Can You Freeze Milk? Here’s How with Tips for Freezing!

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Have you ever wondered, Can You Freeze Milk? Whether you get a great deal on milk at the store or you hope to stock up to save time, freezing milk is one way of storing it. But, before you simply put the milk container in the freezer, here are a few simple tips to consider. If you have a gallon of milk coming close to the expiration date, find out how to prevent food waste! 

titled collage for freezing milk


Sometimes, I look in the fridge and find that I have so much milk left.

While milk typically has a longer shelf life than some items, I’ve found the best way to store milk safely, is to freeze it for later.

This is a great way to save a carton of milk or even an entire gallon that might be close to expiring.

You can also do this the next time that you need extra space in the fridge, too. 

pouring milk in ice cube tray

How to Freeze Milk

When it comes to freezing milk, don’t simply put the container in the freezer. Milk expands when it freezes, which can cause the container to burst. 

Ultimately, you can end up with huge mess! 

Did you know you can also freeze eggs? It’s a great way to stock up and minimize trips to the store.

frozen milk in ice cube tray

Can you freeze milk for later use?

Yes, you can easily freeze milk to use later on, whether it’s skim, reduced-fat, or whole milk. 

It is best to freeze your milk before the best by date. 

If the milk is approaching its best-by-date, you would be better off using it up in a recipe like our rice pudding or 3-Ingredient Mac and Cheese.

After you’ve frozen the milk, it’s easy to defrost it. Simply place it in the refrigerator to thaw. It will be completely safe for consumption if you do that.

We have frozen milk in the carton, made milk ice cubes, and transferred it to a freezer-safe plastic container. Any of these methods work great!

Can you freeze chocolate milk?

Absolutely! Follow the same directions for regular milk or chocolate milk.

frozen milk

How long does milk last after being frozen?

After you have frozen the milk, it will last for three to six months in the freezer. 

If you try to store it for longer than that, you might find that it has started to absorb odors from the other foods you’re freezing (yes, even thru the packaging). 

And, it may start to look more yellow than normal.

The reason that frozen milk turns yellow is that the riboflavin doesn’t freeze as quickly as the milk. That makes it separate from the milk and causes a color change.

While this shouldn’t affect the taste at all, provided you shake it well, it might make it less appealing to people. 

So, if you’re wondering how to freeze milk without it changing color, use it within three to six months.

frozen cubes of milk

Can you freeze milk in a carton?

Yes, you can! However, you will need to open the container of milk and pour out at least an inch of milk. I pour it into a cup and put it in the fridge. 

Reseal the container and place it in the freezer.

By removing some of the liquid, you allow it to expand in the carton as it freezes. This will prevent the top from popping off and the milk from going over the top. 

It helps to put the date on the front so you know which container to use first.

To defrost, place the carton on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. The plate will catch any condensation.

How to freeze milk ice cubes in trays

Simply pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze. When you pour it, be sure that you leave enough room at the top of the container for the contents to expand when it freezes.

That will make removing it from the ice cube tray easier. After it is completely frozen, remove each cube and place it in a freezer bag. 

Then, label the freezer bag with today’s date.

The standard ice cube tray holds 1 ounce (2 tablespoons). So if you need 1/4 cup of milk you can just defrost the amount of milk you need.

frozen cubes of milk in ziploc

Can I use other types of containers?

If you want to, you can use this same method with slightly larger containers. 

That way, you can freeze the milk in one cup or two cup measures for recipes that require more liquid.

Sometimes, you might only need a small amount of milk and small containers work best for this. 

This is the perfect method to use if you plan on baking or cooking with it rather than drinking it. 

That way, when you want to use the milk, you can remove only the amount that you want!

Milk ice cubes are more practical for many people, and this simple method works well if you don’t drink a lot of milk each day.

You just need ice cube trays to make milk cubes, and then a freezer-safe bag or smaller containers for storage. 

Milk expands when it freezes, so you never want to freeze it in a glass container, or it will break. Glass containers aren’t safe for freezing milk! 

Does freezing milk change it?

As long as you use your milk within a few months, you shouldn’t see any changes at all. 

If you freeze it in the carton, you may notice the fat separates from the remaining liquid. Don’t worry; that’s just the texture of milk changing, not the flavor. 

Just shake it well after you defrost it. If you remove it as a cube, just defrost it and add it to whatever recipe you plan on using it in.

You shouldn’t notice a grainy texture at all after that quick shake. 

Why freeze milk?

The freezing process of milk is a great way to save it from spoiling. It can also help you with a backup milk supply, and also be an effective way to cut down on waste. 

Just be sure that you use a freezer-safe container, and that you follow the process for best milk thaws. 

If you’re a devoted milk drinker, the good news is that you can take up some of your freezer space with milk, or dairy products from the store.

Many people freeze milk so that they have extra milk on hand.

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bottles of milk


white beverage in glass bottles
5 stars from 2 reviews

Can You Freeze Milk

Freezing milk can extend its shelf life, but there are some important tips to know first. We'll show you how to freeze milk the right way!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Author: Donna Elick


  • milk


How to Freeze Milk in Small Servings

  • Pour milk into an ice cube tray. Do not freeze milk when it is near or past its best by date.
  • Place trays into the freezer and allow milk to freeze.
  • Transfer frozen milk cubes to zip top freezer bag marked with the date. Use within 6 months.
  • To defrost milk cubes, place them in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
  • Standard ice cubes are 1-ounce (2 tablespoons). Defrost 8 ice cubes for 1 cup of milk. If necessary, whisk or stir the milk if it separates as it defrosts

How to Freeze Milk in the Carton

  • Pour about 1 inch of milk out of the carton.
  • Mark today’s date on the carton.
  • Freeze.
  • To defrost, place the carton on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. The plate will catch any condensation.
  • Once the milk is defrosted, make sure the lid is still on tight and then shake the living tar out of it. This will help the smoothness.
titled collage for freezing milk

Originally published April 2020, updated and republished February 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    This saved my life during covid, and hurricane ian! Love knowing you can freeze milk and the way to go about it.

  2. 5 stars
    I don’t drink milk, just use in cooking and breakfast. I started freezing because the milk would go bad and I was throwing a lot away. I even dropped down to buying by the quart and was still not using it fast enough. Now I buy a gallon of milk and freeze in pint size containers. It works great! I haven’t thrown any milk away in 2 years.

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