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How can I get aerosol sunscreen off my stuff?
October 20, 2010 2:21 PM   Subscribe

How do I remove aerosol sunscreen from my belongings after it sprayed all over my suitcase?

I had a can of this sunscreen in my luggage during a trip, and despite setting the lock on the can, it somehow managed to spray all over a few of my belongings. A stupid mistake on my part.

There are two items in particular I'd like to rescue: my mouthguard and my jeans.

The mouthguard is a hard plastic custom-fitted piece that I wear it at night to prevent me from grinding my teeth. It would cost $350 or more to replace, so it's the priority. Despite brushing it vigorously with a toothbrush and toothpaste, rinsing it in hot water for ten minutes, and soaking it in mouthwash overnight, it still tastes like sunscreen.

For my clothes, I ran them through the laundry once, and my jeans seem to be the only thing still affected. There's a dark patch where the sunscreen was sprayed, and they still smell. Standard washing techniques don't seem to have done the trick, though I'm less attached to the jeans and will be ok replacing them if the only thing that'd guarantee their cleanliness is an expensive cleaning substance.

Any chemical engineers in the house with advice?
posted by Lifeson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total)
 
i am not a chemical engineer, but since the piece is hard plastic, have you tried putting it in some close-to-boiling water with a little bit (like, a capful) of vinegar? if you don't want to leave it in the boilingish water, maybe dipping it using a sieve.

as for the jeans, i've had good luck getting grease and stains out of my clothing with oxy clean spray. also, you could try mixing dishsoap and water and microwaving it for a minute or so, then scrubbing it into the stain with a toothbrush. then wash the jeans, putting some vinegar in the wash (it's supposed to help with smells).
posted by koroshiya at 3:31 PM on October 20, 2010


not an engineer but have you tried dishwashing soap on the jeans? If you're looking at a grease spot a few drops directly on the spot might helop get it out (not too many or your washing machine might get too sudsy).

can the mouthguard go through a dishwasher? If not you may as well try dish soap and a lot of water on it too.
posted by oneear at 4:07 PM on October 20, 2010


Oneear is entirely correct. You need dishwashing detergent on both.... put it neat on the jeans and rub it with your fingers for a few minutes then launder as usual but in warm water. The mouthguard you pretty much do the same thing. You need a good sudsing dishwashing detergent to get rid of the oily sunscreen. Good luck possum.
posted by taff at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2010


You're screwed. Spray sunscreen is nearly impossible to remove from most plastics and fabrics. I have a boat and it's absolutely forbidden to bring that crap on-board.

Think about this before you risk your health putting it on your skin....
posted by wkearney99 at 5:17 PM on October 20, 2010


The suggestions above helped (vinegar and 2 rounds of dish-washing salvaged the mouthguard), but the jeans are a lost cause.

Thanks to all! NEVAR AGAIN!!!1!
posted by Lifeson at 8:07 AM on November 1, 2010


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