Vaseline is a thick, oily substance that can leave any t-shirt with an oil stain even after it’s been washed several times. This may make you want to throw out your t-shirt in frustration, but there are ways to get rid of the Vaseline stain and to make a t-shirt look as good as it did before.
The first step in removing the Vaseline is to remove the part of it that is not entwined with the fabric. Use a butter knife, spoon or other stiff, dull surface to scrape the Vaseline off the t-shirt. After this is done, much of the Vaseline will be removed. The oil that is left behind must be washed out of the fabric.
One reason that washing a t-shirt does not get Vaseline out is that normal dishwashing detergent is simply not effective against something that oily. To get the grease out of the fabric, you need something specially formulated to remove grease. One of the least expensive ways to do this is to buy a dishwashing detergent like Dawn. By using liquid Dawn, you can lift the grease out of the fabric before washing it in regular detergent.
To do this, rub a little bit of Dawn into the grease spot. The amount of liquid that you use will depend on the size of the stain. Rub the fabric back and forth, getting the detergent deep into the fabric. Once you’ve done this, let the t-shirt sit for a few minutes to allow the detergent to soak through. Rinse the Dawn out of the fabric with hot water. Then, run the t-shirt through the laundry in hot water. If this does not remove all of the Vaseline, repeat the process to remove the rest of it.
In addition to Dawn, there are a few other products that are made to remove oil and grease. Shout makes a pre-treating product that is used in much the same way as Dawn. Simply apply it to the stain, rub it into the fabric and let it sit for a while before washing.
WD-40 is another product that some people have used with success remove Vaseline. It can be used as a pre-treatment just before you use Dawn detergent on the t-shirt. Some people find that this allows the Dawn to remove more of the Vaseline from the t-shirt. After using the WD-40 followed by the Dawn, wash the t-shirt in hot water.
Another method is to use isopropyl alcohol to dry out the oil and to allow it to be washed away from the fabric. Also known as rubbing alcohol, this substance will immediately start to break the oil down, allowing you to rinse it away. To use isopropyl alcohol, pour a little bit of alcohol over the stain and rub the fabric together. Once you have done this, run water through the fabric to lift out the oil. If there is some oil left still left on the t-shirt, repeat the process. The t-shirt can then be washed in the laundry.