Self Tanning Questions

How to Clean A Self-Tanning Mitt? (2 Methods Explained)

Written by: Anastasija

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Self-tanning is a popular beauty process, and the way to achieve the best results is by using a self-tanning mitt. When you use your mitt, it will probably end up dirty, so here is how to clean your self-tanning mitt.

What is a self-tanning mitt?

As mentioned, a self-tanning mitt is a key to a flawless, streak-free self-tan. They are made to fit over your hand, like a glove but without fingers so that you can easily use it to blend your self-tanner. Usually, it is made of soft material and this texture helps to blend the product.

There are two types of self-tanning mitts: reusable and disposable. Reusable ones are usually higher quality and therefore cost more than disposable ones, but we’ll talk about that later.

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When using a self-tanning mitt, you can experiment to see what works for you, but there are some techniques that you may find useful, especially when starting out. Firstly, apply the foam, lotion, or other product to the mitt, rather than the skin, and just use a little at a time – you can always top it up if you need it.

Work the product into the skin using circular motions with the mitt. Don’t apply too much pressure as this may cause streaks, just be gentle and consistent. Workaround your body in sections, to ensure that you cover everywhere before moving onto the next part.

Also read:
How Do You Get Self-Tanner Off Clothes & Sheets? (Explained)
How Long Does Self-Tanner Take To Dry? (Express vs Normal)

How do you clean your self-tanning mitt?

As you’ve used your self-tanning mitt to blend in your tan, you’ll most likely find that it has stained, or there is a build-up of product, especially if you’ve used it more than once. A stained tanning mitt isn’t a problem, and it will still work, but some people prefer it to look clean too. Luckily, there are ways to clean your self-tanning mitt.

Method #1: A simple hand wash

If you don’t mind stains on your mitt, or you have only just used it, a simple wash should do the trick.

After you have used your tanning mitt, rinse it under cold water to prevent as much of the product as possible from setting in. Make sure the water runs clear through the mitt before moving on to ensure that everything has washed out. Follow this with some soap and warm water to lather up your mitt and remove the stains, rinse, and dry.

Method #2: Laundry detergent or club soda

If you are trying to remove stains from your self-tanning mitt, this method is for you. It is gentle and won’t ruin a soft material, so it is suitable for any self-tanning mitt.

Start by running your mitt under cold water. If it still has the excess product on, keep running it under the water until the water runs clear.

There are two options here, you can either use club soda on its own or create a laundry detergent solution. For the laundry detergent solution, take some laundry detergent (dishwashing soap or regular hand soap should work too) and mix it with some water.

Use a washcloth to dab either the detergent solution or club soda onto the stain.

Be sure not to scrub the stain, as this can make it worse, so just be gentle and, when you are satisfied with how clean your mitt is, you can rinse it with water and hand wash.


  • Avoid the washing machine: your self-tanning mitt can shrink when washed in the machine, and the material can also get damaged or just not last as long. When putting your self-tanning mitt in the washing machine, you also run the risk of it transferring self-tanner onto other clothes and items in the same wash.
  • Reshape after washing: after you have washed the mitt by hand, you want to squeeze out any excess water and reshape it as much as possible. If you reshape your self-tanning mitt each time, you reduce the risk of it becoming deformed and having to buy a new one.
  • Lay it out to dry: as well as reshaping your mitt, you want to lay it out flat to air-dry. Don’t use the dryer as this can damage the material and avoid putting it away immediately, as damp or mould can build up over time.
  • Always remember to wash your mitt: as tempting as it may be to put off washing your self-tanning mitt, you should always remember to wash it after use. This prevents any stains from setting, which could cause a patchy or uneven application in the future.

Should you clean your mitt or buy a new one?

If you have a stained fake tan mitt, you may be contemplating purchasing another one, so it’s important to know how long you can use the same self-tanning mitt for before replacing it. Usually, with the proper care and washing, a self-tanning mitt should last around 6 months, depending on how often you use it.

Stained mitts can cause problems, as the excess product leftover as a result of not cleaning it can interfere with the next time you use self-tanner. If you have stains, they can cause a patchy or uneven tan which will defy the idea of the tanning mitt. For this reason, it’s best to replace your tanning mitt after it has become too stained or is interfering with the application process.

On your self-tanning mitt, you’ll notice the material tends to be soft and velvety, as this is most effective for a smooth tan. After a certain amount of uses, the material will start to become rougher or lose its softness and this is normal, and signals that you should probably invest in a new mitt if you want to keep your tan smooth.

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of mitts, and reusable ones are the best option. Although you don’t have to clean disposable ones, they’re wasteful which is bad for the environment, and work out as more expensive. Reusable ones are completely worth it, and you should do your research about the quality of a mitt before buying it.

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Final thoughts

Essentially, you should always remember to wash your mitt after every use and take care of it to extend its life and help the environment. Self-tanning mitts aren’t too expensive and are completely worth every penny. Now that you know how to clean and maintain your self-tanning mitt, you can expect smooth application and great finishes every time!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

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