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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Blue Jeans and Bleach

By Dr. Laundry January 20, 2012

Q:  Can I use Clorox® Regular-Bleach on my blue jeans to create a “stain” look?

A:  To create a “stain look” by using bleach to lighten portions of the denim, first let me remind you to never apply full-strength bleach to anything, even if your goal is color loss.  Bleach should always be diluted with water before using it on fabric or for cleaning hard surfaces. 

That said; you may want to consider using the Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel to achieve a decorative color loss effect on fabric.  The pen has two tips:  a fine tip and a broad scrubber tip, and also gives you greater control applying a lower concentration bleach solution.  Make sure to rinse the gel away when you have the desired color loss, but before the gel dries on the fabric. 

If you want to lighten the jeans overall, then soaking them in a bleach solution made with 1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of cool water is a great approach.  For stain removal we recommend soaking for 5 minutes, but you may want to try up to 10 minutes to increase the color loss.