Removing Milk Stains From Clothing

How you can treat pesky stains on your own

How to Remove Milk Stains From Clothing

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

From the initial look of it, milk does not look like it is going to be a troublesome stain. After all, it is white and it seems like it rinses clean. The biggest problem with milk stains comes after the stain has dried. Even waiting around in the laundry, milk stains that looked like no big deal at first, can darken, turn yellow, and leave a bad mark. Milk contains protein and fat that can adhere to the fabric and result in the stain.

Kids and milk go together, so this is a stain you will have to keep an eye out for when you have little ones in the household. Just like you can expect lots of crying over spilled milk, you may shed a few tears when your favorite outfits are showing the lasting effects of those mishaps.

Supplies You Will Need

Gather some key materials you will need for milk stain fighting:

  • Cold water
  • Bucket or sink for soaking
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Stain remover spray, stick, or gel

Steps for Removing Milk Stains

  1. Soak the fabric in cold water: Treat milk stains as soon as possible for the best results. You will need to put the stained fabric into cold water for five to 10 minutes. Do not use warm or hot water since it can darken the stained area. While soaking, you do not need to use any detergent. The cold water soak may be all that is needed. If the stain appears to be gone, move on to step 3.
  2. Treat with laundry detergent: If the stain remains, rub liquid laundry detergent into the stained area and soak in room temperature water for half an hour. Every three to five minutes while the milk-stained clothing is soaking, you should gently rub the stained area between your fingers for a few seconds. You are trying to allow the detergent to work its way into the stained fabric, loosening up the milk proteins and fats adhering to the material. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Use a stain remover: After thoroughly rinsing the fabric, add a stain remover stick, gel, or spray to the stained area, and allow it to sit for seven to 10 minutes. You do not need to check on the fabric or rub it during this period. Also, do not skip this step. Whether you see a stain remaining or not, you will want to use a stain remover to ensure that no protein or fat has been left on the garment. Remaining residue can eventually turn yellow later.
  4. Repeat the first three steps as needed: Dried stains or stains set in over a long period of time may need several repetitions of soaking, treating with laundry detergent, and the use of a stain removal product to fully remove the stain.
  5. Wash normally: Once you feel the stain is adequately fixed, wash your item as you normally would and at the temperature and fabric settings recommended for the garment. If the stain remains after washing, repeat steps 1 through 3 again before drying.
  6. Use the dryer if you are sure the stain is gone: Once you have verified that the stain has been fully removed, you can use the drying machine. It might be difficult to determine if there is still a residue on wet fabric but inspect it well before you decide if it is ready for the dryer. Drying will set the stain permanently.