How To Fade Denim Jeans

Learning how to fade denim jeans at home can give you the look of stylish designer denim without the oversized price tag.  In a recent survey by the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor, 84% of men said they didn’t mind their jeans fading over time, so if you want to speed up the process, here’s how.

To fade denim jeans you will need:

  • Bleach
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tarp or towel to protect from spills
  • Small bucket
  • Sponge
  • A good pair of jeans

Since you will be working with bleach when you fade denim jeans, it’s important to take proper precautions.  Always wear gloves and make sure that any nearby surfaces are covered and protected from spills or drips.  Often, it is easiest to perform the fading process outdoors. 

  1. Lay your jeans out flat and smooth out any wrinkles.  Make sure you’ve got an old towel or trash bag under the jeans if you are worried about the surface their laying on.
  2. Prepare a small bucket of bleach that you can dip a sponge in.  If you only want a slightly faded look, or want to try out the process first, you can dilute the bleach with water to lessen its effects.
  3. Soak the sponge in the bleach solution and wring it out.  Your sponge should be damp, but not dripping.  Putting large amounts of bleach in one area will do more than fade denim jeans: it will end up eroding and destroying the fabric. 
  4. Using the damp sponge, rub up and down the pant legs to “paint” on the bleach.  Dip the sponge back in the bucket after every few strokes.  If you want any particular areas (like the knees or bottom hem) to be more faded, simply apply a few more strokes of the sponge. 
  5. If you want to fade denim jeans on the back, flip them over and repeat the process.  You may also want to how wet the back of each pant leg is, as a noticeable amount of bleach may have already soaked through.  Try to do all of this within a few minutes so that the bleach doesn’t have time to really start eating through your jeans. 
  6. Once you have an adequate amount of bleach painted on, throw your jeans in the wash with cold water.

After a good wash, you should be successful with your first attempt to fade denim jeans.  They’ll be stylish, more comfortable, and no will ever know you didn’t have to pay designer prices. 

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