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How To Stop Fake Tan Transferring Onto Sheets

by | May 1, 2023 | Cleaning Tips

When winter rolls around and the sun’s not out, it feels like our chance at that sun-kissed look is gone. 

But there’s still a way to achieve a natural-looking tan – with fake tan products! They’re great for getting some colour without having to spend hours under the sun.

The downside? Self-tan products tend to stain things, from tiles to clothing to bed sheets.

How to stop fake tan transferring onto sheets? Baby powder is one tried-and-tested solution, as is a sheet protector. It’s also advisable that you use a minimal amount of product so it fully absorbs into your skin. Alternatively, you can try gradual tanning products!

Say no to orangey streaks on sheets. Prevent fake tan from transferring onto fabric with these easy methods.


Will Self-Tanner Stain My Sheets?

Yes – especially if it’s freshly applied, or if you’ve been sweating a lot. 

This doesn’t matter if you’ve used spray tan or any other self-tan product. The colour will transfer onto sheets (and clothes!) if you’ve just applied the tanning product and it hasn’t fully dried. 

It will also transfer if you apply too much product.

Likewise, sweat lifts the bronzing agent off your skin, which will rub off on other surfaces.


How Fake Tan Stains Bed Sheets

Made up bed with clean sheets and pillows

Self-tan products (like self-tan mousse or spray tan) are excellent ways to get that sun-kissed glow without risking skin cancer or sunburn. 

They work because they contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with the amino acids in our skin to form brown compounds.

DHA starts developing colour after about 2–3 hours, and continues over the next few days. It only penetrates the very top layer of your skin, though, which is why it fades after a week.

When you sweat, it lifts off the colouring agents from the skin – leading to your fake tan staining most surfaces it comes into contact with. 

This is because sweat is acidic, so it breaks down the compounds in the product while plain water won’t.


How to Stop Fake Tan from Staining Bed Sheets

There are several ways to prevent your fake tan product from transferring onto sheets and other fabrics. Choose which one works best for your situation.


Apply baby powder

baby powder

This is the tried-and-tested solution that most lifestyle bloggers and sites recommend! 

Lightly dust your skin with baby powder using a large makeup brush. It’ll absorb moisture and prevent the product from transferring.

You can also shower after strenuous activities to wash off the sweat from your skin.


Use just enough product

Applying more fake tan won’t make your golden glow last longer – it’ll just cake on top of your body. That excess product will rub off on your bedding, leaving you with dreaded orangey stains.

Instead, use just a small amount at a time, and apply it using even strokes. If you want a darker skin tone, simply opt for a darker shade of product.


Place a sheet protector

If you apply fake tan late in the day, then it’s likely the product will transfer onto your bedding. Also, our body temperature rises while we’re sleeping, which makes it more likely that you’ll stain the fabric.

As a solution, you can find a sheet protector online!

You place the sheet protector directly on top of your bedding while you sleep, then fold it over your body. The protector acts as a barrier between your body and the fabric.

In the morning, simply toss the protector into the washing machine (check the care label first).

You can DIY this by sleeping on some towels, too, but those might move from underneath you so they’re less effective.


Try gradual tan

woman hand spreading tanning product on skin

Gradual tan products develop slower, just like their name suggests. 

The colours for gradual tanner aren’t as intense, so they don’t spread to fabrics. They’re also generally more absorbent.


Other Tips When Using Fake Tanning Products

For those who regularly use self-tan products, make sure you know how to clean fake tan out of other surfaces such as the toilet seat, the carpet, and your clothes

Sometimes self-tan will transfer onto fabric or furniture despite our best efforts, so the knowledge will come in handy.

If you do end up staining your sheets, make sure you know how to wash bed sheets. It’ll help get the stains out and make your sheets last longer.

Did you accidentally get fake tan on a surface? Wipe it off and wash it out – or leave it up to a professional cleaner to get it off.

Learning how to stop fake tan transferring onto sheets will come in handy, and will save you some grief and laundry detergent. 

This way, you can sleep safely but still have that golden glow in the morning – on your skin, not your bedding!

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.