One of the downsides to spray on tans it that they can leave large tan stains on your favorite summer clothes and swimsuits. Luckily, you can remove spray tan stains from most types of fabric with some simple techniques.



For cotton, spray tan stains will come out easily in the wash. The DHA and erythrulose in most sunless tanning products does not interact with cotton to cause a permanent stain, nor will any bronzers. Use a pre-treater (non-bleach spot remover), your regular detergent, and cold water.

For synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and spandex, soak the article in warm water with added pre-treater. Rinse the clothing and see if the stain is still there. If the spray tan stain is noticeably more faint, you can throw it in the wash. Otherwise, use a stronger cleaning agent, such as 409 spray, or Mr.Clean Erasers.

For clothing that cannot be laundered in a machine, let the garment soak in warm water with some non-bleach spot remover. Gently rinse in warm water. If the stain is getting fainter, repeat until the stain disappears.

If this doesn’t work, let it dry and take it to the dry cleaners. Make sure you tell the dry cleaners what compounds are in your sunnless spray tanner.

Club soda is a good spot treatment if you are on the go. Always dab the stain, rather than rubbing it. Rubbing the fabric with make the bronzer and spray tan pigments embedded deeper into the clothing material.

There are ways to prevent clothing stains from spray-on tanning. One is to always wear loose fitting clothing the first day of your tan, until your first shower. Another is to wear dark colors the first day so that rub off stains will be less noticeable.

References and Resources

Mexitan Tanning Products