Say Goodbye to Sunscreen Stains: The Magic of Bar Keeper’s Friend

Uncategorized - by [email protected] - March 3, 2023

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Our family LOVES Coldplay, and I was devastated when my favorite Coldplay concert t-shirt was stained yellow pink by the avobenzone in my sunscreen reacting with our hard water, so I turned to a tried and true helper: Bar Keeper’s Friend.

To say the results were surprising is an understatement! Suffice to say that my favorite concert shirt has been saved for Dad to rock out in (much to my kid’s unhappiness and wife’s embarrassment) for years to come!

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Bar Keeper’s Friend Removes Sunscreen Stains Caused by Avobenzone

Hey there, sunscreen enthusiasts! If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of yellow, brown, or even pink stains on your favorite fabric due to sunscreen, like on my Coldplay shirt, you’re not alone.

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Ugly stain from sunscreen

But fear not – there’s a secret weapon in the battle against stubborn sunscreen stains, and its name is Bar Keeper’s Friend. In this article, we’ll dive into the challenges of removing sunscreen stains, the effectiveness of Bar Keeper’s Friend, and some handy tips for tackling those pesky stains with ease.

The example t-shirt had even gone through the dryer twice before trying this, which I’d definitely recommend against – the dryer can bake stains in, which is probably why I had to reapply the cleaners twice and really scrub to get the stain all the way out!

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The Sunscreen Stain Struggle: Why Does It Happen?

Before we dive into the solution, let’s talk about why sunscreen stains can be such a pain to deal with. Many sunscreens contain a chemical called avobenzone, which is highly effective at blocking harmful UV rays.

However, avobenzone has a pesky habit of reacting with hard water, causing it to oxidize and leave behind unsightly stains on fabric.

These stains can range from yellow or brown to downright pink, depending on the specific sunscreen formula and the type of fabric it comes into contact with.

And to make matters worse, these stains can be notoriously difficult to remove, often requiring more than just a basic wash cycle to banish them for good.

The Power of Bar Keeper’s Friend: A Stain-Fighting Superhero

This versatile cleaning product has been a staple in households for decades, beloved for its ability to tackle even the toughest stains with ease.

But does it really work on those pesky sunscreen stains?

The answer is a resounding yes! You’ll see exactly how below, so keep reading.

Bar Keeper’s Friend contains oxalic acid, a powerful ingredient that works wonders on stubborn stains like those caused by avobenzone.

Its gentle yet effective formula is safe to use on a wide variety of surfaces, including fabric, making it an ideal choice for tackling sunscreen stains on clothing, towels, and other fabrics.

Tips for Using Bar Keeper’s Friend to Remove Sunscreen Stains

Now it’s time to get down to business, and do some cleaning! Here are some handy tips to banish sunscreen stains once and for all:

  1. Test a Small Area First: Before applying Bar Keeper’s Friend to the entire stain, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first. This will help ensure that the product doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration to the fabric.
  2. Apply Directly to the Stain: For best results, dampen the stained area with hot water and apply a small amount of Bar Keeper’s Friend directly to the stain. Use a clean cloth or sponge to gently scrub the product into the fabric, working in circular motions to loosen the stain.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly: After treating the stain, be sure to rinse the fabric thoroughly with water to remove any residue. This will help prevent the product from transferring to other clothes in the wash and causing additional staining.
  4. Wash as Usual: Once the stain has been treated and rinsed, you can wash the fabric as usual. I’d check to make sure the stain is completely gone  BEFORE putting the garment into your dryer. If it’s not, the dryer will bake that stain in and make it even harder to remove. Be sure to check the care label for any specific instructions or recommendations regarding washing and drying.
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One word of caution, some folks on Reddit had mixed experiences with this tactic. It worked for some, but not for others.

Personally, I think they didn’t get the sunscreen all the way out of their shirt, and the reaction they saw was the avobenzone in sunscreen further reacting with their hard water.

But like we said above, test on a small, inconspicuous area first, as your results could differ from mine.

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Coldplay shirt after

In Conclusion: Say Goodbye to Sunscreen Stains

In conclusion, sunscreen stains may be a nuisance, but with the help of Bar Keeper’s Friend, they don’t stand a chance.

This powerful cleaning product is a game-changer when it comes to removing yellow, brown, and pink stains caused by avobenzone in sunscreen.

With a little bit of elbow grease and some handy tips, you can banish those stubborn stains and keep your fabrics looking fresh and clean. So go ahead, enjoy the sunshine – and leave the sunscreen stain worries behind!