How to get Desitin cream out of… well… everything

By | October 31, 2008

How do you get Desitin diaper rash cream out of carpets, sheets, clothes, blankets, or any other cloth item? If my experience so far is accurate, you can’t.

Somebody please, prove me wrong. Add a comment here with the solution.

I’ve tried using diaper wipes. That’s successful to a point, but not totally. On the carpet we tried shampooing after first using diaper wipes, and then blotting with soap and water. We still have spots on the carpet. That frustrated me for a good week, until I finally accepted that I couldn’t do anything about it.

See, a while back my wife and I were relaxing in the morning while our kids played elsewhere. Eventually I (or maybe it was my wife) went in to see what the 2-year old was doing and found her covered from the waist down with diaper rash cream, which was also all over the carpet, the closet doors, and the side of the changing table.

Hours of cleaning later, we are left with the aforementioned spots, and the knowledge that we can’t leave our 2-year old alone with the Desitin tube.

Fast forward to tonight, a month or two after the previous incident. We’re downstairs getting ready to watch a movie – something we’ve been looking forward to for a while. My wife says it sound like one of the kids is trying to come downstairs. I think she’s nuts. I didn’t hear anything, and it’s been almost an hour since the kids were put to bed, plus they were tired from trick-or-treating. But I’ve learned that she hears more things than I do, usually, so I went upstairs to check. I was right. No one was coming downstairs. But as I stood and listened, the 2-year old’s door opened and she started to come out. Okay, so my wife did hear something (good thing I didn’t tell her I thought she was nuts). So I picked my daughter up and put her back in bed.

In the dark, as I gave her a kiss and pulled the covers up, I felt the thick slime on my hands. “What the heck?” I thought. It took me a couple seconds before the realization and feeling of dread hit. When I threw the lights on my fear was confirmed. There on the bottom of the bed was the now almost empty tube of Desitin, wrapped in the bedsheet, the cream spread over the sheet and the two hand-knitted blankets we had received as gifts. Globs of the stuff, some sitting on, and some ground in to the blankets’ weaves. Obviously, we had forgotten to put the cream away tonight. Amazingly, I didn’t detect any of the goop on my daughter. She must have protected herself with the sheet as she squeezed the life out of the tube.

It may be relevant for you to know that I hate creams. Diaper creams, hand creams, face creams, first aid creams… about the only creams I like are ice cream and whipped cream. I just hate how they feel and smell. Slimy, slippery, and sticky, all at the same time – the filmy residue, impossible to completely remove. I honestly can’t understand why people choose to use them when they have other options. They are an “only when necessary” evil for me.

So I’m sure you can imagine the fun I’ve had over the last hour trying in vain to remove as much of the cream as possible from these blankets.

I hate creams.

I’m almost willing to toss the sheet. I’d really like to save these blankets, though. So what do you say? Any ideas?

Seriously. I’m begging. I know this will eventually come up again. I’ll take any idea. Leave a comment. Please.

147 thoughts on “How to get Desitin cream out of… well… everything

  1. Kathy

    For hair, I used mayo… globbed it on, rubbed it around and then added shampoo. I had to repeat 3 times as my 2 yo son had almost the whole container in his buzzed cut!

  2. mike

    Try burning it out and if the hole looks worse than the cream than throw it out!!!!

  3. Amber

    For everyone looking to remove ointment from clothing or other materials…put a good dish soap(full strength)DIRECTLY on the spots and rub in really well, then rinse. It may take a while to get all the soap off but it works. It might take a few trys to get the stain completely out. Also, from experience small spots will eventually come out on thier own after a few regular washes w/out treatment.

  4. Tara

    Daughter got Destin all over our grey carpet. I used Spot Shot Non toxic/eco friendly Carpet stain remover and it worked fantastically! Great thing about this product it is safe for children and pets. It has also got out anything she has put on the carpet, including squished fresh raspberries!

  5. Charlotte

    My girls spilled diaper rash cream all over the carpet this afternoon and I followed the advice from Simone to boil hot water, put it in a bowl, put some cleaning gloves on, and mix it with dish soap and it worked just fine. I didn’t have very much dish soap but I used lots of very HOT water. Thank you to Simone for your advice!

  6. Gina

    soap and water works, but only with A LOT of “elbow grease” and time. I just used “Goo Gone” on my livingroom tables, couches, carpet, and clothes. Works great and FAST! Hope this helps =)

  7. Blair

    My son, 2 years old, got into his diaper rash cream and got it all over my sheets and brown comforter and I have tried everything to get it out. I have washed them about 3 times and I have tried putting Dawn on them. It looks awful. If anybody knows how to get it out or has any idea, please help!

  8. Samantha

    Use Dawn Dish Soap. It will get everything clean (since Destin is oil based and Dawn is the best at getting oil off) Think about all the oil covered animals it saves every year… Good Luck!!

  9. Julianna

    I have three 1 yr olds who just emptied a tub of Desitin. I found that mineral oil works to helped to get it out of the hair. Then wash with shampoo till thats gone.Repeat as nesscary. Thanks for the tips fo the couch and carpet! :(

  10. Margaret

    My grand daughter had a finger painting wonderful time with Desitin all over my brown fabric loveseat. THE DAWN WORKED!!!! THANK YOU!!!

  11. An

    If you want to get it off of skin, I know coconut oil works well. Just put some on the desitin and it mixes so that it becomes easy to wipe and/or wash off. I have a suspicion any type of oil will do the trick because the cream is oil based- I like organic extra virgin coconut oil because it is a fungicide on its own and I feel good about the fact that it’s 100% safe because it’s edible. I’m sure this would work for hair too- for furniture, etc. I don’t know…

  12. Crissy

    Shark steam mop removed diaper rash cream out of my carpet. I used the mop without the cloth, and put the mop directly on the stain and pumped it until all the water was gone. I had to refill on a couple of larger stains. I then used a rag with a little of dawn and the stains wiped right up.

  13. Crissy

    Thanks for the idea. I used a steam mop on my carpet and it came up with a little help from dawn

  14. Tammmi

    THANK YOU! JUST USED ‘GOO GONE’ AND IT WORKED! Had to use pretty much, but it didn’t require a lot of elbow grease either. Thank you!
    Stressed mommy is less frustrated. :-)

  15. Jennifer

    Goo Gone worked awesome for me too! I thought I was going to say goodbye to this shirt. Thank you so much for the tip!

  16. anne and baby ethan

    hi there everyone my son just did this late last night he got hold of his diaper cream and when i got back and saw him it was all over his clothes and all over our sofa and we are flatting so i was dreading telling my flatmates but i saw on this website apparently dish soap and a spray bottle full of vinegar im just off to try it now i hope it works!!!

  17. brett

    I have a wonderful solution, liquid hand sanitizer…my son smeared the desitin all over the carpet, came up pretty quick…

  18. Lin

    So make a baking soda paste with dawn smear on spot and viola! problem solved ladies!

  19. Alissa

    Ive had the same issue.. these little stinkers getting into desitin! I just used straight dish soap on my microfiber sofa and it took it out. I rub in the dish soap directly on the spots and then wiped clean with a warm wet cloth.

  20. Rashelle

    For clothes and cloths. Just found site that said to wash in dawn then soak in vinger and wash clothes as normal. After much scrubbing I did the soak with vinger and it came right out!

  21. Trisha

    Pine-Sol!!! After my 2yo son decided to lather himself in Desitin and roll all over the couch I tried the hot soapy water and it wasn’t really working (maybe not enough soap?) so I went for my Mom’s (and now mine) favorite cleaning product. She would use Pine-Sol for just about everything when I was growing up so I figured what the heck? I poured a pretty good amount into my hot soapy water and it worked!! I also found that with velour/chenille-like fabrics like my couch it helps to kinda pull at the material as you’re scrubbing. So far it looks like it did the trick :) if not I will most likely resort to Goo Gone. I wish Desitin wasn’t the best diaper cream ever because it certainly is a b*tch to clean up.

  22. Connie

    Just ironed the Desitin spot on my fabric sofa and no more spot.

  23. John Paul McEwan

    Lift Off brand
    Silicone and Latex Caulk Remover
    1.)Test for color fastness on inconspicuous area.
    2.) Completely soak in warm water
    3.) Paint on thick remover solution
    4.) Rinse off with water
    5.) Repeat until stain is gone

  24. Jennifer

    My son had desitin all over a pair of pants. I tried regular dawn dish soap, dawn ultra platinum dish foam, baking soda, cold water, hot water, nothing worked. Then I put some baby oil on the spots & it came right out.

  25. leslie

    just used Krud Kutter concentrated cleaner/degreaser on my linen bedspread – got it out :)

  26. Eryn

    Early detection is key! First pour liquid dish soap over Desitin then get a rag with Hot Hot water and scrub like crazy. After you get most of the cream out, swap for a clean towel and repeat. Work very easy for me

  27. mmswhook1

    I just found out how to get some out of the carpet! Scrub with a baby wipe. Then use build-a-bear’s bear cleaner to soak it all. Afterwards, scrub with baby wipes until you can’t see anymore white. Let it dry, and boom. No more desitin.

  28. Kristen Strickland

    I just got desitin out of my carpet… with a mixture of dawn dish soap and pine-sol. Good luck guys

  29. Kristen Strickland

    Dawn soap mixed with pine-sol did the trick. Woohoo!

  30. Candice

    My 2 year old daughter just discovered creams so when she got hold of the desitin from on top the shelves i found she had smeared all over her new alpacca wool blanket given to her for her birthday. THANK YOU so much the dish wash liquid helped and after scrubbing about 30 min it looks mostly new only if you look really close can you see a mark or two.

  31. Rachel

    I tried about 6 things to no avail then on a whim tried makeup remover fluid. The diaper cream practically dissolved without a touch! I was about to just throw out the cloth bookbag. Highly recommend.

  32. Lauren Dotson

    My 2 yo daughter decided she wanted to finger paint our microfiber/suede type couch. Sounds odd but I just used brake parts cleaner (didnt have WD-40) sprayed a little on a wash cloth and scrubbed. It came right out!!

  33. Kelli

    I JUST FOUND SUCCESS!! For your carpet stain try Resolve laundry stain remover, let it sit a few minutes. Mix some hot water with oxy clean and scrub the resolve and oxy clean over the stain with a towel. Then I used my carpet cleaner to rinse with hot water, but that isn’t necessary, you could just rinse with hot water, soak up some water with a dry towel and turn a fan on to speed up drying!! Can’t even tell the stain happened!!

  34. Nicole

    After having it on my wood floors for months I couldn’t get it off I thought I tried everything whoever said dawn thank you!!! It worked I used dawn power the (3min one) lol maybe all dawn works but that’s what I had so I used it and my Floors have no more kitty rash cream foot prints! Because I two year old had thought it was funny to put rash cream on the bottom of his feet!

  35. L Smith

    Well, very late with this but I was looking for a way to get it out of cotton clothes and found this:
    And after the elbow grease, it definitely works.

    Traditional diaper rash creams have heavy oils and other ingredients in them (e.g. zinc oxide and cod liver oil) that stick to clothes. Unfortunately you’ll need to use some elbow grease to make them useful again using the following steps.

    Wet the material
    Squirt blue Dawn liquid dish detergent (original formula) on all of the areas of the diaper that have the diaper cream.
    Scrub all the areas thoroughly with an old toothbrush
    Run the diapers through at least 2 to 3 hot wash cycles in your washing machine. Continue rinsing until all of the soap bubbles have disappeared
    When complete, your diapers shouldn’t smell like the cream or feel sticky. If so, repeat steps 2 through 4 again

  36. JC

    I used dawn dish soap and it took the desitin out of my son’s navy shirt. Some of the spots on the shirt was harder to get out but I let it soak for 5 minutes in cold water and then I scrubbed it out. It worked hope this helps.

  37. Carissa

    I woke up this morning to my two children, 2 and 3, to find desitin all over my sons dresser and closet doors! I will be using dawn dish soap as it is all i have. His wood dresser isnt finished so im assuming the wood is going to stay oily. Lets hope i can get it out of everything including spots on the carpet and my children’s hands!

  38. Nancy Widmann

    Homenavarrow Laundry Help & Tips
    Removing Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream from Clothing ie. Desitin or Zincofax

    If you have a baby prone to diaper rash, you have inevitably gotten zinc oxide cream (aka diaper rash cream) on your clothing or your baby’s clothing. Fortunately, many of the zinc oxide creams, such as Desitin and Zincofax can be removed with special washing care.

    Fill a sink with hot water and laundry detergent, and soak the garment. Then gently rub the fabric together over the spot to remove the oil in the cream. Next, empty the sink and refill with white vinegar, soaking the garment for 15 minutes to remove the zinc oxide. Then wash as normal. The diaper rash cream will be gone!

  39. Justine

    I just removed some from my couch using oxi clean laundry stain remover spray and a wet wash cloth. Super easy and you can’t tell it was ever there.

  40. Crystal

    My stepmom suggested diluting warm water with dish soap and using a wash cloth and I think it worked thankfully, on our couch, just have to wait for it to dry

  41. Tia Dawn

    I just went threw this and I was lucky enough to get it up and it was a big mess.. after scrubbing for hours with every cleaner possible I asked my dad and he told me KEROSENE I know how crazy it sounds but it worked. Kerosene takes grease off of anything and desitin is a greasy based butt paist .. now Kerosene will leave a God offal ODAR behind for a day or 2 just keep the spot where u applied it soked down with Febreze…. I have to admit I thought my dad was crazy but it rubbed off as easy as it rubbed on..

  42. Frustrated Mom

    I clicked on this link hoping for a solution. My dog got a hold of the maximum strength desitin, which you know is smellier and thicker than the regular, and proceeded to chew it up and spread it all over my expensive Persian rug. I have half a mind to kill him, if I didn’t love him so much.

  43. Bill

    Two words: Grease lightning! Being a dad that takes care of their kids I often find more unconventional way’s of figuring out and doing things. My almost 3 year old smeared triple paste all over a cloth rocking chair in the babies room. First I squeegeed the glop with our metal cake spatula, secondly I wiped with a baby wipe, thirdly I used Grease lightning and scrubbed with a brush. Came out perfectly on theach spots that were on the arm rest need to finish it out the back rest because the surface is much softer and more fabric play.
    Hope this helps!

  44. Nikki

    I just found an entire tube that my child squeezed out and then hid.. so it was dry and clumped on to the carpet. I panicked. I cut out the big chunks and grabbed my handy solution of 1 part dawn dish soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and sprayed it on top and it came right out. This solution works on EVERYTHING!

  45. Heather H

    After reading all these responses, we had to sit and ponder (over a glass of wine) the best approach to getting diaper cream, Vick’s, aquaphor, and hand-santizer out of the carpet. We finally ended up going the degreaser route. We sprayed and scrubbed, sprayed and scrubbed, then went over it with a carpet cleaner to get all the residue up. So far, so good. If we have orange carpet in the morning, carpet replacement will come out of their college fund.

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