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How to Get Sunscreen Stains out of Clothing

A number of moisture-resistant ingredients in sunscreen can stain your clothing. Sunscreen may also contain dyes. Sunscreen stains may be invisible at first, but time and heat can cause them to show. Fortunately, you can learn skills to prevent and remove such stains.

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  1. Get one of the pre-wash cleaning products that has a good reputation for removing these pesky stains. You can soak clothing for 30 minutes in warm water, with 1 tbsp. of an enzyme pre-soak product, such as Biz. You can find more stain-removal remedies and product details at (see Resources below).

  2. Wash your clothing properly if you have hard well water. Soak stained garments in white vinegar and warm water before washing them. Then, lauder the clothing in the hottest water possible, making sure that the temperature will not harm the particular fabric.

  3. Enlist the help of Carbona Stain Wizard, an extra-strength bio-enzyme product, to remove oily sunscreen discolorations from clothes. This product has built-in applicator brushes that you can use to loosen stains from your clothing. Check out the Carbona website to learn how to use this cleanser (see Resources below).

  4. Check that the stain is out before drying the garment. After you clean the shirt, shorts or other clothing, check to see whether the spot is fully removed before you put the clothes in the dryer. The added heat can cause such as stain to further set into the fabric, making it tougher to get out later.

  5. Explore fabrics that stain less than others. Companies like Nano-Tex design fabrics that can help spills roll right off the cloth fibers. You can visit the Nano-tex website to see where to buy such fabrics and learn how the process works (see Resources below).

  6. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling clothes or other fabrics once you've applied sunscreen. While sunbathing or participating in sports, you should wipe your hands frequently, since some sunscreen residue may transfer onto your clothing when you perspire.

  7. Guard your clothing from sunscreen stains by allowing your skin to dry and absorb the sunscreen before you put on a garment.

  8. Tip

    If you get sunscreen on your spandex workout garment or swimsuit, pretreat the stained item with a liquid detergent. Follow up by washing it in warm water.

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Enzyme pre-soak
  • Stain remover

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