Sunscreen That Will Not Stain Clothing

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Spray sunscreen has the added benefit of keeping your hands clean.
Spray sunscreen has the added benefit of keeping your hands clean. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Nothing ruins a great day at the beach like a big greasy sunscreen stain on your favorite shirt or dress. While it's best to always follow the instructions on the label of your product, sometimes a stain is unavoidable. Using a spray sunscreen can dramatically decrease your chances of a stain and typically feels less greasy on the skin. These products are usually a bit more expensive, but it's worth the investment.

Fast-Drying Sprays

The best type of sunscreen that you can use to avoid stains is one that dries quickly and leaves behind very little residue. Some of these products might be labeled "sport," because they're often used by athletes. They're sold in an upright aerosol can. Mist yourself with this sunscreen and allow it to dry before putting your clothes on, as it still has some potential to stain. However, your skin will feel dry in a matter of seconds. Read the label on the back of the product and re-apply as needed.

Avoid Tinted Sunscreens

One of the biggest culprits of sunscreen stains is tinted lotion or spray. Some sunscreens now include sunless tanning agents that darken the skin even without the assistance of the sun. These products are usually a light brown, as opposed to the traditional white sunblock, and can leave behind a nasty brown color.

Follow the Instructions

The best way to avoid sunscreen stains is to follow the directions written on the label of your product. Many companies issue warnings and apologies in advance for any stains. Make sure that you are not wet or sweaty before applying the product and allow it to dry completely before letting it come in contact with your clothes.

How to Remove a Stain

If, despite your best efforts, you still have a stain from sunscreen on your clothes, there are ways that you can remove it. Do NOT dry the article of clothing until you have washed the stain out completely. Heat will set the stain and make it impossible to remove. Use liquid dish soap or baking soda to lift the grease out of the stain, then wash the article of clothing in very hot water. Inspect it before drying to see if you need to repeat the process.

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