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Written By Chloe Taylor

Remove Sunscreen From a Car Interior (Full Proof Guide)

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Applying sunscreen is very necessary before going out in the sun to get a tan. It protects your skin from harmful UV rays while tanning. But, the problem arises when it gets everywhere while applying.

You can easily wash it off if your swimsuit or towel gets stained by the sunscreen. But, it becomes difficult and annoying when it stains the interior of your car.

You need to remove the stain as soon as possible because the oils in the sunscreen can make the stain long-lasting.

Here I will share with you some simple and amazing tips to remove sunscreen from the car interior. so, go through the article carefully.

Can Your Car Interiors Get Stained by Sunscreen?

As mentioned above the sunscreen we use contains oils. So, it is very important to remove any stain of the sunscreen from your car’s interior before it gets difficult to remove.

To protect our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays most sunscreen contains an ingredient called avobenzone.

This chemical easily reacts with the iron contained in water. So, you may also notice a rust-colored stain left behind by your sunscreen.

Some sunscreens are waterproof so while removing the stains from the interior of your car use something stronger that will break down and absorb the oil. This way you can remove the stains from a car interior.

How to Remove Sunscreen From a Car Interior?

Here are some simple and best methods to help you get rid of the sunscreen stain from your car interior.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the most common ingredient that helps us to get rid of different tough stains.

To soak up the oils and sunscreen and to remove any stains from the car interior you can use baking soda. But it may not be effective in removing older stains.

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How to use

  • Use a clean microfiber or paper towel and blot the sunscreen and oils as much as you can.
  • Now put a good amount of baking soda to cover the stain completely.
  • Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes so that the baking soda soaks up the oils and the sunscreen completely.
  • Now, remove the soda from the surface using a handheld vacuum. If you do not get the desired result then, repeat the process.
  • To remove older stains mix baking soda with vinegar and use it on the stain. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes to get the visible result.

Baking soda should only be used on car carpets and non-leather fabrics. Using it on leather can be abrasive and ruin the top surface.

Soapy Water

Soapy water is quite effective in removing stains and bringing the area to its original condition.

You can easily try out this method for the stain inside your car. The soapy water can be used on any material and works fine for both old and new stains.

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How to use

  • use a wet tissue to wipe any leftover residue.
  • To avoid the stain from spreading you can try blotting instead of wiping.
  • Mix some hand soap, dish soap, or any other soap with some lukewarm water.
  • Always use soap that is not too strong and does not damage the fabric of your car interior.
  • Now use this mixture with a washcloth or sponge and gently scrub the stained area.
  • Continue with this process unless you notice the desired result. Scrubbing should not be too harsh or too gentle.

At last wipe the area with a dry washcloth or tissue. If you do not get the visible result then repeat the process.

Microfiber Towel

If the stain caused by your sunscreen is not very old then, using a microfiber towel can be very effective to remove the stain from the interior of your car without causing much damage.

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How to use

  • Use a clean microfiber towel and dab at the surface If the stain is new and has not been absorbed by the surface yet.
  • To avoid the stain from spreading do not rub the surface with the towel.
  • After some time you will notice the stain has been lifted from the surface. To lift more stains you can use a wet microfiber cloth.
  • If you notice no changes in the stain then use the mixture of baking soda and vinegar on the satin before following this method.

A microfiber towel can be used on all surfaces like plastic, crevices, leather, and non-leather seats.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is often considered an effective ingredient in removing stains and cleaning products.

It is quite cheap and easily available. It can be a great option for removing oils and sunscreen stains from your car’s interior.

How to use

  • Apply some white vinegar to the stain inside your car. To cover the stain and wet the area spray enough water onto it.
  • If the interior is made of non-leather fabric then, leave the vinegar for a few minutes. But, if it is made of leather then, wipe it away immediately as it could destroy the protective layer.
  • To remove the stains from a non-leather surface scrub the vinegar gently using a non-abrasive brush.
  • Now wipe it away with a clean towel to get that desired result.
  • You can use the vinegar on the car carpets as well.


Removing tough sunscreen stains from your car’s interior can sometimes be really difficult and annoying.

The situation becomes worse when you are not able to remove the stain even after trying out different methods.

The above-mentioned tips will surely help you to get rid of the oils and sunscreen stains and give you that desired result.

Related Questions

Here are a few questions that my clients ask me when they try to remove sunscreen stains from the car interior.

  1. How do you remove a sunscreen stain from clothes?

    Besides, your car interior sunscreen can be left behind some tough stains on your clothes. But, it is not very difficult to get rid of it. mix some dish soap with warm water and use it on the stain to remove it. after that, you can rinse the cloth with cold water. Now put the cloth in the washing machine and wash it using a stain removal detergent.

  2. Why do sunscreen stains turn yellow?

    The brown or yellow stain is caused when the avobenzone contain in your sunscreen reacts with water that contains iron. All sunscreen available on the market does not contain chemicals like avobenzone. So, you need to check out the ingredients before purchasing sunscreen.

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Chloe Taylor

Hey there, I am Chloe Taylor, your trusted tanning expert. Dive into expert tips, product reviews, and skincare advice to unlock the secrets of a radiant tan. Also, join me in achieving that sun-kissed glow while safeguarding your skin, which can leave you feeling your best.

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