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How to get Desitin cream out of… well… everything

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.

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126 comments to How to get Desitin cream out of… well… everything

  • [...] in both page views and comments, my most popular post is one I wrote three years ago about how my daughter smeared Desitin cream all over herself and everything she could get her hands on. After a failed internet search, I was [...]

  • Hi everyone, Just used dawn dish soap in my grandsons hair to get out ALOT of desitan. It WORKED beautiful. I put alot of soap on the dry hair & all the white showed up. Took dry paper towel & kept working it out by rubbing & patting it.Then washed & knew it was gone because his hair squeeked in my hands. Wonderful advice everyone Thank you sooooo much. Dottie It took all of 10 min.

    Reply to this comment

  • julie

    Hi there, after washing my 3 year old hair 3 times with shampoo without any success I came online to find help and came across this web site. Well just used dish soap on her dry hair (like 2 tsp) rubbed it in and then when to shower her head with warm water (I finished with some conditioner, dish soap is really harsh) and voila! It worked great to remove lots of diaper ointment that ended up by magic in her hair…Thanks a lot!

    Reply to this comment

  • Joshua Barnett

    My 2 year old just ran over to my couch when I had to grab a replacement pull up for the first one that had a pre-tear in it. I yelled, “Don’t sit down!” as her rear was completely covered with the nasty Desitin. My blanket and couch are now severely spotted. I put the blanket in the wash and hit google to find out what my cleaning options are, and after reading a small sample, I’m sure, of all the people in the world that face the same dilemma (I mean the hundreds of thousand that haven’t posted on here – haha), I had an idea. Since I’m sure my blanket in the wash ISN’T going to come out any better, I remembered how well Thoro (basically lighter fluid) has worked in the past. I had a pair of pants one time that was COVERED in tar I accidentally sat in when I was patching a roof (don’t ask), so I dumped a couple ounces in my washer with the normal amount of laundry soap. The jeans came out looking like new. I’m gonna try it. If it works, I’ll post a reply. Who knows, but I really like my blanket…

    Reply to this comment

  • Dominique

    SUEDE COUCH

    I was looking on here how to clean nappy rash cream off suede. My 2 year old decided to paint our Grey microfiber suede couch with cream. After reading suggestions about steam cleaning and not having one, I IRONED my couch. Worked like a treat. All the cream came out. I cleaned up the big globs with a damp cloth first, then while the couch was still damp I put the iron onto the hottest setting and did a test patch. It’s didn’t melt or go funny looking so I kept going. The couch actually looks better than it did before the cream got there

    Reply to this comment

    Crissy says:

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

    Reply to this comment

  • Alicia

    AHH!!! OMG! I have an almost 2 AND almost 3 year old. Seems like they’re partners in crime. Anyways, they got ahold of the tub that we have and when I finally noticed, my son (the 2 year old), had it ALL over his face, and in his hair. My daughter (the 3 year old), just had some in her hair, BUT she’s the one who’s the artist, and she had smeared it all over the table, the doors, and some on the walls. I got that cleaned up, but then I saw our Microfiber recliner….Anyone know what to do for that? This stuff is so AGGRAVATING!! PLEASE HELP!

    Reply to this comment

  • brandy

    well i have two little girls. My oldest is 2 and youngest is three. I was doing dishes and didnt hear a thing well by my surprise when i looked in on them my yougest was covered head to neck in desitin and my oldest had it alittle in her hair well i used dish soap on my yougest didnt work alot on the greasy part but did get most of it out and threw them in the bath and used alot of sauve shampoo and it got the greasy feeling out but the white is still there but ill try later to give them one more bath and try to get everything else out.

    Reply to this comment

  • kristina

    You would think ther would be more answers

    Reply to this comment

    kristina says:

    nevermind found other page

    Reply to this comment

  • Simone

    My toddler smeared nappy rash cream all over the carpet today. I found that the best thing for it was boiling a kettle and half filling a large bowl with boiling water and using dishwashing gloves and a rag I just rubbed dishwashing detergent all over the area. I had to use plenty of water and I tried to get a good lather up with lots of soap, but the heat from the boiled water seemed to help. I changed the water regularly to keep it hot and clean, and worked from the outside in, mopping up the water with a dry towel as I went. It still took a long time though, definateley not the way I had envisioned spending the evening.

    Reply to this comment

    Charlotte says:

    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!

    Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    I tried Greased Lightening and Shout on jeans to remove Desitin and neither one worked. So I tried some Western Family dish soap and warm water and it came right out. On my carpet I used the same dish soap and hot water and scrubbed for a couple of minutes and I could not even see where the stain was. My carpet is dark brown shag and I thought for sure it changed the color of the carpet with how bad it was. I can not even see where the stain was. Thanks for the tips. TRY DISH SOAP FIRST! IT WORKED FOR ME!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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!

    Reply to this comment

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

    Reply to this comment

  • 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.

    Reply to this comment

  • 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!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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 =)

    Reply to this comment

    Tammmi says:

    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. :-)

    Reply to this comment

    Jennifer says:

    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!

    Reply to this comment

    Laura says:

    Goo Gone Worked busy!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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!!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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! :(

    Reply to this comment

  • Margaret

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

    Reply to this comment

    An says:

    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…

    Reply to this comment

  • 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.

    Reply to this comment

  • brett

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

    Reply to this comment

  • Lin

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

    Reply to this comment

  • 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.

    Reply to this comment

  • 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!

    Reply to this comment

  • 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.

    Reply to this comment

  • Connie

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

    Reply to this comment

    Sherrie says:

    Do u iron directly on the fabric?

    Reply to this comment

  • 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

    Reply to this comment

  • 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.

    Reply to this comment

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