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How to clean leather sunscreen stains

Updated February 21, 2017

Sunscreen, while highly effective in protecting the skin from sun damage, is a greasy substance that is difficult to remove from many fabrics, including leather. Whether you have spilt sunscreen on a leather purse, or your child has accidentally sat on the leather sofa and left a stain behind, you can get rid of the sunscreen stain with just a few simple household items.

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  1. Blot the sunscreen with paper towels to absorb as much of the sunscreen as possible.

  2. Dust the area with baking soda. Baking soda is highly absorbent, and will safely pull out most, if not all, of the sunscreen without damaging the leather.

  3. Let the baking soda sit for 20 minutes, then wipe the leather clean with a damp paper towel.

  4. Smear a thick layer of toothpaste over the area if the baking soda did not successfully remove the entire stain.

  5. Let sit for five minutes, then scrub the toothpaste into the stain.

  6. Wipe the area with a damp paper towel to remove the toothpaste. Repeat as needed until all sunscreen has been removed.

  7. Apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture to the leather surface.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels
  • Toothpaste
  • Leather conditioner

About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.

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