See How to Bleach Jeans and Level Up Your Style Right Away

Have a dark pair of denim jeans that you don’t wear anymore? Why not bleach it and make it cool right away? Not only will bleached jeans give your old jeans a new look, but they will also give the pants a softer feel as well, increasing their comfort.

Blue jeans stacked on a wooden background

You can certainly buy pre-bleached jeans from the local store but why not recreate the bleaching process at home and save yourself a truckload of money? And you may already know how to bleach your white clothes but not this one? Let’s see how you can bleach denim jeans the right way, without burning holes in the pants! 

How to bleach your old jeans the right way

It is time for you to learn how to use it on your old dark and black jeans the right way. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully to avoid any unforeseen incident.

Things that you will need

  • Old pair of jeans
  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Clean cloth
  • Plastic sheet
  • Spray bottle
  • Masking tape

DIY Steps

If you gathered all the materials and tools that you’re going to need, here’s what you have to do:


  1. Before you start, you have to prepare the area a bit. All the surfaces around might get damaged if you’re not very careful. Lay some newspaper to protect all the items that are close by. 
  2. Make sure that you are wearing clothes that are old and you won’t mind them getting stained. Moreover, you can wear an apron instead of changing your clothes.
  3. Wear rubber gloves to keep your skin safe and protected.
  4. Also, wear safety goggles to keep it from getting into your eyes.
  5. Make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area to keep yourself from inhaling the fumes
  6. Don’t mix bleach with any other household products such as ammonia, for this can result in toxic fumes.Woman's gloved hands holding bottle with bleach

Create the bleaching mixture

  1. Take a bucket and fill it with one part hot water and one part bleach
  2. You can then transfer it to your bathtub for better results.
  3. Make sure that your solution is not too concentrated. Even though a concentrated solution will give you faster results, it is very likely that it will burn holes in the pants, which is not something that you want.

Spot test

  1. After you have created the solution, don’t put your blue jeans into it immediately.
  2. Take a piece of and try out the mixture before using it for the whole surface.
  3. This will tell you how strong the solution is, and how light your jeans will get eventually.

Bleaching your jeans

  1. The first thing you have to do with your jeans is to dampen them with cold water. If the material is already wet, it will work more effectively
  2. Wring them out so that they are not soaking wet.
  3. If you want to create designs and patterns on your pants, don’t put your jeans in the solution. Take a sponge and dab it on your pants in the pattern you want. You can use a toothbrush or paintbrush for a splatter effect. You can also fill a spray bottle with the solution and spray it in the design you want. 
  4. For an even tone, submerge your pants completely into the bleach solution
  5. Soak your jeans for 20 to 30 minutes
  6. Keep swirling the jeans every few minutes to avoid getting uneven marks.
  7. Once you think an ideal colour has been reached, remove the jeans and wring them thoroughly.
    Jeans in water and bleach on washing area
  8. Wash jeans with water to stop it from further lightening the pants.
  9. If you want a tie-dye effect, you can tie rubber bands on your dark denim before you submerge them in the solution.
  10. Run your pants through the washer without adding detergent or fabric softener. This will make sure all the bleach is gone from the pants and they can be worn safely. 
  11. Air-dry your pants. Don’t hang your jeans. Rather, lay them flat on the newspapers and let them dry on their own.
  12. Once dry, if you are not satisfied with the colour, you can repeat the process.
  13. You can try it on your denim jacket in a similar fashion as well.

5 common mistakes to avoid

  • Using the wrong bleach

It is very important that you get chlorine-based bleach instead of oxygen-based. Even though oxygen-based would work, the result wouldn’t be as good as the chlorine-based one. Also, don’t use hair bleach or any other kind if you want optimum results.

  • Using a lot of bleach

Like we already mentioned, using a lot of it or a very concentrated solution will damage your pants. Never ever, pour it from the bottle directly onto the jeans. Always work in a controlled and safe environment.

  • Not washing the jeans beforehand

Another common mistake that people make while bleaching jeans is skipping the pre-washing step. Bleach works best with freshly washed items. Otherwise, you will not get the result you are looking for as the it will react with the dust, dirt, and grime present on the jeans, resulting in an uneven look.

  • Hanging up the jeans

Most of the people hang up the jeans after soaking them in the solution. You should never do this as the liquid drips downwards and the lower half gets bleached more than the upper half. Simply place the soaked jeans in the bathtub or lay them somewhere flat.

  • Not washing the Bleach out

People don’t wash the jeans as thoroughly as they should after finishing this project. Once you get the desired colour of jeans, you need to wash them very well to get all the chlorine out. If you don’t do this, not only the pants smell bad, but they will get discoloured due to residual bleach.

Jeans old bleach

Why upcycling old clothes is important

Reduce, recycle, reuse – we have been hearing this for years. Most of us ensure that we throw the plastic bottle in the recycle bin. However, this is bigger than plastic and paper recycling only.

In the world of fashion, discarded items and old, poor-quality clothing are a few of the pollution-causing culprits. This can be avoided with upcycling. Wondering what is upcycling? Well, it is a method by which you can recycle your old, unwanted clothes into brand new pieces that you will love and adore.

From saving the environment to reduced production costs, upcycling has a variety of benefits. Let’s see a few reasons why upcycling your old clothes is important.

1. Save natural resources

Upcycling saves natural resources as well as monetary costs. Since, instead of creating new clothes out of new materials, you are creating new items from pre-existing materials, you are saving things such as cotton, natural fibres, etc. Plus, you are also saving up on the energy that would have been spent on creating the new clothes. 

2. Reduce solid waste

There is only so much space on Earth, right? With an already overflowing landfill, it is bad that we keep on adding more to it. By recycling textiles, you can play your part in reducing solid waste and keeping the environment clean.

3. Lower greenhouse gases

In theory, the clothes that are made from organic materials such as cotton, linen, etc. are biodegradable. However, when we toss our clothes out, they end up in landfills. To break down completely, those clothes need oxygen but in the landfill, they lack that.

The lack of oxygen means that the clothes start to decompose via anaerobic digestion and produce harmful by-products such as methane. When this methane escapes into the atmosphere, it pollutes it and reduces the air quality.

4. Help people in need

It is probable that you have money to buy new jeans and clothes. However, there are many, many people out there who don’t have that luxury. So, why don’t you upcycle your clothes before donating them? You can even stretch or rip jeans to make them fit and look better!

Many jeans stacked on white table

So, if you have a pair of old jeans that you don’t wear anymore, then there are a couple of things to do. Instead of throwing them away, you should upcycle them using bleach in interesting ways. It is not a difficult process and by following the steps that we have mentioned above, you can make it an amazing DIY project. Upgrade your clothes or donate them to people that would love them even more.

Here’s to a fashionable, environmentally-friendly you!

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