Traditional recipes

Why Does Expired Milk Smell Like Sewage?

Why Does Expired Milk Smell Like Sewage?

Why does the time-honored “smell test” work so well?

When milk is rancid, you know it.

We’ve all done it: You find that carton of milk in the fridge, only to discover that it expired yesterday. When milk smells “off,” we can tell right away (thanks to thousands of years of evolution), and down the drain it goes. But why exactly does bad milk smell bad?

It all comes down to bacteria. As milk gets older, the bacteria inside the milk begins to multiply and break down the lactose. The offensive odor is a side effect of this chemical breakdown.

As a guide, it’s safe to say that milk can survive for about a week after it’s opened (even after this stretches a few days past the expiration date), provided that it’s kept in a cold fridge and isn’t opened and closed too often. If it smells or tastes bad to you, throw it out. If it doesn’t smell or taste bad, it’s okay to use.


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


Got Sour Milk? Don't Throw It Out!

If you have some milk that’s gone sour in the fridge before you were able to drink it, don’t dump it down the drain. There may be some way of salvaging it.

Warning

The following uses are only for soured raw milk, which turns into "clabber." Ultra-pasteurized milk, like the kind normally sold in supermarkets, is essentially a dead product with no live bacteria. It rots when it goes bad and should be thrown away.

Historically, clabber was used as a leavening agent. It worked together with baking soda to produce fluffy quick breads and cakes, but once baking powder was invented, it was no longer needed (via The Prairie Homestead).

I can only get organic pasteurized milk, which means I’m unable to enjoy the versatile clabber of raw milk but I still use my bags of sour milk (yes, I live in Canada, where milk is always sold in bags!) when it’s just slightly off. Once it separates and starts to stink, though, there’s nothing more to do with it.

Here are some ways to put sour milk to good use whenever possible:


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