How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes? [4 Easy Ways]

girl shopwing vaseline stain on shirt

Have you ever accidentally smeared Vaseline on your clothes while moisturizing your skin? Or your little ones got into your stash and made a mess. Fear not; getting Vaseline out of clothes is not as impossible as it seems, but it’s still one of the worst stains you could get on your clothes. Vaseline makes greasy and oily stains on clothes.

If you’re looking for how to get Vaseline out of clothes with a few household items, we have four tried and tested ways for you.

Cleaning Overview

Working Time:  25 minutes
Total Time:  25 minutes
Skills Required:  Beginner
Estimated Cost:  USD 0

What Will You Need


  1. Paper towel / Tissue paper
  2. Laundry detergent
  3. White vinegar
  4. Baking soda
  5. Isopropyl alcohol
  6. Cotton
  7. Talcum powder (for silk clothes)


  1. Iron
  2. Spoon / Plastic knife
  3. Sponge / Soft Brush
  4. Washing machine

How to Get Vaseline Out of Clothes?

1. Heat Technique

heat technique to remove Vaseline stain

One of the fastest ways to remove Vaseline stains is to use heat to melt them out of your clothes, especially if you notice it immediately.

Step 1: Start by scraping up as much Vaseline as possible with a plastic spoon or a credit card. Avoid getting it on any part of the fabric that isn’t stained.

Step 2: Next, fold two big stacks of paper towels into thick wads. One will go under the Vaseline stain so the melted Vaseline doesn’t get into other parts of the clothing, and the other will go on top.

Step 3: Turn down the heat on your iron to the lowest setting.

Step 4: Go back and forth slowly with the iron over the top paper towel. Vaseline will melt from the heat, and the paper towel will soak it up.

Keep changing the paper towel, as it’ll keep soaking up the stain.

Step 5: Once most of the Vaseline is out, let the fabric cool down and check if discoloration remains. If the stain isn’t eliminated, treat it with laundry detergent or vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol.

Related: Iron temperature settings.

If you don’t find the heat technique suitable for you, don’t worry because three other ways can be helpful for you:

2. Laundry  Detergent

liquid detergent in clothes basket

Step 1: Start by scraping off any Vaseline you see with a flat tool like a plastic knife or spoon.

Step 2: Put one or two teaspoons of laundry detergent on the stain, depending on the stain’s size.

Step 3: Work the detergent into a lather with your fingers, a clean sponge, or a soft brush. Rub it into the fabric well.

Step 4: Let it sit for five minutes.

Step 5: Wash the item as written on the care label in your washing machine. Ensure you don’t put it in the dryer; let it air dry.

Related: Does laundry detergent expire?

3. Vinegar

bottle of vinegar

Step 1: Apply white vinegar directly on the stained area.

Step 2: Let your stain soak in vinegar for five to ten minutes.

Step 3: Scrub the area with clean cotton fabric. Vinegar will lift the Vaseline stain, and the cotton cloth will absorb it.

Step 4: Use a spoonful of baking soda to clean the stain if it’s still visible.

Step 5: Rub a soft brush on the stained part. The baking soda will rub the fabric, removing the oil particles that the vinegar had already started to loosen.

Step 6: Rinse the item under cool running water.

Step 7: Wash it as usual in your washing machine, but don’t put it in the dryer. Instead, let the garment air dry so you can check it when it’s done and ensure all the grease is gone.

Related: Will Vinegar Bleach Black Clothes

4. Rubbing Alcohol/Isopropyl Alcohol

bottle of isopropyl alcohol

Step 1: Put something absorbent behind the stain, like a folded paper towel, so the grease doesn’t spread and damage other parts.

Step 2: Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol.

Step 4: Put the cotton ball on the stain and rub it in. Move from the outside to the inside of the stained area.

Step 5: Keep doing this until the alcohol has been soaked into the fabric.

Step 6: Let it sit for five minutes.

Step 7: Rinse well under running cool water. If the stain is still visible, try the dish soap method immediately.

Related: Does rubbing alcohol stain clothes?

Precautions While Removing Vaseline Stains

When attempting to remove Vaseline stains from clothing, it is important to avoid using hot water or putting the clothing in the dryer, as this can cause the stain to set. Instead, use a stain remover or pre-treatment specifically designed for oil-based stains and wash the garment in cold water.

Does Vaseline Stain Clothes?

Vaseline is a petroleum-based product. While Vaseline is unlikely to stain clothes, it can leave greasy marks or residue on the fabric.

Vaseline is made of hydrocarbons, nonpolar molecules that do not easily dissolve in water. Due to its nonpolar nature, Vaseline does not readily mix or bond with most fabrics or dyes, making it less likely to cause permanent stains on clothes.

Does Vaseline Come Out of Clothes?

When treated the right way, clothes can be cleaned of Vaseline stains. Like most grease or oil-based stains, petroleum jelly can leave dark marks on fabric that won’t come out with a normal wash cycle.

Vaseline dissolves in alcohol, especially strong alcohol like isopropyl alcohol.

Soap is a good degreaser; dish soap or laundry detergent may work, especially if you can get to the stain while it’s fresh. This makes sense since soap is made to break up oil particles.

Because Vaseline has an interesting semi-solid state, you can heat it to make it liquid and soak it with a paper towel.

How to Remove Vaseline Stains from Different Types of Fabric?

The best method for removing Vaseline stains from different fabric types may vary depending on the fabric type. For example, silk requires a more delicate approach than polyester or wool.

Some common methods for removing Vaseline stains from various fabrics include using cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb the excess grease, treating the stain with a dish soap solution, or using a solvent like rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

How to Get Vaseline Out Of Cotton Clothes?

It’s easy to get Vaseline stains out of cotton fabric. Cotton is easy to care for and clean because it can handle all kinds of soaps and heat well.

If you are in a hurry, try melting the oil out of the cotton with an iron. Try the dish soap or laundry soap methods for another quick fix.

How to Get Vaseline Out of Silk Clothes?

Any stain is hard to get out of silk. Before trying to get stains out of silk clothes, read the care label first. We recommend giving silk, satin, and velvet clothes to a professional cleaner.

If a professional cleaner isn’t an option, putting a thick talcum powder layer over an oil stain is the safest and most gentle way to remove it. Let the powder sit for 24 hours. Shake off the powder the next day, then wash the item as usual.

How to Prevent Vaseline Stains from Happening in the First Place

One of the best ways to prevent Vaseline stains from happening in the first place is to hold a cloth or tissue in one hand below the area you’re applying Vaseline and apply it with another hand. This can help to minimize the amount of product that comes into contact with your clothing. Additionally, wearing old clothes when using Vaseline can help to protect your clothing from potential stains.

  • What washes away Vaseline?

    Even though it seems strange, washing your clothes with regular liquid laundry detergent or dish soap can significantly eliminate the grease that Vaseline leaves behind.

  • Is Vaseline and petroleum jelly the same thing?

    One of the most well-known brands of petroleum jelly is called Vaseline. It is a mix of minerals and waxes that can be spread easily.


Getting Vaseline out of clothes is easier if you follow the right direction and tools. The critical step when getting Vaseline stains out of clothes is acting as fast as possible. The longer the stain remains on clothes, the harder it becomes to get out. To melt Vaseline, you can also use a hot iron or simple things from around the house, like rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or laundry detergent.

Related: How to Get Lotion Stains Out of Clothes