How to Get Desitin Out of Clothing? [Including Dry Clean Only Clothes]

Your little one has gotten a diaper rash. It’s normal. And you reached for the Desitin to soothe the itchy redness. Now somehow, the Desitin is on the baby clothes, your clothes, the blanket, and the couch cushion. Everywhere but the baby, right? So how do you get that oily stain out of your fabrics?

Desitin is a cream made with zinc oxide and oils designed to soothe and heal soft baby bottoms. However, its unique formula can leave a greasy stain on clothes and other fabrics around your home. The primary considerations for removing Desitin are breaking up the grease and moisture without spreading it deeper into your fabrics. Degreasers like dish soap, vinegar, and even goo gone in combination with a desiccant like baking soda are the best options for removing these stains. 

We have gathered the best suggestions for removing Desitin stains from your fabrics from around the internet and collected them here for your convenience. Read through these detailed explanations to see which method will work best for your situation.

Removing Desitin Stains From Dry Clean Only Clothes

If the item is suede, leather, velvet, taffeta, or heavily beaded, take it to a professional cleaner. If you proceed with any of these other recommendations, your clothing may be ruined by an at-home cleaning process. 

If the clothing item says dry clean or dry clean only, you may want to try getting the stain out at home because dry cleaning is time-consuming and expensive. Follow the instructions below using baking soda to absorb oil and moisture from the Desitin stain first. Then gently blot the stain with white vinegar. Wash the dry clean only clothes in a mesh laundry bag in your washing machine. Use only cold water and the delicate cycle. You can also wash it by hand in the sink. Use a gentle detergent like Woolite or Wash and Stain bar. Then lay the garment flat to dry. You may need to repeat the stain removal process.

Removing Desitin Stains From Machine Washable Clothing 

The best way to approach any stain is to tackle it as soon as you notice it. The sooner you can remove the substance causing the stain, the less likely it will set in for the long term. These are the basic steps for any Desitin stain removal. We will highlight some different approaches for unique situations you may encounter in your home.

Step 1

First, remove any excess Desitin from the fabric. Then, use a butter knife or credit card to scoop off any loose product from the fabric. It would be best if you did not use another cloth to wipe off excess Desitin because it will push the stain deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. 

Step 2

Now you should lay the clothing flat and apply a drying agent at this point to help draw out any remaining oils from the cream. Next, cover the stain with baking soda or corn starch. Let it sit for 2-3 hours before continuing the stain removal process. Finally, shake or vacuum off the baking soda or corn starch before moving on to the next step.

Step 3

Next, check the care label on your clothing to see what temperature of water the garment can be washed in. Warm or hot water will be more effective in removing a grease stain than cold water. 

Step 4

Choose a degreaser. Start with the most gentle degreaser, especially if you are trying to remove a stain from your good black work pants. Saturate the stained area with dish soap or white vinegar. Massage it gently and let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Use the hottest water that your garment will allow.

Another option is to use rubbing alcohol. Pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle for easy use, then spray it on the stained area. Then hold the fabric under cold running water. Continue alternating rubbing alcohol and cold running water. 

If you are going through the process a second time, or the garment you are washing is not delicate, you might want to go to a stronger degreaser. Goo Gone, Pine-Sol, or WD-40 might be the next steps for your less delicate fabrics. 

Step 5

Next, add laundry detergent to your stain and work it into a lather. Consider using a detergent that is oxy-powered to help break up the stain. Don’t use chlorine bleach, because that will ruin the clothing you are trying to save. Soak again in warm water for 15-30 minutes. 

Step 6

Wash the fabric in the washing machine as you normally would. But don’t put it through the dryer at this point. The heat from the dryer could cause the stain to set it if it hasn’t been completely removed. Instead, let it air dry to see if the stain is gone. If it is not gone, repeat the process, but with stronger de-greasers. 

Removing Desitin from Furniture, Carpet, and Rugs

Since you can’t always toss your couch cushion covers into the washer, try these steps for removing a Desitin stain from the sofa or other furniture. If you have a Desitin stain on your rug or carpet, use these same steps to remove the stain. 

1.Remove Any Excess Product 

Scrape off any excess cream with a butter knife or a credit card. You don’t want to spread the stain around or push it deeper into the fabric of the couch or chair while you are trying to clean it. Vacuum up any dried, crumbly bits, so they don’t spread anywhere else.

2. Apply a Drying Agent

Now you need to soak up as much moisture as possible from the stained area. A desiccant is a perfect material for this. And, unless you always save the little “silica gel – do not eat” packets from your new shoe boxes, you will need something else. Baking soda or cornstarch will do nicely. Pour it on the stain and cover it completely. Leave it sitting overnight then vacuum it away.

3. Use a Degreaser

This step is the same as the degreaser for clothing, except that you can’t soak your sofa in the sink. Instead, bring a bowl of hot water and white vinegar to the couch or other furniture. Use a clean cloth to blot the stain until it is soaked with a degreaser. Next, blot with a clean, dry cloth, then cover it again with baking soda or cornstarch to aid with drying. Wait 3-4 hours, then vacuum.

 Another suggestion is to use unflavored vodka and a clean cloth to break up the grease. First, apply the vodka to a clean cloth. Then, start at the middle of the stain and blot outwards to the edges of the stain. Be careful only to blot, not scrub so that you don’t spread the Desitin stain further.

Other options for degreasers include dish soap and rubbing alcohol. However, fancier fabrics and carpets may react differently to these, so try them in an inconspicuous place first if you decide to use them. 

4. Repeat if Needed

The grease from Desitin can be stubborn to remove. After the fabric you treated is dry, check to see if you need to retreat it with the same process. Be sure to let the spot air dry. Applying heat from the hairdryer to speed up the process might set the stain and make it harder to remove.

Towels and Bedding

Use the same process as machine washable clothing. Then wash the bedding on hot and use an all-fabric oxygen bleach (non-chlorine). Let the bedding air dry to see if the stain is gone. If it is still present, repeat the process.

Removing Desitin from Other Places

Removing Desitin from Hair

As we researched how to remove Desitin from fabric, we found that people also asked how to remove Desitin from hair. While this is obviously a different situation, the principle of needing to break up the grease in the Desitin is the same. 

Start by combing the hair to remove as much of the Desitin as possible. Next, wet the hair with warm water. Add about one teaspoon of dish detergent to the hair and work it through. Then start combing gently from the bottom to remove any clumps of Desitin that remained. 

Once you’ve combed the dish soap through the hair, rinse it all out and wash it twice with a shampoo made for oily hair. Rinse it well and let it air dry.

If any Desitin still remains, repeat the process.

Removing Desitin from Skin

If you applied the Desitin too thickly, or if your angel ran around with the tube and painted herself with it, you will need to remove it. And since it is sticky, you don’t want to scrub too hard and hurt their skin. First, simply try a warm bath and baby wash. If that is not successful, try applying petroleum jelly over the Desitin, then wiping it all off at once with baby wipes. 

Final Thoughts

Desitin can undoubtedly be a blessing in soothing baby bottoms, but it can also be a pain if it gets onto clothing, blankets, or furniture. Remember first to remove as much excess product as you can without rubbing it any deeper into the fabric or carpet. Then use baking soda or cornstarch to soak up any moisture. Next, use a degreaser like vinegar or dish soap for machine washable fabrics or vodka for furniture or carpet. Finally, let the item air dry to be sure that the stain is out. The heat from a dryer or a hairdryer can cause a stain to set in and make it that much harder to remove.