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Hey, totally tubular babes! I bet you didn’t expect to see that phrase make a comeback, but some things in life are just so juicy they make a repeat. For example, butterfly clips, chokers, and as of now bleach! Dolls, I don’t mean bleached hair, but bleach on clothes and your jeans. The original style of bleached jeans made its debut in the early 1980’s courtesy of some fashionable punk rockers. Many of them would splatter bleach all over jean jackets to mimic camouflage and then add some patches to really spice things up. There are so many celebrities that have brought back the bleached jean game such as Gwen Stefani, Bella Hadid, and Kate Moss.
Bleaching your clothes in any capacity means following certain procedures to make sure the bleach is properly washed and doesn’t eat away the fabric that it’s placed on or damage your other non-bleached clothes. Let’s break down fun methods of working with bleach on clothes and what types of bleach are best for your desired outcome!
How to Bleach Jeans at Home Safely
Lay Out the Area of Where You’re Going to Bleach.
You want to pick a sturdy space that can hold all your materials and you’re going to want to protect that space. In addition, this space needs to be well ventilated or you’ll be passed out; and that’s not a cute look babe.
Also here’s a PRO TIP: Lay newspaper or a tarp in the area where you will wash the jeans post bleaching so the dropping bleach doesn’t get all over the floor.
Get Ready for Bleaching
Get yourself ready for bleaching, which means find clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined in this creative process. Also, gloves are a lovely thing to protect your hands! If you have sensitive eyes, goggles may also behoove you.
Again, because it’s worth mentioning, get yourself a well-ventilated space and DO NOT mix that bleach with any other housecleaner. This chemical mixture can have a horrific and often dangerous outcome, so please doll, just don’t do it.
Use a Bucket
Fill a bucket or bathtub with one part water and one part bleach. The bathtub is usually the best bet because there’s a fan you can turn on and a bucket can spill. If a bathtub is not an option, then yes use a bucket in a well-ventilated area. Avoid a highly concentrated bleach solution. While you may get faster results, the solution will be corrosive and more likely to burn holes in the fabric.
Experiment first so you can gauge how much bleach solution is needed for pair of jeans. All jeans react differently to bleach solutions. Remember the first time, should be a bit more precise. I highly recommend having a pair of jeans that are similar in color to play with first, before going hardcore with the bleach.
PRO TIP: If bleach is a bit much, try using a bleach pen. This pen will give you more flexibility on where you want the bleach to go and if you want to try your hand at a design.
How to Prep Jeans for That Awesome Dye Job You’re About to do
Dampen Your Jeans
Bleach absorbs better into the fabric when it’s damp. Dampen your pair of jeans in cold water before you work on them. The jeans don’t need to be soaking wet, so wring them out if they are dripping water.
Dab The Bleach
Dab the bleach on with a sponge, paintbrush, or spray bottle. If you want designs on your jeans you will have to be more strategic with how you put on the bleach. For large even surfaces, go ahead and use a sponge to apply the bleach. For a splattered effect, use a paintbrush or toothbrush. Apply the bleach to the brush, then rub your thumb back across the bristles to achieve a splattered effect. Lastly, if you want to work quickly, fill a cheap spray bottle with the solution and apply it to areas you want to be lightened.
Work One Side at a Time
Keep in mind to work one side at a time. If you don’t want to bleach a certain side, stuff your pants with newspaper before you start as the newspaper will prevent the bleach from soaking through to the other side.
Submerge The Jeans
Submerge your jeans fully into the solution for an even all-over bleach color for about 20 to 30 minutes. Reposition the jeans and swirl the water every few minutes to avoid overexposing one area. Check for color changes every time you reposition, and remove the jeans when you’ve reached an ideal color.
Now it’s time for the final stages of your bleach creation
Rinse The Bleach
Rinse the bleach off after five minutes if you want to see what they look like with your bleach job. After you’ve finished applying the bleach or submerging your jeans, let them sit on the newspapers for five minutes. Then, rinse the jeans in cold water in either your sink or bathtub. While your jeans are still wet, you will not have a full sense of how bleach lightened the fabric. Wait until they’ve dried to assess their color.
Wash Your jeans
Run your jeans through the washing machine without detergent and without any other clothes in the wash. PRO TIP: Carry your jeans to the washing machine, wrapping them in newspapers to avoid staining the floor, but again make sure you have the floor covered by the washer to save the floor as well. This will rinse out excess bleach and make them safe to wash with other clothing later.
Air-Dry Your Jeans
Air-dry your jeans. After the first time, you wash your jeans, do not put them in the dryer (which can also cause yellowing). Instead, hang your jeans to dry to avoid that tacky yellow, and yes it does take longer, but it’s worth it. Creations shouldn’t be rushed. After your jeans have washed and dried, your jeans are ready to wear.
Check The Result
Once they are dry, this is your chance to check the color and if it’s not to your liking then you’re going to repeat this whole process again. Don’t skip a single step doll!
If you’re looking for some shortcuts in gathering supplies, then let me help you out. This fun kit found on amazon has many tools like gloves and fun colors that can really enhance your creativity. Yes, bleach is coming back stronger than a 90’s trend, but the color is also rad too. This particular kit even comes with an apron, to further protect your fabulous clothes.
Additionally, you may really love having some sort of tangible resources on hand to give you some tie-dye ideas with your bleach and this is where this bad boy comes into play. This epic book teaches you the basics of tie-dye and gives you ideas for something beyond the pale.
Whatever it is you decide to do, just explore and have fun with it. No one is ever perfect on the first go, not even Mozart. So take this as an opportunity to really embrace your whimsical and creative spirit and do all the things!