January 17, 2014

Uh-Oh! How Do I Remove Fake Tan From Clothing?

Even if you are a seasoned self-tanning pro, accidental spills and stains are bound to happen from time to time. Getting tanner residue on your clothes is especially frustrating because it can create permanent discolourations if left untouched for too long. Instead of waiting until the next laundry day to scrub away the stains, rescue your favourite outfits as soon as disaster strikes. Learn how to remove spray tan from your clothes with the simple tips below.

How to Remove Spray Tan from Fabric

  1. Start work on removing the stain as soon as you spot it. While DHA does not cause permanent discolouration immediately, the stain can set if you wait too long to wash it out.
  2. Remove the oily component first. Self-tanning causes combination stains that can be broken down into pigment and oil. Makeup, crayons, oil-based foods and ink are all examples of other products that create combination stains. It’s important to lift the oil first because once it works its way into the fabric’s fibres, removing the greasy residue becomes very difficult.
  3. Immediately rinse stained clothes under cold water. Simply hold the stained area under the stream of water until it runs clean. Do not rub the fabric just yet. While it can seem like an effective way to speed up stain removal, putting too much pressure on the affected area can push the colour deeper into the fabric.
  4. Treat the stained area with a mild solution of water and dish soap or fabric detergent. Use your fingertips to gently work the cleaning solution into the stain for a few minutes before rinsing it with cold water.
  5. Try hydrogen peroxide on lighter clothes. Stains are notoriously difficult to remove on white and pale fabrics. If following the steps above does not get the tanner out completely, lighten the leftover residue spot with bleach and cool water. Remember to only use bleach to treat the stained area and not the clean fabric.

Tips for Avoiding Messes in the Future

While learning how to remove spray tan can save you in a tanning emergency, there are three easy tips you can follow to avoid messy accidents in the first place.

  • Spray tan in the bathroom. Because bathrooms are generally a lot easier to clean than rooms with carpeted floors or furniture, they are ideal for spray tanning at home.
  • Get a pop-up tent. If you are serious about spray tanning, invest in a portable pop-up tent that can keep your tanning messes confined to one easy-to-clean area.
  • Wait until your skin is completely dry before putting on clothes. Choose loose-fitting clothing until your next shower – this will prevent staining caused by perspiration.
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