How to Get Sun Cream Stains out of Clothes

It’s vital to protect your skin in the sun – but can you remove sun cream stains from clothes?


Tricky sun cream stains

Nothing should deter you from wearing liberal helpings of high SPF in the summer: sun damage to your skin is never something worth risking. But even non-greasy sun protection can leave its mark if it comes into contact with your wardrobe. When the inevitable happens, here’s how to get sun cream stains out of clothes…


Cartoon of sun protection for summer

Sun protection for face and body is essential when the UV is high.


Spotting the stain

Most sun creams have an oil base to act as a moisturising agent, combating the drying effects of the sun. Sun cream stains are pretty easy to spot: you’ll usually see an oily-looking mark on dark coloured clothes, or a yellow-looking stain on light garments.


Oil Stain on white clothes

Oil stain on white cloth…


Wise washing

On darker colours, removing sun tan lotion from clothes should be a doddle: use a detergent designed to cut through grease and oil stains and treat the garment gently, before machine washing. Dissolve a small amount of washing powder, or liquid, in warm water and apply it directly to the stain with a cloth or sponge. Avoid hot washing as this can sometimes intensify an oil-based stain, rather than removing it.


Hand wash clothes in basin

Hand washing clothes in basin.


All white again

To get sun cream out of white clothes, try a natural solution first: apply a squeeze of lemon juice directly to the yellow area of the stain before drying outside in the sun for a natural ‘bleaching’ effect. If that doesn’t work, there are stain treatments available specifically for oil-based marks, or you could try a chemical bleaching agent (check the label carefully for instructions).


Lemon Juice in a bowl

Natural remedy – try fresh lemon juice to remove the stain first.


Act fast!

If you have a mishap while you’re out and about, you can act fast to minimise the damage to your clothes. Scrape off any excess sun cream as quickly as possible and spot-wash the affected area with clean, soapy water if you can. If you’re on the beach when disaster strikes, you could try rubbing a little dry sand onto the stain to absorb the oil: this should minimise the marking until you can get home to wash your clothes.


Blue jeans in sand

If you’re at the beach, sand might be your best bet.



See the stain experts

When you use a professional laundry service, you get the benefit of years of clothes cleaning expertise. If you use Laundrapp, when you notice a common mark, such as sun cream stains on clothes, add a note under ‘Cleaning Instructions’ when placing your order. If the stain is particularly tricky, you can contact the Customer Care team via Live Chat, or through, to talk through your options.

Do you want to know more tricks for removing stains? Then check one of our latest post for removing ink stains.


Guest written by,

Johanna Payton

Editorial Image Credits /