How to Fade Jeans Evenly and Quickly

Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
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Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 28, 2023
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Denim is one of the most popular clothing materials around the world. Denim was originally made to manage the rough outdoors, and while people still wear them for their rugged build, most now wear them as a fashion item. These jeans are available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and designs. One of the popular styles is faded jeans.

While you could buy faded jeans, you might want to make it faded yourself. In this post, we will consider how fade jeans can be achieved. We will see some of the most effective techniques used in fading your jeans.

How to Fade Jeans with Bleach

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyBleached jeans rose to popularity in the latter part of the last century. There is almost no limit to what you can achieve, which a combination of jeans and bleach. There are different methods that you can use to achieve the bleached jeans look.

Clorox is one of the biggest names in the bleach industry, and you can use the company’s bleach to fade your jeans.

Let’s see a systematic way you can effectively bleach your jeans.

Set It Up

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyThe first thing to do when using bleach to fade your jeans is to be safe while doing so. To be safe, ensure that you have the ground covered with plastic sheets or newspapers. Doing this will prevent damage to your working area.

You also need to ensure that bleach doesn’t come in contact with your skin. Therefore, wear gloves and a long-sleeve shirt – the aim is to cover any exposed flesh. Bleach can be nasty and might burn you if it touches your skin.

Prepare the Bleach

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyYou certainly are not pouring concentrated bleach onto the jeans, except you are looking to damage the jeans. That is why you need to dilute the concentration. For the best results, mix one-part bleach with fifteen parts of warm water.

When fading jeans with bleach, it is recommended that you use as little bleach as you can – you have no idea how the jeans material will react to the mixture. Therefore, start small and gradually increase the dose until you get the fade that you want.

Soak the Jeans in the Solution

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyThe third step is to immerse the jeans into the solution. Don’t spray the solution on the jeans because that will likely result in uneven fading of the jeans.

Immersion will ensure that all parts of the jeans are soaked. It is recommended to use a container that will accommodate the total length of the jeans. If not, you’ll have to turn the jeans at intervals.


Soak the jeans in the solution for twenty or fifteen minutes – depending on the concentration of the bleach. Ensure that the bleach does not make your jeans too light.

Whether bleached or not, your jeans will look darker than it really is when wet. Therefore, remove the jeans from the solution even if it appears to still be dark.

Wash the Jeans

After removing your bleached jeans, wash them with a gentle detergent and softener. Then air dry. Your jeans should be shades lighter at the end and ready to wear.

How to Fade Jeans without Bleach

Although bleach is the most common way to fade jeans, there are other methods of fading your jeans without using bleach. Here are some of the methods:

With Lemon Juice

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyLemon juice is basic and will do wonders when it comes to fading your jeans. It is a safer, albeit trickier, means of fading your jeans.

With lemon juice, you can avoid the harshness of bleach and the problems that might arise from using bleach. While lemon juice doesn’t have the fading power of bleach, it will help you get your jeans a shade or two lighter than before.

Here’s how to use lemon juice:

  • Prepare the Jeans

First, soak the jeans in water, ensuring that all parts of the jeans are wet.

  • Create the Lemon Juice Mixture

After preparing the jeans, you need to prepare the lemon juice mixture as well. To do this, fill the tub with concentrated lemon juice.

Keep in mind that lemon juice is weaker than bleach, so you will need more parts lemon juice to water in the solution.

  • Soak the Jeans in the Lemon Juice

The next thing is to immerse the jeans in the lemon juice, ensuring that all parts of the jeans are wet with the solution.

Unlike in the bleaching process where you had to wait for about twenty minutes, you will have to soak the jeans for hours before it fades your jeans.

  • Remove the Jeans

After waiting for hours, depending on the concentration of lemon juice, remove the jeans. Then rinse in water until there is no lemon juice on the jeans.

  • Dry Your Jeans

The final step is to sun-dry the jeans. While a dryer is tempting, it doesn’t work as well as sunlight for your faded jeans. Exposure to sunlight will activate the bleaching properties of the lemon juice.

With Sandpaper

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyWhile bleach and lemon juice work to fade the entire length of your jeans, sandpaper can help you to focus the fading on a specific part of the jeans. Not only does it help to focus your fading, but it does so without the use of chemicals.

The Dura Gold sandpaper is one of the best sandpaper that you can use to fade your jeans.

The downside to this is that you will have to exert yourself to correctly fade your jeans physically. Follow these steps for sandpaper fading:

  • Set It Up

First, you have to prepare the area. Put the jeans on a flat, hard surface.

  • Use the Sandpaper

With the jeans on the surface, take your sandpaper and rub it over the part of the jeans that you want to fade. Firmly apply even pressure on the targeted area, but don’t be too firm as that can tear the jeans.

Do this until the jeans achieve the shade that you want.

  • Wear Your Jeans

You might wash the jeans or wear them as is.

With Salt

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklySalt can fade your jeans because it has abrasive qualities that can slightly change the colors of your jeans.

Here is how to use salt:

  • Prepare the Salt Bath

Fill a bucket or the bathtub with water and add two cups of cooking salt.

  • Soak the Jeans

Mix the solution thoroughly, then soak the jeans in the solution for an hour or thirty minutes, depending on the level of fade that you want.

Observe the jeans until it reaches the shade that you want.

  • Sun-dry the Jeans

After removing the jeans from water, hang it out to dry in the sun. Your jeans should now have a faded color.

With Coffee

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyCoffee is naturally acidic, and this can work to help fade your jeans. Follow these steps to fade jeans with coffee:

  • Rub Them Into the Jeans

Take the coffee beans and rub them into the part of the jeans that you want to fade.

  • Rinse the Jeans

Afterward, rinse the jeans and coffee with boiling water.

  • Wash the Jeans

After rinsing the jeans, wash them to remove any coffee. Dry it as normal. Your jeans ought to have a faded look at this point.

Wash in Hot Water

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyIf you are not interested in the process of bleaching and washing with lemon juice or the other methods we have listed above, you could wash your jeans as normal – but add hot water. To achieve the faded look with this method, here is what you should do:

After the days elapse, wash in the washing machine with hot water and your regular washing detergent. Then sun-dry the jeans.

Wear Jeans for a Few Days

How to Fade Jeans Evenly and QuicklyThe natural movement will cause friction in your jeans, and this will cause it to fade gradually. This method is the simplest, but it takes a longer time than the others.

Sleeping in your jeans will hasten the fading process as well.

After wearing it for that long, you ought to see a good, natural fade.

Wear Jeans Inside Out

There are different ways to fade your jeans, but perhaps the strangest way is to wear your jeans inside out. As your skin rubs against the jeans, it will hasten the fading process.


  1. How long will it take to fade denim Trusted Source Denim - Wikipedia Denim is a sturdy cotton warp-faced[1] textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces a diagonal ribbing that distinguishes it from cotton duck. ?

If you want to fade your jeans naturally, the time it takes depends on your lifestyle, the type of the denim, and the frequency at which you wear the jeans.

  1. How can I hasten the fade process?

The fastest way to fade your jeans is by using sandpaper, bleach, or lemon juice. If you want to do so naturally, you could wear the jeans for days on end or wear them inside out.

  1. When should I wash my jeans?

Wash your denim when they are no longer comfortable or enjoyable to wear. You can hold off on washing even if they look dirty as long as they don’t give off unpleasant odors.

  1. Are denim and chambray the same?

No. Denim is stiff and sturdy while chambray is lightweight, soft, and airy.

Final Thoughts

You can now see how fade jeans can be achieved. You can use several methods, ranging from the use of chemicals like bleach to lemon juice and wearing them inside out. Choose any of the methods that you are comfortable with and get that classic faded jeans look.


Denim - Wikipedia
Denim is a sturdy cotton warp-faced[1] textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces a diagonal ribbing that distinguishes it from cotton duck.
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