Vaseline was invented in the 1860s, branded in 1870, and by 1875, was selling at a rate of one jar per minute. It’s not quite so popular these days, but most households have at least one jar hanging around the bathroom cabinet. It’s great for chapped lips, dry skin, sores, and no end of other things. But no matter how useful it is, there’s no getting around the fact it’s a menace to clothes. It’s greasy, it’s gloopy, it leaves a stain, and it’s hard to remove… or so you might think. In fact, it’s a piece of cake with the right method. All you’ll need are a few household supplies, a spare half hour or so, and these helpful hints.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes with Dishwashing Soap
According to WikiHow, one of the easiest ways to remove vaseline from clothes is with dishwashing soap.
- Step 1 – Scrape away any excess vaseline as soon as possible with a butter knife. As you scape the excess away, be careful not to spread it any further around the fabric.
- Step 2 – Apply a small amount of dishwashing soap directly onto the stain. Pinch the fabric together from inside and outside the garment and rub the two sides together to ensure the soap reaches the entire stain. Providing the fabric is relatively thick and tough, you could even use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help work the soap as deep into the fibers as possible.
- Step 3 – Place the garment under a warm faucet to rinse all the soap away. Check the stain. If it’s lifted considerably and the fabric feels less oily, move on to the next step. If it hasn’t, repeat the previous step a few more times until you can notice the difference.
- Step 4 – Vaseline can leave a stubborn stain, particularly if it’s been left to soak into the fabric for any length of time. To remove it, apply a stain remover, making sure to follow the instructions to avoid causing any discoloration. If you don’t have any stain remover to hand, liquid laundry detergent is an acceptable alternative.
- Step 5 – Remove the stain remover by rinsing the garment under very warm water. Avoid using cold water, even if the garment care label specifies it, as this may seal the stain into the fabric.
- Step 6 – Wash the garment either by hand or in the washing machine at the hottest setting possible. If the care label calls for cold water, use very warm water instead – this will avoid shrinkage while also ensuring the stain doesn’t settle into the fabric.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes with WD-40
If you’ve got a can of WD-40 hanging around, put it to good use with this easy vaseline removal method from Hunker.
- Step 1 – Use a blunt edge to scrape away as much of the vaseline as possible. Saturate the stain in WD-40 and allow it to soak into the stain for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Step 2- Rinse the stain under warm water to remove the WD-40. If any stain remains, repeat the process as many times as needed. To finish, launder the garment in warm water.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes with an Iron
Removing vaseline from clothes with an iron is as simple as 1,2,3 with the following method.
- Step 1 – Scrape away as much of the excess vaseline from the garment as possible using a blunt edge.
- Step 2 – Lay a paper towel over the stain and iron it on a low setting to help lift the stain. Refresh the paper towel and iron again. Repeat as many times as needed.
- Step 3 – Launder the garment in warm water. Don’t be tempted to dry it in the dryer if any stain remains, as this may cause it to settle into the fabric.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes with Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural astringent that’s incredibly useful for various cleaning tasks, not least removing vaseline from clothes.
- Step 1 – Remove any excess vaseline using a blunt edge.
- Step 2 – Apply the vinegar directly to the stain and leave to soak for 5 – 10 minutes. If it’s a colored fabric, leave it to soak in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to prevent fading.
- Step 3 – Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the vinegar into the fabric to help lift the stain. If it’s an old or particularly stubborn stain, apply more vinegar and scrub again.
- Step 4 – Launder the garment as usual and leave it to air dry. Don’t be tempted to throw it in the dryer as this can seal any remaining stain. Once it’s dry, check to see if the stain has gone. If it hasn’t, repeat the process until it lifts completely.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes with Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol will cut through vaseline quickly and efficiently. Before you start, spot test the alcohol on a small, inconspicuous part of the fabric to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration. If it doesn’t, get de-greasing with the following steps.
- Step 1 – Use a butter knife or something similar to remove as much excess vaseline as possible.
- Step 2 – Use a cotton pad or dry cloth to dab the rubbing alcohol onto the stain. Rub it in using small, gentle motions, occasionally pressing down to ensure the alcohol permeates the fabric.
- Step 3 – Leave the rubbing alcohol to dry – depending on the size of the stain and thickness of the material, this will usually take between 20 and 40 minutes.
- Step 4 – Rinse the garment under hot or very warm water to remove the suds – avoid using cold water as this can set oil stains. Leave the garment to dry before checking the stain. If you can still see it, repeat the process.
- Step 5 – Launder the garment as normal using warm or hot water – again, avoid using cold water even if the garment care label calls for it. Leave to air dry.
How to Remove Tinted Vaseline Stains from Clothes
If you’re dealing with tinted vaseline, you might need to apply a few extra steps before your garment is as good as new. To remove the dye stain, take the advice of The Spruce and mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and cool water, following the package directions. Allow the garment to soak in the solution for a minimum of 8 hours before laundering as normal.