Here's The Best Way To Get That Pesky Sunscreen Out Of Your Clothing

Sunscreen is a must if you want to protect yourself from sunburn during a long day of sightseeing or lounging on the beach. Depending on the formula, it blocks or absorbs the sun's UV rays, preventing skin damage and reducing your risk of developing skin cancer. While it's always a good idea to apply sunscreen when visiting a sunny destination, there is one place you probably don't want it to go: your clothes.

Sunscreen that's left to sit on clothes will likely lead to pesky stains, partially due to the oil content in the cream. Therefore, it's important to act quickly once you drip sunscreen on your favorite vacation top or go-to shorts. Start by removing the cream, being careful not to rub it deeper into the fabric. A blunt object, such as a knife or the edge of a credit card, can help you scrape the lotion away. If the liquid has already been absorbed into the fabric, sprinkle cornflour over it to help lift the grease.

Assuming you don't have cornflour in your travel bag, grab a stain remover pen, one of the things you should never vacation without. Don't have that either? Try dish soap in a pinch. Then, rinse the clothing item with cool water. Finish by applying laundry detergent directly to the stain and throwing the garment in the washer on a warm setting.

How to remove stubborn sunscreen stains

If your sunscreen has been hanging out on your clothes for a while, you'll need to take a different approach. Pesky sunscreen stains can be identified by yellow or rust-colored marks left behind on your clothes. The discoloration occurs when sunscreen ingredients oxidize and mix with water, similar to how rust forms. With this in mind, one way to remove set-in sunscreen stains is with a fabric-safe rust remover. Apply the solution to the fabric and massage with a brush before washing.

Alternatively, you can rely on some kitchen staples to help remove sunscreen stains from clothes. Squeeze a fresh lemon on the blemish, allowing the juice to saturate the fabric. Top with salt and let the DIY solution sit overnight. Finish the next day by removing the salt and washing the clothing item with detergent as usual.

After your garment has been put through its standard washing cycle, consider ditching the dryer and placing it outside to dry. While the sun's rays may not be friendly to your skin, they can give your stained clothes a boost. The sun naturally bleaches fabric and breaks down stains, working to minimize the appearance of any lingering sunscreen marks.

Prevent sunscreen stains during your next vacation

If you'd rather not spend your trip worrying about sunscreen stains, one of the easiest ways to prevent them from forming in the first place is applying your skin protectant before getting dressed. Besides saving your clothes, this may be a better choice for your skin, too, as sunscreen should be applied at least 15 to 20 minutes before you head outdoors. Once the lotion has had time to soak in, get dressed and start your day of sightseeing or beach hopping.

When it comes time to wear the product again, use our brilliant ways to remind yourself to reapply sunscreen. If you're not able to duck into your hotel periodically to undress and lather on more lotion, consider choosing your sunscreen formula based on the color of your clothes. That way, you'll be less likely to notice stains, even if the lotion comes in contact with the fabric. If you plan to wear light clothes, skip chemical sunscreens containing avobenzone or oxybenzone. If you're wearing a dark-colored outfit, avoid physical sunblocks, which are known to leave white residue on clothes. You can usually identify these formulas by the ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.