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If you leave just about anything within a toddler’s reach, it’s definitely ending up on the floor. This includes Desitin, a common diaper rash cream that every mom probably has.
Since ALL diaper rash creams are greasy and contain zinc oxide, they leave a mess on the carpet. You can bust the stain relatively quickly using some rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and a degreaser.
But the main thing is not to wait a single minute. (Or else your toddler might just decide to step into it and add fuel to the fire.)
Get These 4 Items
- Degreaser – Usually, you’d use dish soap, but it’s not really effective for something so greasy. If you hear advice to get Goo Gone, forget about it. It will remove the stain only to leave another! I’d opt for Awesome or some other dedicated stain remover.
- A couple of clean white cloths or rags. Note that the grease is going to transfer to the cloths, and it may not wash very easily!
- Rubbing alcohol or white vinegar – Both products are the best at removing stains. They are also strong like commercial cleaning products without the harmful fumes and chemicals. You can also save money!
- Talcum powder – Any dry powder such as baby powder, baking soda or cornstarch, even baking powder can sort out that greasiness in just one teaspoon! Or more, depending on the size of the accident.
There’s a reason I’ve not included or mentioned water!
First of all, diaper cream contains substances that make it thick and greasy, like beeswax and petrolatum. They are what keeps the ointment urine-proof AND waterproof.
Second, even the zinc oxide itself isn’t water soluble.
How To Clean Diaper Cream Out Of Carpet: Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Pick Up the Cream
Use a spoon to scoop the excess diaper cream from the carpet. When you see the cream on the carpet, it’s best to do this step immediately before your kids or pets step in it and spread it further. Or worse, try and put it in their mouths!
Start from the outside going in, so you avoid spreading the cream to other areas. Wipe the spoon after every scoop.
Step 2: Enter Powder (& Vac)
Put any powder you’ve got at hand on the stain. It will soak up the grease and moisture from the carpet. Let this soak in for 2 to 3 hours.
After that, you can vacuum the particles. But pay attention to the nozzle! Ideally, you should choose a plastic nozzle without any brushes that would rub the grease in.
Don’t press. Instead, you’ll want to almost hover over the stain to pick up the greasy powder.
You also need to wash the nozzle well before using it again!
Step 3: Time to Degrease
Now, you may see some grease residue on the carpet, but don’t worry! Use a degreaser such as Awesome on the stained area. Dilute it in a little bit of water, apply some to your cloth and dab on the stain.
Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and wipe with a paper towel.
Pro tip: Pro tip: If you do opt for Awesome, make sure to swing by the dollar store where you’ll score it VERY cheap. No home shopping for this one!
OR Step 4: The Dreadful Stain…
If the degreaser did its bidding, skip this step.
If it didn’t (or you don’t have one at hand), grab some rubbing alcohol or distilled white vinegar.
Using a cloth with rubbing alcohol, rub the area. Use just enough pressure to get the stain off.
If you want to use vinegar, make a half-and-half vinegar and water solution. Spray it on the area and let it set for a while. Dab and blot the area with a paper towel. Wipe the area to remove the residue of vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
Step 5: Fence It in to Dry
Well, you don’t have to install a proper fence. My point is, the last thing you need are feet and knees and elbows and paws crawling and tramping over it.
So bring the kiddo and any pets to another room for the afternoon.
Let your carpet air dry. You can use a fan to speed up this process. Or a hair dryer, but you should use cold air to blow dry so as not to damage the fibers with heat.
Once the stain seems gone, you can give it a go with your steam cleaner if you have one. This will help fluff out the spot so the texture doesn’t stand out!
But if you’re thinking of using a steamer in lieu of any of the steps above, I’d say no. If anything, the hot steam would set the stain even deeper.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you remove zinc oxide from the fabric?
Make a mixture of dish soap and water that is as hot as your fabric will allow. Soak it for half an hour. Rinse the stain under the hot water tap and wash as normal.
If you’re dealing with old or stubborn stains, you can make a paste of baking soda and water, leave it to dry on the stain, brush it off, and wash it as normal.
Should I leave zinc on the carpet?
No. Zinc has the ability to bleach the carpet, so it’s best if you clean it up as soon as possible. If it’s zinc in a butt cream, you’ll have to deal with grease too!