how do you wash a tanning mitt

How Do You Wash a Tanning Mitt?

Tanning mitts have become an essential tool for many individuals who love the bronzed, sun-kissed look without the harmful effects of sunbathing. A tanning mitt ensures an even and streak-free application of self-tanner, leaving the skin with a natural glow. However, with repeated use, tanning mitts can accumulate product, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Proper cleaning not only extends the life of the mitt, but also maintains the quality of tanning results. So how do you wash a tanning mitt effectively?

Hand washing tanning mitts with mild soap, machine washing on a gentle cycle, or using alcohol-free cleaning wipes are effective methods. Proper care, including thorough drying and appropriate storage, ensures the mitt remains in top condition for repeated use.

We’ll go on to look at these best methods of washing tanning mitts in full.

Hand Washing Tanning Mitts With Mild Soap

Hand washing is a gentle and effective way to clean your tanning mitt. This method ensures that the delicate fibers of the mitt remain intact, providing consistent results for each tanning application.

  1. Wet the Mitt: Using lukewarm water, thoroughly wet the tanning mitt.
  2. Apply Mild Soap: Choose a gentle, fragrance-free soap. This will help prevent potential damage to the tanning mitt’s fibers.
  3. Gently Rub: Create a lather by rubbing the mitt against itself. This action will help lift tanning residue from the mitt.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Continue rinsing until the water is clear, ensuring all soap is removed.
  5. Wring Out Excess Water: Squeeze the tanning mitt gently to remove water. Avoid twisting it aggressively, as it may damage the mitt.
  6. Pat Dry with a Towel: Use a soft towel to pat the tanning mitt dry, absorbing any remaining moisture.
  7. Air Dry: After patting dry, lay the tanning mitt flat in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Ensure the mitt is dry before storing or using it again.

Machine Washing Tanning Mitts

Machine washing is a convenient approach for those seeking a quick and hands-off cleaning method. When done correctly, it can effectively clean the tanning mitt without causing any damage.

  1. Place in a Laundry Bag: Using a mesh laundry bag can protect the tanning mitt from snags and potential damage during the wash.
  2. Select Gentle Cycle: Ensure your washing machine is set to a delicate cycle using cold water.
  3. Add Mild Detergent: A gentle detergent will help preserve the tanning mitt’s structure and remove any tanning residue.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using fabric softeners or bleach, as they can harm the tanning mitt’s fibers.
  5. Air Dry: After completing the wash cycle, remove the mitt and lay it flat in a well-ventilated area. This helps maintain the shape and integrity of the tanning mitt.
  6. Inspect for Residue: Once dry, check the tanning mitt for any leftover tanning product. If any residue remains, consider a second wash or spot cleaning.
  7. Store Properly: After ensuring the mitt is completely dry, place it in a cool, dry location until its next use.

Cleaning Tanning Mitts With Wipes

Cleaning wipes offer a quick solution for those moments when you need a rapid refresh for your tanning mitt. This approach is especially useful for spot cleaning or when you’re short on time.

  1. Select the Right Wipes: Opt for gentle, alcohol-free cleaning wipes to ensure they don’t dry out or damage the mitt.
  2. Wipe Gently: Use smooth, even strokes to clean the surface of the tanning mitt. This helps lift off any immediate residue or dirt.
  3. Flip and Repeat: Turn the tanning mitt over to clean the other side, ensuring both sides are free from tanning product.
  4. Check for Stains: Inspect the tanning mitt closely to see if any stubborn spots remain. If needed, give those areas an extra wipe.
  5. Air Dry Completely: Position the mitt in an area with good airflow. It’s essential the mitt dries thoroughly before its next use to prevent bacterial growth.
  6. Inspect the Mitt: Once dry, feel the mitt to ensure it’s free from any sticky residue. If any spots feel tacky, consider using another cleaning method for a more thorough cleanse.
  7. Store Away from Direct Light: To maintain the quality and color of your tanning mitt, store it away from direct sunlight or harsh lights.

Using cleaning wipes is a convenient way to maintain your tanning mitt between deeper cleans, ensuring it remains effective and hygienic for every application.


How long does a tanning mitt last?

While the lifespan of a tanning mitt varies, several factors influence its durability. Regular cleaning and proper care can significantly extend its life. A well-maintained mitt can serve reliably for many tanning sessions. On the other hand, excessive wear and tear, exposure to harsh chemicals, or improper storage can shorten its lifespan. Investing in a quality mitt and following recommended cleaning practices can ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

Can I use bleach to clean my tanning mitt?

Using bleach on a tanning mitt is discouraged. Bleach is a potent chemical that can weaken the mitt’s fibers, making them more susceptible to wear and tear. The harshness of bleach can also alter the color and texture of the mitt, potentially affecting its performance. For best results, stick to gentle cleaning methods that are specifically recommended for tanning mitts.

How often should I wash my tanning mitt?

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your tanning mitt in optimal condition. Washing after every use helps prevent the buildup of old tanning product, which can lead to uneven application in future sessions. Keeping your mitt clean also helps reduce the risk of skin irritation, as bacteria and other contaminants are less likely to transfer to your skin during the tanning process.

Can I reuse my tanning mitt after washing it?

Yes, tanning mitts are designed with reusability in mind. Once you’ve properly cleaned and dried your mitt, it’s ready for another round of tanning. Reusing your mitt is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing waste.

How do I store my tanning mitt after washing it?

Proper storage is vital to maintain the condition of your tanning mitt. After ensuring it’s entirely dry, find a spot away from moisture or potential water splashes. Damp environments can promote mold and mildew growth. It’s also a good idea to avoid areas with extreme temperatures, as heat can affect the mitt’s elasticity and cold can make it rigid. A cool, dry place, such as a drawer or a cupboard, is ideal. If possible, avoid folding the mitt too tightly, as this can create creases and impact its shape.


Maintaining a clean tanning mitt is crucial for achieving that perfect, streak-free tan and ensuring the longevity of the mitt. By following the methods outlined above, you can ensure your mitt remains in top condition, ready to give you a flawless tan whenever you desire. Remember, the key is regular cleaning, gentle care, and proper storage. Happy tanning!