Sunscreen stains on a white towel

How to Remove Sunscreen Stains

It’s important to protect your skin with sunscreen, but when sunscreen rubs against your garments, it can leave a sticky, sometimes yellowish, stain behind.

Sunscreen stains are mostly oily, but they can also leave orange, rust-colored stains on your clothes thanks to avobenzone, an ingredient found in sunblock that can react with iron in hard water. It may be hard to avoid the odd streak of sunscreen on your clothes, but in case of any spills or spots, don’t let it dry into the fabric. Follow our steps to remove sunscreen stains so you, and your clothes, can stay safe in the sun.

Why is Sunscreen a Tough Stain?

Sunscreen is a combination stain that contains an oily and a rusty component. Oily stains are difficult to remove, so you can try to avoid them by applying the sunscreen onto your skin and allowing it to dry before putting clothes on.

However, it’s the orange, rusty stains that are harder to remove. These stains are a result of the chemical reaction that takes place when hard water comes into contact with sunscreens containing avobenzone. The severity of these rust stains not only depends on the mineral profile of your water supply, but also on the fiber content of the garment, where synthetics are more prone to retaining the stain than natural fibers, like cotton.

If you live in a hard water area, then looks at the list of ingredients before buying sunscreen, and avoid those containing avobenzone.

Effective Stain Removal on a Variety of Stains

Your beauty routine may consist of various creams and make up, but chances are, you’re likely to encounter other stains, too. Looking beautiful may come at a cost, but there is no reason you should have unsightly stains from perfume, facial masks or acne creams.

For sunscreen stain removal, or any other cosmetic product, you can trust Tide to make your garments look as beautiful as you do. Look your best with a little help from Tide.