How to Remove Sunscreen from Swimsuits

How to Remove Sunscreen from Swimsuits

Using sunscreen is mandatory once you are at the pool or beach this summer. Unfortunately, while protecting your skin, sunscreen may get on your swimwear. It’s inevitable actually! The chemicals in sunscreen can stain your swimwear ruining your favorites.

However, there is good news. There are ways to remove sunscreen and protect your swimwear from the adverse effects of sunscreen.

What are some of the chemicals in sunscreen that damage swimwear?

Here is a list of the most common ingredients that you will find in a sunscreen:

Zinc Oxide

A mineral filter that blocks UVA And UVB rays. It works by creating a barrier over the skin. However, it leaves a white residue that can stain swimwear.


Another chemical filter that absorbs UVB rays. It is oily and water resistant in nature and can cling to the fibers in your swimwear.

Titanium Dioxide

This chemical causes UV rays to bounce off the surface of the skin. It also leaves a white cast that gets into fabrics causing stains and degradation of swimwear fabric.


This ingredient protects against UVA rays. It is considered one of the best ingredients in sunscreens.


This is one of the substances that are controlled in sunscreen because sometimes people have reactions to the chemical. So if it can negatively affect your skin, imagine what it can do to your swimwear!

How to get sunscreen out of swimwear?

We have a few DIY hacks that you can try. We will walk you through the process step by step for maximum results. If one does not work, you can try another until you achieve success.

Hack 1

  • Step 1- Spread out your swimsuit on a flat surface.
  • Step 2- Make a thin paste of baking soda and water and apply it to all the stained areas on the swimsuit.
  • Step 3- Let it sit for about an hour or so.
  • Step 4- If there are large stains or most of the swimsuit is covered in stains, mix the baking soda in a large bowl and soak the swimsuit for an hour.
  • Step 5- Wash as usual.

This usually breaks up the stains that are caused by oil-based sunscreens.

If you are still not satisfied with your results, try our next hack.

Hack 2

  • Step 1- Mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts warm water.
  • Step 2- Soak the swimsuit for about an hour, if you can let it sit for longer, we recommend that you do.
  • Step 3- For those stubborn stains, you can apply white vinegar directly to the stain.
  • Step 4- Launder as usual and check the results

Hack 3

There is yet another way how to get sunscreen out of swimwear.

  • Step 1-Mix 1 quart of water with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and liquid detergent
  • Step 2- Soak the garment for 1 or 2 hours.

Hack 4

  • Step 1- Spread the swimsuit on a flat surface.
  • Step 2- Pour 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent on the stain/stains
  • Step-3 Work the detergent into the fabric washing with your hands or a soft toothbrush
  • Step 4- Rinse out the soap and examine the stain if the stain is not entirely out, continue to Step 5.
  • Step 5-Mix 1 tablespoon of hand soap and ¼ teaspoon of glycerin.
  • Step 6- Apply to stain and work it into the fabric with a soft toothbrush.
  • Step 7- Rinse the swimsuit.
  • Step 8-Soak the suit in a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of mild laundry detergent, for 30 mins.
  • Step-9- Move the swimsuit round in the slightly soapy mixture to remove all dirt, odors, or chlorine.
  • Step 10- Rinse the suit under the tap, squeeze and let dry.

Hack 5

There are commercial stain-removing solutions that you can buy. They work by breaking down the enzymes. The instructions are usually on the bottle. We recommend that you follow them closely.

In summary: How to get sunscreen out of swimwear?

How to get sunscreen out of swimwear can be a trial and error process. It may take several tries but don’t give up on your favorite swimsuits if they have sunscreen stains. We recommend that you choose sunscreen without avobenzone. You should also try to apply your sunscreen carefully avoiding contact with the fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get sunscreen out of bathing suit?
The article above outlines the best ways to get sunscreen out of your swimsuit without harm.
Are there any natural methods for effectively removing sunscreen stains from swimsuits?
A mixture of baking soda and water can be effective for removing sunscreen stains. Create a paste with baking soda and a small amount of water, apply it directly to the stain, and let it sit for an hour before gently scrubbing and rinsing. Lemon juice, due to its natural bleaching properties, can also be used on white or light-colored swimsuits.

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