The initial sunscreen stain is only part of the story. The way we then go about trying to remove these stains can actually intensify them rather than lighten or remove them:
- The water we wash our clothes in contains metal ions such as iron and copper. These react with the filter stains on our clothes and can intensify those stains. There are more of these metal ions in hard water and so those washing clothes in hard water areas are more likely to experience sunscreen stains.
- Hot water can actually seal in the yellow stains rather than remove them: the 40°C (104°F) setting recommended by most washing machine and laundry detergent manufacturers is hot enough to intensify sunscreen stains.
- Powder detergents and bleaching agents can also react with the filters and increase rather than decrease the sunscreen stains.
It’s difficult to avoid stains appearing when your clothes come in to contact with your sunscreen, but there are several steps you can take to make it easier to remove those stains when you wash your clothes:
Step 1: Choose products that can help
Apply superior sun protection products that care for your clothes as well as your skin. Eucerin’s ‘Anti-Stain After Wash’ technology is a breakthrough innovation that is proven to help reduce the intensity of sunscreen stains after washing.1
Step 2: Pre-wash stained fabrics without detergent
Use the pre-wash setting on your machine or rinse stained fabrics in cool water without any type of laundry detergent.
Step 3: Wash clothes at 30°C
Follow the pre-wash by washing your clothes at 30°C (86°F) with a liquid detergent. Avoid bleaching agents and powder laundry detergents. Take particular care when washing cotton as is this the fabric most susceptible to sunscreen stains.