the following items:

  • Tools: cleaning rugs or paper towels, sponges, mixing bowl, measuring cup, vacuum cleaner, a dull knife.
  • Supplies: dishwashing liquid or hand soap, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, ground coffee.

How to clean fresh milk stains from sofa

Once you have spotted the stain, it is important to react as soon as possible. Below, you can find a step-by-step guide on how to clean fresh milk stains. The following method, however, is not recommended for delicate materials like wool, silk and cashmere. Always check the cleaning instructions of your upholstery piece before attempting any treatment. Most likely, it might require professional care. The same goes for the upholstery in your vehicle, except it’s all leather.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

This is how you clean fresh milk stains from sofa:

  1. Blot the fresh milk spill 

    If you are lucky enough to spot the milk stain before it dries out, you should blot it with something before any further types of treatment. A simple cleaning rag or some paper towels will do the job. Press hard on the area to remove the majority of liquid from the fabric and the padding underneath. Continue applying pressure on the area until your cleaning rags are dry.

  2. Use water to prevent the stain from hardening

    After removing as much milk as possible, use a clean damp cloth to wipe the stain. Then, take a dry cloth and remove the excess moisture. The water will help lift the leftover milk and prevent it from hardening and clinging to the fabric.

  3. Apply a cleaning solution

    Next, in a bowl, prepare a mixture of water and mild dishwashing liquid or hand soap. You shouldn’t need more than a couple drops of soap for one cup of water. Dip a clean sponge into the solution until slightly wet and start patting the area of the stain. Move from the edges to the centre, gently applying the solution. Remember that the fabric should become damp, not wet. 

  4. Rinse out the solution 

    Wash the solution off the sponge. When you see that the water from the sponge runs clear, use it to collect the soap from the fabric. Use gentle dabbing motions. Rinse the sponge frequently until you see that no more soap is left. Pad dry the area with a dry cleaning rug and wait until your sofa completely dries.

If the stain is on a pillow, try to remove the cushion cover before the milk absorbs into the padding. 

If some of the milk got on your carpet, you can also check our post on how to clean milk out of carpet.

How to get dried milk stain out of couch

Sometimes, you might discover the stain when it has already dried. Even though it might seem that the staining is not serious, if left untreated, it can oxidise, leaving unsightly yellow marks, and start smelling over time. This is how you remove dried milk stains out of the couch:

  1. Remove as much of the milk as possible

Take a dull knife to scrub off the dried milk and collect the flakes with a vacuum cleaner. It is important to complete this step before applying any cleaning solutions. Liquid can rehydrate the milk and make it soak further into your upholstery piece.

  1. Wash the stain 

Stir in a small amount of mild detergent in a bowl with a bit of water. Then, apply the solution to the stain with a terry cloth or a sponge. Working your way to the centre, blot the area. 

If you have an older stain, you can make a paste from 2 tablespoons of baking powder and a few drops of water. Apply the paste by gently rubbing it to the stain and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse it off.

  1. Rinse with cold water 

Using a clean sponge, remove the cleaning solution from the area with cold water. You don’t want to be left with suds and stains on the sofa after cleaning. 

How to get chocolate milk out of your couch

Flavoured milk requires a different treatment compared to regular milk because of the artificial colourings that it typically contains. The following method can be used not only for chocolate milk but for any other flavoured milk stains.

  1. Pretreat the stain 

Prepare a soapy mixture with mild detergent and water. Apply it on the area with a cleaning rug to lift the stain from the fabric. Rinse with cold water.

  1. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide

Using a dropper, apply some hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Let it sit for a bit. After a while, grab a spare cloth and start blotting up the colourful stain. Hydrogen peroxide will help break the stain and lift it from the fabric. Continue dabbing the stain until there are no visible signs of the spot. 

  1. Rinse with water

Wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove the hydrogen peroxide and make sure that there is no residue left after cleaning. Let it air-dry.  

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective solution against various household stains. For instance, if you have wine stains on your sofa, you can easily remove them with this universal method. To find out how, check our post on how to get red wine out of sofa.

How to get milk out from different types of sofas

Whether you have a fabric, leather, velvet, or suede sofa, it’s important to know how to clean milk stains effectively without causing further damage. Despite the differences in material types, there is also a difference in the way in which milk spills are cleaned and cared for.

How to get milk out of a fabric sofa

Fabric sofas typically require a mild liquid dish soap and water solution. This solution helps break down the milk stain and remove it from the fabric fibres effectively.

The fabric has a higher absorbency rate compared to other materials. This means that spills can penetrate deeper into the fabric quickly, making it important to act promptly to prevent the milk from setting in and causing a stubborn stain.

Blotting is crucial for fabric sofas as it helps absorb as much liquid as possible without spreading the stain further. It’s important to avoid rubbing the fabric vigorously, as it can damage the fibres and spread the stain.

Cleaning milk out of leather sofas

Leather sofas typically require a specialised leather cleaner or a mild soap mixed with water. Leather cleaners are specifically formulated to remove stains without damaging the leather’s natural oils and texture.

Leather is sensitive to excessive moisture. When cleaning milk stains from a leather sofa, it’s important to avoid saturating the leather with cleaning solutions or water. Excessive moisture can lead to discolouration, stiffness, or even cracking of the leather.

How to get milk out of a velvet sofa

Velvet sofas generally require a mild liquid dish soap and water solution, similar to fabric sofas. This solution helps to lift the milk stain from the delicate velvet fibres gently.

Velvet is a delicate fabric with a unique texture. When cleaning milk stains from the sofa, it’s important to handle it gently. Vigorous rubbing can flatten the fibres and ruin the luxurious appearance of the velvet. Instead, dabbing or blotting the stain is recommended to prevent damage.

How to clean milk from a suede sofa

Suede sofas often require a vinegar solution consisting of equal parts white vinegar and water. The acidic nature of vinegar helps break down the milk stain effectively.

The suede has a distinctive texture that requires special care. After cleaning a milk stain from a suede sofa, it’s important to restore the texture using a suede brush. Brushing the suede in one direction helps bring back its softness and appearance.

Each type of sofa material has unique characteristics and requires specific cleaning methods to preserve its condition and appearance. With the appropriate cleaning solutions and techniques, you can effectively remove milk stains while minimising the risk of damage to your beloved sofa.

How to get milk smell out of sofa

You might have thought that once you remove the milk stain from your couch, it will not bother you anymore. Needless to say, that is not the case. Sometimes the sour stench from the spot decides to settle in the upholstery’s fibres, making you ask yourself, “How do you get rid of the sour milk smell fast?”. Well, your search is over. 

  1. How to get get rid of sour milk smell with baking soda

Adding baking soda to the smelly area will absorb the stench of sour milk. Whether the area is wet or dry, sprinkle enough baking soda over the affected area to cover it fully. Leave the soda overnight and then vacuum the area thoroughly the next morning. Make sure not to let your kids or pets near the area that you’re treating. 

  1. Reducing sour milk smell on the sofa with vinegar

Once you remove the milk stain, dilute one part of vinegar in four parts of water in a spray bottle. Spread the mixture generously on the affected area and let it soak for two to three hours. Then, wipe the area with a damp cloth. Again, make sure that no one has access to the sofa while the cleaning is in progress. Ventilate the room if needed. 

  1. How to get rid of milk smell with coffee grounds

Just like baking soda, coffee is a great solution against unpleasant odours. Make sure that the area is completely dry to avoid unnecessary stains. Next, spread some unused coffee grounds on top of the milk stain. Leave them for a few hours to soak up the smell and vacuum the area thoroughly.

If the stains are too stubborn, you can always count on the professionals

Unlike DIY methods, professional machine cleaning dislodges all the accumulated dirt and grime from your upholstery pieces, leaving no chance for the stains to settle in the fabric. The technicians also have special detergents that can dissolve the majority of the embedded stains and odours, leaving you with a perfectly clean surface.

With professional upholstery cleaning from Fantastic Services, you can be sure that your sofa or mattress will be left perfectly clean and deodorised. One of the methods that the technicians perform is hot water extraction deep upholstery cleaning. The method is effective against common stains, unpleasant odours, and allergens. Additionally, the service can be combined with antiviral sanitisation that gets rid of 99% of germs within 5 minutes.

So, what are you waiting for? Book Fantastic Services today!

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  • The milk stains can be easily removed with common household items, like dish soap or baking soda;
  • If the stain is fresh, try to blot as much liquid from the fabric as possible to avoid spreading;
  • Coffee grounds and vinegar are quite effective when it comes to removing sour milk odour;
  • Older stains can be hard to remove manually and might require professional cleaning.


Did you find this post helpful? Share your experience in the comments section!

Image source: Shutterstock / Sorapop Udomsri

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