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How to Clean Up Vaseline

By Kay on Wed, Oct 3, 2007

General, House Tips, Parenting Tips

If you’ve read my post, “It’s Too Quiet…” then you know why I’ve been on a quest to find the answer to the simple question of how to clean vaseline off of well… everything. (Amazing how much damage a 18 month old and 3 year old can do in just a few minutes time!)

So, after MUCH searching, I finally found a site that had directions on how to get vaseline off of clothes and fabrics. (FYI, ‘Vaseline’ is just a brand name of petroleum jelly.) Check out this diy site’s suggestions:

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/petroleumjelly

And then, I had a friend forward this mom’s story about vaseline and how she got it out of her son’s HAIR!!!! So I decided I should include her experience, too…

Baking soda – one thing every household should have at all times. Why you might ask? The answer is simple – for emergency vaseline removal. (Okay, minds out the gutter – this is G rated!)

When your two year old happens upon a jar of vaseline and bathes himself in it – hair and all – you must immediately reach for the baking soda. Here is what I learned this morning, thanks to Google.

Run a hot bath. Put child in tub. Mix a good amount of baking soda and shampoo, lather head, rinse, repeat several times – at least 5 or 6 for short hair. (Parents of kids with long hair – good luck – I recommend you invest in a good set of clippers!).

Now, move to the body. Once again, mix baking soda and soap (preferably liquid – a bar doesn’t work so well) and lather childs body using your hands. Again, you may have to repeat several times or at least until the water stops beading on the child and just runs off smoothly.

STAY CLEAR OF COLD WATER – this just tends to make the vaseline clump up and become more of a mess.

So there you have it. I guess you really do learn something new every day!!

What about you? Have you had any experience with this lovely globby stuff? What worked for you???


The Mommy Journal is a collection of product reviews, articles and advice from the experiences of real-life Mommies. Our goal is to bring you funny stories, practical advice, baby gear reviews, and answers to questions about motherhood, maternity, babies, and parenting. If you have any pregnancy questions, baby questions or just general feedback, comments, and thoughts on motherhood, please email us!! Also, please feel free to send us any product reviews, articles and advice from your own experiences.

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20 Comments For This Post

  1. Dez Says:

    I had my 3 yr old girl cover my 1 yr old sons head in a tub of vaseline once and after trying everything ( I mean EVERYTHING! Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Shampoo, Dish Liquid, Soap, etc ), I was told by a daycare worker 2 days after that LEMON JUICE works like a charm. So I tried this and it got rid of all the greasyness….just pure lemon juice!

  2. Kay Says:

    Dez~
    Thanks for the great info! I wouldn’t have thought to use lemon juice, but considering the acidity and the fact that you’re trying to cut through the grease of a petroleum product, that makes PERFECT sense! Glad to know that there’s another way out there to get rid of this stuff !! :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~K

  3. Tim Says:

    What about if he has put vaseline on the carpet, walls and stuffed animals and himself – any ideas? What a disaster.

  4. Kay Says:

    Tim~
    I’m so sorry to hear about your mess. Believe me when I say, I feel your pain! And my first question is, have you taken a picture of it all for posterity. (and to help you laugh at it now, instead of run screaming from the room?)
    I’m not sure I have any more ideas about carpet and walls, but I know that you can probably wash the stuffed animals in the washing machine. Just throw them in an old pillow case, tie up the open end, and put ‘em in with the laundry you would normally wash on hot or warm – stay away from cold water, it just makes the stuff clump even worse.
    Since vaseline is a petroleum product, you probably want to stay with soaps and acidic solutions (like the lemon juice that Dez mentioned in the above comments) to help cut through it all.
    Best of luck to ya, Tim!!

  5. Bobbie-Ann Says:

    My lil girl just put half a jar in her hair. I washed it w/ V05 three times, Johnson’s twice, and Dawn a few more. I finally conditioned it and put her in bed since she was devastated by soap getting her eyes. She also put some all over my ipod touch (like the iphone). Does anyone have ideas for the ipod?? and I will try lemon juice in the am on her hair.

  6. Kay Says:

    Bobbie-Ann~
    How did the lemon juice work this morning on her hair? Hope you had some luck with that!

    Not sure about anything electronic (that’s always the scariest stuff to try to clean without RUINING it!), but I’m wondering if a wipey might do any good at removing at least some of the layers of the stuff? Maybe a rag dampened with vinegar? Just trying to think of things that might acidic enough to cut through the goo. Wish I could be of more help!

    If you come up with something else that works, please be sure to let us know! Good luck! :)

  7. Wendy Says:

    Here’s another one for you. I just spent 2 hours cleaning my 4 year-old’s room after she painted the walls with Vaseline and put it through her hair. After scraping the walls with a spatula (yes, it was that thick), I tried Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap and hot water. I scrubbed and followed it up by wiping with a paper towel. It worked well, didn’t hurt the paint at all, and is an organic fix.

    Tomorrow I’ll try it in her hair with the baking soda. . .thanks for the tips!

  8. Wendy Says:

    BTW — I mixed the castile soap and baking soda, and her hair was squeaky clean on the first rinse. I followed it with regular shampoo and we were back to normal. Wahoo!

  9. Kay Says:

    Wendy,
    Thanks for the tip and the follow-up, too! So glad to know that if the Vaseline fairy decides to visit us ever again, I’ll have several tools in my belt for handling the mess she leaves behind! :)

  10. ESRA Says:

    Thanks… baking soda+baby oil works fine

  11. Kim Says:

    My daughter smeared Vaseline all over herself, her favorite blanker, my duvet covers, pillow shams and also my IPhone.
    What a huge mess !
    Thanks for the advise.

  12. Kay Says:

    Kim,
    So glad to be of help. Sounds like you had a really big mess on your hands! Let us know what worked best, now that you have tons of experience… :)

  13. nikki Says:

    I’ve just had my first vaseline nightmare – child number 4 – had sudocrem nightmares in the past. 2 year old was in bed supposedly asleep but an hour later came out covered in the stuff – it is all over books, clothes, carpet, window – everywhere – aaarrrggghh – going to have my work cut out in the morning but glad to find the tips above :)

  14. Kathy Says:

    Anyone know how to get vaseline off of painted woodwork without damaging the paint?

  15. Cheryl Says:

    Anyone know how I can get vaseline out of the eye sockets of my daughter’s doll? One of them now has to be manually opened and closed!!!!! I’d hate to think how much is in there…….would the lemon juice work do you think, or do I risk ruining the eye completely??

  16. Tara Says:

    my son just COVERED him self in Vaseline while i was in the other room nursing his little brother… ugh i dont want to have to cut his hair :( thanks all for posting the above ideas i will be trying them

  17. jenn Says:

    I was just nursing my 4 week old daughter and realized my 2.5 year old was being way too quiet, I put my daughter down to go check on him upstairs and to my suprise he had painted himself in an entire jar of vaseline! He was covered! Aswell was my husbands guitar, our playpen, my rocking chair, our king size blanket, plant, carpet, tv stand pictures and walls! Omg I am praying the lemon juice and baking soda work!!!!!!! Who knew such a small person could make so much damage! :(

  18. Lynn Says:

    I have twin daughters, 2 1/2 they have painted the walls in our staircase with vaseline, aarrgghh. Trying this in the am. Fingers crossed.

  19. Mad Jack Says:

    Now I know why I never had kids.

    I would have guessed that alcohol would work, although I note that no one has tried it. If you do try alcohol, do not use denatured alcohol. Use the potable version. I’d go for a very cheap bottle of vodka (yes, I’m serious) and see if it will cut the petroleum jelly.

    The lemon juice makes a good deal of sense.

    I’ll have to ask my own dear mother if I were this much trouble when I was a mere twist on the carpet. I’m guessing not; I’m still alive and have all my fingers. The old man, you see, had quite a short fuse and just the thought of Vaseline all over everything would have put him through the roof.

  20. Lauren Says:

    I would just like to say Thank you for this blog because this morning when I realized my son was in fact “way to quiet” I should have know what I would walk into when I went to get him out of bed. He emptied and entire large container of vaseline, mostly on his head, but also his bed, the walls, the carpet and the dresser. I dont feel quite as alone in this battle knowing that other mothers have had to search for ways to get vaseline out of their childrens hair and off the walls. So thank you! :)

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