You have just spilled a little bit of Vaseline on your favorite outfit. You know it’s not a big deal, but you are worried about the stain and how it might affect the quality of your clothes.
It is natural to feel this way, and with good reason! Vaseline is one of those things that will stain anything it touches. But first of all, what is Vaseline?
Since the late 1800s, Vaseline has been a household staple and is useful in various ways, especially to aid in healing injuries or moisturizing dry skin.
Vaseline is petroleum jelly with oil in it; It is used in various ways, including; serving as an intensive moisturizer for dry skin, an oily base for a makeup product, and as a lip balm and sunscreen.
But what if this jelly gets on your clothes? How do you remove Vaseline stains from clothing? This oil-based jelly can leave its mark on clothing, but so many household tricks will help. But first, let’s look at what causes vaseline stains on clothes.
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Possible Causes of Vaseline Stains on Clothes
Suppose you have used Vaseline on your clothes. In that case, you know the struggle. The oil-based jelly can leave a nearly impossible stain to remove. But don’t despair! With a few simple household products, you can get your favorite shirt looking brand new again.
Vaseline is so good at protecting your skin that it is even used as a moisturizer for lips and cuticles. But its ability to protect your skin does not mean it is also good for your clothing.
When Vaseline gets on clothes, it can leave a stain that might not be removable until after several washes.
The oil in Vaseline and other petroleum products can stain your clothing more severely than most other oils. Several different situations can leave greasy stains on your clothing.
The easiest way for Vaseline to get onto your clothes is by putting it directly on top of your skin. The oil from the product will then absorb into the fabric of your clothing and be left behind as a permanent stain once the fabric has been washed at least once with soap and water (or another detergent).
Luckily, you can try some simple tricks with household products to lift grease and oil off your clothes so they look new again. If you have dishwashing soap, rubbing alcohol, or vinegar at home, you are on your way to getting rid of these tough stains.
8 Ways to Remove Vaseline from Clothes
Removing Vaseline requires special tools, techniques, and patience. Total removal of stains isn’t impossible, especially if you try to remove them on time. Materials needed:
- Terry cloth towel
- Dish soap
- Butter knife or flexible kitchen spatula
- Soft rag
- White vinegar
- Stain removing agent
- Baby powder
Before using the detergent or cleaner on your clothes, you should test it on a small part of the fabric to see if the color will run. You must wipe off the excess ointment or vaseline with a dull knife, and not rub it into your skin.
Blot the area dry with a white paper towel. After treating the fabric with vaseline, check its care label to see if it must be dry-cleaned. If so, you should take it to a dry cleaner after removing the stain.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for removing vaseline stains from your clothes:
1. Removing Excess Vaseline
If you have a blob of Vaseline on your fabrics, try this simple trick:
- Use a dull table knife or the blunt side of a butter knife to lift away as much of the jelly as possible from the fabric.
- Do not rub because you will just push the ointment deeper into the fibers and making it more difficult to remove the stain and also minimize fabric damage.
- Continue this process until all of the vaseline is removed, and you can handwash the spot where the stain is visible.
- The hack to this step is that you need to work at an angle to scrape away only the Vaseline and not damage other parts of the fabric.
2. Blot Stain from Clothing
Another effective way to remove vaseline stains from your cloth is blotting, and you can achieve this by;
- Scrape out any excess vaseline from the surface.
- Using a white terry cloth towel to wipe or dab the remaining blot stain from the fabric. This will help to absorb any leftover moisture and prevent it from spreading to other surfaces.
- If you have time, place the clothing in the sun for a few hours; this will help to remove any leftover moisture that may still be on the fabric.
- Be careful not to let it out in the sun for too long so that the material gets too hot and the stain remains permanent.
3. Dish Soap
Vaseline is made up of grease, and if you want to make sure you do a good job of removing all of it. The easiest way is to use dish soap, which cuts through grease thoroughly.
- Select the stained area
- Remove the excess Vaseline from your cloth using method 1
- Take dish soap and gently rub it into the stain.
- If the fabric is delicate, use your fingers or a soft rag to massage the stain; if it’s durable, use a soft scrub brush or toothbrush.
- Rinse your cloth to remove the remnant of soap on it and dry
4. Hot water
If you want to get rid of a Vaseline stain, it’s best to use hot water. This will help loosen up the stain and allow you to get rid of it more easily.
- Scrape out any excess vaseline from the surface.
- Soak the cloth for about 10 minutes in hot water.
- Rinse thoroughly with clear water. This should remove the majority of the Vaseline stain without damaging any other parts of your cloth too much.
- Allow to dry before checking to ensure that the stain has been completely removed.
Laundry is the most popular way to remove stubborn vaseline stains from clothes.
- Select your stained clothes and scrape any excess vaseline from the surface.
- Add your Vaseline-saturated cloth to the washing machine.
- Make sure your laundry water is hot or at least lukewarm.
- Add in your regular laundry detergent.
- We also suggest adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to the wash to help get rid of any Vaseline residue that might still be there.
- Complete your spin cycle and leave the cloth to dry.
6. Cornstarch or Baby Powder
A rare but effective method to get rid of vaseline stains is using cornstarch or baby powder, and the steps below show how to practically use either of them to remove vaseline from your cloth.
- Scrape out any excess vaseline from the surface.
- Soak vaseline residue with cornstarch or baby powder.
- Leave it to sit on the fabric for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- Then, use your stain remover or laundry detergent and gently work it into the section.
- Also, let that sit for at least 15 minutes.
- If you still notice the stain, air dry it and repeat the process.
7. Use Alcohol
If you’re still stumped by the stains’ refusal to go away, we recommend you try rubbing alcohol on the affected area but use caution on colored fabrics to avoid altering the dye.
- Select the stained area on your fabric and scrape any excess vaseline from the surface.
- Lightly dab alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on the area, be gentle with thinner or delicate fabrics.
- Leave the alcohol to sit on the fabric until it absorbs and dries (20–30 minutes).
- Scrub the alcohol out with regular detergent.
- Allow drying after rinsing with hot water.
8. Soak Your Cloth in Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the gentlest, least chemical ways to clean Vaseline stains out of clothes. This method is not 100% effective like dish soap, but it provides a more gentle alternative, perfect for delicate fabric that can’t handle stronger products.
- Scrape away any excess Vaseline to prevent the jelly from spreading.
- Soak the stained part of your fabric in vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes. Vinegar is a natural astringent and helps remove oil and stains quickly.
- If your fabric is colored, you might want to mix water with vinegar to keep the color from running.
- After soaking in vinegar, scrub the affected area with a paper towel.
- After removing the stains, allow the cloth to air dry.
Why is Vaseline Difficult to Get Out of Clothes?
Vaseline is made of grease and wax, which can be tricky to remove from your clothes. As such, it can get stuck in the fabric’s fibers and won’t come out easily. That said, it’s also slippery and slick, making it even harder to get rid of any remnants.
Vaseline doesn’t have the same consistency as other products, so it can be harder to remove from your clothes. When used as directed, Vaseline can be easily removed.
How to Prevent Vaseline from Getting on Your Clothes
Vaseline is a great product, but keeping it from getting on your clothes is important. There are a few ways to prevent Vaseline from getting on your clothes, and the following tips will help you keep your clothes and skin in tip-top shape. These tips include:
- Ensure the jar is tightly sealed so that no air can enter the Vaseline container.
- Ensure to wash your hands with soap and water after using the jar to be sure any residue doesn’t get onto other surfaces when you clean them next time.
- To remove excess, use a cotton ball or a wipe.
- Use a cotton ball or wipe to wipe excess Vaseline off appliances or walls where it might have fallen instead of just wiping it off with a towel or paper towel.
- If you want to use it for anything else, such as cleaning your dishes or other household tasks that don’t involve putting it on yourself, then wash those items immediately after using Vaseline! This way, they won’t get contaminated by an unwanted coating, which can cause stains or discoloration over time if left untreated.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If I Don’t Get Rid of Vaseline Stains Immediately?
Vaseline is an oil-based product, and oil attracts dirt. Leaving a vaseline-stained cloth for too long without removing the stain can cause permanent damage to the fabric. If you don’t have enough time to go through the removal process, you can always have your local dry cleaner do it for you.
Can I Use the Same Vaseline Removal Methods for All Kinds of Fabrics?
Reading the care label on your cloth is important before removing Vaseline stains. For example, some clothes might have a “dry clean only” on it’s care label, and you do not want to risk ruining it. With fabrics like suede, satin, silk, velvet, leather, or other rare/delicate fabrics, it is advisable to go to a professional cleaner that specializes in cleaning those kinds of fabrics.
Will Applying a Stain Guard Prevent Vaseline Stains?
While a stain guard is meant to protect your clothes, they are not meant to be used on all kinds of fabric. Stain guards were originally made to protect leather clothes from getting ruined by stains but also worked for cotton and silk fabrics. However, to avoid getting vaseline stains that may probably ruin your clothes, you should be your own stain guard and avoid situations that could lead to it.
Using Vaseline as a moisturizer or chapstick can leave behind tough-to-remove stains on our clothing, but that does not mean we should stop using it altogether or that it is impossible to remove stains caused by it.
If you do the things on the list above, you’ll have the best chance of saving the garment and, hopefully, getting rid of the stain for good.
We hope this article has given you some good tips for removing Vaseline from clothing. Any questions or comments about this topic are welcome in the comment section!