How to Clean Up Desitin


Desitin is a zinc oxide-based cream commonly used to soothe and treat diaper rash. The thick, white cream remains on the skin for a while, creating a protective barrier, rather than being washed off each time your baby urinates in the diaper. If a curious toddler has gotten into the tube of Desitin, resulting in thick white stains on carpeting and upholstery, they should be cleaned out promptly to prevent spreading. Proper techniques and cleaning supplies effectively remove the greasy stain from absorbent surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Bowl
  • 1 tbsp. dishwashing detergent
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Clean cloths
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Scrape the Desitin cream off the surface with a spoon, removing as much as possible. Wipe the cream off onto a paper towel and throw the paper towel away.

  • Cover the remaining Desitin cream with a mound of baking soda. Allow the baking soda to absorb the greasy residue from the Desitin for 30 minutes. Scoop the baking soda and greasy Desitin residue off the upholstery or carpet with a spoon. Repeat this step until you've removed as much of the grease as possible then vacuum off the last application of baking soda.

  • Combine 1 tbsp. each of dishwashing detergent and white vinegar with 2 cups warm water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth in the detergent and vinegar solution before wringing out excess moisture. Sponge the remaining Desitin stain to remove the last traces of ointment. Rinse the surface with a damp cloth.

  • Blot the last traces of ointment stain with a clean cloth dampened with dry cleaning solvent. Sponge from the outside of the stain in toward the middle. Apply more solvent, as needed, and continue to blot until the last traces of Desitin stain are gone.

  • Press a clean, dry cloth into the upholstery or carpet surface to absorb moisture from the cleaning process. Allow the surface to air dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean up a Desitin stain as quickly as possible to avoid having the gooey, greasy ointment transferred to other surfaces when someone accidentally steps in it.
  • Substitute cornstarch or talcum powder for the baking soda to effectively absorb grease from the diaper cream.


  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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