Summer soirees ~ Laundress Lucca shares steps for removing sunscreen from bathing suits and patio furniture.

July 02, 2022

As our summer coverage continues, there is a common theme here: Laundress Lucca refuses to spend the glorious days in the laundromat or at home doing laundry. She Just Refuses! Even though she is indeed a laundry sexpert, I mean expert, first and foremost, she understands the art of living. To live that life to the fullest, thank god for the pick-up-and-delivery service from “I find the convenience and quality far outweigh additional expense for the service.” When one is as busy as Laundress Lucca, it’s all about time and how to most efficiently use it. “Without the service, I’d miss the beach, the pool, and the lake. I’m just not willing to do it, and neither should any of my readers”. This blog is about enjoying life to the fullest and how to treat the stains it produces. 

Laundress Lucca was at a pool party last weekend, which is the impetus of today’s topic: How to remove sunscreen from a bathing suit and patio furniture.   

Whether you’re swimming, playing outdoor sports, or simply basking in the sun, slathering on sunscreen is one of the most essential rituals of summer. Unfortunately, while the SPF helps protect against sunburns and skin cancer, it’s also really hard to keep the glop contained to just the skin. Unfortunately, tackling yellow-orange sunscreen stains on clothes is an annoying part of the summer experience, so make this a priority as soon as you notice the stain. 

One thing you can do to avoid sunscreen stains in the first place is to wait until the sunscreen fully dries before putting on your bathing suit or getting dressed. HA! Like anybody is willing to do that! That would imply foresight and preparedness, and that’s just not going to happen. Additionally, when reapplying, be mindful of your sleeves and necklines as they tend to be most vulnerable. Accidents happen, and the best way to prevent the stain from setting in permanently is to focus your removal efforts on the oil. Whether you’re dealing with wet sunscreen from your arm smeared on your shirt or a big goopy glob lands on your dress, it all comes down to tackling the job as soon as possible. 


2022 Blog July Bathing Suit Stain Removal 1


  1. Turn the clothing inside out and flush the stain under cold running water.

  2. Make a solution of warm water and Dawn and blot the stain. In reality, Laundress Lucca soaks it in Perrier and Dawn. The effervescence of the Perrier helps infuse oxygen into the fabric, penetrating the fibers and ultimately getting the stain out thoroughly. For those that appreciate bubbles, Dom Perignon is just as effective if you happen to be celebrating or just plain thirsty. This is the same principle effect of Pacifica Laundry’s washing machines. The 200g extractors run at such high revolutions; it actually makes a cleaner wash; and also reduces dry times. But I digress, back to Sunscreen removal.

  3. Rinse the area well with cold water. No Perrier is necessary for this step.

  4. Launder as per fabric instructions.

  5. Don’t place clothing in the dryer until you’re certain the stain is removed since the intense heat could work against you and set the stain.

  6. If further treatment is required, soak the clothing overnight in a solution of cold water and oxygen-based bleach, according to package directions. 

That addresses sloppy slathering of sunscreen on your part, but what about when you’re clearly marinated in vodka-infused Sangria and elegantly flop on the poolside canvas patio cushions. UH OH! You’re not just ruining your own clothes; now you’ve left your sunscreen trademark on your host. We all have our days, sweetie. This just isn’t yours. Poor Dear.  

2022 Blog Patio Cushion Sunscreen Stain 1


To remove sunscreen from upholstery:

  1. The first step is to read the fabric-care label as this will determine if it needs to be professionally cleaned or if you can tackle it on your own. For the benefit of your host, let’s hope you can do it on your own. 

  2. Assuming it’s a washable material, combine one teaspoon of Dawn and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. It’s imperative you don’t use your 12-year-old balsamic, as the darkness and richness will counteract your best-intentioned efforts. Anyhoo, combine the Dawn and white vinegar in 1 cup of cold water in a spray bottle. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and quickly screw the top onto the bottle. Combined, baking soda and vinegar will create frivolous bubbles, not unlike the corkage of a vintage Brut. 

  3. Spray a white cloth with the cleaning solution, and gently dab and rub any stains on the fabric. Alternatively, apply the solution using the spray bottle; wipe down the entire surface of the cushion for a good deep clean. 

  4. Let dry

Don’t delay. The longer sunscreen sits on your clothing or furniture, the harder it will be to get the oily stain out. If you’re tight on time, pre-treating the stain with cold water, a cleaning solution or a stain-stick may help. It’s also crucial to avoid oxygenated bleaches and chlorine, as they react with a common ingredient in sunscreens (avobenzone) and make the stains worse. So, the next time you’re overserved that fifth glass of Sangria in the pool, muster up the courage to ask the hot guy with the big hands to help keep it off your bathing suit, patio furniture, and what little dignity you have left. His application will be much more precise than yours. 


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