Got Spoiled Milk? Brilliant Hacks To Put Your Sour Milk To Good Use

One of the horrors that can appear in your fridge is a carton of foul-smelling, chunky, sour milk. Though your instinct may be to toss the nasty beverage, there’s plenty of hacks you can implement to avoid wasting. For one, milk developes lactic acid as it spoils, which can be effective at removing stains and limestone. Plus, that foul smell can keep your garden free of rodents while the calcium boosts the soil. From making donuts to creating a facemask, these expired milk hacks are sure to impress.

It Can Smooth And Brighten Your Face

Nataliya Petrova/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nataliya Petrova/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Particularly due to the smell, pouring sour milk all over your face may seem like a crazy thing to do. Many beauty gurus swear by it, though. The reason why is because of the lactic acid that forms as milk goes bad.

The acid, enzymes, and probiotics all work to smooth, moisturize, and brighten the skin. To give it a try, simply apply the sour milk to your face and let it sit for a few minutes before washing it off.

The Acidity Helps Polish Jewelry

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you’re interested in a chemical-free way to restore tarnished jewelry, try soaking it in spoiled milk! The dairy beverage gets more acidic as it goes bad.

The result is a liquid that’s tough on grime but not too abrasive for jewelry. To implement this technique, simply soak your jewelry in the spoiled milk for 30 minutes. Afterward, rinse the items with dish detergent and dry them with a soft towel to reveal the shiny results.

It Can Break Down Limescale

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Similar to the effect spoiled milk has on jewelry, it can also help breakdown limescale. This is the chalky deposit that typically collects around faucets and areas that come into frequent contact with water.

Limestone can be difficult to scrub off, but spoiled milk can help. Simply apply the liquid to affected areas and let it soak for several minutes. The lactic acid should breakdown the deposits so you can scrub them away. Follow up with a cleaning spray to remove the scent.

It Can Deter Moles And Voles From Your Garden

David Tipling/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
David Tipling/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Two common rodents that can mess with a healthy garden are voles, also known as meadow mice, and moles. A vole is pictured above, whereas a mole has enlarged front feet, a long, pointed snout, and eyes and ears that are too small to see.

If you spot either of these adorable but destructive pests in your garden, place some spoiled milk into their tunnels. They are very sensitive to smell and won’t be able to stand the sour scent.

You Can Add It To Plants For A Calcium Boost

Peter Summers/Getty Images
Peter Summers/Getty Images

While sour milk may be too bacteria-ridden to sit well in your stomach, plants can benefit from absorbing it. Dilute the dairy beverage with water with a 50/50 ratio to ensure that the milk doesn’t overwhelm and harm the plants.

Be sure to use no more than a quarter cup of the milk per plant. Place the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it to the soil and leaves. The dairy will infuse the plants with calcium and soil-enhancing bacteria.

It Can Get Out Berry Stains

John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Berries are packed with antioxidants, but they also have a deep pigment that can easily stain clothes. Especially if you have a little one that’s just begun enjoying berries, you can expect to have some purple-stained bibs.

To get out the discoloration, try spoiled milk. It’s less strong than bleach and won’t die the garment white. Still, the dairy product is effective at removing the loathed spots. Soak the stain in sour milk for several hours and then toss it in the washing machine.

You Can Turn It Into Plastic Shapes

James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images
James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

Did you know that the casein found in milk is used to make a certain type of plastic? You can do this science experiment at home as a fun activity for the whole family. First, heat a cup of spoiled milk until it starts to steam.

Then mix in 4 teaspoons of vinegar and drain over a paper towel-lined with coriander to reveal milk curds. Knead the curds and form them into whatever shape you like. You can also add food coloring and glitter for fun. Let your creation dry overnight, and you’ll have plastic shapes!

It Can Tenderize Your Steak

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you love to barbecue, then you probably are familiar with preparing steak marinades. Many of them call for buttermilk, which can be substituted for sour milk. Alternatively, you can pour the dairy directly onto the steak.

The fire will burn off any unwanted bacteria while the milk keeps the meat moist and tender. You can apply the milk to other cuts of meat, as well, to help break down tougher cuts while adding a subtly tangy taste.

You Can Use It To Make Fried Chicken

Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images
Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images

Fried chicken is a classic dish that packs a ton of flavor. Especially since chicken is a popular meat choice, it can be refreshing to load it up with crunchy, tasty goodness.

Spoiled milk is a great excuse to make the indulgent meal. Soak the chicken in the sour milk instead of buttermilk and then prepare it as usual. Coat the layer in your favorite breading mixture and fry it up for a deliciously tangy dinner.

It Can Add Creaminess To Casserole

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Casseroles are a family dinner tradition, especially around the holidays. If you’re looking for a way to make use of some expired milk, try adding it to a casserole dish to enhance the creaminess.

Similar to baked goods, bacteria that has formed in the milk that may cause an upset stomach will burn off while it cooks. What you’re left with is a creamy dish that won’t have an off taste, but rather will be comparable to a buttermilk version.

Add A Little To Your Bath To Soothe Skin Ailments

milk bath
Chaloner Woods/Getty Images
Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

The lactic acid, enzymes, and probiotics that develop in milk as it turns aren’t only beneficial for the skin on your face; they’re good for the skin all over your body.

Milk baths are especially popular among those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis on account of its soothing properties. Add a couple of cups to the tub along with some essential oils to mask the smell. Afterward, rinse off with shower water and layer your skin in lotion for best results.

You Can Use It For Baking

Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Many baking recipes call for buttermilk, but if you don’t have any around you can always substitute sour milk instead! After it’s cooked, you won’t be able to tell the difference in terms of taste and texture.

If a recipe specifically calls for buttermilk or sour milk, you don’t have to wait for your fresh milk to expire. Simply add some lemon juice or vinegar to the dairy and stir it up until the milk sours.

You Can Make Sour Milk Donuts

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

One baked good that’s ideal for milk that’s started to turn is milk donuts. The vintage recipe is delicious and calls for many items you likely have hanging around the house.

You may have to make a quick run to the store for ingredients like shortening and cream of tartar. Once you’ve gathered all that the recipe calls for, making the desert is as simple as mixing the ingredients, shaping them into donuts, and frying up the pastries in a skillet.

It Makes Tasty Waffles And Pancakes

Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images
Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images

Spoiled milk isn’t only good for baking pastries, but also for starchy breakfast items you make from scratch such as pancakes and waffles. Cookbook author Dana Gunders even went so far as claiming that sour milk makes the best pancakes around.

Dana told NPR that she let her milk get “really old” and the result was extra fluffy pancakes that didn’t have a trace of expired-milk taste. She also recommends expired milk for biscuit recipes.

It Can Help Polish Silver

Tom Stoddart/Getty Images
Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

The same way that sour milk can be used to revive jewelry and knockout limestone, it can also help polish silver. Whether it’s silverware, vases, trays, or anything else around the house that is made of silver, expired milk can make it shine like new.

Simply soak the items in the spoiled milk for 30 minutes and then rinse them with soap and water. Use a dishcloth to buff out any lingering smudges or particles.

Transform The Milk Into Cheese

cottage-cheese
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most obvious things to do with sour milk is to make cheese! Afterall, cheese is a result of curdled milk. To make cottage cheese, pour half a gallon of the spoiled milk into a saucepan.

Heat the milk to 185 degrees Fahrenheit and then add a tablespoon of vinegar. Stir until the curds form and strain them with a clothlined colander. Let it cool and the result will be delicious cottage cheese!

Make Pet Treats With It

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Spoiled milk isn’t only good for baking human food, but also pet treats. A carton of expired milk is a perfect excuse to hunt down some recipes for your furry friend.

As with all baked items, the foul smell and taste will disappear as the bad bacteria burns off. Even with their keen senses, your pet won’t be able to tell any difference. Just be sure that they aren’t lactose intolerant before trying it out.

Use It To Thicken Soups

Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The same way that sour milk can be added to casseroles for a creamy touch, you can also pour some into soup to thicken it. Spoiled milk is especially popular in dishes like cream of mushroom or cream of chicken.

You can also add the milk to watery soups like chicken noodle to give it a little more thickness and boost the calcium. Like adding milk to tea, you may be surprised what a difference a little bit makes in a bowl of soup.

Freeze Your Milk To Make It Last Longer

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Have you ever noticed that circle on the side of milk gallons? The purpose behind that indentation is to enable you to freeze the entire carton without worrying about breaks or leakage.

As the liquid freezes, it also expands. Since some people like to buy in bulk, you can always keep a gallon in the fridge and another in the freezer to avoid milk spoiling altogether. Similarly, be sure to put your milk in the freezer before heading out of town.

Make It Into Dressing, Yogurt, And More Before It Spoils

Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you notice that you have too much milk to consume before the expiration date, don’t fret. There are plenty of milk-based items that you can make to make use of it before it turns.

Salad dressings and yogurt are just a couple of examples of things you can prep before your milk goes bad. Some suggest making these items with spoiled milk, but you’ll want to do your research on the kind of milk needed before you consume it uncooked.