Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dealing With Spilled Milk

I arrived home from the grocery store this morning, and as I was carrying the groceries into the house I lost my grip on one of the bags and dropped the gallon of milk onto the foyer floor. The milk explosion that followed the impact was, thankfully, more or less contained to the front hallway and half-bath.

Dead Soldier

The exploded milk mess was a novel experience for me, and I had to improvise in a quick cleanup to keep the white river from spreading via the rivulets in my tile floor. In case you ever find yourself in a similar situation, keep these points in mind.

Dealing With Spilled Milk

(1) Go ahead and turn off the house alarm first. No the noise isn't going to hurt anyone, but it is a distraction. In addition, in less than a minute the alarm company will be notified, and it would be best to avoid having to explain to the arriving police officer that he had to check on your safety because you were cleaning up spilled milk.

(2) Grab some paper towels to lie down as an impediment in the course of flowing milk. Even an entire roll of paper towels is unlikely to be sufficient to keep the white flood at bay, but it is a quick and accessible remedy to stop the progression until you can grab more serviceable implements.

(3) Remove your shoes and socks. You're going to be treading all over a milky mess in a confined space, which means you *will* be stepping in it. Soiled footwear is just not helpful in any imaginable way.

(4) If you have a yarn mop, you can get busy sopping up milk. I tried to make some headway with my sponge mop, but its business end was too small to contend with the task at hand, so I had to abandon that remedy for number 5 below.

(5) Retrieve several bath towels and lay them down; this will stop the flow and sop up the liquid. Being in a hurry I managed to grab a pair of hand towels as well, so I went ahead and included them in the mix, but they really were superfluous.

The Ratio of 4:1
Body-Length Bath Towels:Gallon of Milk
Worked for Me

(6) After sopping up all the milk with the towels, mop the floor with hot soapy water.

(7) Promptly launder the towels. The reek of spoiled milk is not for the weak of stomach, so you won't want to leave the soiled towels in the hamper until the next weekend. Fortunately for me Saturdays are already laundry days, so I was able to work this task into my schedule in stride.

Hopefully you'll never need to apply any of this knowledge. If the scenario should arise for you, however, you won't be caught off guard.


Kindred Spirit said...

Thank you for the helpful tips, Sean. And I duly noted that you apparently didn't cry over the spilled milk. Good job!

Sean said...

I didn't cry, though the admonition says nothing about rolling your eyes over spilled milk.