Does Breast Milk Stain – Tips For Removing and Cleaning Milk From Clothes

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 10/25/22 •  6 min read
Hey Mamas and Papas! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

If you find yourself spontaneously leaking breast milk, you may wonder, “Does breast milk stain?” If this is you, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll break down whether or not breast milk can permanently stain clothing, and also, how you can get old and stubborn stains out.

Table of Contents

Does Breast Milk Stain – Tips For Removing And Cleaning Milk From Clothes

Does Breast Milk Stain Clothing?

Yes, breast milk can certainly stain clothing. But know that the staining won’t always be forever.

In many cases, when breast milk stains appear, they may dry a crusty or pale yellow on the fabric they’ve affected. Although unattractive and embarrassing, these types of stains usually come out just fine in the wash.

There are other types of stains, however, that won’t come out so easily. A lot of times, this is due to the type of fabric that the stain affected. No matter the reason, it can be daunting to think that you may not be able to salvage your freshly stained clothing and fabrics. 

Or can you? 

Don’t worry. We’ll get to more about stain removal solutions later on in this post!

Does Breast Milk Stain

Why Does Breast Milk Stain?

Breast milk stains garments and fabrics because of the proteins within it. Breast milk also contains fats and this can leave a greasy residue (along with stains) on your clothing. 

The same is true of animal-based milk. If you’ve ever spilled milk on something, you know that not only does it stain, but it also stinks! Breast milk reacts the same way. And if it isn’t treated promptly it’ll also develop quite a stench– just as you’d expect from cow’s milk! 

What Kinds of Things Does Breast Milk Stain?

Breast milk can stain any type of fabric it touches. The following are a few of the most common items you may notice affected by leaking breast milk.

Does Breast Milk Stain Furniture?

If you’ve got fabric upholstery furniture, you can very well expect it to stain if you get breast milk on it. How easily this stain will come out wild depends on the type of fabric it is.

For best results, attend to the leak or spill immediately rather than waiting until later. This can keep the breast milk from setting in and becoming that much harder to get out down the road. 

Does Breast Milk Stain – Tips For Removing And Cleaning Milk From Clothes

Does Breast Milk Stain Sheets?

Yes, breast milk can stain sheets. In fact, this might be one of the most common places you’ll see milk stains as most mamas sleep on top of bed sheets at night. The nice thing is that as long as you throw the sheets into the wash right away (or at least within the same day), the stains should come right out with no pretreatment necessary. 

However, if you still find those stains holding on, try the tips we mention at the end of this post to help stains lift better and faster.

Does Breast Milk Stain Beds?

Yes, breast milk can stain beds if it can make it past your bedsheets. Consider using a waterproof mattress protector to keep breast milk from getting that far.

Utopia Bedding Premium Waterproof Terry Mattress Protector Queen 200 GSM, Mattress Cover, Breathable, Fitted Style with Stretchable Pockets
Buy on Amazon

Does Breast Milk Stain Baby Bottles?

Sometimes baby bottles will develop a filmy-like residue that can be the result of hard water or milk stains. If you notice this, try washing the bottle as normal and then dousing it in a solution of part water and part vinegar. Oftentimes, this mixture really helps break down bottle stains. 

How to Get Breastmilk Stains Out of Clothing

If you’re wondering how to get breastmilk out of clothing, now’s your chance to find out! Follow these instructions for getting gnarly set-in stains out of clothing and fabric–for good!

Cold Water Rinse

As soon as you notice a breast milk stain on your clothing or fabric, rinse the stain with cold water. Allow the fabric to sit (if possible) in cold water. If you are unable to submerse the fabric, do your best to soak the affected area with cold water. Note: Do not use warm or hot water during this phase. Doing so may set in stains which will make them much harder to get out. You can also use a bit of blue Dawn dish soap to help further lift tough breast milk stains! 


Use an enzymatic stain remover or DIY stain remover to further break down proteins that are making the stain difficult to get out. Enzyme treatments are often best for breaking down proteins, but if the breast milk is fairly fresh, a regular stain remover may work just as well.

Let Sit

If your stain remover requests that you allow the garment to sit, be sure to follow those instructions. Sometimes it is this time that allows the stain remover to break down stubborn proteins. If no sitting time is required, feel free to move on to the next step.

Wash in Cold Water

As previously mentioned, washing stains like these in hot water can sometimes reinforce them and cause the stains to set in. Wash your clothes as normal on the cold setting. Remember to use a baby-friendly detergent if washing anything that might touch against your baby’s delicate skin. 


Finally, dry the affected clothing, but preferably on a low heat setting. Again, exposing the stain to heat may cause stains to further set in. If you can, you can try drying your clothes in the sun or next to a fan or window for an even better way to keep stains from resurfacing. 

Does Breast Milk Stain – Tips For Removing And Cleaning Milk From Clothes

Does Breast Milk Stain? Yes, It Certainly Does…

Now you know that breast milk can certainly stain up clothing and fabrics, but thankfully, things don’t have to remain this way. By simply pretreating your fabrics and washing them in cold water, you can usually nip tough breast milk stains in the bud. Add to that the use of an enzymatic pretreatment and a good air dry when done, and your affected stains and fabrics should be in good shape.

We hope this helps answer the question, “Does breast milk stain?” 

Until next time! 


Do milk stains come out in the wash?

They can easily come out in the wash, but you should be careful what washing methods you use. Refer back to the post for detailed information about how best to remove breast milk stains from clothing. 

What removes breastmilk stains?

Breast milk stains can best be removed by using an enzymatic pretreatment and by using cold water when washing. 

Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *