Sunscreen is an absolute necessity in the warmer months. However, its one downside is that it can very easily stain your clothing. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can remove these nasty stains from your clothing!
Why Does Sunscreen Stain?
Most sunscreens contain oil-based ingredients. These are what not only can leave your skin feeling greasy, but also the main culprit behind the stains on your clothes.
Depending on your sunscreen, these stains can be yellow or even brown, especially if they have been exposed to either sun or water for long periods of time.
Despite their nasty appearance, these stains are usually quite easy to remove at home.
Before Getting Started
Scrape off any excess sunscreen before starting with any of these cleaning methods. Scrape in towards the centre of the stain rather than outwards to avoid making the stain any bigger.
If your chosen method calls for any scrubbing of the stain, make sure you scrub in towards the centre of the stain to avoid making it bigger.
Once you’ve removed the excess sunscreen, check the care instructions on your garment, and conduct a patch test in an inconspicuous area with your chosen method before proceeding with the full stain removal.
Method 1: Soap
Regular household soap is an easy way to get a sunscreen stain out of clothing. Simply apply a gentle household soap and hot water to the stains, before leaving it to absorb for a few hours.
Scrub the stain carefully using a soft brush or a clean cloth, before washing the garment as normal. If you take the garment out of the washing machine and it is still stained, run a second cycle.
Method 2: Washing Up Liquid
Washing up liquid is great at removing kitchen grease, and it will work in much the same way for sunscreen staining. Simply damp the stained area and dab the stain with washing up liquid. Leave the garment to sit for a while, before washing as normal.
Method 3: White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is a cleaning wonder, and it can really work magic on sunscreen stains. Like washing up liquid, white vinegar can cut straight through oil, making it a great choice for this task.
Simply soak the stain in the white vinegar and leave it for a few hours before washing the garment as hot as is safe to do so without damaging the fabric. Make sure you check the care label!
Method 4: Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is easily one of the best smelling solutions on this list, but it really can work wonders when it comes to removing greasy stains from clothing.
Simply coat the stained area in eucalyptus oil, leave it for a few minutes, and then wash as normal.
If you are planning to use eucalyptus oil, make sure that you are using a pure eucalyptus essential oil, and not one that contains any synthetic ingredients. The synthetic ingredients added to some oils can cause stains instead of removing them!
How to Deal with Sunscreen Stains on White Clothing
Sunscreen stains can look really bad on white clothing, but they tend to look worse than they are, and so there’s no need to worry.
Some of the methods listed here may still work with white clothing too, but it is crucial that you conduct a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure your chosen method will not lead to more staining.
You will also find that most laundry detergents and commercial stain removers designed for white clothing will be able to easily tackle this task.
To achieve best results with bright white clothing, you will want to gently bleach it. You can use a regular laundry bleach if you have it and your garment is bleach stable, alternatively, try hanging the clothing out to dry in the sun after washing.
The sun can help naturally bleach stained clothing without causing any damage. If the sun on its own isn’t quite enough for your stain, squirt a little lemon juice on the offending area before hanging to dry outside.
Tackling Sunscreen Stains on Delicate Fabrics
Before attempting to tackle a stain on delicate fabrics, check the care label. Some stains on delicate clothing can be attempted at home, but others are best left to the professionals. If you’re unsure, you’ll get much better results (and peace of mind!) by taking delicate or complicated fabrics to a professional cleaner.
Lover of coffee, painting, and all things cute and fluffy. I’m always on the lookout for easier, more gentle ways to tackle awful household chores.