Discover all there is to know about lightening denim for a worthwhile DIY project you can flaunt for years to come.
A great option for men’s and women’s summer wardrobes is denim jackets because of how light they are. If regular washing isn’t working, I’ve got some easy ways you can fade your denim jacket in time for summer! Sometimes they need a little breaking in to get that effortless look.
The most common technique to bleach denim clothing is to soak it in a solution of bleach and water for several hours. Techniques like taping off a portion of a garment before bleaching produce an asymmetrical dip-dyed look. The bleach can also be applied in a stylized pattern using a paintbrush or spray bottle.
Learn about the most common methods for bleaching denim in this article. Important safety measures will also be taught to you.
How to Bleach Denim?
Your denim will successfully fade to the desired color using regular bleach and water. Any of these techniques can be applied at home with ease. If you enjoy doing DIY projects, you might prefer this creative method to purchase pre-faded or distressed jeans from the store!
The most common way to bleach denim is to soak the item in a bleach and water solution. The spray method, the splatter method, the salt method, and the washing machine method can also be used to produce faded designs.
The Bleach Soak Method
The most common method for fading denim is soaking your jeans in a solution of bleach and water. It enables you to maintain a consistent fade and allows you to see how much color is still present in your garment.
- Create your workspace. Working well is a bathtub or sizable basin. In either case, cover the surrounding floor with newspapers or a plastic tablecloth.
Switch on a fan or open a window. Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves—you’ll get tired of hearing this! Combine bleach and hot water in an equal amount.
- Give your jeans about 30 minutes to sit before continuing. Occasionally swish them around to make sure the cloth is exposed evenly and to check the color you want.
- Over a bathtub or sink, gently wring out the jeans. Then, scoop them up into a large container, like a second bucket, and transport them to your washing machine.
- This technique can also be used to fade just a section of your jeans. Put the lower legs of the jeans in the bathtub, for instance, to fade only those portions.
If you want to create a tie-dye effect, rubber band different parts of your clothing together just like you would when dying something in a dye vat. For the best outcomes, then stick to these instructions.
The Spray Method
- You can completely dampen your jeans with a bleach solution in a spray bottle or make an artistic pattern. To achieve the look of vintage distressed jeans, use this technique like a charm! It’s also the best method for decorating or fading a specific area of your garment rather than the entire thing.
- Wear gloves and cover the floor as safety precautions, for example.
- Locate a large pitcher or bucket. Mix bleach and water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Pour the mixture slowly into a sprayer. The container will probably need to be refilled several times. To prevent spills, you might want to use a funnel to pour the mixture through.
- Place the denim item on your protected work surface so that you can easily reach the areas you want to lighten. Stretch out the pants’ legs flat in front of you, for instance, to lighten the knees.
- To make the jeans lighter, spray those areas!
- Give the clothing five minutes to sit. After that, quickly take it to your washer and put it in a container that won’t drip.
- Your denim item should be washed in cool water without any detergent. Then let it air dry.
The Splatter Method
The most artistic look is achieved by splattering bleach with a paintbrush, dropper, or toothbrush on denim clothing. It’s also a fantastic way to make a small portion of your garment lighter.
- The first step in using this method is to properly secure your workspace. Consider how TV serial killers hang plastic sheeting in their eerie basements. You’ll be throwing bleach around, so cordon off your workspace.
- Combine water and bleach in an equal parts solution.
- Dress in denim so that you have easy access to the areas you want to make lighter. A helpful hint is to stuff some newspaper inside a garment if you only want to fade the front and not the back to prevent moisture from leaking through.
- To squirt drops of the mixture onto the denim, dip a brush into the mixture and run your thumb over the bristles.
- To create designs on the denim, you can also use a medicine dropper filled with the mixture.
- Your finished garment should be washed in cool water and allowed to air dry, just like you would with any other method.
The Salt Method
Check out the salt method if you want lighter jeans without using any bleach. Salt will not directly take the dye out of denim, but it will abrade the fabric’s fibers, giving it a faded and distressed appearance. Ultimately, this might lighten the denim.
Here is a detailed explanation of the salt method.
- Cool water should be added to your washing machine.
- Two cups of table salt should be added. (Whatever salt you choose, there’s no need to waste expensive sea salt in this recipe.).
- As you stir it occasionally, let your denim item soak in the salt water for about 30 minutes.
- To get the salt off the denim, wash it as you normally would.
In Washing Machine
You won’t be exposed to hazardous fumes for a very long time using this method, which also leaves behind very little mess. You can’t monitor how much the denim lightens during the washing process if you use the washing machine.
- To your washing machine, add a half cup of bleach. Fill it with lukewarm water.
- Put the denim item in the washing machine and let it run for about 30 minutes.
- Then, run your machine on cool water, and no-detergent wash after draining the water.
- Check the denim’s lightness of fading after letting it air dry. If more lightening is required, you can repeat this procedure.
Try a Color Remover
You should choose how light you want to go before beginning the process. Use something like Rit Dye’s Laundry Treatment Color Remover, for example. For the best outcome, carefully follow the instructions.
Before dying your denim (or other fabric) with another color, you typically use this product, which you can wash in your washing machine. You might have to repeat the procedure more than once to get a uniform appearance.
Sandpaper can be used to lightly distress the knees, pockets, and/or edges to add visual interest. You can choose the degree of distressing by purchasing a few different grades at the hardware store, advises Bernholtz.
Grab some fabric and bunch it up like an accordion just beneath the front pockets and crotch area if you want to get a slight wisping in front. Once you’ve achieved the desired look, lightly sand, working on one side at a time.
How Long Does It Take to Bleach Jeans?
Depending on the amount of dye in the original pair of jeans and the desired color, bleaching can take as little as ten minutes or as long as several hours.
They will fade more quickly the longer you expose your jeans to bleach. Of course, the risk is that if you expose the fabric to chemicals for an extended period of time, the fibers will begin to erode.
Ideally, test your method on a pair of jeans from a secondhand store first. This will allow you to monitor the progress of the pants and determine how light or dark of a shade you can make them. Your objective is to obtain the desired color without damaging the fabric!
If you’re cleaning more delicate materials, like stretch jeans, you can also add more water to your solution.
While bleach won’t cause denim jeans to shrink, it can damage the synthetic fibers in stretch jeans, reducing their ability to recover from stretching.
Final Words: Bleach Denim
With bleach, you can produce a huge range of stylized denim looks. A bleach soak will produce the most consistent and even results when lightening the color of an entire garment. Apply bleach with a paintbrush splatter, drops, or spray if you prefer a more artistic appearance.
If you want to lighten your jeans entirely, soak your jeans in the bleach solution for 20-30 minutes Every few minutes, rotate the jeans and stir the water to prevent overexposing one spot. Every time you adjust your position, make sure the color hasn’t changed and take off the jeans when the color is perfect.
Is It Easy to Bleach Denim?
When you purchase jeans, they may not always be the ideal light blue color. However, great fades take time. Why wait? Soaking your jeans in a bleach and water solution is simple, and it’s a great way to lighten them quickly and safely.
Will Denim Turn White If You Bleach It?
Simply add your jeans to a bleach solution that has been diluted in your container, then wait for the chemical to do its magic. The jeans will be a startling shade of white that shines almost as brightly as you do in a matter of hours after the bleach has mostly or completely removed the dye from them.
Does Bleach Turn Denim Yellow?
Use green bleach which breaks down to salt and water; read the label before buying; always dispose of the bleach and water with bleach to the sewing system; it will neutralize any leftovers of bleach; while getting bleaching, the fabric can get a yellowish or brownish tint.