Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunscreen Stain Update

At long last I finally called Coppertone and inquired about sunblock stains on my clothing. (other company's sunblock has also stained my clothing ... FYI) The Customer Service gal on the line didn't hesitate (like she gets this question all of the time) and explained that the stains are due to avobenzone in the sunblock. As the entry in Wikipedia explained, Avobenzone reacts with minerals to form colored complexes. So if you have hard water (a lot of minerals in your water) commonly caused by having well water, the iron in the water binds to the avobenzone and creates stains in your clothing. Coppertone recommends applying the standard stain removers before washing your clothing, which I have found to be almost completely ineffective. Mainly (as I explained to the woman) because the stains show up after I wash the clothes. Which stands to reason if it's binding to the iron in my water! (Unless of course I'd been mining for iron in my back yard with sunblock on, in which case the stains would show up before I washed them. Eeegads.) To that, the kind Coppertone Woman explained that a lot of people say that the stains show up afterwards (oh boy) and then recommended using Rit Rust Remover or Iron-Out. I looked that stuff up and basically these have strong acids that can irritate the skin if not completely rinsed out of your clothing. One site recommended using detergent with phosphates in it against rust stains! Terrific. How about putting something in our sunblock that doesn't hurt us or our clothing? Afterwards I read that lemon juice can be effective against rust stains in the laundry. Stay Tuned. I'll try it.
Be well.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I've had the orange stains for years and have tried everything to remove them - with little success. Iron Out does work, but it is very harsh and stinky. We are now having to replace our water system and plan to include an iron filter, so hopefully that will take care of the sunblock stain nightmare!

Anonymous said...

I have found that the Works Bathroom and Kitchen cleaner works the best to get out these stains. I spray it on the wet clothing and let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then wash again. So far, it has worked, but sometimes I have to treat it 2 or 3 times if I missed it on an earlier wash load.

Anonymous said...

lol (okay ocd neard alert) . . . I use aerosol sport sun screen often, and noticed the white wait band of my favorite bathing suit had become discolored from it. It had become kind of orange, and looked awful. I had only worn it a few times, i was dissappointed. Looking online i saw others having ths same problem with the product i use and other companies sunscreens too. My research told me that the orange stains are caused by a chemical called Avobenzone which is in almost all sunblocks as of the last couple years(yours included) This chemical gets on your clothes and when you wash them it oxidizes the iron in water in your washer machine . . .making a stain on your clothes that is actually rust. Most detergents do nothing for rust . . so you have to use a mild rust remover. I used "Rust Stain Remover" by Whink which i found at Stop and Shop near bathroom cleaners. I used a bit more then they suggest and scrubbed with a white rag and then reapplied then scrubbed again, stain was gone and then washed as usual. Hang dry. And there you have it. This problem is solvable, but I caution users to check that the cleaner does not lighten colored garments by testing it in a unnoticeable spot. Hope my trials help some of you out there.

-tw

Anonymous said...

I had the stains on a few things before but after getting back from vacation, I washed clothes and the stains were on a lot of items. I tried Iron Out; nothing. Oxy Clean and this and that. Finally with nothing else to lose I tried Finazzle bathroom grout cleaner. It worked the best and I have hardly any spots left in the clothes. A friend suggested it a few years back for under the arms of white undershirts. I was hesitant to use it on colored clothes but none of the colors bled or faded.

April said...

Whink Rust Stain Remover worked PERFECTLY! Thank you! :)

TK410 said...

Iron in the water? I've seen a lot of comments on this. We did a test on an old t-shirt: A light spraying of Coppertone Sport Spray - SPF 50; we then applied just a few drops of standard liquid laundry detergent straight from the bottle, no household water: the area that the detergent touched immediately turned a bright yellow. We did the test because many of our whits looked ruined after washing them upon retuning from the beach. We tried stain fighters but the only thing that worked was bleach, but obviously that's only a solution for whites.

stonera.com said...

Stonera A heavy duty, dilute acid-type cleaner for all granites and other acid resistant stones. R77 dissolves and removes rust, delays and in most cases prevents its formation. Don't use R77 on polished marble.and more


Rust removers

Anonymous said...

I have a laundry in South Africa, White cotton sheets and towels are brought in with yellow stains, as soon as we apply any of our cleaning products to the items, the stain turns a bright yellow.It seems to be chemicals or minerals that react together causing this. But what to do?

Tom Whitney said...

like someone said use Whink Rust Stain Remover, it's works amazing on rust stains on fabric, especially the ones caused by the Avobenzone in your sun screen. I too found it at Stop and Shop, but the company's website (whink.com) sells direct and also lists what other retailers have it. Get the one in the brown bottle, it's color safe. I can't recommend it enough for this problem. (note it also worked on a bathtub iron stain too, and my roommate used it to de-rust car parts . . so it's a good product to have around)

Stonera systems said...

STONERA provides excellent Rust remover solutions for stone having specialty products to enhance and makes stone surfaces look great again. STONERA has a complete range of glues, mastics, colorants, colour enhancers, impregnating sealers and waxes. No proper stone work can be done without the use of rust remover.
Rust Remover for Stone