If you spend more time in your car, either going for trips or the grocery, you will likely get your hands on sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of the components which seem to get all over your car interior, however much you avoid it.
The frustrating thing about sunscreen is that it can be difficult to remove, especially on important parts like your car’s interior. So, you will need to learn a few tricks on how to remove sunscreen from the car interior.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Removing sunscreen will depend on the affected area, and the period the stain has been on your car.
Here, you will get the skill to remove sunscreen from the car interior.
Why Does Sunscreen Damage Car Paint?
Sunscreen stains a car because of titanium dioxide and polythene glycol, the major ingredients utilized in many sunscreen formulas.
The sunscreen formulas are useful for reflecting light and protecting you from UV.
However, if it is accidentally put on the vehicle’s paint, it leaves a white residue, and if the residue remains for a longer time, it will probably cause damage to the paint. Thus, the longer the residue stays on the vehicle, the worse damage it is likely to cause.
Most sunscreens sold in the market are water-resistant. That means washing them with the normal washing technique will not help to remove them completely.
At the same time, if the sunscreen is left longer, like for weeks or months, removing it by hand might be close to impossible. Hence, the faster you remove the paint from your car, the safer it is.
Ways on How to Remove Sunscreen from Car Interior
Below are the best methods to help you remove sunscreen from the car interior.
1. Soapy Water
Generally, soapy water is one of the best tried and tested ways of cleaning, fixing, and restoring an area to its original condition.
To remove sunscreen from your car using this method, you will require a piece of cloth or a sponge.
It is a versatile method and is useful in removing both old and new stains and any material in your car. However, it might fail in extreme cases.
Here are the instructions on using soapy water;
- If the stain is new or has a sticky surface, wipe the residue with wipes or a dry cloth. It will help if you wipe gently and in a circular motion to avoid spreading the stain further.
- Get water and soap or use a dish detergent. To create suds, mix the lukewarm water and soap in your hands. Ensure the soap you are using is good for fabric and safe for leather to avoid damages.
- Dip the sponge in the soap and water mixture you have created and wipe any excess liquid lest it drips further on your car.
- Using the sponge already dipped in the mixture, gently rub until you remove sunscreen from the seats. Repeat the process until you remove all the sunscreen from your car’s interior.
- Using clean water, rinse to remove any soap residue and dry any moisture using paper towels or a clean towel.
The acidity in the lemon is essential in breaking down any stubborn stain without any difficulties.
Here you will need to get some fresh lemons and water and follow the following steps;
- Cut the fresh lemons in halves and remove the seeds.
- Squeeze the lemon halves at the top of sunscreen stains on your car interior.
- Allow the lemon to sit for five minutes before you can scrub using a cloth.
- Using water, rinse to get rid of excess lemon juice and dry the car interior.
Vinegar has multiple uses. When mixed with baking soda, it creates a paste that works magic to scrub off the white spots left by the sunscreen on your car interior.
Do not rub too hard to avoid damaging the fabric and your seats during the process.
Here is how you use vinegar to remove sunscreen;
- First, turn on your vehicle’s ventilator to rid excess odor and ensure the vinegar smell dissipates faster.
- Make the abrasive paste between the vinegar and baking soda in the ratio of two to one park of baking soda and vinegar, respectively.
- Dip a sponge in the mixture and scrub the sunscreen from the car interior in circular motion repeatedly until it’s clean.
- Rinse the seat thoroughly and dry off.
If the sunscreen has stayed on the car surface longer or is tough to clean, you can use different forms of alcohol like alcohol wipes and rubbing alcohol.
Here is the process of using alcohol wipes;
- Use a tissue or towel to clean excess residue on the surface. It will make it easy for the alcohol wipes to reach the real sunscreen stain, which we are particularly interested in.
- Take your alcohol wipe and scrub the stain severally to remove the sunscreen stain. Here you might need more than just one alcohol wipe, and be patient during the process.
- Use a piece of a wet cloth or just the normal wipes to clean the area you have cleaned with the alcohol wipes.
If you are going to use rubbing alcohol, here are the steps you will follow;
- Use a regular wipe to blot any residue on the surface so that you can see the sunscreen on the car fabric or interior.
- Pour rubbing alcohol on the stain and allow it to soak for a few minutes. You can use alcohol in spray bottles since it is easy to apply.
- Use a clean sponge to rub the rubbing alcohol in circular motions to remove all the sunscreen.
- Use clean water to rinse any residue before drying with a dry towel.
Final Thoughts on How to Remove Sunscreen from Car Interior
Having sunscreen stains on your car’s interior can be frustrating. They are not easy to get rid of, making the situation more challenging.
Fortunately, you have the solution, so there is no need to panic as you have just learned the tricks to remove those difficult stains (soapy water, lemon, vinegar, and alcohol).
In this regard, it would be best if you avoid any stress and keep calm when removing the sunscreen. It will be easier to do it rather than when you are panicking, and your mind is all over.
It is also important to note that the methods discussed might not remove sunscreen from your car interior 100%. So if it happens, consult one of your local detailers.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.