How to Bleach Denim

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How to Bleach Denim

Bleach can transform old denim garments and can give them a softer appearance. Bleaching denim can help to revamp and recycle tired items of clothes, giving them a new look. Denim has been a continual leader in the fashion industry because of its robustness, ease of care, and adaptability. One of the main reasons for the material's frequent fashion popularity is its versatility. Bleaching denim at home only requires bleach, a bucket, and a small amount of time and effort.



  • In order to get started with dying a denim garment, gather the following items:
  • Rubber gloves: To protect hands whilst using bleach
  • Bucket or basin: To submerge the denim
  • Bleach: To lighten the denim
  • Rubber bands: To bundle up portions of the garment to create a unique pattern
  • Spray bottle: A spray bottle can be used to choose specific bleaching area


Bleaching Denim

Always be cautious when using bleach. Read the instructions on the back of the bottle carefully and always seek urgent medical attention if you ingest the bleach or if it comes into contact with eyes.

Step 1

Put on a pair of rubber gloves before starting the process. Fill up a bucket with water and add a small quantity of bleach to the water. Because the bleaching process cannot be undone, start with just a capful of bleach. Users can add more bleach later should they want a lighter look.

Step 2

Lower the garment into the bleach and water mixture. Wearing rubber gloves, lightly work the denim, kneading it so that the entire item receives the same amount of attention.

Step 3

Step away and leave the denim to soak in the mixture. Remove the garment once it is about halfway towards the desired eventual lightness. It looks as if it is darker when wet than when it has fully dried.

Step 4

Once you remove the item from the mixture, leave it to dry. Once removed, if a lighter denim is wanted, repeat the bleaching process until you achieve the desired shade. If an all-over bleached look is not the intended look, there are other ways that bleach can be used to give denim a new look.


The Tie Dye Effect

To achieve a tie dye effect when bleaching denim, mix the bleach and water as directed above. Ball the garment up and use large rubber bands to hold the shape. Submerge the item in the bleach and wait as directed above. Remove and rinse, and then wait for the item to dry.

Dip Dying

To dip dye a denim garment, mix the bleach and water as directed above. Hang the shorts, jeans, or shirt on a hanger. Hang the garment above the bleach and water mixture so that only submerge only the area you want to lighten in the liquid. Remove and rinse, and then wait for the item to dry.

Spray Bleaching

To use bleach to create patterns on denim, make the bleach and water mixture in a spray bottle instead of in the bucket. Next, fill the bucket with water and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide to make a neutralising solution. This solution stops the bleach effect once you achieve the desired lightness and/or pattern. Once you mix these liquids, lay the denim right side up on a cloth and smooth out any wrinkles. 
Hold the bottle 15 cm from the material and spray the garment. Whilst working around the denim, hold the bottle the same distance from the material throughout. Once the spots are as light as desired, submerge the garment in the bucket mixture for 10 minutes to stop the bleach from working further.


How to Buy Materials for Bleaching Denim on eBay

Sellers found on eBay offer a wide selection of denim garments that can be given a new lease of life. Although you can perform a generic search for denim clothing when looking for items to dye, you can narrow the search by focussing on a particular garment, such as 'Ladies denim short shorts'. Search results can then be refined even further by selecting to only results within certain size brackets. You can customise your denim further by adding patches, studs, and rhinestone crystals or by using fabric paints.

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