Can you remove stubborn blood stains with milk? Cleaning experts reveal the most unexpected of stain removers

Why spilt milk might stop you from crying...

A bottle of milk with eggs around it
(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

These days, we are surprised almost daily at what natural substances can do and clean. Just take baking soda, white vinegar or lemon and their endless cleaning purposes. The latest shocker? Using milk on blood stains. But does milk actually remove blood stains or is this just a rumour result of some wishful thinking?

We love a natural cleaning hack, their eco-friendly benefits and the fact the necessary ingredients can usually be found in our kitchen cupboards. But blood stains are notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially if not treated immediately.

So if all it takes to get rid of them is some milk sitting in the fridge, then sign us up. But to find out whether this is indeed true or a myth, we’ve enlisted the expertise of our cleaning pros to see what they had to say.

A bottle of milk with eggs around it

(Image credit: Future PLC/Andrew Woods)

Does milk remove blood stains?

‘Milk contains natural enzymes and proteins that effectively break down and lift stains, including stubborn blood marks,’ says Baqir Khan, owner and cleaning expert at Extreme Cleaning

‘This technique is not only environmentally friendly but also budget-friendly, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable and cost-effective solutions.’

So milk is in fact an effective way how to clean upholstery or bed linen if it’s been affected by a blood stain.

But despite being one of the best cleaning products to deal with blood marks, one thing to note is that it’s not something that will make the stain magically go away. You'll still need to put some work in, so here's what you need to do.

A bowl filled with foaming water with a microwave in the background

(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

Step-by-step guide

Firstly, it’s important to act as quickly as possible. Because the longer you leave the stain untreated, the harder it is to get it out.

‘Sometimes removing a dried blood stain with milk will be possible, but this will also depend on the stain itself, how old it is and the type of fabric you’re dealing with as older blood stains are a lot harder to remove,’ says Petya Holevich, Fantastic Services' domestic cleaning expert and supervisor. ‘In general, it should make the blood substance looser and easier to remove.’

Before you go in with the milk, it’s recommended that you blot the stain with a clean cloth or a paper towel according to Baqir. Blot, don’t rub as that will only make the blood go further into the fabric.

A bathroom sink with the tap running

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Then, rinse the stain with cold water. ‘Rinse the stained area with cold water. This helps to remove as much of the blood as possible,’ Baqir says.

After that, you can bring out the big guns – the milk that is.

‘You can clean blood stains with milk from fabric by soaking the affected area for as long as you can. Once you start noticing that the milk has reacted with the blood, the stain will be easier to remove,’ Petya explains. Soaking it for a few hours or ideally overnight is ideal.

Finally, rinse the item in cold water again and wash as you normally would. After that, the stain should be no longer. Fingers crossed!

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.