Laundry Hacks to Remove Sunscreen Stains From Your Clothes

Say so long sunscreen stains and hello sunshine!

Published May 15, 2023
A man applies lotion to his hand

You're being responsible slathering on that sunscreen and protecting your skin with SPF. And then, well, the oily sunscreen goes rogue and winds up not only on your skin but on your clothes too. Not to worry. These tips on how to remove sunscreen stains will ensure you don't miss a beat in your day.

How to Remove Sunscreen Stains From Clothes

First things first: don't stress. Your sunscreen covered clothes will be looking good in no time. If you find yourself with a sunscreen stain on a more delicate fabric, such as silk, your best, and only bet, is to head to the dry cleaner. Otherwise, try these tips.


  • Toothbrush
  • Cloth
  • Cold water
  • Clothes stain remover, laundry detergent, or rust stain remover


  1. Remove any and all of the excess sunscreen from the clothing using a dry cloth or paper towel.
  2. Using the toothbrush, gently brush the stain remover or detergent over the stain.
  3. Rinse and repeat until the stain lifts or disappears.
  4. Launder and dry the garment as usual.
Quick Tip

Don't use bleach! It'll have the opposite effect you're looking for. The stain will only gain strength and may not be removable.

Remove Sunscreen Stains From Clothes With Lemon Juice and Salt

In just a pinch, of salt that is, you can start to banish the sunscreen from your clothes. You don't want that for a souvenir of your fun in the sun.

Men washing clothes on the sink


  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, bottled or freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • Toothbrush


  1. Rinse the sunscreen off of the garment.
  2. Allow the area to air dry.
  3. Add lemon juice, then salt to stain.
  4. Allow the mix to sit overnight.
  5. Rinse and launder garment as usual.

Sunscreen Stain Tips and Hacks

Don't let that sunscreen spill stress you out! These tips and tricks will keep you on the offense against sunscreen stains on clothes.

  • Rust stain remover really does work. What helps make sunscreen protective against sunburns is a compound that can also oxidize and cause a yellow-orange-rust stain.
  • If you can't immediately jump into stain removing action, remove as much of the sunscreen as you can, using a spoon and cloth. Bonus points if you're able to sprinkle a little cornstarch, baby powder, or talcum powder onto the spot.
  • After removing the excess sunscreen, apply sand to the oily spot if you're at the beach!
  • Remove as much sunscreen as you can - without smearing it or blotting it in deeper
  • Rinse the sunscreen as soon as you can with cold water
  • Act as quickly as you can- whether that's just removing the sunscreen or treating it with stain remover immediately. The sooner you act, the better.
  • Don't heat dry the garment until the stain is completely removed; otherwise, you risk setting the stain permanently.

How to Prevent Sunscreen Stains

Keep that stain at bay by avoiding globs of sunscreen on your clothes completely. Apply sunscreen before putting on clothes and allow it to dry completely. When you reapply, do so diligently and carefully. Slow and steady wins the sunscreen race.

Protection From the Sun and Stains

Arm yourself against the sun and sunscreen stains. Wipe, blot, and treat is all you need to face off against those sunscreen stains on your clothes. Sounds like it's time to get back into the sun.

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Laundry Hacks to Remove Sunscreen Stains From Your Clothes