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How Do You Wash Off Vaseline?

  • Post category:Skin Care
  • Post last modified:May 28, 2024
  • Reading time:13 mins read

Vaseline, a popular brand of petroleum jelly, is widely used for its moisturizing and protective properties. However, its greasy and sticky nature can make it challenging to remove from skin, hair, and fabrics. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to effectively wash off Vaseline from various surfaces using different methods and techniques.

Removing Vaseline from the Skin

Using Soap and Water

The simplest method to remove Vaseline from the skin is by using soap and water. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Apply Soap: Use a mild dish soap or hand soap. Dish soaps are particularly effective because they are designed to cut through grease.
  2. Lather and Scrub: Lather the soap in your hands and scrub the Vaseline-covered area thoroughly.
  3. Rinse with Warm Water: Rinse the area with warm water to remove the soap and Vaseline residue.
  4. Repeat if Necessary: If there is still a greasy film, repeat the process until the Vaseline is completely removed.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another effective method for removing Vaseline from the skin:

  1. Apply Rubbing Alcohol: Soak a cotton ball or paper towel with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Wipe the Area: Gently wipe the Vaseline-covered area with the soaked cotton ball.
  3. Rinse with Water: After the Vaseline is removed, rinse the area with water to remove any alcohol residue.

Removing Vaseline from Hair

Dish Soap Method

Dish soap can effectively remove Vaseline from hair due to its grease-cutting properties:

  1. Blot Excess Vaseline: Use a paper towel to blot and remove as much Vaseline as possible without rubbing it further into the hair.
  2. Apply Dish Soap: Apply a small amount of mild dish soap to the affected area.
  3. Massage and Lather: Gently massage the soap into the hair to create a lather.
  4. Rinse with Warm Water: Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove the soap and Vaseline.
  5. Shampoo and Condition: Follow up with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner to ensure all residues are removed and the hair is moisturized.

Cornstarch or Talcum Powder Absorption

Cornstarch or talcum powder can absorb the grease from Vaseline:

  1. Sprinkle Powder: Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or talcum powder on the Vaseline-affected hair.
  2. Comb Through: Gently comb through the hair to distribute the powder and absorb the grease.
  3. Shampoo and Rinse: Wash the hair with a clarifying shampoo and rinse thoroughly to remove the powder and Vaseline residue.

Removing Vaseline from Fabrics

Dish Soap and Rubbing Alcohol Method

This method is effective for removing Vaseline stains from clothes:

  1. Scrape Off Excess Vaseline: Use a dull edge, like a butter knife, to scrape off as much Vaseline as possible.
  2. Apply Dish Soap: Apply a liberal amount of dish soap directly to the stain.
  3. Rub the Fabric: Rub the fabric together or use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work the soap into the fibers.
  4. Rinse with Warm Water: Rinse the area with warm water to remove the soap and Vaseline.
  5. Apply Rubbing Alcohol: If the stain persists, apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and dab the stain.
  6. Launder as Usual: Wash the garment in the warmest water safe for the fabric and check the stain before drying. Repeat if necessary.

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar can also help in removing Vaseline stains from fabrics:

  1. Mix Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the Stain: Spray the solution onto the Vaseline stain.
  3. Let it Sit: Allow the solution to sit for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Blot and Rinse: Blot the area with a clean cloth and rinse with warm water.
  5. Launder as Usual: Wash the garment as usual and check the stain before drying.

Removing Vaseline from Molds and Surfaces

Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is effective for cleaning Vaseline from molds and other surfaces:

  1. Soak a Paper Towel: Soak a paper towel with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Wipe the Surface: Gently wipe the Vaseline-covered surface with the soaked paper towel.
  3. Repeat if Necessary: Repeat the process until all Vaseline is removed.

Warm Soapy Water

Warm soapy water can also be used to clean Vaseline from surfaces:

  1. Prepare Soapy Water: Mix warm water with a mild dish soap.
  2. Wipe the Surface: Use a cloth or sponge soaked in the soapy water to wipe the Vaseline-covered surface.
  3. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the surface with clean water and dry with a clean cloth.

Tips and Precautions

  • Test Cleaning Agents: Always test cleaning agents on an inconspicuous area first to ensure they do not damage the material.
  • Avoid Heat: Do not use heat to dry fabrics with Vaseline stains, as it can set the stain permanently.
  • Be Gentle: Use gentle motions to avoid spreading the Vaseline further or damaging delicate fabrics.
  • Seek Professional Help: For stubborn stains or delicate materials, consider seeking professional cleaning services.


Removing Vaseline can be challenging due to its greasy and sticky nature, but with the right methods and techniques, it can be effectively washed off skin, hair, fabrics, and surfaces. Whether using dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or other household items, patience and persistence are key to ensuring all residues are removed. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can tackle Vaseline stains and keep your skin, hair, and belongings clean and grease-free.


Should I wash off Vaseline?

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, does not need to be intentionally washed off the skin. It acts as a barrier to lock in moisture and aid in skin recovery. Washing it off can counteract its benefits. However, if you prefer to remove it, use a gentle cleanser or micellar water to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils


How to wash out Vaseline?

To wash out Vaseline, use a mild dish soap or a gentle facial cleanser. Apply the soap or cleanser to the affected area and gently massage it in. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. For stubborn residues, you can use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth to help lift the Vaseline from the skin or fabric.

How to remove dried Vaseline on the skin?

To remove dried Vaseline from the skin, start by gently scraping off any excess with a blunt edge, like a plastic spatula. Then, apply a degreasing agent such as rubbing alcohol or dish soap. Massage the area gently and rinse with warm water. Repeat if necessary, and follow up with a moisturizer to prevent dryness.

Does water remove petroleum jelly?

Water alone is not effective in removing petroleum jelly due to its hydrophobic nature. Petroleum jelly repels water, making it difficult to wash off without the use of a degreasing agent. To effectively remove it, use a mild dish soap, a gentle cleanser, or rubbing alcohol, which can break down the oily residue


Can using a microfiber cloth helps in removing Vaseline more effectively?

Yes, using a microfiber cloth can help remove Vaseline more effectively. The fine fibers in microfiber cloths can lift and trap the oily residue better than regular cloths. Pair the microfiber cloth with a gentle cleanser or dish soap for best results. Gently rub the affected area to avoid irritation while ensuring thorough removal.