How to get suncream out of clothes

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While a heatwave might cause some of the most glorious weather of the year, topping up your sun cream frequently is vital to stopping the worst of the sun causing any damage. But it can come with the vice of getting stuck into clothes, and can be difficult to get out – which doesn’t look great with your new tan.

Because most sun creams are oil based, they can be tough to remove from clothes.

Since oil is a hydrophobic liquid and does not mix with water, our typical washing machine has a tough time washing out oil in clothing.

However, some simple pretreatments to your wash can stop mishaps from becoming permanent and can even remove the most stubborn of stains.

Soak with pre-treatment

Use a concentrated laundry detergent designed for stains, and rub this directly into the stain.

Leave for ten minutes, rinse, then put your clothes in the wash.

This should remove most stains better than just throwing clothes straight in the washing machine and hoping for the best.

White vinegar

White vinegar has a variety of uses, and removing stains is one of them.

You don’t need to soak the entire clothing item in the stuff thankfully due to the smell.

All you need to do is rub the stain and leave for a few hours – then throw the item in the washing machine.

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Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has magical stain removing properties.

We wouldn’t be able to tell you why, but when it comes to greasy marks it does a good job of obliterating them – and to boot it smells incredible.

Coat your stain in the stuff, leave for five minutes, then wash as normal.


For white clothes only – sun cream can leave a horrible yellow stain on white clothes.

Wash as normal, then hang your stained white item out in the sun for natural bleaching effects.

If the stain is really not budging, squirt some bleach onto the stain and leave for a maximum of fine minutes before washing off thoroughly.

Dry cleaners

If it’s really bad, don’t mess with it yourself and leave it to an expert.

If you’ve got sun cream on silk, or linen, or some other complicated fabric, trying to remove the stain on your own isn’t worth the risk of potentially ruining your finest items.

For anything delicate or fancy, take it straight to the dry cleaners.

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