Jeans aren’t always the perfect shade of light blue when you buy them. But great fades take time. Why wait? Soaking your jeans in a bleach and water solution is simple, and it’s a great way to lighten them quickly and safely.
To get started you just need a few items, most of which you probably already have on hand.
What you need
Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach with CLOROMAX®1 cup
Clean blue jeans
3% hydrogen peroxide1 cup
Large plastic dish pansYou’ll need 2
Clean white towel
Steps to lighten jeans with bleach
Prepare the bleach solution
Wearing gloves, add 1 cup Clorox® Bleach to 1 gallon cool water in the first dishpan, and swirl to mix.
Prepare the peroxide fixing solution
Rinse the measuring cup with clean water. In the second dish pan, add 1 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water.
Submerge the jeans in the bleach solution
Be sure you have gloves on! Carefully swirl the jeans around until they’re saturated. Continue to swirl the jeans so that all areas are completely submerged in the bleach solution. Be careful not to splash any solution on yourself or your clothing.
After about 2 minutes, check the color change
Remove the jeans from the bleach solution to check how the color change is progressing (hold them over the dishpan to safely catch drips). If desired, return the jeans to the bleach solution and continue swirling to increase fading.
Stop the bleaching action
When satisfied with the color change (or if 5 minutes have passed), submerge the jeans in the second dishpan with the hydrogen peroxide solution, swirling them around until the fabric stops fizzing.
Thoroughly rinse the pants several times with cool water.
Allow to air dry
Roll the jeans in the towel to squeeze out excess water and hang the jeans to air dry.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I use bleach to lighten jeans with spandex in them?
You have to be careful when bleaching jeans that contain spandex. Regular bleach can yellow spandex (that’s why it’s on the list of fabrics you shouldn’t bleach) and it’s more obvious on white fabrics. With denim, the inside (or “wrong” side) of the fabric is predominantly white because of the twill weave. Only a little white shows through to the front, so it could be worth a try to lighten the outside blue color even if there’s some spandex.
You may want to try a shorter contact time in the bleach solution to minimize any potential yellowing. Also, be sure to thoroughly fix the jeans with the hydrogen peroxide to stop the bleaching action. This will help to limit discoloration of the spandex.