I’ve been experimenting with bleaching clothing recently. I’d never really considered it until James suggested it for changing the colour of some fabric scraps I couldn’t think of a use for. I ended up playing around and getting some very cool results including this gradient shirt!

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Around $1.20 for a huge bottle means it’s a very cheap way to give clothes and other fabric items a make over.

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I experimented on a lot of different items with varied results so let’s see the before/afters before I show you the very cool gradient bleach.

First an old cardigan in a colour which didn’t go with my wardrobe.

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After soaking in the bleach and water solution for around 20 minutes the only part which changed colour was the cotton lace. Everything else was apparently synthetic so it didn’t take the bleach. Bleach works best with natural fibers.

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After:

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Not the cute cream/white cardigan I was hoping for but still cuter than it started.

This shirt was accidentally dyed blue in the wash with some jeans. I really loved it but the blue looked really odd with the pinks of the flowers.

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After:

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The blue came out completely and I left it in the bleach long enough that the flowers became lighter and more pastel. Definitely like this one!

I threw in one of James’ old shirts to see if it was salvageable.

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It became a bit brighter but there was not a super noticable change.

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I threw in another few dresses at the end which were also blue from those jeans and they turned out like new.

Now let’s get a bit more fancy!

This shirt was in my “donate” pile and I decided to experiment on it.

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I set up a hanging rack so I could suspend the shirt over the bucket of bleach.

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Then I lowered it so the bottom was sitting in the bleach solution.

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After a while the solution started creeping up the shirt.

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To speed the process up I poured boiling water over the shirt to draw the bleach up further.

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Then it was just a matter of waiting until it was the colour I wanted.

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Getting there…

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You can see the gradual change of colour more clearly here:

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Once that was all finished I threw everything in the wash to remove any extra bleach and get rid of the terrible smell. If you decide to do something like this make sure to wear gloves and keep the area ventilated. Keep in mind that bleach isn’t great for delicate fabrics too as it is corrosive.

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And after washing and drying this was the finished shirt!

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This was really just a test to see what I could do with the bleach. Now that I know how it works and the options I have I want to experiment more. I think this would be a very cool way to give old clothes a make over. I’ve been thinking of using it to paint on designs like leopard print on things too!