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Spilt Milk on Carpet - Advice, please!

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by jdp1962, May 16, 2007.

  1. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 16, 2007]
    I just go back from a seven hour journey from Scotland, unaware that a bottle of milk inside a coolbox that was laid down on its side in the front footwell was slowly leaking. When I got home and unpacked, there was milk soaked into the carpet and the floor mat.

    I have so far sponged both the carpet and the mat with soapy water (washing up liquid), and then used a towel suck out the excess dampness. Is there anything else I need to do?
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  3. easytease
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    easytease cheesypeas

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    [May 16, 2007]
    try a spray foam carlet cleaner, autoglym do one.
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  4. marms
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    marms Member

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    [May 16, 2007]
    The problem with spilt milk is that over the next few days the milk will go off and start smelling. And boy does it smell. The best bet is to use baking soda. Sprinkle it over the area and leave it overnight. Then vacuum up the next day. You may need to repeat several time to remove the smell.

    Another tip is to use ground coffee beans ina similar manor.

    Or you can use diluted vinigar as this kills the bacteria which is what causes the smell.
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  5. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [May 16, 2007]
    This happened to a friend of mine. His car smells like cat piss. Good luck ;)
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  6. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [May 17, 2007]
    Get to a professional detailer/valeter asap with shampoo and extraction facilities. It will cost £30-£40 to have the carpet properly shampooed and dried, but this is the by far the best way to solve the problem. DIY work usually fails to completely remove milk residues, and dried in milk is almost unbearable once it starts to smell (and believe me it will!). :)
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  7. deeceer
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    deeceer New Member

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    [Oct 2, 2007]
    You have my sympathies. I just spent two hours wet vacuuming a litre of milk out of my car's carpet and after researching my prospects for stink-free success I'm not optimistic. Especially when one person said the only way to get rid of the smell is a gallon of petrol and a match...
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  8. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 2, 2007]
    Wet vacumming helps a lot - a mega shampoo session followed by lengthly moisture extraction is the only way, and must be done before the milk dries.
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  9. deeceer
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    deeceer New Member

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    [Oct 3, 2007]
    It's the morning after the night before for my car's carpet and we had to drive to work this morning with all the windows down - it smells like smelly, sweaty socks, only with a wierd kind of 'mind-fogging' effect that doesn't really go with driving at 110kmh on the local freeway.

    The spill was a litre of milk just yesterday morning, during the drive to work, probably had 20 minutes to soak in before I found it. I sponged out as much as I could immediately and I wasn't able to get to it properly until 5.30pm. Lifting the carpet turned out to be a must because I found maybe 40cc of milk just sloshing about in a drain plug low spot. Imagine letting that just sit there...

    I've decided to simply junk the underfelt portion of the carpet (and this on a vehicle with only 8000km on the clock) rather than muck about trying to save it. I spent 2 hours last night spraying with water then wet vacuuming it out. When it was fully dry, I sprayed with Febreeze carpet deodoriser and when I left it the car smelled nice and sweet of Febreeze. When I stuck my head inside the car in the morning it was foul.

    Tonight I intend to spend another couple of hours spray soaking and wet vaccing with an enzyme-based washing powder then spray with an enzyme-based pet stain deodoriser.
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  10. deeceer
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    deeceer New Member

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    [Oct 4, 2007]
    During the day yesterday while the car was parked undercover I sprayed inside with an odor neutralising product I had to hand called No More Tobacco Smells. Don't try this at home. The smell of sour milk comingled with the tobacco deodoriser and turned the stench from sweaty socks to baby puke.

    In the evening at home I tried the mega shampoo and wet vac session WX51TXR. Great results! I did 2 shampoos of the affected carpet using BioZet washing powder which is enzyme based in lukewarm water. Liberally brushed the soapy water into the carpet using a paint brush, left to soak for 30 minutes then spent 30 minutes vacuuming the water back out. Like I said, did it twice, and this morning only the vaguest smell of sour milk if you stick your nose right against the carpet.

    It remains to be seen if the smell returns during the day today with the car windows up or when I can't avoid parking it in the Queensland summer sun. Fingers crossed.

    As further insurance, I also intend to repeat the BioZet shampoo and wet vac another couple of times and I'm going to flush as much of the undercarpet floor area as I can with the enzyme-eating soapy water too as I discovered once the all-pervading nature of the smell was gone that it's in evidence in the crevices of some metal seams and from what I've read, if you don't get it all, you may as well not bother.

    JDP1962, how did you get on?
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  11. marms
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    marms Member

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    [Oct 4, 2007]
    Looks like you are on top of it now. Well done.

    I know from experience just how bad milk smells when it has soaked into the carpet and then gone off. Not pleasant at all.

    Fortunately when I spilt the pint of milk it was in an old pickup van my farther used to use as a runabout and it was scrapped shortly afterwards.

    Here's hoping you completely get rid of that nasty stench.
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  12. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 5, 2007]
    That's good news, just goes to show, you either wet shampoo asap or suffer forever more! I now keep a plastic box bungeed into the boot... and all liquids get placed into it before driving. :yes:
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  13. deeceer
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    deeceer New Member

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    [Nov 20, 2007]
    Just thought I'd pop back and note that all the above appears to have worked. Even after a day parked in the sun, there's no sour milk stench, not even a hint. So get in as quick as you can, lift the carpet, wet vac and flush like mad and my money's on the BioZet washing powder!
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  14. samuelt
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    samuelt Member

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    [Nov 21, 2007]
    my wife car shared with a guy who was 6ft 4 he got in after his wife was driving slamed the seat back into a 4 pint carton of milk shatering the carton! my wife had car share for weeks before VW got in a new carpet and sound proofing!
    #13

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