How to Clean Sunblock off Car? Several Cleaning Ways!

Cars are not so hard to clean. A little water, some car shampoo, and a nice, soft sponge will do for regular washing of a car’s exterior. For interior cleaning, a vacuum would do wonders. If a substance gets on a car seat and seeps into the interior, it is best not to let it dry. It will be harder to clean once the liquid has stained.

Liquids such as colored beverages, sauces, and lotions would leave a stain when not removed immediately. For example, a family goes to the beach and puts sunblock on. Once their beach day is over, they get into the car and go home, leaving sunblock stains on the seats and handles and possibly even the vehicle’s exterior. The following day, they would be wondering how they would clean off the sunblock from the entire car.

Removing sunblock stains should be done as quickly as possible since sunblock is a petroleum-based product that can damage leather and plastic once absorbed. Here are a few methods on how to clean sunblock off car without having to visit a carwash.

Methods for Cleaning Sunblock Off Car Interiors and Exteriors

Visiting a carwash to remove stubborn stains would always be anybody’s first option, but there are many homemade remedies and DIY solutions on how to clean sunblock off car. So there is no immediate need to spend so much on cleaning your vehicle.

1. Soapy water is a great solution, albeit sometimes unreliable. Do not let the sunblock dry on the car interior. Instead, use wet wipes or a dry cloth and rub off the excess liquid using circular motions to prevent it from spreading. Next, make a soap and water mixture. Ensure that the soap you use is specifically for car interiors, but if you must, use soap that is not too harsh. Avoid using bleach. The ratio should be 2:1, with soap being the majority of the mixture.

Dip your sponge or cloth in the mixture and wring out excess liquid. It is best to avoid dripping onto the car seat’s fabric, which could potentially spread the sunblock more. Next, rub the stain using circular motions until it has disappeared. Repeat the process if necessary. Once you are done, rinse the spot with water to remove excess soap, then dry it out with a clean cloth or with paper towels.

2. Vinegar is another often overlooked household item that can remove most stains, including sunblock. When using a vinegar solution, it is best to have the car’s ventilator turned on so that there will not be any lingering smells. Next, create a paste using vinegar and baking soda. The ratio should be 2:1, two parts baking soda to one part vinegar.

Dip a dry cloth into the mixture and rub directly on the sunblock stain with circular motions until it is clean. Rinse with water to remove any remaining mixture before drying off with a cloth or paper towels.

3. Lemons have cleaning properties that can remove any stain, even sunblock. Its acidity breaks down most stains easily, leaving your car interiors smelling like fresh lemons. To begin, cut a lemon in half and remove the seeds. Next, squeeze some lemon juice directly on the sunblock stain, let it be absorbed for five minutes, then wipe everything off with a dry cloth or a sponge. Rinse off any remaining liquid with water, then dry it off.

4. Rubbing alcohol is another way of removing sunblock from car seats. It can even remove other stains without damaging the fabric or upholstery of your car seats. Just spray some alcohol on the stain, rub using a dry cloth, then rinse off with water before drying.

5. Store-bought cleaners are made especially for car interiors, whether fabric or leather, and you will not need to rinse it off with water. Instead, use a dry cloth or paper towels to dry off any remaining substance.

6. If you have gotten sunblock on your car exterior, it is best to act quickly. First, use a quick detailer liquid and a microfibre cloth to remove any recent sunblock residue on the surface of your car. If the sunblock stain has been there for quite some time, you need to hand polish the surface using a slightly abrasive product. Then wipe off with a microfibre cloth. If you are unsuccessful, you might need to use a dual-action polisher, a more potent cutting compound made specifically for car surfaces.

7. If sunblock gets on your car windows, do not fret. Removing sunblock stains on glass is relatively easier since you can use glass polish and a microfibre cloth to remove the sunblock. It also would not do long-lasting damage to glass windows compared to car interiors and surfaces.


There are several ways on how to clean sunblock off car surfaces, interiors, and windows, but before you apply any liquid on a surface, make sure that the solution will not do any long-lasting damage to it. There are liquid cleaners made especially for car surfaces and interiors, so it is best to try out the liquid cleaners before applying any DIY solutions.

However, when the cleaners do not work, you can use any of the methods listed above to remove tough sunblock stains and any other stains that might still be on or inside your car. Sunblock grease can be pretty damaging, so if any gets on your vehicle, act quickly to avoid permanent stains. Also, if the sunblock sits longer on any surface, it might seep into the fabric or plastic, and its properties might eat away at it.

Sunblock should be applied only on your skin, not on your car. To protect your vehicle from the sun, you can park it under a canopy with anti-UV properties or apply wax to the car exterior. You can also use conditioners on the seats, especially if they are made from leather. The conditioner will protect your car’s interiors from the harmful rays of the sun.