Getting any product, such as sunscreens, self-tanners, or anything similar, on your clothes is really frustrating, and sometimes it can even stain. If you’re in need to a remedy to remove the sunscreen from your clothes, you’re in the right place!
How do you get suntan lotion out of clothes?
Those horrible yellowish stains that get themselves onto any of your clothes, especially the white ones, can sometimes seem impossible to wash out. Luckily, it is possible to get sunscreen out of your clothes, whatever the colour, and there are a few ways you can do this, depending on the colour, material and size of your items. Here are the best methods.
Method #1: Laundry detergent
If you’ve just got a small stain which has a pretty manageable size, this method is probably the easiest, as it’s the most straight-forward and you’ve probably already got the resources at home. As with all of these methods, it’s much more effective to follow these steps before washing your clothes in the machine like you normally would, as that can sometimes make the stain harder to remove afterwards.
Firstly, you need to lay your piece of clothing out on a flat surface somewhere, so that you have easy access to the stain, and it’s very visible. Then, take some laundry detergent and add a concentrated amount to the area of the stain, rubbing it in a little, but don’t be too rough. Leave this to soak in by itself for ten minutes, before rinsing off.
Now, you can finish by putting the item in the wash as you would normally do and leave it to the washing machine to do the rest of the work. This should do the trick and yield successful results. If you’d like, you could also use a stain remover rather than a laundry detergent at the beginning of this method – it’s up to you.
Method #2: Different bleaching methods
For white clothes, as mentioned, sunscreen stains can be a whole lot harder to remove. Because of the slightly yellow tinge they leave, the best way to restore your fresh white it through the use of some bleach. However, you don’t want to go straight in with a highly concentrated chemical as this can be too strong and cause even more damage, so here are a few different alternatives which will have a positive effect.
The first option is incredibly easy, and it’s just to leave your item of clothing outside in the Sun, with the stain in easy view. If it’s a sunny day, the light from the Sun contains bleaching properties and, if they’re strong enough, they could be your solution – super easy!
Another option is to use some lemon juice on the stained area, as this has some bleaching properties of its own. Hanging out your clothing in the Sun after squirting some lemon juice on its first can enhance the process mentioned before, and you’re likely to see more successful results.
Alternatively, the last option is to use some type of fabric-safe whitener or bleach (you can usually find fabric whitener in the Supermarket) on the area. Products like these contain bleach, but in safer, less damaging concentrations for your to effectively remove stains from your clothes without ruining them in the process.
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Method #3: White vinegar
Although white vinegar can have some nasty smells, and this can often deter people from using it for its useful properties, but don’t worry about the smell in this method – that’ll fade once your items go in the washing machine. This removal process is good for pieces which have a stain of any size, as it works for all of them.
Because most sunscreens are oil-based, using something which counteracts this is a very wise idea, and white vinegar will do just that. You do, however, need to allow time for it to break down the sunscreen, which requires some patience.
All you need to do is soak the stained area in some white vinegar and, if there are stains all over, you can always soak the whole thing, but it’ll just smell a lot stronger. Now, just leave this for a few hours before throwing it in the wash and turning the temperature onto hot. It might be a good idea to wash this garment on its own, as the white vinegar could wash onto other clothes, otherwise.
How to avoid getting sunscreen on clothes
Of course, there are some methods available for removing stains caused by sunscreen on your clothes, but avoiding this situation in the first place can make things much easier, and save you the embarrassment of walking around in a white t-shirt with a huge yellow stain on the middle of it all day. Prevention is always easier than treatment, and this stays consistent with clothes, too.
There are a few things you can take into consideration when trying to avoid staining your clothes and the more you do control of take into account, the less likely you are to experience any sunscreen stains. Here are some of the things you can do avoid sunscreen stains:
- Wear darker clothing: although the colour of the garment won’t make any difference to whether or not the sunscreen transfers anyway, it will make a difference as to how much the stain shows up, or how easy it is to remove. Therefore, wearing darker clothing can save you from that awkward situation of having to wear visibly stained clothes all day, and prevent any stress about removing a stain from your favourite white dress.
- Wear baggy clothing: for most people, this is a difficult one, as you’re probably not going to like the sound of wearing baggy clothes every time you go out. However, if you’re not up for removing any potential stains that day, baggy clothing can make a big difference and prevent a lot of staining in one simple, easy step.
- Use an avobenzone-free sunscreen: if your sunscreen contains avobenzone, it can be the cause for some of your sunscreen stain-related issues. Avobenzone is a common ingredient found in chemical sunscreens and when it comes into contact with iron, it creates stains which are essentially rust. Our water supply contains iron, and this is especially applicable if you live in an area with hard water, so avoiding avobenzone may just do the trick.
In more concise terms, it is possible to remove sunscreen stains from your clothes, and there are ways you can do this specifically for your garment, depending on size, colour or material. However, if your clothing is made of a special material, such as linen, silk or another delicate fabric, your best, safest option is always to go to the dry cleaners.