How to Remove Sunscreen From Clothes

If you’re like most people, you probably wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun. Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. However, if you’re not careful, sunscreen can end up on your clothes — and it can be a pain to get it off. In this article, we will discuss how to remove sunscreen from clothes effectively and quickly. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a day outdoors without worrying about your clothes getting stained.

Removing Sunscreen From Your Clothes

We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen, but sometimes it can be tricky to remove from clothing. If you find yourself with a sunscreen stain, don’t worry — there are a few simple steps you can follow to get your clothes looking good as new.

First, pretreat the stain with a laundry pre-wash solution or a liquid laundry detergent. Be sure to massage the solution into the fabric so that it penetrates the stain. Next, launder the item in the hottest water recommended on the care label, using an all-purpose laundry detergent.

You may need to launder the item more than once to completely remove the sunscreen stains. Finally, air dry the item or tumble dry on low heat. With a little effort, those pesky sunscreen stains will be gone in no time.

Why It’s Important to Remove Sunscreen From Clothes

When sunscreen comes into contact with clothing, it can cause fabric discoloration and breakdown.

In addition, sunscreen can make clothing more susceptible to staining and fading. Sunscreen is often made using heavy oils that can stick to fabric like glue. If the sunscreen isn’t removed from the clothing, things such as dirt and grime may end up sticking to the oils left from the sunscreen.

That’s why it’s so important to remove sunscreen from clothes before washing them. The best way to do this is to pre-treat any stained areas with a mild detergent or stain remover. You can also try soaking the garment in a mixture of water and vinegar for 30 minutes before washing. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your clothes looking their best and extend their lifespan.

How to Remove Sunscreen From Clothes

Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. However, it can also be a pain to remove from your clothes. If you don’t get it out right away, it can set in and be difficult to remove later. Here are a few tips for quickly and effectively removing sunscreen stains from clothing:

Soak the stained area in cold water for 30 minutes. This will help to loosen the sunscreen so that it is easier to remove.

Rub the stain with a mild detergent or dish soap. Be sure to work the soap into the fabric well so that it can break down the sunscreen.

Rinse the soap out with cold water. You may need to repeat this step a few times to remove all of the soap.

Place the item of clothing in the washing machine and wash on the delicate cycle using cold water. You may want to add an extra rinse cycle to be sure that all of the soap is removed.

For light colored clothes and whites, hang your clothes out to dry in direct sunlight. The sun works well to naturally bleach stains. For darker clothes, you can simply allow them to air dry in a shady spot.

How to Remove Small Sunscreen Stains Quickly

Sometimes accidents happen and you don’t have time to go through an entire soaking and wash cycle. If you accidentally spill some sunscreen on your clothes and find yourself with a small sunscreen stain, there are a few quick and easy steps you can take to remove it.

First, try blotting the stain with a clean cloth to remove any excess sunscreen from the surface of the fabric. Be careful not to rub into the stain too hard as this could cause the oils in the sunscreen to stick to the fabric and make it even more difficult to remove the stain completely.

Next, blot the stain with cold water. Cold water will prevent the oil from settling into the fabric. You can also try using a small amount of dish soap or laundry detergent on the stain. At this point, be sure to work it into the fabric well and rinse thoroughly.

If the stain is still visible, you may need to repeat these steps a few times before it disappears completely.

Other Things You Can Use to Remove Sunscreen


Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent — particularly white wine vinegar. It’s been used for ages to remove all sorts of stains. White vinegar is especially effective at breaking down oils — whether they are on your countertop, in your carpet, or on your delicate fabrics — which makes it ideal for removing sunscreen from clothes.

All you need to do is apply vinegar to the affected area and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. It may be tempting to throw your clothes into a washing machine sooner, but it’s important to allow the vinegar up to an hour of soaking time so that it can really break down the oils from the sunscreen. After this, make sure to thoroughly rinse using cold water to prevent unpleasant odors from developing.

Once the sunscreen stains have been soaked in vinegar, throw your clothes in the washing machine for a full cycle, using the hottest setting allowable based on the recommended cleaning methods found on the clothing care tags.

If the stains are still present after a single wash cycle (before you dry it), simply repeat the process until the stains are no longer visible.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is another great option for removing oily stains from clothes — such as those caused by sunscreen. It takes even less time than using vinegar. All you have to do is apply the oil to the stain and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes.

You might be wondering what makes eucalyptus oil so effective at removing stains. It’s actually the same thing that makes it great for cleaning surfaces and breaking down grease: its high concentration of monoterpenes — specifically eucamalol and limonene. Monoterpenes are a type of hydrocarbon that can dissolve oils, making eucalyptus oil an excellent choice for removing sunscreen from clothes.

After your clothing stains have been soaked for 15-20 minutes in eucalyptus oil, all you have to do is wash on a regular wash cycle using the recommended temperature setting for the specific type of fabric and allow it to air dry.

What to Avoid When Removing Sunscreen From Clothes

Always avoid using hot water right away to remove the stains. Imagine this: It’s the end of a long day in the sun, and you can’t wait to jump in the shower and wash off that sticky sunscreen. But before you do, take a closer look at your clothes.

Chances are good that there’s a telltale sunscreen stain somewhere on your shirt or shorts. While it may be tempting to just throw those clothes in the washing machine with some hot water and call it a day, that’s actually not the best way to remove a sunscreen stain.

Hot water can actually cause the stain to set, making it much harder to remove. Instead, try using cold water and a gentle detergent. Gently rub the affected area until the stain begins to disappear, then wash as usual. By taking this extra step, you’ll help ensure that your clothes stay looking their best, even after a long day in the sun.

Always avoid using a machine dryer after washing sunscreen-stained clothes. Once you have soaked and washed your clothes, it’s sometimes hard to tell if the stain has been completely removed. Sometimes it may appear to be gone until the clothes have dried, revealing a subtle stain still present.

The only way to guarantee that stain doesn’t go away is to use a machine dryer or tumble dryer. The heat from the machine will cause whatever oils are left behind to set into the fabric and create a permanent stain. That’s why air-drying works best. If you’re in a hurry, just make sure to check the clothing thoroughly for any residual stains before throwing it in the dryer.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re using store-bought stain remover with laundry detergent, vinegar, eucalyptus oil, or just plain old cold water, removing sunscreen stains from clothes is easy. Just remember to avoid using hot water or a machine dryer, and you’ll be good to go. With these tips in mind, you can keep your clothes sunscreen-free all summer long.

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