How To Get Vicks Out Of Clothes

Petroleum jelly is the main ingredient in Vicks, and while this ingredient is wonderful for preventing dryness in wounds, it also has the potential to exacerbate acne. In addition to that, Vicks will leave oily stains on whatever fabric it comes into contact with.

The quickest ways to remove Vicks from clothing are to use an iron to melt away the oil or to apply dish soap and gently scrub the grease away. Applying cornstarch to absorb fresh grease is an additional excellent option. Using rubbing alcohol or a powerful washing detergent can also be effective.

In this article, we will discuss how to get Vicks out of the clothes.

Does Vicks Cause Stains On Clothing?

Since Vicks is an oil-based ointment, it has the potential to leave a noticeable stain on clothing and other fibers. In spite of this, it is possible to remove Vicks from clothing and ensure that the ointment will not permanently damage the garments if the stain is properly treated and the appropriate procedure for removing stains is utilized.

Vicks VapoRub was originally marketed under the name Vicks Family Remedy. In order to further differentiate it from other products on the market, it was rebranded as VapoRub in later years.

The product label for Vicks indicates that the ointment contains petroleum jelly, camphor, menthol, spirits, oil of eucalyptus, cedarwood, thymol, and nutmeg among its list of ingredients.

The petroleum jelly that is one of the components of Vicks is primarily semi-solid in consistency and is composed of hydrocarbons. Because of this, it does not dissolve in water, and because of this, it is an important component in making Vicks a moisturizer.

Because Vicks is insoluble in water, it can be difficult to remove clothing when it has been through the washing machine. Therefore, in order to remove Vicks stains from your clothing, you will first need to verify that the stains are adequately cleaned before placing the stained clothes in the washing machine.

Some Ways To Remove Vicks Off Clothing

Vicks stains can be removed with household products. Most of the goods needed for the seven approaches in this article are probably already in your home.


Soaking garments in rubbing alcohol removes Vicks’s stains. This procedure takes minimal scrubbing but is time-consuming.

Alcohol dissolves Vicks on garments. Alcohol breaks down stain molecules, making them easy to remove with running water.

  1. Place an absorbent towel or paper towel behind the stain to prevent oil from spreading.
  2. Soak a cloth in rubbing alcohol.
  3. Gently dab the discoloration with the rubbing alcohol-soaked cloth, being careful not to spread Vicks.
  4. Apply to rub alcohol on the stain.
  5. Apply rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.
  6. Rinse rubbing alcohol from the fabric with cold water before washing.


As a super absorbent, cornstarch may soak up Vicks stain on your clothing in a few minutes and ensure that the stains are effectively gone. This will be the finest option if you don’t want to be involved a lot in the stain removal process.

  1. Place the stained garment so it’s on top. Put a paper towel below the stain to prevent grease from spreading. Flat surfaces include a craft table or a clean floor.
  2. Apply cornstarch on the stain to totally cover the Vicks stain with the cornstarch.
  3. Let cornstarch sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Brush or shake cornstarch from clothing.
  5. Make sure the Vicks stain is gone. If needed, repeat.

Enzyme Detergent

Even though you shouldn’t wash Vicks-stained clothes before addressing the stain, you can use laundry detergent to do so.

For Vicks stains, use an enzyme-based laundry detergent. Enzymes in these detergents catalyze the stain-water reaction. In this technique, the stain molecules can be dissolved in water and rinsed away.

If your laundry detergent isn’t labeled, whether it’s enzyme-based or not, seek degreasing capabilities. Enzyme-based detergents with degreasing characteristics are ideal.

  1. Scrape off additional Vicks ointment with a spoon, old credit card, or spatula. This approach ensures that you don’t spread the discoloration.
  2. Apply enzyme-based laundry detergent.
  3. Scrub the stain with a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush.
  4. Scrub detergent until it foams.
  5. Wait 10 minutes before removing the detergent.
  6. Use a standard wash cycle on the item.

Air-dry clothing. If you dry the garments in the dryer and the stains aren’t completely erased, they’ll become permanent.

Baking Soda with Vinegar

Vinegar can remove Vicks stains from fragile fabrics. This procedure isn’t as effective as dish soap or enzyme-based laundry detergent.

If you use colored vinegar to remove a Vicks stain, the dyes could stain your clothing. You must wash the clothes after using vinegar to remove the vinegar odor.

  1. In a washbasin, mix vinegar and water. Equal parts vinegar and water provide the proper solution.
  2. Soak discolored garments for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the clothing after 15 minutes and wring out excess water.
  4. Flatten the garment.
  5. Cover the stain with baking soda.
  6. Rub baking soda into the stain using a gentle brush or an old toothbrush. As you rub, the baking soda will eliminate the stain.
  7. Wash the soiled fabric as normal.
  8. Don’t use a dryer to dry clothes.

After drying, check for Vicks stains. Repeat stain removal as necessary.

Dishwasher Detergent

Dish soap works best to remove Vicks from garments. You’ll get your hands dirty scrubbing the spots with dish soap.

Why does dish soap remove Vicks best from clothes? Dish soap contains surfactants that break down grease, oil, and other dirt.

Dish soap molecules are bipolar. The molecule connects to oil and water at opposite ends. Soap can suspend oil particles in water. Small pieces suspended in water disintegrate into tiny droplets and are readily washed off.

How to remove Vicks stains with dish soap:

  1. Squeeze dish soap on Vicks stain. The size of the stain determines the amount applied. A half-teaspoon will remove minor stains. Full teaspoon for larger stains.
  2. Scrub the stain with a soft-bristle brush or spare toothbrush. Scrub the stain properly to avoid making it bigger.
  3. Rinse the discoloration in a warm washbasin.
  4. Air dry items after rinsing to prevent sun fading.
  5. After drying, examine if the stain is gone. Repeat if spots remain.


Ironing is one of the fastest ways to remove a Vicks stain. To remove any Vicks residue after ironing, apply another stain removal method.

Read the fabric’s care tag before ironing to eliminate Vicks from garments. If your garment says don’t iron, don’t use this procedure.

  1. Scrape Vicks off cloth using a spatula, spoon, or old credit card. As you rub Vicks, don’t get it on other clothing.
  2. Place a large paper towel on top of the Vicks stain and another underneath. Paper towels will absorb melted Vicks.
  3. Preheat the iron.
  4. Iron over the stain. Iron heat melts Vicks, which paper towels absorb.
  5. Depending on the size of the stain, you’ll need to replenish the paper towels.
  6. After removing Vicks, let the garment cool and verify if the discoloration is gone.
  7. Use dish soap or laundry detergent to remove any remaining Vicks stains.

Final Word

In conclusion, you’ll need hot water and soap to make oil stains come out on your clothes. If your clothes have tough stains that won’t come out, you can try hot water with soap and scrub them.

If all else fails, apply liquid detergent to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then wash it. You can also try ironing it on the stain, or placing some ice on the stain and leaving it overnight. Your clothes can be restored to their original condition in no time.

Read More Garment and Fabric Care Articles:

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