How to remove sunscreen from car interior

No matter how hard you try, sunscreen seems to get everywhere. But the question is How to remove sunscreen from car interior? Sunscreen can be challenging to remove from the interior of a car if you do not have the right knowledge and tips. However, you don’t have to worry if you follow our guide.

Sunscreens are the major reason why car owners become irritated. Any area you touch will get stuck to it, including seat covers, door panels, and the like. You can’t wipe sunscreen off like you can other spills or stains. There are very few all-purpose cleaners capable of tackling this issue. In this article, we will show you the best ways to get sunscreen out of your car and which cleaners to use.

How does sunscreen get on our car interior?

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

Sunscreen is intended for direct application to the skin. It gives us protection from UV rays. It is easy for sunscreen to get on the interior of our cars through clothing, neck towels, by our hands, and lastly, through our children.

Nevertheless, these products aren’t automobile-friendly. Most traditional interior car care products can’t remove sunscreen because it’s water-repellent. If it’s been on for a long time (like several months), it may seem impossible.

Polyethylene glycol and titanium dioxide are two of the main components of sunscreen. Although they do a great job of reflecting light and protecting us from UV rays, the white residue will embed itself into the car interior if you use them inside. The longer it remains there, the harder it is to remove.

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How to remove sunscreen from car interior?

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

The following are some methods for removing sunscreen from your car interior, based on where you are trying to remove it from. When removing sunscreen from any surface, including the interior of your car, you should not rush. Be calm, and you will remove the stain with ease.

Tools/materials required for removing sunscreen

  • Soapy water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Commercial cleaners (like 
  • For making household cleaners (vinegar, baking soda, and lemon)

Step 1: Cleaning with soapy water:

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

In most cases, soapy water is the most effective way to remove stains from other surfaces and bring them back to their original state. It’s still a good idea to follow the instructions below to ensure you’re not damaging anything.

Depending on the severity of the stain, this method may or may not work.

1: Carefully wipe away the stain

For fresh stains or sticky surfaces, wipe any leftover residue gently with a wet wipe or tissue. When wiping doesn’t work, try just buffing it out instead of spreading the stain further. By doing so, the next time will be easier, and there will be less mess.

2: Prepare your solution

After wiping down the stain, you can begin preparing the cleaning solution. Just add a small amount of warm water to dish soap, liquid soap, or whatever soap you don’t think will damage your interior.

Pro Tip: Select a suitable soap for both leather and fabric upholstery.

3: Using a sponge or washcloth

Using the mixture, you created, scrub the stain gently with a sponge or washcloth until it comes off. You want it to be effective without causing any damage, so try not to be too gentle or harsh.

4: Repeat as needed

The final step is to wipe the surface dry with a dry cloth or tissue. You can always try this method again if the stain does not disappear completely after the first attempt.


Before rubbing the sponge and cloth together, remove any excess water. No matter what kind of material your car seat is made of (leather, fabric), never apply cleaning products or bleach directly to it. Always apply to the cleaning cloth first.

Step 2: Using a tissue or microfiber cloth to clean

A spray or liquid stain remover may not even be needed if the stain has just appeared and has not yet been fully set. You may need a simple wipe from a towel or tissue if the surface is made of a material that doesn’t take stains well.

This method is ideal if you just discovered a stain on your car, as it is simple to use and very effective. You can use various methods, so just use what you have.

  • Find the stain: Use your finger to touch the stain to see how sticky it is or still slippery. You can leave a little residue on the top of it is still slippery.
  • Treat the stain: Remove any sunscreen stains with a tissue or cloth until the stain disappears completely. Before you use the blotting tissue, it may be a good idea to use a microfiber cloth with water first to release some of this stickiness.
  • Move to another option: Using another method would be better if this didn’t completely remove your stain.

Step 3: Use alcohol to remove stains

Using alcohol is a great method for how to remove sunscreen from car interior. Alcohol wipes, rubbing alcohol from a bottle, and alcohol-based cleaners can effectively remove stains from tough surfaces. Use only products that won’t damage your car’s interior.

Removing sunscreen stains with alcohol wipes

If you are using alcohol wipes, follow these steps:

  • Repeat the 2nd step: Wipe any extra residue on the fabric with a tissue or microfiber towel as you did in step 2 since this enables the wipes to reach the real stain, which is what you are trying to do.
  • Clean with alcohol wipe: Rub the alcohol wipe back and forth over the stain until it disappears. If this step doesn’t work immediately, be patient. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need to wipe it more than once.
  • Clean any leftovers: After you use the alcohol wipe, use a wet cloth or wipe to clean the area. In this way, any leftover alcohol from the wipe won’t end up damaging your vehicle’s interior.

Removing sunscreen with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can effectively remove sunscreen stains from car seats due to its ability to dissolve the material. In addition, it removes old stains from interior surfaces, so it is a great option for people dealing with an oily residue.

  • Apply rubbing alcohol: Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the stain and let sit for several minutes. To apply rubbing alcohol quickly, it is better to use a spray bottle.
  • Apply with little concentration: Instead of a wipe, you’ll need to work through different concentrations of alcohol until you find something that works. Mix 1:10 rubbing alcohol with distilled water to begin. Smaller or easier-to-remove stains are more likely to be removed this way. Try using a cloth to remove the stain.
  • Apply with high concentration: If necessary, increase the ratio to 1:5 and repeat.
  • Clean with water: To remove any residue, rinse with water before wiping dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Step 4: Using household items to remove sunscreen

There are many different uses for household products like vinegar and lemon, including removing sunscreen stains.

Removing sunscreen with vinegar

When vinegar and baking soda are mixed, they create an exfoliating paste that’s great for getting rid of sunscreen spots.

Don’t rub too hard, as this may damage the fabric.

  • Turn on your car’s ventilator: If you notice excess odors in your car, turn on your car’s ventilator. In addition, vinegar will oxidize quicker.
  • Create a paste: Combine baking soda with vinegar for the cleaning (both household items). You usually mix baking soda and vinegar in an equal ratio.
  • Scrub with a sponge: Dip a sponge or cloth into the solution, and then rub in circular motions on fabric seats to get rid of sunscreen stains! (When scrubbing, be gentle and remove any excess water from the sponge or cloth).
  • Rinse thoroughly: Thoroughly rinse and then dry.

Removing sunscreen with lemon

Lemon is a citrus fruit that easily removes sunscreen from the car’s interior. It is easy to remove stubborn stains with the fruit’s acidity!

If you want to get rid of those stubborn sunscreen stains on your upholstery, just use lemons and water.

  • Cut the lemons: Slicing some fresh lemons in half and removing their seeds is the first step.
  • Squeeze on the stain: Rub about 3 to 4 halves of a lemon over the sunscreen stain.
  • Let it sit: Let it soak for about five minutes before using a sponge or cloth to scrub.
  • Rinse off the residue: Rinse off any excess lemon juice with water and let it air dry.

Step 5: Using commercial cleaners

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

Using a commercial car interior cleaner is an effective method for how to remove sunscreen from car interior. You can easily remove sunscreen stains from your car interior without putting in much effort. If you use a commercial cleaner, you can use it later for your own cleaning needs. When purchasing a cleaner, however, you should make sure that it is compatible with the interior material of your vehicle.

Best cleaners on the market

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Getting sunscreen off your car paint

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

Sunscreen spots on car paint are annoying for many car owners. Quite rightly so. The paint on a car looks really ugly when it has sunscreen spots on it. You never know when those ugly spots will appear on your car. This can be caused by your son leaning on your car on the beach or by a random person putting sunscreen on it.

Therefore, it is better to learn how to remove sunscreen from the exterior of your car.

Removing recent sunscreen stains:

What you will require:

  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Meguiar’s quick detailer

It is very easy to remove sunscreen with just a bottle of water, a microfiber towel, a quick detailer, and the following steps;

  • Rinse the area: For highly contaminated areas, wash the panel beforehand. Tiny scratches and smudges are avoided this way.
  • Apply quick detailer: Using a microfiber towel and quick detailer, wipe the marks off the panel after it is clean of dirt.
  • Return to home: That’s all. It would not appear again. You must proceed to the next step if it appears again.

Removing stubborn sunscreen spots from car paint

What you will require:  

If the sunscreen is left on the panel for a long time, it will absorb into the paint. Sunscreen will cause your paint to become sticky and your handprints to appear very prominent.

You don’t have to worry; you can fix it, but using an aggressive method will be necessary because the sunscreen has penetrated the paint. Follow the following steps to remove the sunscreen spots.

  • Using a foam applicator pad, apply a cleaning compound or polish to your car’s paint.

Before applying any detailing products to your vehicle, make sure you wash it and decontaminate it if possible.

  • In most cases, a product from Meguiar’s will remove handprints without a problem. It may require a bit of elbow grease in some instances.
  • If the handprint still remains after a while. You should then contact an expert.
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Removing Sunscreen From A Car’s Glass

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

As we have discussed previously, How to remove sunscreen from car interior. I now believe that it is important to discuss how to remove sunscreen from the glass as well. It’s frustrating and unsightly when your windscreen gets stained with sunscreen.

You may have trouble seeing the road as a result of sun glare during the day. As you drive at night, the light from oncoming vehicles will shine through it, causing you to become dizzy and blinded.

  • Thankfully, you can easily remove prints from your windscreen. Use a good glass polish, such as;
  • When polishing glass, use a foam applicator pad to apply the polish evenly, and then buff it off with a microfiber towel.
  • The windshield and side windows should be free of sunscreen stains after using this method. In addition, the glass will look sparkling clean.

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Why you should remove sunscreen from your car

It is common for people to think sunscreen is safe to use while driving because it protects us from UV rays. Despite its effectiveness, sunscreen won’t protect you from UV rays reflected from cars and buildings.

Further, dashboards and leather interiors can be damaged by sunscreen since it is a petrol-derived product that will absorb into these surfaces. No one wants their dashboard or leather seats ruined by sunscreen stains.

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The best way to prevent sunscreen from sticking to your car

How to remove sunscreen from car interior

Till now, you have understood how to remove sunscreen from car interior and exterior. The process of cleaning can take a long time, so why waste time cleaning later? You can avoid sunscreen getting on your seats and painting by following these tips.

Apply sunscreen at the beach

First, don’t apply sunscreen in the car. That way, you can keep sunscreen from getting on your leather seats. The majority of people put sunscreen on in the car when they arrive at the beach because they want to rush into the water right away.

The beach won’t disappear any time soon, so take your time. Once you get out of your vehicle and have parked, apply sunscreen.

Check out this article if you’re heading to the beach “How to apply sunscreen on the beach”.

Use a towel to sit on

Aren’t sunscreens supposed to soak into the skin? There may be no choice but to apply it in the car if you have sensitive skin. Use a towel for sitting on if this is the case.

By doing this, your legs will not touch the leather, and it will stay clean. Keep in mind that this strategy only applies to your legs. Your hands and arms still need to be protected.


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