While it may surprise you to hear, Vaseline can get into your clothes. No one likes stubborn stains, so what can you do to get this product out of your shirts or pants and help them look like new again? Thankfully, there are a few things that you can try.
In this article, we will discuss the methods and ways that you can remove this petroleum jelly based product from your clothes, and we will endeavor to answer any related questions that you might have about this product and cleaning process. Let’s dive in and get started!
Does Vaseline Stain Clothes?
Yes, Vaseline does stain clothes. While this answer may surprise you given the clear, jelly-like consistency of this product, Vaseline has been known to cause faint stains that linger, even after being washed. This is primarily because Vaseline is an oil or petroleum-based beauty product.
Whether you cook in the kitchen without an apron or have encountered stains from other oily products, you no doubt know the effects that oil can have on fabric. No one likes the faint outline of grease that never quite goes away, but Vaseline can do this to your clothes.
Of course, accidents happen. But what can you do if Vaseline gets on your clothes? Let’s talk more about whether or not it is even possible to remove Vaseline stains from your favorite shirt or pants.
Is it Possible to Remove Vaseline Stains?
Yes, it is possible to remove Vaseline stains. While there may be a few more steps involved than you might originally think, it is possible to rid your fabrics of these unsightly oil stains. Thankfully, you’ve found our guide for how to get Vaseline out of clothes- you’re in the right place!
Let’s move on and discuss what steps you can take to fully rid yourself of Vaseline stains, and keep in mind that you may need to try multiple remedies or repeat the process again should the stains still linger.
How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes?
An important first step that you need to take to help get Vaseline out of clothes is to scrape the jelly off of the article of clothing with a dull knife or tool. Why, you may be asking yourself? With any oil stains, you never want to rub at the stain further, as this simply sets the grease further and further into your fabrics.
You’ll use a dull knife or plastic edge to scrape off any remaining Vaseline so that it doesn’t spread to any other parts of your clothing. As with all clothing stains, the sooner you can treat it, the better. However, if you’re in a hurry and can’t clean your clothing right away, you can always sprinkle any oil stain with powder so that the oil is absorbed into the powder rather than into your clothes. Corn starch, baking powder, and baby powder work well for this particular step.
Take a moment to blot at whatever product remains using a clean and dry paper towel or cloth. Now, you can begin trying out any one of our five steps- you may end up trying all five, as petroleum jelly stains are notoriously difficult to remove!
One of the first steps you should take is using a commercial stain remover, often found in a gel or spray bottle format. These should be designed to tackle heavy duty stains and spots, and you may want to purchase a product that specifically mentions tackling grease stains.
Work the stain removing product into your article of clothing with your fingers, then allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes or however long the stain removal product recommends. After you have let it sit, you can proceed to washing it.
2. Isopropyl Alcohol Method (Rubbing Alcohol)
If you don’t have a very good stain remover on hand, you may be able to get rid of some of the oil stain by using isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. This can be an excellent alternative, as you may be more likely to have rubbing alcohol in your home rather than a stain remover.
Thoroughly blot or soak the Vaseline stain in rubbing alcohol, and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes, much like the stain remover. Once it has sat long enough, you can wash your clothes. Rubbing alcohol acts as a natural degreaser, so it should help with some stubborn oil-based stains!
3. Heavy Duty Laundry Detergent
Another option you could try before washing your shirt is applying heavy duty laundry detergent directly to the stain. You should blot or rub the detergent into your clothes with your fingers, and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes again. Then, you can proceed to wash the article of clothing, possibly in additional heavy duty laundry detergent.
It is recommended that, after performing any number of these first three steps, you wash the article of clothing in the hottest water possible, with additional laundry detergent. Be sure to check your garment and note what temperature of water is recommended by the clothing manufacturer before proceeding.
4. Rinse Area in Hot Water
If you’re like me and you dislike the idea of doing a whole washing machine cycle just for a single shirt, you can always rinse the article of clothing in hot water, either in your sink or bathtub. The hottest water that you can get for this process, the better; grease is likely to melt away if it is put through a hot rinse or soak.
Boil a pot of water on your stove, and pour the water directly over the stain. Be careful during this process, as it is possible for you to burn yourself easily. Keep an eye on the stain as you pour, blotting from time to time to check on the progress. You may want to wash the shirt with laundry detergent anyway, and that’s fine as well.
One final step that you can take to remove Vaseline stains from your clothes is apply dishwasher detergent directly on the stain. Our dishes are naturally oily and greasy from cooking, which is why dish soap can be a helpful preventative product to try on any of your grease-based stains.
Gently blot or rub in the dish soap with your fingers and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Keep in mind that many dish detergents include dyes that may stain your clothes further, so I always recommend treating a test area before fully committing to using dish soap on your clothes!
Rinse the detergent in hot water. You may want to wash the article of clothing in the washer after this step, but make sure the dish soap is out of your clothes before proceeding.
Still have questions regarding how to get Vaseline out of clothes? Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions in relation to this stubborn product!
Is It Harder to Remove Vaseline Stains if I Already Washed the Clothing?
Yes, it can be harder to remove Vaseline stains if you already washed the clothing. However, it isn’t the washing that makes this process more difficult; it’s whether or not you placed your stained clothing in the dryer.
Washing your Vaseline stained clothes can help you remove the stains, especially if you use hot water. But be sure to air dry your clothing before proceeding to any other step, as using a dryer can further set the oil into your fabrics. The hot air and Vaseline don’t mix, so always be sure that your stains are completely gone before machine drying your clothes.
Will Vaseline Stain Transfer to Other Clothes in Washing Machine?
It is unlikely that Vaseline stains will transfer to other clothes in the washing machine. However, if you didn’t take the time to remove any of the solid product from the clothing, you could run into this issue. You should also always pretreat oil stains, as they can have a subtle but adverse affect on your clothes while in the washer.
However, most laundry detergent works well to prevent stains from spreading. And if you choose to wash your clothing on a particularly hot cycle, you should have fewer issues as well. The hot water will help melt the grease from your fabrics.
Does Vaseline Stain Sheets?
Yes, Vaseline can stain sheets. Since sheets are often made from cotton or other absorbent fabrics, any oil-based product has the chance of staining them. If you notice a grease stain in your sheets, be sure to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
How to Remove Vaseline Stains in Sheets?
If you notice that Vaseline has stained your sheets, you can try out any of the methods listed above. Be sure to clean the stain as soon as possible, as it can set quickly. You should also be sure to only air dry your sheets, as drying them in a machine dryer can further set the oil into your fabrics.
If the above methods don’t appear to be working, you can always try an oxygen-based detergent on them. You can try a direct blotting of the detergent, or wash the sheets in hot water with the powerful cleaning product. Hopefully a combination of all of these processes gets your sheets clean once more!
How to Get Vaseline Out of Couch?
There are a few methods that you can try when it comes time to get Vaseline out of a couch. You can use any of the above methods that don’t involve machine washing or pouring boiling water onto your furniture, as you likely don’t want that much water soaking into your cushions.
You can also try a mixture of one cup warm water and one tablespoon of oxygen based cleaner or dish detergent. Both of these, when used in a dilution, can help clean fabrics that can’t be easily tossed into the washing machine. Allow the solution 15-30 minutes to set, then wipe away with a clean and dry cloth- and remember to always blot instead of rub!
When it comes to removing Vaseline from your clothes, these oil stains can be tricky. However, following any one of the above steps can bring you good results, and you may have even more luck if you try multiple steps! We hope this has been informative, and happy cleaning!
Read my related clothes cleaning articles:
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Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.