The Smart Thing Thing You Should Do with Expired Milk — Instead of Pouring It Down the Drain

updated Feb 17, 2021
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Someone holding jug of milk
Credit: Sarah Crowley

We have five milk-loving kids in our house. We almost always finish off every carton, and yet each one still feels like a ticking time bomb. Of course, expiration dates and use-by dates shouldn’t be taken as gospel, but whenever we get near the date stamped on the carton, I start pushing milk like it’s going out of style. Can you blame me? I just don’t want to waste a drop.

Apparently, you can use expired milk for cooking and baking, but to me, that’s not an especially appetizing thought. Turns out, there is another way to use expired milk that won’t make your stomach turn — literally or figuratively. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use Expired Milk to Water Your Plants

Diluted expired milk is great for watering your plants! Calcium is a nutrient essential to plant health. Specifically, calcium is responsible for supporting cell walls. If your plant is calcium-deficient, root tips, young leaves, and shoot tips could have trouble growing. Calcium is also used in some enzymes and to send signals to fire off certain cellular activities. (Biology is fun!)

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Sounds great, right? A smart way to put expired milk to good use! If you’re ready to give your plants the royal calcium treatment, your next expired milk problem will become your “lemonade.” To use it, mix the expired milk with an equal amount of water and then either water your plants with the solution or spray your plants’ leaves with it so they can absorb it that way. Spraying outdoor plants with your milk water can also prevent powdery mildew

So next time you’re about to embark on that walk of regret, from the fridge to the sink, ready to dump that questionable milk down the drain, remember that it’s one step away from becoming a special treat for your friends with fronds.