How to Clean Breast Milk Out of Carpet (AND Upholstery) – Safest Methods
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Cleaning breast milk off the carpet is no joke, especially if it’s spit up from a baby. The stain and odor are not pleasant at all!
In this article, I’ll let you in on my go-to methods for cleaning breast milk out of the carpet and why breast milk actually leaves such a prominent stain.
Best thing, these methods also work on upholstery.
Scroll down for extra tips on how NOT to mess it up even worse!
Why Does Breast Milk Stain?
Stains are the last thing you’d think of when you first witness the cutest little burp.
And yet they’re pretty difficult to get rid of, especially when they’re ALL OVER the house.
The thing is, breast milk has a lot of vitamins, proteins and fats. This is the culprit behind the yellowish tint and greasy stain on clothes and carpets.
So the very thing that’s so healthy for the baby isn’t nearly as healthy for your rug!
Since breast milk has such powerful staining properties, you need to sort it out ASAP. Especially on the carpet, it can really stick to the fibers, making it a permanent resident on the floor.
The color and contents of breast milk can change frequently. Sometimes, the milk can be yellow, white, clear, or even have a bluish hinge! However, the color of the stain is usually yellow and fatty.
Exactly what you DON’T want on your carpeting.
How to Get Breast Milk Out of Carpet?
The most important thing is to act quickly. If you can’t, ask dad or mom (or grandma) to jump in.
Many people make the same mistake and start rubbing frantically. That’s a definite no-no! You must always start from outside the stain and work inwards to prevent the stain from going everywhere else.
Blot with white paper towels to absorb as much milk as you can. Dip a white cloth in cool water and blot the stained area, again starting from the outside.
When all the excess milk is gone, you can deal with the stain! Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with some cold water and douse the stain with this solution.
Many people would rather use hot/warm water because they think that it would kill germs and take it off faster. However, warm water does not mix well with protein/fatty stains because it makes them almost unbearable to handle and come off. So, always use cold water!
Blot carefully and make sure not to rub the stain into the carpet. When you see the stain fading, rinse your carpet by using plain water and a clean cloth. This step is very important as the soap solution can attract dirt and cause color loss if left for too long.
Allow your carpet to air dry. You can vacuum or use your steam cleaner to finish up cleaning and get any traces out of the fibers.
⚠️ I always say use a white cloth, as some color rags can run its color and get on your carpet!
Can I Use Bleach to Clean Breast Milk Stains?
Oxygen color-safe bleach can be really effective in taking out protein-based stains.
But since your baby usually crawls on the carpet, I wouldn’t really advise it.
Bleach contains harmful ingredients that can irritate the eyes, nose, and skin. It can also cause breathing problems.
Bleach shouldn’t be used on stained clothes as well. It can break down some polymers that give certain fabrics fire-retardant properties. It can cause skin burns as well, plus permanently ruin the clothes.
So if you were thinking about using OxiClean, let me tell you that there’s a better (and safer) alternative!
You can use an Oxi Booster pod from Dropps. This is a chlorine-free bleach alternative with the same properties as bleach minus the harmful parts. It doesn’t contain artificial dyes, so your carpet also remains safe.
If you have this pod, you can dissolve it in some water and apply the solution to the stain. Let it sit for some time before rinsing and blotting dry. This pod can also be tossed in the wash to get rid of breast milk stains on your and your baby’s clothes!
⚠️You’ll hear (or read) many recommendations to use hydrogen peroxide or ammonia to get rid of the milk stain. Bad idea with your little crawler!
- Always perform a spot-test on your carpet to ensure whatever solution or cleaner you choose to use does not negatively affect the texture or color of the fibers. The above method is safe for most carpets, but no harm in being sure!
- For a quick clean-up of breast milk or any other baby spit-up, use a baby wipe. It can remove the breast milk residue and sometimes even the stain easily.
- Dove soap is actually a very good pre-treatment for stains. You can take some in your hand and rub it into the stain. Remove it by patting it with a damp cloth. Do this until all the soap residue is out.
- If you have formula stains, use white toothpaste. Blot with a cloth and water to rinse it out.
- If you’re thinking of using a steam cleaner, only do it after the basic cleaning process! Heat would only make the protein stain set in more. But once you break down the protein, steam will do an excellent job at deep cleaning and fluffing up your carpet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does vinegar remove milk stains?
Vinegar removes not only milk stains but the smell too! You can mix an equal ratio of white vinegar and cold water. Spray the solution on the milk stain and wait for it to absorb the stain. Rinse and blot well with clean paper towels. However, keep in mind that vinegar could discolor your carpet!
Does breast milk wash out?
Breast milk leaves a protein and fatty stain, so it’s pretty hard to wash out as normal. To remove milk stains, use cool water, a heavy-duty detergent that contains protease and other enzymes. This breaks down the fat and protein, which takes out the stain.