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June 20, 2008 12:58 PM   Subscribe

help! I adore gradual self-tanning lotion, but it's turning my laundry yellow!

I've been using gradual self tanners on and off since last Christmas. I love having a hint of a tan, especially now that summer's around, without worrying about sun damage - but my whites are turning yellow. Actually, with long-term exposure, they're turning almost brown, making it look like I have some of the world's worst personal hygiene. This is particularly upsetting on my white bra straps (who really sees the inside of the cups but me?) - they stick out from under tank tops at times and expose what looks like really rotten skin residue. Blech. Plus, it's ruining some relatively nice lingerie.

I've scrubbed, etc., but haven't been able to get this stain out. Is there anything I can use to eradicate the color from fabric? Otherwise, not wearing white all summer might be a little tricky...
posted by AthenaPolias to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Have you bleached your whites? OxyClean?
posted by tristeza at 1:12 PM on June 20, 2008

That's why I only use it at night and let it soak in for about 30 minutes before hitting the sheets. I don't care about the old tees I use at pajamas.
posted by melissam at 1:26 PM on June 20, 2008

Whink Wash Away's No More Yellow might help.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:29 PM on June 20, 2008

Whenever I sweat, the stuff will stain my clothes. Doesn't matter how long I let it soak into my skin before wearing clothes. Totally annoying. Bleach is the only thing that gets it out.
posted by HotPatatta at 1:35 PM on June 20, 2008

I love my "tan in a can" too! I've found that the products which don't give you instant color tend not to stain as badly. I've had good luck with L'Oreal and Neutrogena where the lotion or gel has to react with your skin to create a "tan" (though beware the L'Oreal Tinted Sublime Bronze as it covers everything with sparkles).

Otherwise I've found the only alternative is to bleach my whites. And wear only black.
posted by suki at 2:25 PM on June 20, 2008

Here's a video with suggestions.
posted by 26.2 at 3:03 PM on June 20, 2008

Well, you shouldn't be wearing white after labor day anyway... ;)

Try another brand, or go down the bleach/soaking path.
posted by oxford blue at 3:41 AM on June 21, 2008

Response by poster: Technically, oxford blue, we're before labor day at this point (unless you want to argue that in some way, we're always after labor day). And What Not to Wear will tell you to go soak your head. ;)

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. It does seem to be each brand of self-tanner (instant or delayed, gradual or orange-all-at-once) that leaves residue on some clothing. And since I spend my summers in a really hot climate, asking me not to sweat is about the same as asking me to disprove the theory of relativity.

I tried 26.2's video suggestion last night, of hydrogen peroxide soaking. That did get some of it out, but not all. It's an encouraging start. I'm also going to do what melissam does, and try to apply at night before bed instead of after my morning shower. Fingers crossed.

Thanks very much, and please keep leaving suggestions if you have others!
posted by AthenaPolias at 11:16 AM on June 21, 2008

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