How To Get Self-Tanner Out Of Your Clothes

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Many of us want that glorious sun-dappled look, without the side-order of cancer and wrinkles.

Self-tanner is the solution. Bronzed skin without the worry! But, even the most seasoned self-tanning pro will suffer stains or spills.

This oil-based product can wreak havoc on fabrics, leaving behind a tough stain that a quick rinse won’t fix.

If you’re wondering how to get a self-tanner out of clothes (and towels and sheets!), we’ve got the answers here for you.


How To Get Self-Tanner Out Of Clothes

Self-tanner is made to coat the skin, dying the outermost layer of skin a darker color. It works very well and can produce beautiful tan colors.

It is full of oils that can sink into your fabrics and leave a difficult stain.

But don’t fret; we’ve got you covered on how to get a self-tanner out of clothes.

The chemicals in the self-tanner don’t stain right away. They tend to develop over a number of hours. Throwing your garment in the wash should remove the stain if you catch it quickly.

1. Baby Wipes

If you’re not sure how long it’s been there, grab a baby wipe and gently pat the stain from your clothing. Baby wipes should remove the stain if you notice it early. Then throw your clothing in the wash.

2. Inside Out

If you don’t have baby wipes or the stain has been sitting for a while, flip your clothing inside out and rinse with cold water.

Flipping your clothing inside out is essential, as the water will push the stain out of your clothing instead of into it.

3. Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn dish soap is great for removing oil-based stains (it can even remove hair dye). Apply Dawn to the stained areas, then rub with your finger. Repeat until the stain is gone or diminished.

Follow up by laundering as usual. Do this right away instead of throwing your clothes in the laundry bin for later.

4. Oxiclean!

If it’s an older stain you’re dealing with, you’ll want to use an oxygenated bleach like Oxiclean.

Dissolve a scoop of it into hot water, then soak the fabric in the mixture for a few hours or overnight. Launder as usual once it’s done soaking.

If you’re working with white clothing and you need to bleach it, make sure you’re only bleaching the area of clothing sporting a stain. Do not bleach the whole garment.

Avoid drying your clothing until you’re positive that the stain is gone.

How To Get Self-Tanner Out Of Sheets

If you like to apply your tanner at night, you may end up with a stain on your sheets.

You’ll want to treat the stains as soon as you see them.

Wash Time

Run cold water over the underside of the sheet to push the stain out with water.

Mix dish soap with warm water and use the solution to lightly blot the stains. , Do this from the outside to the inside of the stain.

Rinse out the soap and launder as usual, using a heavy-duty detergent.

If there are still visible stains when removing the sheets from the wash, soak them in oxygenated bleach overnight.

Do not dry your sheets until the stain is gone, or else it will set.

How To Get Self-Tanner Out Of Towels

If you use white towels, you’ve probably got some self-tanner stains marring them.

As with any fabric, treat the stain as soon as you see it.

Peroxide Blonde

Because towels are a thicker fabric, hydrogen peroxide is your best option for removing stains. Do not use hydrogen peroxide on darker towels, as it will bleed the color.

You can also use oxygenated bleach for towels to lift stains that may have had enough time to set in.

Your best bet to avoiding future towel stains is to choose a designated self-tanner towel. That way, the stains don’t matter.

Tips For Avoiding Self-Tanner Messes

Stains can be a pain to clean, especially if they’re stubborn, so what can you do to avoid them in the first place?

Self-tanner is an easy stain to make because you’re covered in it and are moving around. You’ll brush clothing by accident, wipe your hands on a towel, or fall asleep before you’re dry.

Here are some tips for avoiding those self-tanner messes.

1. Only Apply Self-Tanner In The Bathroom

Bathrooms are easy to clean because of the tile surfaces. Everything can be wiped away fairly quickly – no oxygenated bleach necessary.

There are no carpets to worry about (unless you live in the 80s). You can easily remove any fabric from the room before you start (such as towels or bath mats). Just be patient and let yourself dry fully before you leave the bathroom.

2. Apply Self-Tanner Before Bed

It’s a good idea to apply your self-tanner about an hour before bedtime. You want to be dry before you go to bed, and wear loose clothes. By morning, you’ll be ready to shower and rock the color.

3. Wear Loose Clothing

Self-tanner is notorious for transferring onto clothing, especially if it hasn’t dried yet.

Self-tanner is notorious for transferring onto clothing, especially if it hasn’t dried yet.

For the first 12-24 hours after application, stick with loose, dark clothing, same as a spray tan.

You’ll want to avoid nylon, silk, and tight-fitting clothes. And stay away from light or white clothing.

Bras are another item that self-tanner likes to rub off on.

If you can avoid wearing a bra, that’s ideal. But, a dark or black bra will be your best option if you can’t get away with not wearing one.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).