From the outset, milk does not look like it is going to be a troublesome stain. After all, it’s white and it seems like it rinses clean. The biggest problem with milk stains is that it comes after the stain has dried. Even waiting around in the laundry room, milk stains that looked like no big deal at first, can darken, turn yellow, and even leave a bad mark. Milk and milk products contain proteins and fats that can adhere to the fabric and result in the stain.
Kids and milk just 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 also shed a few tears when your favourite outfits are showing the lasting effects of those mishaps.
Supplies you will need for milk stain fighting:
Steps for Removing Milk Stains
1. Soak the fabric in a bucket of cold water: Treating milk stains as soon as possible will attain the best results. You will need to put the stained fabric into cold water (not warm or hot water since it can darken the stained area) for five to 10 minutes. While soaking, we suggest that detergent is not required at this stage. The cold-water soak may be all that is needed, if you are lucky. If the stain appears to be lifted, move on to step 3.
2. Treat with a liquid laundry detergent: If the stain remains, rub a little liquid laundry detergent directly into the stained area and soak in room temperature water for half an hour. While the milk-stained clothing is soaking, you should gently rub the stained area between your fingers for a few seconds, doing this process every 3-5 minutes. Using the finger rubbing process, means you are trying to allow the detergent to work its way right into the stained fabric, loosening up the milk proteins and fats which are 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 up to 10 minutes. You will not need to check on the fabric or rub it during this period. Also, importantly, do not skip this step. Whether or not you see a stain remaining, we strongly recommend using 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 into fabrics over a long period of time may need several repetitions of soaking, treating with laundry liquid, and the use of a stain removal bar to fully remove the stain.
5. Wash normally: Once you feel the stain is sufficiently fixed, launder your item as normal at the temperature and fabric settings recommended for the garment. If the stain still 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 lifted, you can use the tumble dryer (or of course line dry). It might be difficult to determine if there is still a residue on wet fabric but inspect it carefully before you decide if it’s ready for the dryer. Remember, tumble drying can set the stain permanently.