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How to Make Bleach Spots on Jeans

Shara JJ Cooper

Bleaching jeans is a technique used to give a vintage or bohemian look to new jeans. It can be used on its own or as part of a distressing process. This works in combination with cutting, fraying and wearing down the jeans with an item like a cheese grater. Bleach works to give old, unstylish jeans a unique look. Try adding special touches to jeans like hearts or your signature.

Give jeans a vintage look by fading them with bleach.
  1. Lay the jeans on a flat surface. Cover the surface with a sheet of plastic so it doesn't get stained. Bleach will fade nearly any surface including wood. Slide something between the legs of the jeans so the bleach won't seep through both layers of fabric. A plastic cutting board or block of wood works well.

  2. Mix a bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 5 parts water. Use this to paint bleach on the jeans.

  3. Use a paint brush and the bleach solution to apply bleach to the desired areas. Add bleach in large or small spots or in shapes or letters. Ensure the bleach saturates the fabric so it lightens it sufficiently. Leave the bleach on the fabric for up to 30 minutes.

  4. Add 1 tbsp. sodium bisulfite to 1 gallon of water and soak the jeans in the solution for 10 minutes to neutralize the bleach. Rinse the jeans in plain water and launder as usual.

  5. Allow the bleach to air dry thoroughly before handling. Repeat the process if the bleach hasn't lightened the fabric sufficiently.