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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had some milk spill in the back seat (about a pint's worth), and let me tell ya, folks. It's been a PITA getting the smell out.

The morning after discovering the spilled milk, I steam cleaned the upholstery on the seats. No luck. Somewhere in the truck, there was milk spoiling.

A few days later when I actually had time to clean, I pulled up the seat bottoms and looked at the storage containers. There was no milk; it was yogurt. I cleaned it up, re-steamed the upholstery (this time on the top, bottom, backside... everything), and crossed my fingers that the smell went away. The truck was going in for repairs after a small collision to the right bumper.

After a two week nightmare with both the insurance company and the repair facility, I got the truck back. Not only did the truck still smell, but the mechanic gave me a pretty mean Death Stare (I'd say he gave me the stink eye, but it was too easy of a pun)

Now I'm beyond frustrated. I couldn't take the smell anymore. I ripped apart everything -- seats were unbolted, upholstery ripped off, seatbelts taken out, trim panels removed... and then I lifted up the carpeting. I don't know what Death smells like, but I'm pretty sure this was his close second-cousin. By now, the yogurt had mutated into the skin that develops over corn when you leave it sitting for a couple hours. Baby maggots littered the floor with Mama Fly nearby, everything dead. I whipped out my handy Little Green steamer and went to town once more, scrubbing off the carcasses, cleaning up the what-was-once-milk, disinfecting any- and everything the eye could see, and sprayed some Renuzit "After the Rain" scent (you know, just for kicks). I let it air dry in the wonderful 95-degree weather, and then reinstalled everything.

24 hours and a leather-scented pine tree freshener later, and the truck smells great. I might even go for a drive today. =)


Underlying Message to the Story: just when you think you thoroughly cleaned your truck, there's always something else hidden under your nose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A couple of Yuenglings is what got me through the first two cleaning sessions. Stubbornness, motivation, and the prohibition of alcohol on the compound I was working at are the reasons why I never ended this project with a good buzz.
 

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milk is one of the worse things you can spill in a car - glad you finally got it out. good write-up
This brings back memories. When my son was about 6 months old, he yakked up what seemed to be 1/2 gallon of (breast) milk during a road trip & it was all in the door speaker holes. Had to remove door panel for that one. I swear I still catch a whiff when I'm in the wifes car!
 

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If you don't mind the smell of vanilla, real vanilla extract is great for getting rid of offending odors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update -- 3 months later.

For the most part, the smell is gone. Every now and I'll get a whif of what I think is still spoiled milk. Everybody who rides in the truck with me says they can't smell it. Maybe it's just me. I still haven't changed the cabin air filter, which I feel might be retaining some of the smell. I wonder... are the ducts under the passenger seat intakes for A/C recirculation?

Those leather-scented pine trees fresheners really make a difference, btw!

@05XE
As far as the Little Green vacuum goes, it's wonderful. It gets a bunch of moisture out of upholstery. Don't get me wrong; nothing will be completely dry. But I guarantee it will leave fabrics drier than if they wrung by hand. I would use a normal upright vacuum for dirt, though. The slots in the Little Green's hose adapters are too tiny and will be clogged by the dirt easily.
 

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they are not intakes for the climate control, rather exhaust vents. Put your vent, AC, heat on the floor only setting. Reach around the back of your seat and underneath the seat. you feel whatever temp you are set on coming out of those vents.
 
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