Fading Fabrics How-To


Wear rubber gloves and an apron, and work outside or in a well-ventilated area.

What You'll Need


  • 3 large plastic storage bins
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Chlorine neutralizer
  • Detergent


  1. You will need 3 large plastic storage bins. Combine 1 part chlorine bleach with 10 parts very hot water in the first bin. Fill the second bin with cold water. In the third bin, mix a chlorine neutralizer (available through specialty websites) with water, following the manufacturer's instructions. The neutralizer stops bleach from continuing to fade fabric and eliminates chlorine odors.

  2. Run fabric under the tap in hot water. Then submerge the fabric in the first bin; watch it closely, keeping in mind that it will look brighter when wet than it will when it dries. The fading process takes anywhere from 10 seconds to 15 minutes. If you are unsure how long to soak the fabric, err on the side of caution. Add a little more bleach if you don't see results after 15 minutes. (Do not use more than 1 part bleach to 5 parts water.)

  3. Submerge the fabric in the bin of cold water, and swish it around, rinsing thoroughly. Wring it out.

  4. Transfer fabric to the bin of chlorine neutralizer, and soak according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  5. Launder the fabric with detergent, and dry it in the dryer.

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