Sunscreen Stain Removal Solutions

This is your step by step guide to sunscreen stain removal from clothes, fabrics, carpets and upholstery.

Summer is a time of fun, sun, swimming and playing outdoors. Many people apply sunscreen to protect against the sun's harmful rays. But applying sunscreen can be messy, and it’s possible that blotches will end up on your clothes or carpet. If so, here’s what to do.

Below are solutions on how to remove sunscreen stains from clothes & fabrics and removing sunscreen stains from carpets & upholstery.

Description: A preparation, often in the form of a cream or lotion, used to protect the skin from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. As earth’s atmosphere continues to change, sunscreen lotion may be one of our best protector’s against the sun’s damaging rays.

Sunscreen stain removalRemoving sunscreen stains is certainly most common during the summer when the sun is out in full force. Other lotion stains are widespread in winter, when an overwhelming number of people are battling dry skin. Professionals who require frequent hand-washing and water use, like nurses, doctors, homemakers, and restaurant workers (especially in the kitchen), will suffer lotion stains year-round. You may have to remove sunscreen stains from anywhere as it is used on all parts of the body.

Sunscreen Stain Removal from Clothes & Fabrics

Solution 1:

1. Use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much as possible.

2. Blot remaining liquid with an absorbent cloth.

3. Sprinkle salt, baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder on stain to absorb excess oil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes, then brush off.

4. Rub colorless dishwashing liquid into stain. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Soak in a sudsy mixture of hot water and dishwashing detergent for up to 30 minutes.

6. Rinse the back of the stain well with hot water.

7. Use a dull knife or spoon again to remove any loosened lotion from the fabric.

8. If the stain remains, make a paste of baking soda and water at a ratio of approximately 3 to 1, spread on stain and let dry, then brush off.

9. Apply laundry presoak (spot stain remover) and let stand several minutes.

10. Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric. For extra-heavy stains, replace half the amount of detergent with baking soda.

11. If the stain remains, repeat steps 3 through 10.

Solution 2:

1. Soak one pad of cotton wool or similar in proprietary grease solvent.

2. With the solvent pad under the stain and a clean pad on top, dab the stain.

3. When some of the stain has transferred to the top pad, turn it over so its clean side is in contact with the fabric and repeat.

4. Change the top pad and continue working until you've completed the sunscreen stain removal.

5. Wash as usual.

Sunscreen Stain Removal from Carpets & Upholstery

Solution 1:

1. Use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much as possible.

2. Blot remaining liquid with an absorbent cloth.

3. Sprinkle the stain with an absorbent powder, such as baking soda, cornstarch, cornmeal, or talcum powder. Let sit for 6 to 12 hours, then vacuum – do not brush the powder.


Spray with shaving cream and work into the carpet with an old toothbrush. Wipe with a damp cloth, then sponge with cold water.


Dampen with club soda and blot. Repeat as needed.

4. If the stain remains, apply dry-cleaning fluid (be careful not to wet the carpet backing with it) then sponge the stain with a damp cloth.


Treat with a carpet spotter according to manufacturer’s directions.

Solution 2:

1. Scrape off excess lotion.

2. Sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, or other absorbent on the stain. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, and then vacuum.

3. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent.

4. Blot until the solvent is absorbed.

5. If the stain remains, mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water.

6. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution.

7. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.

8. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

Have you reached sunscreen stain removal success? I hope so!

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