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Bleaching Methods for Denim Jeans


Whether you like jeans that are completely bleached out, jeans that are bleached only down the front of the legs, or jeans that are spotted with bleach, you can do the bleaching yourself and save lots of money over buying the bleached jeans at a retail store.

There are many different methods for bleaching jeans but all of them require you to use rubber gloves to protect your hands. Don’t have any rubber gloves? Slip your hands inside bread wrappers to prevent bleach from burning them.

Any time you want a bleach pattern on the front of the jeans, but not the backside, use plastic grocery or garbage bags to prevent bleach from seeping on to the other side. Newspaper or paper towels will absorb liquids but some seepage may still occur.

The sponging method is great for putting blotching on jeans but is also handy for covering large areas quickly, like down the length of the legs. Mix one part bleach to two parts water and dip the sponge. Blot the dampened sponge here and there, or get the sponge a little wetter, and stroke downwards from the top of the jeans to the hem of the leg. Don’t push down on the sponge while streaking the legs or you’ll have some bleach marks running away from the main bleach pattern. Remember that anywhere the sponge or bleach water touches on the jeans will bleach that spot, even if it’s just a tiny drip.

The towel method is good for bleaching down the fronts of legs as well. Use a towel that’s long enough to reach down the length of the legs, or use two towels and overlap them. Get the towels fairly wet but not dripping. Lay the towels on the leg area – or other area – of the jeans and pat into place. Leave the towels on for about five minutes, pat the towels again, then remove them. Wash as normal, but don’t add other clothes to the initial wash, after bleaching.

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Paintbrushes are perfect for adding bleached patterns onto the jeans. Paint on flowers, words, or other images by dipping the paintbrush into the bleach. Be especially careful with this method since the bleach water tends to drip off the paintbrush easily. Painting with bleach water isn’t as accurate or as easy as using paints, so have lots of patience, dip the brush often, and dab on paper towels frequently.

A washcloth makes it easy to bleach jeans all over. Get the washcloth exceptionally wet and rub or pat it all over the jeans. You’ll be able to tell what parts of the jeans are wet and which parts are dry, so use the washcloth until the entire pair of jeans is fairly wet. Wait at least ten minutes before laundering.

Yarn or roping allows you to easily add patterns of interest all over the jeans, or in a specific spot on the jeans. Allow the rope to sit in the water for a few minutes and absorb the liquid. Now take the roping out and set it on a towel for a minute. Arrange the roping on the jeans in the pattern of your choice. Press down slightly to make sure you have good contact between the rope and jeans. Pat the roping repeatedly, allowing the rope to sit on the jeans for about ten to fifteen minutes. Remove the rope and wait an additional ten minutes before laundering.

You can make all sorts of patterns on jeans by using bleach water. Applying it can be done using foam paint brushes, wads of cotton, pieces of cloth, paper towels and other things you have around the house. You’ll enjoy bleaching your own jeans and having the coolest denims around.

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