The recipe for every satisfying day at the beach includes equal parts sand, saltwater and sunscreen. One slightly inconvenient symptom of a day of slip-slop-slappin’ is getting home to find smears of your best sun safety efforts staining your swimmers, shorts, the car seat, towels and heaven forbid, even the couch. 

It’s the oils, colours and sometimes pesky active ingredients in sunscreen that can create stains that are tricky to shift and that sometimes don’t appear until after a garment is washed. 

But just as reaching for the Dyson is the answer to quickly and effectively cleaning up the remnants of the beach that have come home with you, reaching for your Dirt laundry detergent is all you need to get the sunscreen out of your beach gear and furniture. 

Stain: Sunscreen

Stain type


Detergent type

Enzymatic laundry detergent

Water temperature 

Warm (40-degrees) to hot 

What you’ll need to get rid of sunscreen stains:

How to get rid of sunscreen stains - clothes 

  1. Remove any globs of sunscreen with something that scrapes (eg a spoon).

    Hot tip: Unlike getting it in your togs, beach sand is your ally if sunscreen stains happen seaside. Add some sand to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. The sand helps absorb the oil in the stain until you can wash it properly.

  2. Pretreat the stained area with a squirt of Dirt laundry detergent and work it into the stain using either your fingers or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Allow it 30-minutes to get to work. 
  3. Wash as normal in the hottest temperature recommended on the care label. If in doubt, stick to a warm 40-degree cycle. 

How to get rid of sunscreen stains - furniture

  1. Remove any globs of sunscreen with something that scrapes (eg a spoon).

  2. Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent with 1 cup of warm water. 

  3. Blot the stain with the solution using either a clean cloth or a soft-bristled brush. 

  4. Rinse the area with a clean and damp cloth. 

  5. Air dry the area, then vacuum to lift the fibres and any residual parts of the stain.
Shop Dirt laundry detergent 
Jordan Eagle