How to bleach a denim jacket

Written by brenda priddy
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How to bleach a denim jacket
Bleaching a denim jacket gives it a whole new look. (casual woman relaxing on the floor image by Galina Barskaya from

Bleaching a denim jacket is one way to change its appearance. The bleach will turn the jacket into more of a punk or rocker look; with the '80s resurgence in fashion, that's once again a desired look in the 21st century.

Bleaching a denim jacket is a simple process, but it does require care to prevent the bleach from damaging your skin or any other fabric items in your home. For safety reasons, do this task outdoors.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Household bleach
  • Measuring cup
  • Long stick or broom handle
  • Drying rack
  • Old towels
  • Sponge or rubber bands
  • Washing machine

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  1. 1

    Fill the bucket 3/4 full with warm water. Put on the gloves.

  2. 2

    Pour one or two cups of bleach into the bucket. Stir with a long spoon or stick. A broom handle works well.

  3. 3

    Place the jacket into the bucket. Push it down into the bucket with the broom handle. Stir the jacket until it is completely soaked and then for five more minutes.

  4. 4

    Remove the jacket from the water. Sponge any areas that are too dark. Wring out the jacket and place it on a drying rack outdoors for several hours. Use old towels to wipe up any bleach spills.

  5. 5

    Wash the dry jacket two or three times to remove bleach residue and prevent the jacket from damaging any other laundry. Use the second rinse cycle to get rid of all remaining bleach. Dry the jacket in the dryer or on the drying rack. Rinse out all of the equipment used to bleach the jacket.

Tips and warnings

  • Decide how you want to bleach the jacket. If you want to create a pattern with some part of the jacket staying the original colour, tie up portions of the jacket with rubber bands or sponge the bleach solution onto specific portions of the jacket.
  • Make sure you wear clothes you don't mind getting ruined. It's likely your clothes will be bleached as well.

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