Faded jeans have always been in style, but buying them that way can be expensive. Fading them yourself can save you a lot of money, but can be difficult sometimes. Bleach can be harsh on the fabric and getting the correct amount can be frustrating. Too much and your jeans can be white, too little and they can turn brown. There are some other products that will do the trick and aren't so damaging to the denim. Depending on the jeans, this can be accomplished in a day or could take up to a week.
Mix 1 cup of Sunlight Machine dishwashing powder in a utility tub 1/2 full of water. You can also use a bathtub about 1/4 full of water. Soak the jeans in the solution for a few hours and then wring out. Wash alone in the washing machine with laundry soap. Dry as usual.
Use 1/2 packet of Rit colour remover in a large bucket of water or utility tub. You may need to experiment with the amount of colour remover for the amount of fade desired. A whole packet may remove all the colour in the jeans. Wash jeans alone in washing machine as usual and dry.
Mix 1 cup of salt in the washing machine for a small load and wash the jeans. This method is the easiest on the fabric, but may need to be repeated several times before you reach the fade you desire.
Repeating washings as normal with a cap full of bleach each time will eventually fade the jeans. Too much bleach at once may turn the colour a yellowy brown. This method make take a week or so of washing every day.
Bleach and other chemicals are harmful if splashed into your eyes. Be very careful when wringing the jeans out and wear rubber gloves if your skin is sensitive to bleach products.