How to Remove Lotion Stains

Does Lotion Stain Clothes: How to Remove Lotion Stains Effectively

The quintessential question that crosses our mind when we accidentally spill some lotion onto our clothes is, “does lotion stain clothes?” The unfortunate answer is, yes, most lotions do indeed have the potential to stain clothes. However, all is not lost. This guide aims to help you understand and effectively tackle lotion stains on your beloved attire.

How to Remove Lotion Stains: Step-By-Step Guide

Removing lotion from your clothes might seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to stubborn stains. But, worry no more. Here’s a systematic guide on how to remove lotion stains from clothes, with minimal hassle.

  1. Spotting the Stain: As soon as you notice the stain, act quickly. The longer a stain persists, the harder it gets to remove.
  2. Remove Excess Lotion: Use a dull knife or butter knife to gently scrape off any excess lotion from the fabric. Be careful not to rub it in further.
  3. Pre-Treat the Stain: Apply a few drops of liquid detergent directly onto the stain and gently rub it in using a soft bristled brush. This process will start to break down the oily component in the lotion, a significant factor in why lotions stain clothes.
  4. Soak and Rinse: Let the garment soak in warm water for a few minutes, then rinse it thoroughly. If the stain persists, repeat the process or move on to the next step.
  5. Stain Remover: If the stain is still visible, apply a stain remover. An enzyme based stain remover or oil stain removers can be especially effective on lotion stains, as they are designed to tackle the stain lifting enzymes.
  6. Wash: Finally, wash the garment with the hottest water safe for the fabric, as per the care instructions on the clothing label.

Remember, never air dry the clothing until the stain disappears completely, or hot water, as heat can set the stain, making it even harder to remove.

Choosing the Right Stain Remover

Choosing the right stain remover plays a critical role in removing lotion stains effectively. Here are a few top options that can be used based on the nature of the lotion stain:

  • Enzyme-Based Stain Remover: These are specially formulated to break down proteins and fats, making them effective against lotion stains.
  • Oxygen-Based Bleach: This can be used for tough stains. However, do not use it on wool, silk or leather.
  • Liquid Detergent: A good quality liquid detergent can be effective in treating stains.
  • Dry Cleaning Solvent: In case the stain is particularly stubborn, using a dry cleaning solvent might be beneficial.

How to Remove Specific Lotion Stains

Some lotions such as suntan lotion, hand cream or body cream have unique compositions that might require special attention. In these instances, you may need to follow some specific methods.

Suntan Lotion Stains

Suntan lotions are notorious for leaving stains on clothes. Here’s a dedicated method to to treat stains from these:

  1. Scrape off Excess Lotion: Use a dull knife or butter knife to scrape off the excess suntan lotion.
  2. Pre-Treat the Stain: Apply an enzyme-based stain remover or similar dish detergent to the stained area and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse and Soak: Rinse the garment in cool water. Then, create a soaking solution of 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, a few drops of dishwashing liquid, and 2 cups of warm water. Soak the garment for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash and Air Dry: Wash the garment using a strong liquid detergent and the hottest water safe for the fabric.
  5. After washing: Check the stained area. If the stain persists, repeat the steps. If it’s gone, air dry the garment to ensure the stain is completely removed. Never put the garment in the dryer until the stain is fully gone, as this can set the stain permanently.

Hand Lotion Stains

Hand lotions can also leave significant stains, especially those with a high oil content. To tackle hand lotion stains, follow these steps:

  1. Wipe off Excess Lotion: Use a white paper towel to blot and remove as much of the lotion as possible. Be careful not to spread the stain further.
  2. Apply a Cleaning Solution: Mix a cleaning solution with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, a few drops of dishwashing liquid, and 2 cups of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Blot and Rinse: Using a soft cloth, blot the stain gently from the outer edge towards the center. Then, rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  4. Wash and Check: Wash the garment as usual. If the stain remains, repeat the process. If not, air dry it.

How to Prevent Lotion Stains

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to prevent lotion stains:

  • Allow your lotion to dry completely before dressing.
  • Apply a smaller amount of lotion. Excess lotion is more likely to get on your clothes and cause stains.
  • Be careful when applying lotion. Try not to let it come into contact with your clothes.
  • Choose lotions that are less oily or quick to absorb, as these are less likely to stain.

Dealing with Old, Set-in Lotion Stains

Old, set-in stains can be more challenging to remove. But, with a little patience, it’s possible to remove the stain itself.

  1. Create a Cleaning Solution: Make a solution of one part baking soda, one part powdered detergent, and two parts water.
  2. Apply the Solution: Apply this mixture to the stain, and scrub gently with a soft bristled brush.
  3. Rinse and Wash: Rinse with cool water and then wash the garment. If the stain remains, repeat the process.

In some cases, professional dry cleaning might be the best option. Most dry cleaners have specialized solutions and methods for various types of stains. You might want to consider cleaning method of this for expensive or delicate garments where a do-it-yourself approach might be riskier.


Yes, lotions can indeed stain clothes, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with those stubborn stains for forever. With the right techniques and stain removers, you can get rid of most lotion stains and keep your clothes looking their best.

We hope this guide has answered the question “Does lotion stain clothes?” and given you valuable knowledge on how to handle such stains. Remember, the key to successful stain removal is acting quickly and not drying the garment until the stain is completely gone.

For more expert advice on cleaning and maintenance, stay tuned to Bye Bye Stains.






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