How to Remove Sunscreen Stains from White Clothing

model wearing white

We all know how important sunscreen is for protecting our skin from harmful UV rays. 

But if you’ve ever accidentally spilled or rubbed sunscreen onto your white clothing, you know how frustrating it can be to remove those stubborn stains. 

Luckily, with the right techniques, you can get those stains out and keep your favorite white clothing looking clean and fresh.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to remove sunscreen stains from white clothing and also give some tips for preventing them from happening in the first place.

Let’s begin.

Causes of Sunscreen Stains on White Clothing

Sunscreen contains active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which can leave a stubborn residue on your clothing. Sweat and heat can also contribute to sunscreen stains. 

The combination of these factors can make sunscreen stains on white clothing particularly difficult to remove.

Tips for Preventing Sunscreen Stains on White Clothing

There are a few things you can do to prevent sunscreen stains before they even happen. 

Firstly, consider wearing darker clothing when applying sunscreen. This can help to hide any stains that may occur. 

Additionally, you can use a spray-on sunscreen rather than a lotion or cream, which can be easier to apply and less likely to stain your clothing.

How to Remove Sunscreen Stains from White Clothing 

If you do end up with sunscreen stains on your white clothing, don’t worry! There are several effective ways to remove them. 

Here’s how:

  1. Soak the stained area in a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water for 30 minutes. Then, rinse with cool water and wash as usual.
  2. Mix a paste of equal parts baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water and wash as usual.
  3. Rub dish soap into the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing as usual.

For more stubborn stains, you can try repeating these steps or using a stain remover specifically designed for removing sunscreen stains. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using bleach, which can actually make the stains worse.

Dos and Don’ts of Sunscreen Stain Removal

To avoid damaging your clothing when removing sunscreen stains, follow these dos and don’ts:

  • Do act quickly and treat the stain as soon as possible.
  • Do use gentle, non-abrasive methods for stain removal.
  • Do test any new stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
  • Don’t use hot water, which can set the stain and make it harder to remove.
  • Don’t use bleach or any harsh chemicals, which can damage the fabric.


With these tips and techniques, you can easily remove sunscreen stains from your white clothing and keep them looking clean and fresh. 

Don’t let the fear of stains prevent you from enjoying the sun and staying protected!

You’re swimsuit got a little sunscreen stain as well? Don’t fret. Read How to Remove and Prevent Sunscreen Stains on Your Swimsuit.  

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay