Wondering how to get Vaseline out of clothes? Vaseline may help you a lot in body care. You can apply it to your lips, skin, and hair to provide moisturization. However, in the process when you use Vaseline, you may accidentally drop some of it on your clothes.
When Vaseline stays on your clothes, it’s likely to leave a stain if you don’t treat it immediately. Therefore, you should do something with it before that happens. Luckily, I’m here to help! I will provide the most proper treatments in this article, so stay tuned for more!
What Exactly Is Vaseline?
Vaseline is the brand name of a petroleum jelly-based product from Unilever – a famous transnational incorporation. The main ingredients of Vaseline are waxes and mineral oils. In many parts of the world, “vaseline” is simply the indicator for petroleum jelly. (1)
Vaseline was invented in the 1860s and has become so popular until today that it may be available in your house at the moment. Its reputation has proved it all! It’s a multi-purpose product that includes many uses in many different situations, but mostly on the skin.
As a great moisturizer, Vaseline hydrates the skin and hair. It protects and heals dry skin, hands, or even wounds. It may also appear in cosmetics such as lip balm. Vaseline is even safe to use on your face for short-term skin problems such as itchiness. (2)
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However, it will be super annoying if your clothes have some Vaseline spots on. They may even ruin clothing items if they are left for a long time.
There are also some specific methods to treat Vaseline stains on typical fabric types, such as cotton or polyester. So don’t worry; these amazing tips and tricks will get you through this headache-causing problem!
Learn more about the amazing benefits of Vaseline in the skincare routine!
4 Best Methods Ever To Remove Vaseline Out Of Clothing Items
There are some specific detergents and methods that you can use to get rid of the Vaseline on your clothes. Follow these instructions, and you’ll successfully save your clothes from Vaseline stains!
1. Rubbing Alcohol
The most common solvent you may use to get rid of Vaseline on clothes is rubbing alcohol. It is the chemical alcohol that is used in household cleaning. Rubbing alcohol with 70% isopropyl alcohol is a typical one that can be applied to garments.
- Rubbing alcohol
- A blunt item/ Paper towel
- A clean cloth/ Cotton pad
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- Hot water
- Clean towel (optional)
- A spray bottle (optional)
- Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
Step 1: Remove Excess Vaseline
Use an item having a blunt edge such as a metal spoon or old credit card to scrape off the excess Vaseline. You can also blot the stain with paper towels.
Note: Keep in mind that you should remove the excess jelly right at the time you see it, even if it is a fresh stain or an old dried stain. You will have a higher chance of completely eliminating the Vaseline when you act swiftly.
Step 2: Apply Rubbing Alcohol
You should do a patch test first to see how your clothes react to rubbing alcohol. Apply a tiny amount onto an inconspicuous spot of your clothing. Observe the spot: if it changes the original color, stop right there and bring your clothes to the professional.
Wet a dry cloth or cotton pad with rubbing alcohol, then dab it on the stained area in minor motions. Gently press against the fabric to make sure that the alcohol soaks well.
Leave the alcohol to stay on the garments for about 20 to 40 minutes. Let it dry completely before getting to the washing machine.
Step 3: Apply Liquid Dish Soap
Dish soap supports the rubbing alcohol to get rid of the leftover greasy substance on the clothing.
Option 1: Scrub some drops of it on the Vaseline stain with your fingers on both sides of the cloth until the detergent gets sudsy.
Option 2: Combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 cup of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and apply to the stain.
Step 4: Rinse Away The Soap
Read the clothing label to see whether your garments can stand warm water or not. Then use the water at the appropriate temperature to rinse the stain, but warm to hot water is highly recommended in this case!
After that, you can just let it dry naturally or use a towel to pat on clothes for faster drying. If the Vaseline stain is still there after the rinse, you may want to repeat this step and add more dishwashing detergent or stain remover.
Step 5: Wash And Dry The Treated Clothes
Bring the clothing items to the washing machine. Set the highest temperature setting that your clothes can withstand. In most cases, you can use warm water since it won’t cause shrinkage as quickly as hot water does.
After the wash, line dry or air dry the laundry as you usually do. Avoid using a dryer to dry them because the remaining Vaseline may stay permanently on your clothes.
- You can use this method on thinner and more delicate fabric types, but please handle them with more care!
- You should never use cold water in this case because it won’t help melt the greasy substance and may even set stains on your garments.
Step 6 (optional): Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Persistent Stains
If you have got through the process, but the stubborn stains are still showing up, you can spray hydrogen peroxide. After that, apply a pre-soak treatment on your clothing items and leave them there for about 15 minutes. Rewash the soaked garments to ensure an effective result.
2. Dishwashing Soap
Dishwashing soap can be the key detergent to help you get away with the Vaseline stain on clothes. It has always been a strong and safe cleaner to apply to clothes. You can use it to lift the stain and get rid of it in no time.
- Dishwashing detergent
- A dull item (butter knife, spoon, etc.)
- A soft-bristled toothbrush (optional)
- Stain remover/ Liquid laundry detergent/ Soap bar
Step 1: Scrape Off Excess Vaseline
Use the available blunt item to remove all the excess Vaseline on your fabric as much as possible. Slowly and gently get rid of the substance, make sure that it won’t spread further on your garment.
Step 2: Apply Dishwashing Soap
Pour some drops of dish soap on the stain and rub them with your fingers on both sides of the clothing. You can fold the stained area and rub the folds together so that the detergent can soak well.
Another option to choose is using an old soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub on the stained area.
Warning: Don’t apply the scrubbing on thin and delicate fabrics, or else the fibers inside of them may be torn or stretched.
Step 3: Rinse The Stained Spot
Wash away the soapy stains with warm water, or even hot if your garments can endure. Read the care label at the beginning to identify the most suitable water temperature. After the rinse, the Vaseline stain should fade away or disappear.
If the stains still exist because they are left too long on the clothes, you should repeat from step 2 until you can observe the before-after difference.
Step 4: Apply Stain Remover
You may want to use stain remover as a pretreatment of the clothes before washing to ensure an effective result. Allow it to sit on fabric for about 10 minutes. The stain remover will help loosen the most stubborn stain and make it easier to remove with further steps.
Follow the instructions printed on the packaging so that the remover won’t accidentally damage your clothes. You can apply a bit of it on an unrecognizable spot to see if there is any discoloration.
You can substitute the stain remover with liquid laundry detergent. Another way is to rub a damp soap bar on the stain.
Step 5: Rinse Again
Rinse away all the sudsy on your clothes with, once again, warm to hot water. If you tend to use a water tap that can produce hot water, wait for a while before rinsing to avoid getting cold water on it. Cold water can set the stain on your fabrics.
Step 6: Wash The Pretreated Laundry
Bring all of the garments to the washing machine and set them at the highest water level. You can also traditionally wash them by rubbing them by hand. In both ways, make sure that you use warm water because the heat from it will lift the Vaseline stains.
Dry the laundry as you wish. If you have to use a dryer in emergencies, make sure that the stains are completely gone. But you’d better try not to use a dryer to dry the clothes.
Note: Slight warm water is acceptable for the items with cold-water care labels. Warm water will not shrink your items too much, so don’t worry!
Just apply the dish soap on your greasy Vaseline stains and see what magic happens!
Vinegar is a powerful natural detergent that can get rid of oily stains in general. Vaseline is one of the greasiest substances that can be removed with vinegar. If you happen to have vinegar in the kitchen, don’t hesitate to use it when dealing with Vaseline stains!
Don’t worry that vinegar will leave a sour odor on your clothes since the smell will disappear after a full wash cycle.
- A spoon/ Paper towel
Step 1: Reduce The Vaseline Residue
Scrape the stain with a dull item or blot it with a paper towel to get rid of the excess Vaseline on your clothing. Do this step as soon as you see the stains anywhere on the fabric. The quicker you act, the easier it gets to remove the stain.
Step 2: Soak The Stain In Vinegar
If your clothing item is in white or light color, only soak the stained area of your garment in vinegar for about 5-10 minutes.
If it is in any other color, prepare a mixture of vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and soak the whole garment to the solution so that the vinegar won’t discolor your clothes.
Step 3: Scrub The Stained Spot
Use a clean paper towel to scrub on the soaked stained portion of your clothing. This will help you lift the oily stain from the fabric. Try to scrub in every direction so that the stain can get off completely.
If the stains do not come off after some rubbing attempts, try to apply more vinegar or a few drops of dish soap, continue to rub the stain, and rinse away with warm water.
Step 4: Air Dry The Vinegar-Treated Garments
When you have removed all of the Vaseline stains on garments, it’s time to hang them up for air-drying. Allowing them to dry naturally with fresh air is the best way to avoid any further stains.
Repeat the process or try a different method if this one isn’t effective enough for your stained items.
Warning: Don’t use the dryer machine or hair dryer to dry your treated clothes! The garments will dry faster, but the unfortunately-remaining Vaseline residue may set on your clothes for a really long time!
4. Stain Remover Or Heavy-Duty Laundry Detergent
Instead of regular laundry detergent, you may want to use stain remover or heavy-duty laundry detergent with some additional cleaning agents to completely get rid of the pesky Vaseline stains on your clothes.
However, some stain removers or heavy-duty detergents may be too strong for your clothes that they tend to discolor the fabric. Therefore, you should always test a bit of them on the unrecognizable spot of your stained garment.
- Stain remover/ Heavy-duty laundry detergent
- A dull item
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- A flat iron
- Oxygen-based bleach (Optional)
- Washing machine (Optional)
Step 1: Eliminate The Vaseline Excess
Place your clothing item on a flat surface, then scrape away the Vaseline residue as much as you can, using a dull utensil or a side of a credit card. Don’t rub on the stain because rubbing just makes the ointment absorb deeper into the threads.
Bonus Tip: If you don’t have much time, after this step, you can sprinkle some powder such as baby powder, talcum powder or cornstarch and let them stay for a while to absorb the stain. However, this should only be a temporary option.
Step 2 (Optional): Iron The Stain
Put a paper towel over the stained spot of the fabric, then use a flat iron at a low setting to iron on the towel to soak the Vaseline stain gradually. The heat from the iron will melt the stain and make it easier to remove.
Replace the paper towel with a new one if needed. Keep repeating the step until there is no more Vaseline on the clothing piece. After that, wash the clothes as you usually do.
Step 3: Apply Stain Remover Or Heavy-Duty Laundry Detergent
You can apply a stain remover spray, such as WD-40 or gel/liquid remover to treat the waxy stain on your garment. Any stain remover may consist of enzyme agents that will break the oil particles. Use a soft-bristled clean toothbrush to scrub the stain remover.
Another common stain remover to use is Shout remover. It is designed to eliminate all the grease stains like petroleum jelly stains on washable fibers. You can apply and allow it to stay on the stained spot for 2-3 minutes.
You can replace stain remover with heavy-duty laundry detergent with the same steps. Let the cleaning solution sit on the fabric for about 15 minutes, then rub the stain gently one more time with the toothbrush, then wash the clothes with warm to hot water.
Step 4: Wash The Garment Normally
Bring the treated clothes to the washing machine. Remember to check the care label first. Set the washer at the proper temperature when you have identified the highest temperature that your clothing can withstand. Run a usual wash cycle.
Dry the clothes as you wish after washing. However, if you tend to use the dryer, you should ensure that the stains have gone completely; otherwise, never use the dryer.
Step 5 (Optional): Get Rid Of Dyes By Using Oxygen-Based Bleach
After the wash, if the Vaseline stain, unfortunately, gets dyed on your clothes, you should do some more treats to eliminate them.
Dilute the oxygen-based bleach with cool water, the ratio should be based on the package instructions. OxiClean is a typical oxygen bleach that is easy to purchase everywhere.
Soak your tinted garments into solution, then wait for at least 8 hours. Check the stained area regularly to see whether the dye has disappeared yet.
Bonus Method: Using Heavy-Duty Detergent To Treat Vaseline Stains On Nylon Synthetic
Nylon synthetic clothing is quite hard to deal with and may have a special treatment if you want to apply heavy-duty detergent on them.
- Baking soda/ Cornstarch/ Talcum powder
- Dishwashing soap
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent
- Rubber gloves
- An old toothbrush
Step 1: Sprinkle the baking soda/ cornstarch/ talcum powder on a stained spot, then allow it to sit on the fabric for about 15 minutes. If there is a sizable stain, you should leave it to stay overnight.
Step 2: Use the old toothbrush to brush off the baking soda. Then rinse the stain with hot water in 2-3 minutes. Remember to wear rubber gloves at this step.
Step 3: Pour a little dishwashing soap to the remaining Vaseline stain. Gently rub the stain and leave it there for about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Wash your nylon synthetic clothes with the highest water temperature that your clothes can withstand. Air dry them as usual; if you want to use the dryer, make sure that the stain is gone completely.
You may want to treat old, dried Vaseline stains with this method to eliminate them. (Two or more times are recommended)
Treat Vaseline Stains On Delicate Fabrics
With delicate fabrics such as silk, handle them with more care than the normal fabric types since most of them cannot be washed with water and heavy-duty detergent. Here are some home remedies that you may want to apply to delicate clothes.
Rubbing alcohol is the type of alcohol used for cleaning purposes. It helps break the oil particles in Vaseline stains so that you can easily remove the annoying stain from the clothing.
Wet a paper towel or a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol, then blot the stain with the damp item. Just dab until the stain is no longer there on your silk garments.
Dry Cleaning Solvents
Try to use some dry cleaning solvents! It is sold everywhere, even the local store near your house. It is used for dry-clean-only fabrics, which is very appropriate to use for delicate items.
Directly pour the solvent into the stained area. Use a paper towel to gently dab on the stains. Continue to do that with more clean paper towels until the Vaseline stains go away.
If those two mild detergents don’t work really well, you should use hydrogen peroxide. It is a stronger and more powerful detergent than rubbing alcohol, so be super careful if you decide to use it for your delicate clothes.
Like alcohol, you should pour some drops of hydrogen peroxide to damp the paper towel or cloth and then dab it slowly on the stained spot, until the stain disappears completely.
If you have applied all of the above detergents but it still does not work, maybe there is nothing else you can do but call in professional cleaners. They will know exactly how to deal with the stubborn stains on delicate items like silk. Make sure that the cleaners are reliable!
Easy Tips For Preventing Vaseline Stain On Clothing
If you don’t want Vaseline to stain or set permanently on your clothes, you should treat it with care! I will provide you some great tips that you can apply before Vaseline sets a pesky stain on your favorite clothing item.
Don’t waste your time! If possible, you should take off the affected clothes immediately after getting some Vaseline on them. Then blot or scrape the residue right away. The longer you let the Vaseline stay, the harder it gets to remove completely afterward.
Treat your garments with home remedies as soon as you can. The methods have been revealed, all you need to do is follow the instructions, and your clothes will be revived in no time!
Avoid using cold water when treating Vaseline-stained clothes. The heat from the water is the key to success. It will help you lift the stubborn stain and renew the clothes. However, the heat from the dryer doesn’t count in this case. It only makes things worse.
Vaseline is prone to leave a permanent stain on suede products such as shoes, jackets or accessories. Therefore, you should be super careful, not to drop Vaseline on suede things because it cannot be removed completely.
Actually, I have repeated the above tips continuously during the instructions, but I want to highlight them once again because even if you only apply these tips, you may hold 50 percent of successfully getting Vaseline out of your clothes! So keep them in mind!
I bet there are some further questions than the methods in this article! Read through this informative section to see whether it includes the question wandering in your head. You may always ask me your own concern in the comment section if it is not here!
Vaseline Is Easy To Treat If You Have Enough Patience!
All the provided methods are easy to apply with the basic detergents found around your house. So don’t hesitate to treat the fresh Vaseline on your garments before it dries and leaves a permanent stain! All you need is a bit of effort and time!
If my suggestions actually help you in this case, like and share this post so that your family members and friends can also know how to deal with this kind of stain on their clothing when they bump into the same problem! Hope you enjoy it and see you soon, my dear friend!
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Vaseline – Wikipedia.
- Medicalnewstoday.com. 2021. Using Vaseline on your face: Benefits and risks.