Removing Sunscreen Stains From Clothing

April 11, 2019

© Jason Stitt | Dreamstime

Summer is getting closer, which means we'll be spending more time outdoors and using sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun's harmful UV rays.  Unfortunately when applying or re-applying sunscreen you can sweep the lotion across your swimsuit, shirt or towel without knowing until it dries and leaves a white smudge on clothing, which then turns orange after you give it a wash in the laundry! What happened? Well most sunscreens rely on a combination of chemicals to block UV rays and the majority are removed with regular washings. However avobenzone, which is in most sunscreens, has a reaction to the iron in our water supply that causes orange stains to develop. It is essentially rust and rust cannot be removed with bleach, oxygen additives and many laundry detergents. But if you pre-treat the stains with a rust stain remover designed for clothing, you can get those stains off your swimsuit, shirt and towel.  You can also try lemon juice and salt. Start by flushing the stain with cool water, then squeeze lemon juice directly on the stain, lay the garment flat and pour salt over the lemon juice. Let that sit on the stain for a few hours up to overnight, then brush away the salt and launder as usual.

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SOURCE: The Inventory

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