How to Effectively Remove Sunscreen Stains from Car Seats

brown car seat

As summer rolls around, many of us are eager to spend time outside enjoying the warm weather. However, with all the fun in the sun comes the need for sunscreen. 

While sunscreen is essential for protecting our skin from harmful UV rays, it can also be a cause for concern when it comes to our car seats. 

Sunscreen stains on car seats can be unsightly and difficult to remove, but with the right approach, it is possible to restore your seats to their former glory.

In this article, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to remove sunscreen stains from car seats, as well as some tips for preventing future stains. 

Let’s begin.

Identifying Sunscreen Stains on Car Seats

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. Sunscreen stains typically appear as greasy or oily marks on the fabric or leather of your car seats. 

They can be caused by the oils and chemicals in sunscreen, which can penetrate deep into the fibers of your car seat and create a stubborn stain.

Preparing the Cleaning Solution

To remove sunscreen stains from car seats, you’ll need a cleaning solution that is both effective and safe for your car’s upholstery. A mixture of warm water and mild soap or detergent can work well for most types of car seats. Be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, which can damage the fabric or leather of your seats.

Applying the Solution

Once you have your cleaning solution ready, it’s time to apply it to the stained area. Use a clean cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the stain, making sure to cover the entire affected area. Be sure to work the solution into the fabric or leather of the seat, taking care not to rub too hard, which can damage the upholstery.

Blotting the Stain

After applying the cleaning solution, it’s time to blot the stain. Use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to gently blot the stain, working from the outside in. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, which can cause it to spread or become more deeply ingrained in the fabric or leather of the seat.

Rinsing the Seat

Once you’ve successfully removed the stain, it’s important to rinse the seat thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to rinse the seat, taking care not to soak the fabric or leather. Be sure to remove all traces of soap or detergent from the seat to prevent any damage or discoloration.

Allowing to Dry

Finally, it’s important to allow your car seat to dry completely before using it again. This may take several hours or overnight, depending on the type of fabric or leather and the weather conditions. Be sure to keep the car seat out of direct sunlight or heat, which can cause the fabric or leather to shrink or become damaged.

Preventing Future Sunscreen Stains on Car Seats

While removing sunscreen stains from car seats can be a challenge, there are several steps you can take to prevent future stains from occurring. 

Here are some tips to help you keep your car seats looking great all summer long:

  1. Apply sunscreen carefully – Be sure to apply sunscreen before getting into your car, and take care not to apply too much or rub it off on your car seat.
  2. Cover the car seat – Consider using a towel or seat cover to protect your car seat from sunscreen and other potential stains.
  3. Use a seat protector – If you have children or pets, consider using a seat protector to protect your car seats from spills, stains, and other damage.

When to Ask a Professional

It’s important to remember that different types of car seats may require different cleaning methods, and some stains may be more stubborn than others. 

If you’re having trouble removing a stain, or if you’re unsure about the best approach to take, it may be best to seek professional help from a car detailing or upholstery cleaning service.


Removing sunscreen stains from car seats can be a frustrating and time-consuming task, but with the right approach and tools, it is possible to restore your car seats to their original condition. 

I hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to effectively remove sunscreen stains from your car seats. 

By following these tips and taking preventative measures, you can keep your car looking great and protect it from damage caused by sunscreen.

Looking for more DIY car cleaning tips? Read How to Clean Foggy Car Side Mirrors Naturally with Vinegar.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Image by lqiuz from Pixabay