How To Get Vaseline Stains Out Of Your Clothing

In the 1860s, chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough created Vaseline, per Unilever USA. In 1870, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly became the official name of the product, and for over two centuries, Vaseline, a product that contains 100% petroleum jelly, has been a mainstay in many households' medicine cabinets.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, Vaseline, with its ability to lock in moisture, can soften the skin areas that are vulnerable to dryness. Affordable, scent-free, and versatile, vaseline is one of the handiest "just in case" items that we can carry in our purses during the cold weather or when we're traveling. A small amount of Vaseline can soften chapped lips, take the edge off cracked heels, alleviate itching, and make eyelashes fuller. We can apply the solution on many areas of our bodies at once, which occasionally results in us leaving some Vaseline stains on our clothing. If you wake up one day to your favorite pajamas or pillows smeared with a blob of Vaseline, follow the following tips to get the stains out.

Remove Vaseline stains with a stain remover or detergent containing enzyme lipase

When you spot Vaseline stains on your clothing, resist the urge to rub them off lest the marks settle into the fiber and cause discoloration. Instead, use the tip of a credit card or a blunt table knife to scrape the greasy stains off the fabrics, Hunker suggests. After that, you can use a stain-removing spray that includes the lipase enzyme to pretreat unwanted blotches. According to Novozymes, the enzyme lipase can dissolve oily stains by fragmenting lipid molecules. Enzyme lipase can work extremely well on smudges caught on synthetic fabrics like spandex, polyester, and rayon, which tend to trap oily stains.

If you don't have a stain remover, try a liquid detergent that contains lipase or protease enzymes to lift the stains. For instance, the Persil cleaning solution consists of stain-dissolving enzymes such as proteases and amylases, which are known to be effective against sugar and starch-based stains. Let the formula sit on the fabric for 15 to 30 minutes, and then use a soft brush to gently brush the stains away before rinsing the area with hot water. Compared to cold water, hot water is known to be more effective in activating the detergent and removing protein-based, deeply trapped stains. Or, you can make a mixture of cool water and oxygen-based bleach, such as OXO Brite or OxiClean, and submerge your garment in it for at least eight hours to remove the stains.

You can use a dish soap to get rid of Vaseline stains

According to Apartment Therapy, after removing the residues, you can pretreat your Vaseline stains with dish soap, which can help break down greasy stains and prevent them from spreading into the fabric. Then, use your fingertips or a small cloth to rub the stains if they are trapped on fragile materials. For stains trapped in sturdier fabrics, you can use a toothbrush to scrape the stains away. Once you've noticed the stains disappearing from the clothing surface, give the garment a thorough rinse with hot water before laundering it. 

Another way to get rid of Vaseline stains is to soak them in strong isopropyl alcohol, Silver Bobbin advises. The reason being petroleum jelly is partially soluble in a majority of alcohol types, which explains why many stain-removal detergents contain alcohol, such as isopropanol or ethanol. First, soak a ball of cotton in alcohol and dab it onto the affected areas. To make sure the stains will not spread to other areas, you can place a folded paper towel beneath the stains as an absorbent. Once the stains are completely soaked with alcohol, let the solution sit there for about five minutes. Lastly, rinse your garment thoroughly with cool water.

Cheap and effective, Vaseline is a wonderful topical treatment for anything that's chapped or cracked. If Vaseline ever leaves oily stains on your clothing, you can get them out with the aforementioned tips.