How to get vaseline out of fabric

Updated November 21, 2016

Removing stains on fabric can be challenging when the stain is one that is greasy, sticky and just soaks right into the fabric. Vaseline, which is a petroleum jelly product, can leave behind stains when used on or near carpeting, upholstery or clothing. Though uses for vaseline vary, from moisturising skin to removing make-up, it can be a tough stain to get out.

Remove as much of the vaseline from the fabric as possible. Blot up the excess vaseline with paper towels, and do not rub the vaseline into the fabric. Use a plastic knife to scrape off the top layer of the remaining vaseline.

Turn an iron on to the lowest setting and allow to heat up. Place the stained fabric, stain-side up, on an ironing board. Layer two paper towels on top of the stain, then run the iron over the paper towels using circular motions. Lift them after every three or four passes, and reposition the towels, moving them so a clean section covers the remainder of the stain. Keep ironing the stain until it doesn't lift off onto the paper towels anymore.

Use a grease cutting solvent, and saturate the stain with it, allowing it to soak into the stain. Blot up the stain and solvent using a clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain is gone, and wash the item per the manufacturer's stated directions.

Put dish detergent directly onto the stain. Use a wet cloth to work the detergent in to a lather over the top of the stain. Allow the detergent to sit on the stain for 10 minutes, rinse and repeat as necessary.

Blot the stain with cotton balls that have been dipped or soaked in rubbing alcohol. Repeat the process until the stain is removed, using new cotton balls every time to avoid transferring the stain back to the fabric.


Read all fabric labels to choose the right cleaning option based on the fabric. For example, if an item cannot be ironed, opt for one of the alternate cleaning methods.


Use caution when using paper towels and iron together.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Plastic knife
  • Iron
  • Grease remover
  • Clean cloth
  • Dish detergent
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
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