Crying over spilt milk? Robert is! Hear his automotive-dairy saga-- and Tom and Ray's answer.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 2007

Dear Tom and Ray:

Hi. I have a Volvo station wagon, and last week I spilled about a half-gallon of milk in the back. The back seats were folded down because I had my dogs in the car. When I went to clean up the milk, I noticed that virtually all of it had disappeared. When I looked further, I found most of the milk had collected in the well where the rear seat-bottom meets the rear seat-back. I've cleaned out the milk, but I clearly didn't get all of it as now the car smells like sour milk. What is the best way to get rid of the smell? Please help! --Robert

RAY: A quart of gasoline and a match, Robert.

TOM: Now you know why some people DO cry over spilled milk.

RAY: The problem is it's gotten into the carpet or the upholstery, or both.

TOM: And the only remedy I know is to remove the carpet, the jute (the padding underneath the carpet) and the affected upholstery, and see if you can sneak it onto the next space shuttle flight. I think all that stuff will have to be replaced, Robert.

RAY: I would agree. But maybe some of our readers have some less draconian ways to get rid of the odor of deeply embedded spilled milk.

TOM: If you have a better idea for Robert, go to our web site,, click where it says "Crying Over Spilled Milk," and post your suggestion so everyone can read it.

RAY: In the meantime, I'll dump a quart of 2 percent on the passenger seat of my brother's car so we'll be ready to test out your suggestions when they come in.

TOM: Robert, we'll keep our fingers crossed for you. And our noses plugged.

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