How to remove sunscreen stains from clothes

applying sunscreen (1)Sun protection is vitally important for everyone, no matter where you go or what you do. Sunscreen is such an important – yet often forgotten – essential for living in New Zealand; according to the Cancer Society, New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer) in the world!

UV rays are always out there during the day, even if it is overcast; often we don’t think of that before stepping outside on a wintry day. Just because it is cold, doesn’t mean you won’t get sunburnt.

The best way to apply sunscreen is to put it on before you get dressed, and allowing some time for it to dry. Not only does this increase how well it will protect your skin, it will stop stains from getting on your favourite outfit.

If you do happen to get an oily sunscreen stain on your clothes, here’s how to get rid of it.

Step One: Remove

To get rid of any excess sunscreen, scrape it off the clothes and then blot any remaining liquid with a dry cloth.

Step Two: Sprinkle

Sprinkle either bi-carb soda or cornflour over the stained area to absorb excess oils. Give it about 30 minutes before brushing off.

Step Three: Rub

After brushing off the excess powder, rub the stain with dishwashing liquid and leave it to sit for another five minutes. This works best if you use a soap that does not have colouring.

Step Four: Soak

Soak your clothing in hot, soapy water (either laundry powder or dishwashing detergent works fine). Leave it in the tub for 30 minutes, and then rinse it clean hot water once the time is up.

Step Five: Launder

Now that you’ve soaked your garment, it is all good to be thrown in with the rest of the laundry. After the wash, no one will know there was a stain in the first place.

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While no fabric is entirely immune to staining, some are worse than others.  Often, synthetic fabrics stain easily; sweat stains can be particularly noticeable. When there is potential to get messy, the fabrics to avoid are those which are difficult to clean.

  • Cotton

It is incredibly versatile and fairly easy to get stains out of. It is also a tough material, and can endure a great deal of soaking and drying without distortion. For cotton, the best way to treat stains is with detergent, or a light acid such as lemon juice or vinegar (should the stain require it)

  • Synthetics

Are very sturdy, but they will be quickly destroyed by bleach and other oxidising chemicals. While care can vary depending on the material, cleaning synthetics with laundry detergent is best. On tougher, greasier stains, dish soap is recommended.

  • Silk

A tricky one to clean. While it is a natural fibre, silk does not like water, and spot cleaning can often result in a stain that is worse than the original. The best way to clean a stain on silk is to wipe off the stain with a damp cloth, and then rinse the entire garment thoroughly. Do not leave the initial wet spot to dry, rinse it straight away.

  • Wool

A very heat-sensitive material, it must be treated with great care. While it can be soaked, the item must be laid flat to dry so it does not become misshapen. To wash a woollen garment, use lukewarm water and a wool-safe detergent. Bleach or acid will permanently damage the wool, so avoid these at all costs. After treating, get the wool to a dry cleaner as soon as possible.

If you’re serious about sun safety, why not check out our latest customer satisfaction ratings to find sunscreen brands available widely across New Zealand.

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