Vaseline has been a household staple since the late 1800s and is useful in a variety of ways, especially to hasten the healing of injuries, or to offer relief to areas of dryness on our skin.
However, if Vaseline ends up on our clothes, the oil that it contains can cause a stubborn and hard-to-remove stain. Luckily there are a few handy ways to tackle that stain and remove it as much as possible.
The most important thing when it comes to removing a Vaseline stain from your clothes is to get to it as quickly as possible.
Here’s how to get Vaseline out of clothes.
1. Scrape Off the Vaseline
Use a dull-edged knife or another utensil with smooth edges and scrape off as much of the Vaseline as you can from the garment before the oil can sink too deeply into the fabric.
Do this as carefully as possible, do not rub the stain, and try to make sure that the stain does not spread any further than it already has.
2. Rub the Area with Washing Up Liquid
Washing up liquid can come in handy in many cleaning situations way beyond simply washing the dishes.
It is an excellent stain remover and can be highly efficient in eradicating oil stains, especially if applied quickly to a stain.
Pour a small amount of washing up liquid over the stain, ensuring that it covers the entire area. Rub the liquid into the stain and ensure that it sinks into the fabric.
If you are concerned that rubbing the stain with your fingers will not be as effective, try using an old toothbrush to work the soap more fully into the material.
Be cautious with thinner fabrics and make sure not to overwork them and cause potential damage.
3. Rinse with Hot Water
As this is an oil-based stain, hot water is needed next to rinse the oil out of the material. Rub the fabric together to be certain that all the soap is properly rinsed out.
If the stain is still visible, you may need to repeat the whole process a few more times. This is likely to be necessary if the stain was large or if a large volume of Vaseline caused the stain.
4. Apply a Stain Remover or Rubbing Alcohol
At this point, a stain remover will be the most effective method of eradicating what remains of the Vaseline stain.
If you have a stain remover nearby then apply it directly to the stain as it will contain the enzymes needed to lift the oil from the garment.
Follow the guidelines laid out by the specific brand of stain remover that you are using and allow the remover to sit on the stain for the specified amount of time.
If you do not have any stain remover, try dabbing some rubbing alcohol into the stain.
Rubbing alcohol is a degreasing agent and can often remove oily stains that other products, including dishwashing soap, cannot.
Be cautious with the rubbing alcohol and perhaps test it on a small patch of fabric on the garment that is less visible to be sure that it will not affect the dye if there is any.
Leave the rubbing alcohol to dry into the stain for at least 30 minutes before following the rest of the steps on this list.
A final alternative if you also do not have rubbing alcohol available is vinegar. Vinegar is a trusted cleaning agent and is effective against a large variety of stains, as well as household germs and bacteria.
5. Machine Wash
The final step in this process is to machine wash the item.
Check the labels to be sure that the fabric is safe for a hot wash and then run a cycle with the hottest water possible for that garment.
The hot water will help to lift whatever is left of the stain at this point.
Once the cycle is done do not put the garment into the tumble dryer as the heat from the dryer will set the stain if it is still visible and make it almost impossible to remove any further.
Vaseline can be a tough stain to remove from our clothes, especially as it is an oil-based product, but that does not mean that it is impossible!
Following the steps on this list will give you the best chance at salvaging your garment and hopefully eradicating the stubborn stain completely.
An adventurous book lover with an animal obsession and a proclivity for travel and spontaneity. Used to passionately despise cleaning but has grown to enjoy it thanks to learning all the best tricks and shortcuts to guaranteeing a stress-free routine and a spotless home.