Have you tried to get self tanner stains on your clothes? This article is worth saving for the next time you have a situation, where you need to remove self tan from clothes. And even how to get self tanner off white clothes!

Before you toss your chic decor out the window, because you can’t give up your self tanner… You should know that there is a way to treat the spots.

Does self tanners stain?

Does self tanner get on clothes? You may ask yourself, does tanning lotion stain clothes, does gradual tan stain clothes and does tanning water stain clothes? Well; they do. But the consequences differ greatly from spray tans and colour added self tan products, to the colorless self tan products from Boë. 
Does tanning lotion stain clothes? Many self tanners claim they won’t leave behind stains. And this article is mostly about self tan products, that don’t live up to the word about being transfer free (Boë products are transfer free). However, if your self tanner falls short and leaves behind the evidence, don’t panic.

But, but… By using the colorless self tan products from Boë
– you’ve taken the first and most important step to an easy and effortless tanning

What Causes Self Tanners to Stain?

First, you should know; the popular tanning ingredient, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), isn’t what causes stains. This ingredient is actually colorless. What really causes stains, are the other ingredients combined with the oils in the formula. Or any colorants used to give the product color. Opting for a clear or colorless self tanner, could be the answer to all your woes. Such a product could be the Tan Water No.2.

How much product you use, and how long you let it dry, can also contribute to the likelihood of the product transferring onto your sheets. 

Remember also that sweating increases transfer, so self tan dry and set your room temperature to cool is always recommended.

How Do You Get Self Tanner Off Clothes & Sheets? 

These advices are concerning other self tanners, than the Boë products
– because Boë products doesn’t contain added colours.
– and Boë’s colorless self tan formulas prevent you from the problems, most people experience from time to time with spray tans.

Nevertheless; that shall not prevent us from sharing some easy quick fixes about how to handle self tan stains on clothes and fabrics. We’ll share some simple advices about how to get tan off clothes inclusive how to get tanning lotion out of clothes.

When you self tan – and you use spray tans or self tan with color added, then it’s likely that your clothes are going to get messy, especially if they’re light-colored or tight on the skin. Even if you are super careful when putting your clothes on, you can’t be sure that they’ll stay clean.

When you’re using spray tans and self tan products

with instant coloring, and when you’re wearing your clothes, they brush up against your skin. So there’s a high chance that the fake tan will transfer. But this depends on the type and quality of the self tanner product. If you’re using Boë products, you will not experience transfer – unless it’s in extreme situations. Extreme situations could be if you apply self tanner in places with steam-like-temperatures, where your bodytemperature and the surroundings prevents your skin in absorbing what is applied.

Even after you have waited for the tan to dry and washed it off in the shower, there’s still a possibility that the product will transfer (again; not with a Boë product). Some claim to be ‘transfer-proof’, but sweating and other external factors may still get in the way of your new tan.

Essentially, most users of self tan will experience transfer on their clothes or sheets at some point, where this list will prove to be useful about how to get it out.

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How can you get self tanner off your clothes?

As you’ll probably encounter this scenario at some point in your life, or you’ve already had if you’re here, you’ll be happy to hear that it is possible to get self tan off your clothes. Below are some methods worth trying.

When you find fake tan stains, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible. This is so the stain has less time to settle into the fabric. You should also, always make sure to check the washing instructions on the label and only follow what is suitable for your garment.

Method #1: Laundry detergent

Cold water is known for helping to remove stains, so start by rinsing the area. Avoid using hot water as this can have the opposite effect. If possible, rinse the garment on the opposite side to the stain, e.g., if the stain is on the front, put the back directly under the running water).

Next, create a mixture of laundry detergent and water, and gently dab it onto the area. Avoid scrubbing as this can damage the clothes and make the stain worse. If you don’t have any laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid or soap will work too. Finish by washing the clothes as normal and the stain should be gone.

So to answer your might asked question: Does self tanner wash out of clothes?
Yes; it does – and very easily, when you’re using Boë products. This advice should solve most cases about how to get self tan out of clothes, even how to get self tanner out of white clothes shouldn’t be a problem. And only in extreme cases, the removal will be a challenge if you have stains from Boë-products on your white shirt.

Method #2: Toothpaste

If you have a small stain or a drop of fake tan on your clothes, this method works well. However, it isn’t as effective for larger stains.

Take a fresh toothbrush with some whitening toothpaste. You can also use your finger if the material is more delicate. Just dab the area with some cold water, and use either your finger or the toothbrush to make circular motions, removing the stain. When you are happy, rinse with cold water and wash in the machine.

Method #3: A stain remover

Although it may sound obvious, a stain remover bar or powder is another useful method of clearing fake tan stains. For the best results, you should follow the instructions on the product, making sure that any water you use is cold unless stated otherwise. Just like any other method, finish with a regular machine wash and you should be good to go!

Method #4: A standard 40C wash

Unless your clothes are white or pale, a standard wash at 40C should be enough to remove fake tan stains. You’re best off washing the garment(s) in a separate wash to ensure best results, and prevent any problems. If you are choosing to go with this method, check the washing instructions in the label of your clothes to make sure that it won’t damage them.

Method #5: Hydrogen peroxide

If you have stained some white clothes, hydrogen peroxide is a good fix. But it shouldn’t be used on any colors or delicate materials. If you are unsure whether you can use hydrogen peroxide on your specific clothing item, check the label and, if you’re still unsure, perform a patch test in a small area which isn’t very visible when you wear it.

All you need to do, is take a cloth or similar with 3% hydrogen peroxide and use it to dab at the stain. Hydrogen peroxide is a lifting agent, so you should notice that the stain gradually disappears. Once you’re finished, make sure to wash as normal.

Additional tips

When you use self tanners, here are a few tips to keep in mind which will help to prevent staining your clothes or sheets.

  1. Wear darker clothes
    It makes sense that the darker your clothes are, the less likely they are to show up stains. Wear darker clothes when you’re waiting for your tan to dry.
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothes
    If your clothes are tight, the self tanner is much more likely to transfer to them. Loose-fitting clothes are a good option because they come into much less contact with your skin.
  3. Use a dark towel
    After showering, use a dark towel or one you don’t mind getting stained, as there may still be some tan which didn’t rinse off properly.
  4. Sleep on a towel or an extra sheet
    If you’re planning on leaving your self tan to develop overnight, and wash it off in the morning, consider sleeping on top of a dark towel to prevent your sheets from getting stained.

Final thoughts

If you fake tan often, it’s very likely you’ll end up staining your clothes or bedding at some point. But with these tips, you can be confident knowing how to gelt self tanner stains off. There are a variety of different methods, and it’s worth trying different ones for different materials and stains
– but why not just use the Boë self tan products? ;)

Read more about our tips, products and Boë in general on our tan talk-page.