How can you get Vaseline out of hair?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-24-2011, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I put my 17mo down at 7:50, as per usual bedtime routine. Silence until 8:20 when I hear stirrings and some happy noises, then nothing, then wailing at 8:30. I go back in to see what's wrong, and she's lying in the crib, which is strange. So I pat her back, I'm patting, I'm patting, I notice the lid is off the jar of vaseline on the counter (and it defies the laws of physics that she could reach this from inside the crib. I would have sworn it was out of reach -- certainly it was upright and out of reach when I came back in at 8:30 -- maybe it was closer and she threw it farther out when she was done with it? I have no idea). I think "that's strange." I'm patting, I'm patting, then I brush against her hair and it feels wet. I pick her up, and something gross and greasy rubs up against me. Things are starting to click into place. I turn on the light and she's covered in vaseline. Great gobs of vaseline in her hair and everywhere else.

DH is at a friend's watching the Cardinals in the world series, since we don't have TV. I go downstairs to the dryer to get a new sleeper and a clean towel. I change the vaseline-covered sheets. I throw away the five-year-old tub of vaseline I dug out in a fit about DD's persistent yeast rash. I get on the floor and look for the lid. Everyone (dog, DD) is very interested in what's going on. I run the second bath for DD in as many hours. This is all highly entertaining.

I wipe off the big globs with a cotton washcloth, then comb out her hair, then wash it no less than three times in warm water. Nothing doing. Out of the tub and I google it, gather up dishwashing detergent and baking soda and back to the bath. I let her sit in the tub with a pretty liberal amount of baking soda in her hair for a while, then I combed it out again, then rinsed and washed with the dishwashing liquid twice, then combed again, then baby shampoo twice more.

Still a greasy mess.

I nursed her ALL the way to bed, and I figure I'll deal with it again in the morning.

Any advice?

  reading.gif, mama to Amelie (May 2010), early loss (October 2011), and James (September 2012) vbac.gif

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#2 of 6 Old 10-24-2011, 08:14 PM
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Oh gosh!  Can you try vinegar?  My first suggestion would have been Dawn detergent, but you said you used dishwashing detergent already.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#3 of 6 Old 10-24-2011, 08:16 PM
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I've heard baby oil alternated with handwashing dish soap, but I've never tried it.  Poor baby and poor mama!

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#4 of 6 Old 10-25-2011, 06:05 AM
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Palmolive (the green stuff).  My mom had to use it when a kid put Vaseline in his hair for Halloween years ago.  Nope, it's not "natural," and yes, it worked.


But, ewwww....good luck!  Vaseline's nasty stuff.  On the upside, if she had cradle cap, maybe you've inadvertently figured out a treatment!

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#5 of 6 Old 10-25-2011, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I might buy some Palmolive or Dawn -- I used the cheapie generic grocery-store brand dish soap that we had and it didn't suds up very well.

I did another wipe & wash this morning before daycare and then cornstarch & dishsoap again tonight. I'm kind of afraid to put baby oil in her hair -- my, lord, the oil! everything is such an oily mess! -- though I did do that when she was tiny and had cradle cap -- I seem to remember that it made her hair look like this, but only for 2-3 washes in regular baby shampoo. She actually does have some flakiness (which I had actually just spoken to her daycare provider about and I'm kind of half-afraid that she thinks I did this on purpose).

Would vinegar help cut the grease? Would I spray and leave it in? Or just rinse with it?

Except for the initial wailing, DD hasn’t been fazed by this at all, and I’m trying to work on being a little more laid back about it. We’re not fussy or girly-girl people by any means, but I am embarrassed to drop her off at daycare looking this way – she looks dirty greensad.gif And if I were home, we’d just be spending a lot of time in the tub and I wouldn’t really care even if we did go somewhere, but dropping her off with the greaseball bird’s nest of a hairdo is just really messing with me.

Surely it will wear off eventually?

  reading.gif, mama to Amelie (May 2010), early loss (October 2011), and James (September 2012) vbac.gif

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#6 of 6 Old 10-25-2011, 11:10 PM
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cooking oil? Oil +oil = clean for some reason. Like if you have some oily goo on your hands you can't get out put some canola oil and rub your hands together and it should come right off. Also baby wipes can pull oil right out also. If I have oily hands I'll grab a baby wipe (my cats are oily and I literally can't wash it off my hands with detergent soap and a baby wipes it off like some miracle worker)


Also.. there's nothing wrong with oil in the hair. It helps cradle cap. My dd has excema on her forehead so her hair is always got vaseline in at least her bangs. *shrug* It's not like it's going to stay greasy forever :P

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