Summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of sunshine out there—and plenty of sunscreen, too. And slathering on sunscreen can be a messy business, so use these tips to prevent stains:
- Simplify stain removal in the first place by buying a water-based lotion, rather than an oily one. Read the ingredients, and if mineral oil is listed, buy a different product.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after you apply any lotion.
- Spread a towel or two over your patio furniture and car seats to avoid staining the upholstery.
And if you end up with stains in spite of your best efforts, use these tricks to make them disappear:
- If you’ve got lotion on your clothes, wipe off as much as you can, then use an enzyme presoak before you launder them. Or you can soak the fabric in a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 quart of water before washing.
- For sunscreen spills on hard surfaces, including plastic, aluminum, tile, and vinyl, dip a clean cloth into warm, sudsy water that’s got a few drops of ammonia added to it. Rinse the area well and wipe it dry.
- Lotion stains on walkways or patio pavers call for stronger measures, so use washing soda and water. Scrub the stains with a soft-bristled brush to work the soapy solution into the surface, then rinse it well with a garden hose.
- Clean sunscreen off carpet and upholstery by sprinkling the spots with baking soda or cornstarch to soak up the oil or liquid. Let the powder stand for half an hour, then vacuum it up.
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