Sunscreen is a summer essential that essentially can get everywhere. Aerosol and cream-based sunscreens can make tile floors dangerously slippery, hardwood floors hard to clean and can create lasting (and greasy) memories on carpet, clothes and upholstery. The next time you overspray or release a freshly coated toddler into a home, at least you’ll be armed with these sunscreen removal tips.
Removing Sunscreen from Tile Floors and Hardwoods
Spray-on sunscreen is more of a culprit than its lotion counterparts when it comes to making surfaces slippery. If you can’t avoid spraying sunscreen in the house or if sunscreen spills on the floor, the most effective cleaning treatment is with water, soap and a soft sponge.
Keep in mind that the type of soap you use will depend on the surface you are cleaning. Ammonia works great on tile and can make easy work of cutting through sunscreen’s waterproof barrier. Soap with a degreasing element (like a mild dish soap) can tackle your wood floors. In both cases, scrub gently and rinse thoroughly. And don’t forget to pass a dry towel over the area to ensure no one slips on your elbow grease.
Removing Sunscreen from Upholstery
If you’ve seen your couch’s life flash before your eyes as your child’s sunscreened face snuggles into the pillows, take a deep breath. A simple sprinkle with baking soda may be all that’s needed to soak up the oily residue. Allow to sit on the stain for a minimum of one hour and repeat as necessary. Keep in mind that some upholstery fabrics may require professional help.
Removing Sunscreen from Carpet
All it takes is one forgotten tube of sunscreen and one ill-placed foot, and you have a sunscreen-carpet fiasco that’s certain to make the highlight reel. Working as quickly as you can, blot up the sunscreen, doing your best not to work it into the fibers. Once the excess has been removed, sprinkle the carpet liberally with baking soda and allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum the next morning.
Removing Sunscreen from Clothing
If more than one favorite t-shirt has fallen victim to the sunscreen grease spot epidemic, it’s time to start fighting back. Sunscreen grease stains are no different from other grease stains, and the same laundry rules apply. Find an agent to soak up the grease (white chalk, baking soda) and allow to sit for about an hour. Then apply a degreasing element to the stain (dishwashing detergent works wonders). Wash as usual, and allow to air dry. Dryers should only be used once it’s determined that the stain is gone; once clothing is exposed to high temperatures, stains can often set irreversibly.