Will Bleach Ruin Denim? How to Bleach Denim Jacket or Jeans

Bleach is the go-to lightener. It works well when you want to make a dark color and lighten it up a little. The problem is that bleach may also ruin your clothing if you are not careful. The key is in monitoring the bleaching process and keeping a close eye on what is happening to your fabrics.

Will bleach ruin denim? It depends on how you define the word ruin. If you like white spots on your clothing then the bleach made the item better. To bleach denim use 1 part water and 1 part bleach, then use clothing you do not mind getting ruined by the chemical.

To learn how to bleach denim safely just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you get the information you need to bleach your jeans, etc., the right way. It will take at least 20 minutes before you start seeing results.

What Happens When You Bleach Denim?

A lot of what happens to your denim clothing will depend on the quality of the fabric and the type of fibers that were used in their construction. One of the results you dop not want to see take place will be the odd colors that happen when you beach denim. A yellow tinge is one of those colors you do not want to see.

Another danger that takes place is that the chlorine bleach may not whiten evenly. You may see spots that are whiter than others. Oxygen or color-safe bleach may work slower than chlorine bleach so you have more control over the process with those two options.

Can You Bleach Denim White?

It is possible to bleach denim white but you may also see that yellow tinge we mentioned earlier. To stop the yellow tinting and get your jeans white, you can wash your jeans after the bleaching process.

One thing to be wary about is what kind of dyes were used in making your blue jeans or denim jacket. If they were made with Indigo-treated denim then you may have a tougher time turning your blue jeans into white jeans.

You can try color remover and then dye your jeans white but that process and bleaching will only get you close to white and not be that perfect white shade you would like to see.

Can You Bleach Denim to Make it Lighter?


Yes, this is a bit easier to do than trying to get them white. It doesn’t take as long and you have more control over the process. You also do not have to worry about those Indigo-treated denim materials when you are only going for a faded blue look.

Just add a 1/4 cup of laundry bleach to your washing machine full of water and run the cycle for a short time to mix the two ingredients. Then run your machine the rest of the way after placing your denim clothing inside. You should let the jeans soak for a few minutes first before going to this step.

How Long Does it Take to Bleach Denim?

Usually, you won’t see any results for about the first 20 minutes. The denim fibers are thick and hold a lot of dye. That makes it tough to get the color out when you bleach your denim items.

Using 1 part water and 1 part bleach, you should expect the process to take 50 minutes. That’s the initial 20 minutes we just mentioned and an additional 30 minutes. The actual length of time will depend a lot on how light you want your jeans or denims to look.

Most likely the 50 minute time span is just the start and you may end up sitting there monitoring for 1 1/2 hours.

Will Acetone Bleach Denim?

Acetone has the reputation of removing many different dyes from clothing. So the answer to that question is most likely it will bleach denim. It may take a little longer than bleach but the time frame is only approx.

Then if you go to a non-acetone nail polish remover to avoid fading, etc., you may have made a bad choice. Non-acetone nail polish remover will work on only some denim clothing items, not all.

The results depend on how much and how long you let the acetone sit on your denim clothing items. Make sure to do a test on a hidden spot or a scrap piece of denim before using this chemical to bleach your jeans.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Bleach Denim?


The main purpose of using hydrogen peroxide as a replacement for bleach is to get your clothes cleaner. That includes your denim items as well. The compound also helps brighten your clothing.

BUT that does not mean it does not bleach your clothes. You can use hydrogen peroxide to fade your denim items. It just may take a little longer than if you used chlorine bleach.

One thing hydrogen peroxide does is help remove that yellow tint from your jeans if the bleach left that tint behind. It will brighten your denim as it fades the color giving you a nice look when you are done.

Bleach Jeans With Chlorine

It is not hard to do and the key factor in using chlorine to fade jeans, etc., is to keep re-positioning them so that one area of the clothing doe snot get exposed too long to the chemical.

One way to minimize that risk is to use a spray bottle and fill it 1/4 of the way with pure chlorine bleach. Spray the intended areas and wait till the color you want appears.

Before this fill a bucket with water and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. After you get the color you want to soak your jeans, etc., in that mixture to stop the bleaching process. Soak it for 10 minutes then put the jeans, etc., into your washing machine and wash with detergent using warm water.

Make sure to wash the jeans by themselves and then hang them to dry.

Does Baking Soda Bleach Denim?

By itself, the answer is probably no. Every piece of research we have seen always has the baking soda used with bleach or detergent and never on its own. Even if it could bleach denim, the process will be really slow.

Baking soda is designed more to make your clothes fresh and clean smelling. It is not designed to act as a bleach. It does have some whitening power but not a lot. What it does do is boost the cleaning power of both laundry soap and bleach.

It also removes that bleach smell when your clothes are cleaned and ready to wear.

Can You Bleach Denim With Toilet Bowl Cleaner?


As just a cleaner maybe not. But if the toilet bowl cleaner has a bleaching ingredient then you may have a DIY option you can use when you are out of bleach. There are plenty of cleaners with bleach included making it a healthy alternative to clean your bathroom while also doubling as an agent for fading your denim clothing.

Also, the toilet bowl cleaner comes in specially designed bottles that give you more control over what part of your jeans the cleaner goes on. If you are daring, you can try a toilet bowl cleaner without bleach and see what results you get.

What Bleach to Use On Denim

The best bleach to use will be the one that has chlorine added to it. Color-safe bleach is actually intended to stop fading while still getting your clothes clean like chlorine bleach would do.

If you want a brand name, then Clorox will do. But the lesser brand names are just as effective and may be a lot cheaper than Clorox. You can also try an oxygen bleach but that will not work as fast as chlorine bleach does.

The type of bleach you use will depend on how much time you can give to the project and how much control you want over the process.

Why Won't My Denim Bleach?

When this takes place, the reason may not lie with the type of bleach you are using. Some denim fabrics are made from polyester or other synthetic fibers and these do not bleach.

Then the jeans or other denim items may be treated chemically to resist bleaching as well as fading from washing and sunlight. Then you may be using too much water in the bleach and water mixture and the bleach is not strong enough to handle the job.

Check the cleaning label to see if there is any information on how the jeans were made. If you see synthetic materials listed then do not bleach the item. You may end up ruining them instead.

Where to Bleach Denim


There are different locations in your home that will work best if they are well ventilated and you have a lot of light and room to maneuver. If your home has a basement that would be the ideal spot as you have light & room.

Your bathroom would be the next ideal spot because you can use your bathtub to do the bleaching, sparing you the mess that comes with this process. Then if you have to, you can work on your patio, back yard, or some other outdoor spot. You get ventilation and lots of room and light in this location.

Ultimately, it is your choice where you bleach your denim items. Just pick the best spot for you and wear protective clothing.

Does Bleach Soften Denim?

It is possible and one person did it with 1 quart of bleach mixed in with 6 to 7 quarts of water. She then left it in that mixture for 4 hours. Her result was less than satisfactory. Although the bleach helped soften the denim, it also faded the color and left a yellow tinge.

Hydrogen peroxide is said to be able to soften clothes without the bleaching process playing a role in what happens to your denim clothing. There are other safe ways to soften your jeans than using bleach. Tennis balls and sneakers in your dryer with your jeans is one such DIY option.

It is just safer to use other softeners than bleach to get your denim comfortable.

How to Bleach a Denim Jacket Evenly

The main way to accomplish this objective is to make sure the bucket, tub, or bathtub is large enough. If it isn’t then you have to crumple up your jean jacket and run the risk of not having the fading job done evenly.

Once you get a large enough bucket, etc. Then soak your jacket and swish it around, re-positioning it so the bleach does not become concentrated on one spot for too long. This motion should keep the jacket spread out so all parts of it receive the same treatment.

If you have to, put on some rubber gloves and use your hands to get the jacket in the right positions each time you move it.

How to Bleach a Denim Jacket in the Washing Machine


This is probably the easiest method to use as you do not have to be involved after you put all the items in your washing machine. All you do is fill your machine with water and add 1/2 cup of beach to it and run the cycle till the two are mixed together.

Then, stop the cycle and add blue jeans. Let the jeans soak for a few minutes before restarting the cycle and let it go through to the finish. When done, just dry normally. Or you can use hot water in your washing machine, no bleach and hot setting on your dryer.

Repeat this cycle until you get the color you want. Either way should be safe for your denim materials.

How do You Bleach Denim White and Not Yellow?

The difficult part of this task is finding out what fibers were used and how good the quality of jeans is. These two factors will play a large role in your success using this process.

The best way to bleach your jeans so that the yellow color does not come is to use your washer and dryer and omit the bleach. Use hot water and nothing else when you wash your jeans. It may be best to do this individually and not pack a lot of denim in the washer.

When the hot water cycle is over, just toss the jeans into your dryer and put it on hot. Let the dryer run through its cycle. If the jeans are not faded to the color you want, just repeat this process.

Another way would be to use hydrogen peroxide. This method requires hand washing and a lot more time. It is not a quick-acting solution but at least you won’t see that ugly yellow tint appearing on your denim clothing.

Bleaching Denim Jeans

Can be done in many ways. One of the safer ways, and if you only want parts of your jeans faded is to use a spray bottle and spot bleach the items. This leaves you in better control of the process and allows you to design the look your way.

Then you can use toilet bowl cleaner with their specially designed bottles to bleach your jeans, etc. Just make sure the cleaner has bleach as an ingredient. It is possible to bleach half a pair of jeans using this cleaner option.

What you need to watch out for is if the jeans were made to resist bleaching. No option or method is good when they are made that way.

How to Bleach Denim Shoes


This is a simple task to perform and only takes a little time to get it done. Just make sure you protect the area around where you are applying the bleach. Fill a spray bottle up with chlorine bleach and you do not need to dilute it.

Next, remove the laces so they do not get in your way or get ruined. After that, just spray away. You can spray evenly or let the bleach roll down the sides to enhance your creative nature.

Or you can spray lightly in one spot and heavy in another. It is all up to you how the bleach gets on your shoes. Finally, put the shoes in the dryer with a damp cloth for 30 minutes to stop the bleaching process.

Some Final Words

Fads come and go but the ability to bleach denim will always be around. That means that every time the fad to bleach denim appears you are ready for it. Just be careful as some manufacturers do not want you or the sun to fade your jeans.

Go slowly and carefully to make sure you get the result you want and one that looks good.

Leave a Comment: