Friday, May 23, 2014

how to bleach denim.

Hey, It's Elizabeth! So I have always wanted to bleach a pair of denim jeans for some reason. The idea just intrigues me, but the truth is I am a little afraid of bleach. Maybe its just me but I feel like it is a rational fear. Well, today I decided to conquer my fears and try it out.  I thought I would share my experience with you and hopefully you will muster up the courage to try it too.

To get started you will need a few things.

  • Something denim (I recommend something you don't care about ruining especially for your first try) 
  • Bleach (I bought the cheapest brand I could find)
  • A plastic bucket or container you don't mind getting bleach in
  • Protective equipment (ie. rubber gloves, goggles, apron) 
I would also recommend wearing clothing you really don't care about getting ruined. Hopefully that will not happen, but its better to be safe than sorry. 

First, find a safe area to work. I chose my bathroom because there is a ventilation fan and a water source. Working outdoors could also be nice if you have that available and don't have animals that will disturb it. 

I used a plastic storage tote to bleach in so that I did not have to fill the entire bath tub up with water. I filled it about 1/3 of the way full and added about 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Make sure to read and fallow all the warning labels on the bottle. 

Once you have your bleach/water mixture ready place your denim into the water and use your gloved hand or a stick to push the fabric all the way into the water. 

Then the waiting game begins! How long you keep your denim in the solution depends on how light you want your denim to become. 

Before: 0 Hours 

*Tip Time* 
So I had this all purpose cleaner with bleach in my cabinet. I honestly hate using it to clean because of the strong bleach smell so I thought hey, I could just get rid of it by using it to bleach denim.... Um No! I definitely tried that and it did absolutely nothing. The cleaner is less than 2% bleach and then by diluting it even more with water it did nothing. So don't waste your time! Go to the store and buy a container of bleach which is super cheap anyways. 

After 4 hours 

After 8 hours 

When my denim had become the color that I wanted I carefully transferred them to the washing machine without dripping bleach water across the floor. I did one cycle in the wash without soap, and then did a second wash with soap before I dried them. 

I ended up keeping my shorts in the bleach solution for about 12 hours before they became the color I desired. I am pretty happy with my results. The only thing I am a little disappointed about is the back pockets have dark spots on them where they did not bleach. I am not really sure why, but I think I will sew some cute fabric to them and you will never know. 


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