When you are tired of all the old black jeans in your closet, fading them is an ingenious way of breathing new life into them. While black jeans can support a formal look, they can get a bit boring at times. Refreshing your wardrobe with faded black jeans is a fun way of reinventing your style without having to spend hundreds of dollars.
Most commonly, people try to find a way to make their black jeans darker, not lighter. So at times, it can get a bit confusing when trying to fade your black jeans. No worries though! Fading your jeans is an easy project that is easy to pull off. It’ll only take you a few hours to turn your black jeans into a pair of light jeans you’ll love.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can fade your black jeans quickly using household items. In this article, we are going to give you a step-by-step guide on how you can fade your black jeans. So sit back, relax, and read on to find out more. This will certainly be an insightful read for you! Stick around for more.
Fading Your Black Jeans Using Bleach
If you have a pair of black jeans that you want to fade, bleaching them is quite possibly the best option. Bleaching your jeans can also give them a soft, worn feel. You can bleach your jeans to your desired fade and avoid burning holes into your jeans by monitoring the bleaching process closely and taking precautions beforehand.
Bleaching your black jeans is an easy task and doesn’t take that much time. It only takes about 15 minutes! There are however a few caveats that you should be aware of before you can begin doing this:
- It may damage the fabric– Bleach is a super strong chemical solution and as such, it may damage your jeans especially if it has a synthetic blend (polyester or rayon instead of say, cotton). The fabric may come out thinner and softer, but the downside is that it can rip or wear out easily after some time.
- You should take precautions- You’ll need to be careful when working with bleach since it can burn your skin. It’s advisable to wear gloves and be careful when handling the jeans so you don’t get hurt. Also, wear clothing that you wouldn’t mind damaging should the bleach get on your clothes.
- It may alter the fabric’s properties– Bleach may change the fabric’s properties depending on the composition of the jeans. Whether it’s 100% cotton or synthetic blend, the fabric can react differently to the bleach solution. If your jeans are stretchy, bleaching may damage the stretching properties of your jeans so they may not fit as well after bleaching.
- It takes a seasoned hand– If you’re not careful while soaking the jeans in the bleach solution, the color may come out blotchy and uneven. Bleach takes effect really quickly so you need to pay attention while working so your jeans get the desired faded look. Also, if it’s your first time bleaching, never start with your absolute favorite pair. Give yourself a little room to mess up by bleaching a pair that is your least favorite.
Step 1: Pick the right pair of jeans to bleach
It’s best to pick a pair of jeans that don’t have holes or are elastic because bleach can ruin the stretch and eat away at the edges of holes. You can check elasticity by looking at the tag on your jeans. If your jeans are stretchy, try any of the other methods we will discuss later on in this article.
Step 2: Lay down newspapers in your work area, and wear gloves and eye protection
A lot of surfaces are prone to get stained by bleach, especially carpeted floors. So before you start bleaching, lay out newspapers to cover the area on which you will be bleaching.
Also, wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt to cover your skin. This will prevent you from getting burnt. If you don’t do this, your hands will sting at the end of this project.
You should also consider wearing lab goggles to protect your eyes, though you can also use eyeglasses or even swimming glasses.
Step 3: Change into clothes you don’t mind staining
Wear clothes that you don’t mind staining with bleach such as old t-shirts and sweats. You can also wear an apron if it’s your preference.
Step 4: Choose a well-ventilated area to work from
To avoid inhaling bleach fumes, you should pick an area that is well ventilated and aerated. Smelling bleach doesn’t necessarily induce negative health effects, but it can make some people anxious. If you feel faint, you should leave the area immediately.
Never mix bleach with other chemicals or household products. Some chemicals, like ammonia or rubbing alcohol, if mixed with bleach create toxic fumes.
Step 5: Fill a bucket or bathtub with one part bleach and one part water
It’s possible to mix your bleach solution in a bucket, though mixing in a bathtub is probably a better idea since it’s easy to turn on a fan to dispel fumes. You should avoid a high concentration solution. While you may get faster results, the solution will be corrosive and more likely to burn holes in the fabric of your jeans.
Your jeans should be completely submerged in the solution so you should make enough of it.
Step 6: Get your jeans damp in normal water
It might be best to get your jeans damp in normal water before you put them in the solution. This is because bleach works best on damp clothing. You should therefore run your jeans under the faucet or wet them in the sink before beginning. Just a quick dip will do, you don’t have to damp them for a long time.
Step 7: Submerge your jeans entirely in the bleach solution
Submerge your jeans wholly in the bleach solution. Make sure that the bleach reaches every part of your jeans evenly so that there is no blotchiness. In a bathtub, the best option is to lay your jeans flat along the length of the tub. If not, you may have to flip the jeans occasionally to make sure that it fades evenly.
Step 8: Watch and Wait
Check the jeans every half an hour to see if they have reached your desired level of fade. You can take them out after 30 minutes if you are after a subtle fade. If you want a more elaborate fade, you may have to wait for a couple of hours. Your jeans will look a bit darker when wet, so take it out a little before it’s the color you want.
Step 9: Take out your jeans from the bleach and wash them
Rinse your faded jeans in cold water. After this, proceed to wash them in your washing machine on cold. No clothes should be in the load because the remaining bleach in the jeans might stain them. Don’t use detergent or fabric softener because they can yellow your jeans. Air dry your jeans by hanging them out to dry. Don’t put them in the dryer since the intense heat may also cause yellowing.
After your jeans are dry, check the color. If you are not satisfied with the fade, repeat the above process until they are your ideal color.
If you have never bleached jeans before, it’s better to experiment first. You can experiment using an old pair of jeans or a patch of jean material. Try your bleach solution on either of these before applying it to your favorite jeans. This will give you a better sense of how bleach lightens jeans and whether your solution is too strong.
If you’d like to speed the fading process, you can! Here’s how:
Wear your jeans for a few days without washing them- If you can wear them for an entire day, even to bed if you can stand them. Your jeans will fade faster when there’s more friction.
After a few days, wash the jeans in your washing machine with hot water. After this, hang them in the sunlight to dry. The result will have a slight fade to it.
All in all, bleaching is the most popular method of fading black jeans. It is also the most effective and as such, quite a lot of people recommend it. The problem is that it’s usually easy to get it wrong the first time. You should therefore be extra keen and careful. Follow the above tips and you’ll be good to go.
How Can I Fade My Black Jeans Without Bleach?
For those of you who are not sold on using bleach to fade black jeans, we have some good news for you. Luckily, there are several other ways to fade jeans that don’t involve the use of bleach and all these are super easy to do. One might even go as far as arguing that these methods are much simpler.
Well, without further ado, here are other ways you can fade your black jeans without having to use bleach.
Using Hot water and a washing machine
Not all of us have the skills to use bleach to fade black jeans. For the most part, using bleach is a complicated process and at times, things have been known to go haywire. That’s why this method is a walk in the park. It is super simple and requires no skill or effort at all. The only catch is that you will need to repeat the procedure a couple of times so that you achieve the desired fade on your jeans, which may take months.
This method takes advantage of the fact that jeans fade naturally after wearing and washing them for a couple of months. This is due to friction caused when the jeans are rubbed against chairs, car seats, and other objects when you wear them.
While it’s not the most effective way to fade your jeans, this method can help you get a lighter tone without exposing your jeans to harsh chemicals.
Here’s how you go about it:
When at home, wear your jeans inside out. The friction against your legs will help it fade quicker. This method is slower than bleaching but it’s good for a subtler fade. You should be patient with this method. Ignore the weird looks you attract from those you live with!
Put your jeans in the washing machine. Turn on the hot cycle. The hot water will help the dye in your jeans to break down. Note that washing in hot water may shrink some jeans. If the tag on your jeans says to specifically wash cold, then don’t try this method. It will take a couple of washes for your black jeans to begin fading. Continue repeating the process until you are satisfied.
Once done, hang your jeans to dry in the sun. The UV light from the sun also helps break down the dye. You can also leave out your jeans outside for a couple of days. If the jeans aren’t faded to your satisfaction, you can wash them again and then dry them in the sun.
To some, this may seem like too much of a stretch. But the truth is that it actually works! Naturally, coffee has acidic properties which can help break down the dye in your black jeans. Believe it or not, coffee can make your jeans fade quickly. Follow these simple steps to fade your jeans with coffee.
Take a handful of coffee beans. Green beans are the best for this job but roasted coffee beans will also work well.
Thoroughly rub the coffee beans in the areas you’d like your jeans to fade.
After this, place your jeans in a tub and pour boiling water over the top of your jeans.
Proceed to wash your jeans to remove any residue coffee and hang them out in the sun to dry.
After this, your jeans will have a faded look, though a little bit milder.
Using Sandpaper or a Pumice stone for focus fading
This method comes in handy if you are only interested in fading certain areas of your jeans. It allows you to focus the fading on certain areas but it is guaranteed to take a lot more effort since you have to use physical motions to sand away the dye. If this method piques your interest, then here’s how you can proceed.
Set up your sanding area. Lay your jeans on a flat surface with a hard cushion underneath.
Using 180 grit sandpaper, rub back and forth over the areas you’d like to fade. Be extra careful so that you don’t rip your jeans while doing this. Also, make sure you apply even pressure. When you have achieved your desired fade, repeat the process on any other area you are interested in fading.
Once you are satisfied with the look, put the jeans in the washing machine. This will get rid of any excess dye or fibers. Hang out the jeans to dry and voila! You are ready to step out and enjoy your faded look.
Using Lemon Juice
If bleach is a tad bit intimidating for you then here is an equally effective way you can fade your black jeans. You can take advantage of the natural bleaching capabilities of lemon if you’d like to avoid using harsh chemicals. Keep in mind that even though lemon can bleach fabric, it is not nearly as strong as bleach. This means that it will take longer and the change to your jeans won’t be so drastic.
However, if you’d like to make your jeans one or two shades lighter, then concentrated lemon juice and sunlight are an ingenious method. Here’s how you can go about the whole process.
To start, soak your jeans with water. Make sure that every part of your jeans is wet. After you’re done soaking it, remove any excess water.
Prepare your concentrated lemon juice solution. Fill your tub up to a few inches high with concentrated lemon juice. Alternatively, you can use a bucket. Unlike bleach, lemon is much weaker. This means you’ll need a highly concentrated solution so that you can fade your jeans. So you’ll need at least one gallon of lemon juice, depending on the amount of water you will use.
Soak the jeans in the concentrated lemon juice, Make sure that it reaches every crevice and corner of the jeans so the color is even. The process will take several hours so be patient. Check every hour and turn the jeans around as you do so.
After this, take out your jeans. It will be a bit darker when wet, so remove the jeans when it is a few shades darker than your desired fade. Rinse the jeans thoroughly in water.
Hang out the jeans in the sun to dry. This is an important step since lemon’s bleaching capabilities are activated under sunlight. The jeans should get at least a few hours of direct sunlight. They are ready to wear once they have your desired fade.
In conclusion, you should be extra careful with some of these methods. You may ruin the jeans if you are not careful or even worse get hurt. Don’t overdo things. Stick to the tips in this guide and all will be well.