Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How To Get Sunscreen Out Of Clothes

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A few months ago I shared this printable laundry stain removal chart...

As a mum of two mucky, active boys I had assumed I had everything covered in the printable. That is until the weather perked up a bit (read: the UK actually got a decent summer) and I realised that I had no idea how to get sun cream out of clothes. We don't seem to have much of a problem with coloured items, but my kids' white tops all had indelible yellow marks around the sleeves and the collars - and since their school uniform includes a white polo shirt that is a lot of ruined tops. 

I tried several methods, but nothing made much of an impression. It was made worse by the fact that I had put the tops through the wash already, thereby helping to "set" the stain (pre-treating stains is always preferable). But I have now found a method that works!

How To Get Sun Cream Out Of Clothes

I tried really hard to get "before" and "after" pictures for this post, but despite the yellow stains being very noticeable in real life the photos just didn't convey how bad the tops looked. So I am afraid you will just have to take my word for it!

Step One. Apply a liberal amount of lemon juice to the sun cream stains (or sunscreen stains if you are American!).

Step Two. Allow the lemon juice to dry. Since the weather has been so sunny, I hung the tops on the line for this as natural sunlight is brilliant for bleaching out a wide variety of stains. I have no idea if the sunlight helped me to get the sun cream stains out (it certainly has little to no effect on its own), but it can't have hurt the stain removal process!

Step Three. Wash the clothing as normal, at the highest temperature it can take. Hopefully the top should now be stain free.

I had to repeat the process a couple of times to completely remove the stains for the boys' school tops, but I have since tried the lemon juice trick on newly stained tops and it will remove the sun cream virtually straight away.

FYI, I have only used lemon juice to remove sun cream and not sunscreen spray. I'm not sure if it as effective for removing yellow stains from the sprays, so if anyone knows the answer to that I'd be interested to hear. Leave me a comment. :)


  1. Oh no I wish I knew this last year, I had to bin a number of white tshirts for that very reason. Good to know going forward so thanks a mil for sharing :)

  2. Wow white shirts for school everyday. That would take some work to keep them clean and it looks like you are doing a good job with it. Hey, Angela I gave you a shout out on my latest post. Your posts on blog icons were very helpful to me!

    1. Thank you. :)

      I'm really pleased that people find my posts useful!

  3. THANK YOU! When my daughter was born, I thought I knew how to get rid of stains like food, throw up, and formula. I was totally wrong. This guide will make my life so much easier!

  4. Great guide for stains!! I had no idea about getting out sunscreen before I read your post. Thanks a million. The gang over at My Personal Accent, would like to invite you to link-up this fantastic post at our new Blog Strut Peacock Style Link Party. Share as many of your creative ideas, recipes, and any other family friendly content as you like. We will be pinning every submission we receive. If you have a giveaway or contest you’d like to promote, feel free to post it on our giveaway page. Come on over and show us what you’ve got!


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