How to Get Tanning Lotion Stains Out of Clothing

Inspect the garment for residual signs of stains after washing.
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Greasy stains don't always come from butter and pizza; such stains are often caused by products like tanning lotion, crayons, shoe polish and cosmetics. Stains can become more difficult to remove over time, so it's advisable to treat stains within 24 hours of their initial discovery. You can avoid damaging clothes when targeting stains by carefully reading and following the instructions and precautions on your garment's care tag. Using the right products is also essential for fool-proof cleaning.

Spray the lotion marks with an aerosol laundry stain remover until the area is soaked with the cleaner. Allow 1 minute for the stain remover to begin to work and loosen the grease.

Squeeze a nickle-sized drop of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain. Gently rub the fabric together to saturate the material with the detergent.

Wash the garment through a regular wash cycle with heavy-duty detergent.

Review the treated portions of the garment to determine if the stains are still present -- do not dry the garment if the stains are visible.

Treat stubborn stains again with the aerosol stain remover and heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent until the fabric is clean. Only then is it safe to dry the clothing.

  • Take delicate materials such as cashmere and silk to a professional cleaner for stain removal.
  • Soak stubborn stains in a solution of water and oxygen bleach if it is safe for the fabric.

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.