How to Bleach Blue Jeans

Learning how to bleach blue jeans will let you turn an old pair of dark denim into a stylish "new" addition to your wardrobe. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select the jeans that you're going to bleach. Check out your local secondhand clothing store or search your closet for jeans you already have.
  2. Remove the waistband label from the top of the jeans.
  3. Lay some newspaper on the floor (this process is probably best done in the garage or outside because the bleach may spill).
  4. Fill ¾ of a large plastic bucket with water. Fill a second bucket with water, as well.  
  5. Be sure to wear clothes you wouldn't mind throwing out. Bleach will not come out of clothes, so don't wear your favorite shirt while bleaching your jeans. You should also wear long dishwashing gloves to protect your hands and forearms from bleach stains.
  6. Add about a cup of bleach to the first bucket of water.
  7. Test your bleaching skills on denim you don't care about. Use a piece of an old denim jacket or jeans to practice on and experiment with different bleaching tools, like toothbrushes, paintbrushes and sponges.
  8. If you want the jeans bleached evenly all over, submerge the entire garment in the bucket. Rinse the jeans in the second bucket after five minutes of soaking.
  9. If you want to spot-bleach, wet a sponge or another tool in the bleach bucket and dab the places on the pants that you want bleached. Popular ideas include outlining the back pockets, bleaching the side seams of each leg and tie-dying swirls on the knees.
  10. If you want to create a "weathered" look, fill a spray bottle with some of the bleach solution and spray the front and back of the thighs and pockets.
  11. Leave the bleach on for no more than five minutes before placing the pants into the second bucket of water for rinsing.
  12. Bring the jeans to the washing machine and run a cold cycle for just the jeans alone. 
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