Tie Dyeing with Bleach

Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach via lilblueboo.com

More projects where we remove color!  Tie-dying can be super messy with all the powder and mixing. The same technique can be achieved by removing color instead of adding color.  Here are some leggings I made my daughter that were a dark teal and I made them match the top with a sun-washed look by tying and adding bleach:

Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach (sun washed effect) via lilblueboo.com

The materials are fairly simple:

Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach (materials) via lilblueboo.com

First, I took my clothing or fabric and soaked it in water. I wrung all the excess water out and then gathered up the piece like an accordion:


Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach (step 1) via lilblueboo.com

Once the piece was gathered I added rubber bands every few inches. You can also tie with string if you don’t have rubber bands. (Want to make a heart shape or peace sign shape? Visit those tutorials here and here!)

Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach (step 2) via lilblueboo.com

Once all my pieces were tied, I put them in the bottom of laundry sink.  I filled a bottle with 3 parts bleach to 1 part water. (Make SURE to mark any bottle with “BLEACH” and a “poison” face to make sure no one mistakes it for something else!)

Tie Dye Clothing with Bleach (recipe) via lilblueboo.com

Let the clothes sit for a few minutes until you see the color start to turn. Then rinse out the bleach and throw them in the washing machine for a quick cycle. Finished! The colors will vary based on what your garment was dyed with.  For example, most “black” colors are actually made with other colors including red and blue so you won’t get a “grey” color when bleaching. The result will be more of an orange. The red color is harder to remove than the bluish colors which is why the blue/purple colors leave a pinkish tint:

DIY Bleach Tie Dye via lilblueboo.com


Here’s some black fabric I tie-dyed….

DIY Bleach Tie Dye on Fabric via lilblueboo.com

…..and made into a cute skirt:

DIY Bleach Tie Dye on Knit via lilblueboo.com


Lots of options: clothing, home decor, etc.  Make sure to visit yesterday’s tutorial too! Click the image below:

Easy Bleach Batik Technique via lilblueboo.com


  1. Nicole says

    When I was in high school (and my older, cooler sister was in college) she made me some jeans like this. She took some thrift store jeans in a dark color and bleachd them. The looked so cool. always got complements on them. No one had tie dye jeans.

  2. Karen C says

    and here i thought my bleach stained sweats were ruined. all I have to do is bleach dye tie dye them and be fashionable…hee hee.

  3. alirose says

    Just tried my hand at this and I read above that because black is a combination of colours you will get a red or burnt orange finish product. However, I have seen others do it and it come through nearly white – or at least beige.. Curious to know if you have any idea how to achieve more of a white? More bleach?