When covering your skin with sunscreen it can be difficult to avoid getting any on your clothing. This guide is about removing sunscreen stains from clothing.
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After reading all the comments about chemical reactions I decided to do a little experimenting myself. I found that The Works tub & shower cleaner takes out the stain. I spray it on wet or dry clothes, rub it gently and walk away for 5 minutes. When I returned the stain was gone. It's very inexpensive (under $2) and can be purchased at Walmart or Kmart. It works great on rust stains in toilets & tubs too! Their website is theworkscleans.com and you can enter your zip to find a store near you.
Having freckly/fair skin I need to wear sunscreen every day. Some brands can leave a yellow/brown stain on light clothes. To remove this stain: moisten the area, rub with plenty of dishwashing liquid (I use a popular clear green type), and scrub with a nail brush if the fabric can take it. Then soak overnight and wash as usual. I've come across this tip only once, and it works so well it bears repeating.
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Here are questions related to Removing Sunscreen Stains from Clothing.
Sunscreen caused yellowing on cotton sheets and towels. I need something other than Barkeepers Friend or Biz bleach. I live in the Bahamas and thus have limited options available. Thank you.
By Ann from Bahamas
How can I get the orange stains from sunscreen out of white clothes? I cannot find Biz bleach, which was recommended for an enzyme pre-soak. I also tired The Works but the stains reappeared as soon as I washed the clothing.
By Gail from NY
Bar Keepers Friend: Thanks for the tip! I had given up on my new white blouse badly stained from SPF cream, but I followed the instructions provided on this site and I can wear the blouse again! Many thanks to all who alerted me to this product which I had in my kitchen. It also removes stains from bathroom sinks, rust stains in the toilet basin and of course, shines the stainless steel sink to look like new. You all saved me a great deal of money!
I have orange stains on my bath towels and face cloths. I tried The Works and the face cloth turned blue with still some orange areas. Any ideas? I thought the orange would go away, but instead the entire white areas turned blue and after washing, it is still blue. And ideas would be appreciated!
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I have a number of white cotton t-shirts that have orange and red stains around the sleeves and neck from what I could only imagine is sunscreen. These stains magically "appear" when I wash them. I use ALL Free detergent, borax and vinegar in each wash. Anyone have any ideas on how to get these stains out? Thanks in Advance! Rebekah
I live in Oregon and use well water. Our water has a lot of iron/rust in it. I haven't noticed this before and wonder if it's due to some ingredient in the new sunscreen I've been using. It's Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch 45 SPF.
For years I have used Biz stain activated booster powder (about 1/2 cup mixed in with half a dish container of water) to soak stained clothing overnight and it seemed to work pretty well on these stains as well. I always scrub the affected areas and try to make sure the stain is out before washing.
I'm a golfer and I have ruined many shirts and shorts due to the sunscreen. How do I get rid of these stains?
Alicia from Tampa, FL
By N in IL
Can someone please help me with orange sunscreen stains on clothing? I'm finding the stains after washing. They don't appear until the clothing has been washed. I called Coppertone and they said it's the avobenzone reacting with iron levels in our water. I don't understand why this hasn't been a problem in the past.
I've tried Oxiclean, Biz, and now I'm going to try The Works like someone suggested. I'm ruining clothing left and right. The Blue Lizard Sensitive stuff works, but my son breaks out from it so he can't use it. Plus it's a pain to apply and everything sticks to it. I did just order some Trigger Spray Coppertone, the Coppertone people said it's one that doesn't have the avobenzone. Anyone else having this issue this year and not in the past?
Chantel from MN
Sunscreen seems to be staining my t-shirts around the neck and also the tops of ankle socks. I've tried pre-cleaners and bleach and still no luck.
I think our hard water is part of the problem. I also think that clothes that have been washed in hard water will hold a small amount of that rust in the fabric because there was almost immediately an orange discoloration on the old white cotton sock I used for my experiment, the stains became darker after washing.
I have attached a photo of the sock I used in my experiment. Below is the meaning of the letters on the sock.