how to clean milk off a leather couch
Kristina Davis

Wondering how to clean milk off a leather couch? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this dilemma.

As many of us who have babies, milk spillages on the leather couch could seem harmless at first – until you see the exterior of your sofa becoming craggy.

Not to mention the stains it can make if you leave it there for too long. So, when this happens, what do you do?

To completely free milk from your leather couch, pat it dry with a clean paper towel or a piece of cloth until it’s completely removed. Then, thoroughly clean the affected surface with an applicable mild cleaner gently to avoid wearing the leather out.

Preparations You Need in Cleaning Spilt Milk on Your Leather Couch

preparations need cleaning spilled milk

Before cleaning and removing spillage of milk on your leather sofa, you need to be prepared.

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Doing the deed without actually having everything you need might not be effective – it can even make things worse.

So, whether you want to clean up spilled milk off the couch or if you want to remove stains, here are the things you will need to be successful in removing it.

Clean Cloths, Sponges, or Paper Towels

For any type of liquid spillage, even not on leather couches, you’ll need something to absorb it.

There are a multitude of things you can use, but the best things would be paper towels, sponges, or clean cloth.

Personally, I’d go with paper towels because you can easily dispose of them after usage.

Moreover, they have soft fibers, which wouldn’t scratch or damage the leather’s surface.

Baby Wipes

the baby wipes

Baby wipes are perfect for small spills and quick solutions. You can use it to get rid of the milk residue that could have stuck to the leather’s surface.

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Although I would not rely on baby wipes if you’re doing thorough cleaning – they’re just as useful for emergency situations.

Cleaning Agent

You will need cleaning agents to help you get rid of the stickiness and thoroughly cleanse the spillage.

There are many different cleaning agents you can go with. You can use leather cleaners, mild detergents, white vinegar, and many more.

But, I would suggest going with a mild fabric detergent or dish soap because they wouldn’t have adverse effects when used on leather.

Going for leather cleaners would also be good, but you’ll have to invest in them.

Deodorizers or Fabric Softeners

apply deodorizers

To be completely sure that the scent of milk is gone, you need to apply deodorizers or fabric softeners to the affected area.

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Don’t worry, you wouldn’t need a generous amount – a pea-sized amount will do.

Now that you have all these ready and prepared, here’s how to get milk off the leather couch without leaving any stain, scent, or residue of the spillage.

How to Clean Milk Off a Leather Couch?

Out of all the many different ways of cleaning milk from leather couches you can find online, here’s the method I believe is the best, simplest, and yet most effective.

You won’t just clean and remove milk from your couch, but you can also be assured that no ants will be able to come and track it!

Step #1: Dab All Milk Residue

Remove excess milk residue using paper towels, sponges, or clean cloths to absorb it. You just want to remove the liquids that are still on the surface.

You don’t have to wipe it, just place the material on top of the spillage and it’ll absorb it. When done, the next step is to clean it.

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Step #2: Apply the Cleaning Solution

You can clean it using a mild detergent, leather cleaner solution, or even dish soap (liquid dishwashing solution).

the cleaning solution

In case you’ll use household ingredients, mix it with a few parts of water to lessen the concentration and for it to lather.

This is also what you need to do to remove milk stains from it (if there are any).

Step #3: Lather it Gently

Apply a small amount of the solution to the leather’s surface, and gently wipe it in a circular motion.

Continue doing this until it lathers.

NOTE: Do not apply pressure while wiping. A neutral circular motion would be enough to create a clean lather, which can remove the stains and free the surface from stuck-up milk spillages.

Step #4: Rinse the Lather Carefully

When done, rinse the lather immediately.

You don’t want the leather to fully absorb the liquids you’ve poured there because once it absorbs liquids, the oils can be bound to the water molecules.

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I usually time it and I do the lathering for just about 30 seconds, and then I immediately rinse it with lukewarm water.

rinse the lather

You won’t need a lot of water since you didn’t apply a generous amount of the cleaning solution.

A few drops of water would be enough to rinse it.

Pour a few drops progressively and continuously but be careful as you might drown the leather.

Step #5: Condition the Leather

When done, condition the leather. I typically use a fabric detergent or a leather cleaner to match the contents of the leather.

Doing this will help the leather revitalize and rejuvenate faster – it can also help get rid of the odor of being wet and being dried up.

Step #6: Air Dry

Last, but most definitely not least is to let it dry. Now, for drying, you simply need to let it rest in a well-ventilated space for air drying.

Refrain from putting it under the sun as doing so will damage the leather.

Just as simple as that, you can get rid of the milk spillage from your leather couch without worrying about it deteriorating or wearing off.

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What to Avoid in Cleaning Milk From a Leather Couch?

what to avoid

There are myths revolving around what’s good for leather and what’s not.

Based on expert advice, here are some truths about the things you need to refrain from doing if you plan on cleaning your leather couch.

Avoid Scrubbing Harshly

As strong as it is, leather can potentially be damaged by brute force and strength, too. It’s a strong, durable, and reliable material, but scrubbing it rigorously can damage it.

More so, refrain from using abrasive cleaning materials such as steel brushes.

Leather is smooth, so using regular cloth will be enough to clean it.

Avoid Making a Puddle on the Leather Surface

Oils of the leather can bind to the water molecules, which can cause deformation, misshaping, and eventually, can damage it.

Cleaning only takes a few drops of the cleansing agent and water. Refrain from drowning your leather material.

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Avoid Acetone or Alcohol

avoid acetone

Although branded and considered as an ingredient that can effectively pierce through dust, dirt, and other types of debris on leather, alcohol can dry the leather out more quickly than it should.

Dried leather will become craggy and brittle – eventually, it will be damaging.

Tip: Never use acetone or alcohol in cleaning and disinfecting your leather.

Avoid Using Heating Elements

This is my main tip for drying – just let it air dry in a spacious, breathable, and well-ventilated area.

A lot of people think that drying it with a hairdryer is a good idea – but it’s not.

Heat can damage the bind of the leather, especially if done frequently. Even placing it under the sun is a bad idea simply because the sun emits UV rays, which, as we all know, are bad for leather.

These are just several things you want to avoid when cleaning your leather couches to make them last longer.

Remember these because although they seem like something you already know, we sometimes forget about them.


popular questions

Here are a few other frequently asked questions about cleaning milk from your leather sofas.

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Does Milk Soak Into Leather?

Yes, milk can soak into leather, and it can produce unwanted marks and stains. This is why you need to clean and immediately.

How Do You Get Milk Smell Out of Leather?

There are certain types of milk where the smells and odors stay even after you get rid of the milk from the surface.

You can remove the scent of milk by applying baking soda on the surface of the leather, leaving it there for about 4 hours, and then vacuuming it.

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated leather cleaning and deodorizing solution.

Final Thoughts

Finding out how to clean milk off a leather couch is useful information because you will be prepared for any instance of spillage in your home – even outside.

Milk is not like water, so, being prepared for it will be extremely advantageous so you can save yourself another headache!