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Fading Dark Jeans

Category Clothing
You can fade dark jeans for an overall lighter look or spot bleach for a reverse tie dyed appearance. This is a guide about fading dark jeans.


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0 found this helpful
May 19, 2008

Make your jeans into a fun fashion statement. Make the most unique jeans around! Jeans are tied, scrunched, folded and secured with rubber bands, soaked in bleach and hot water.

Approximate Time: 15 to 30 minutes in the bleach, wash and dry done!



    Wash jeans and dry with no fabric softener or sheets.

  1. Fold jeans, twist, and tie with rubber bands. There is no set way to do this, but I kept twisting, securing with bands folding securing with more rubber bands. No two will be alike and it is similar to tie dyeing, only with bleach.
  2. Place the jeans in bucket with half hot water and half bleach, soak and turn, push around for 15 minutes. Pull back a band and see what's happening. I left mine in 1 hour, use your own judgment.
  3. Rinse and place in washer and dryer.

By over and over from Middleton WI

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May 19, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have also done this project using the bleach as "paint". Apply it with an old paintbrush and you can create whatever designs you want.

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0 found this helpful
September 12, 2006

The company that makes RIT Dye Fast Fade has discontinued this product. Does anyone have a homemade recipe or method to fade very dark indigo denim? I want to fade my jeans a couple of shades all over, not just to spot fade them.

Thanks for all replies.

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September 14, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I tried doing this with bleach. I washed the jeans first not using any fabric softener. Then I added a 1/2 cup of bleach to the washer on a short cycle, it faded them. After this, I re-washed them in just a small amount of soap and used fabric softener. This is probably tough on the fabric a bit, but it did fade them.

If anyone knows another way, please answer as I too would like to know. Thanks :)

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April 13, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you start with thick jeans - Arizona's are nice - the bleach will both fade and soften them up. It's hard on the fabric, which is why a thicker denim is advisable; I did my first bleach fading on a pair of Arizona's on clearance for 6.75. Thirty dollar Jeans for 6.75, so I wasn't too worried about ruining them. I soak my jeans in the bath tub with bleach and water. I'm going to try a few patterns (I bought five pairs of the 6.75 jeans), like you'd do with tie dye, by "painting" on a bleach and water mix.

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June 24, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try using a cup of salt in your machine - and only half fill it. I wear jeans all the time and if you wash them every day for a week, on a long cycle, they will fade all over. You can see how much they have faded if you compare the outside color with the inside of one of the pockets. If you want them softer - soak in a very strong solution of fabric softener overnight and then wash as usual. The salt helps with softening too.

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September 9, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

The RIT Fast Fade is not sold anymore, but they do still sell what is called RIT Color Remover which does the same trick. Use it in a tube or bucket so that you can reuse it if needed. Hope you like it.

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December 20, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

USE Sunlight Machine Dishwashing Powder!

I'm so bummed that RIT discontinued this product. I spent the morning finding an alternative. Good News, RIT still had the MSDS for Fast Fade on it's website so I was able to find out what made it so great at discharging indigo-dyed denim. <http://www.ritd  SDS.74.lasso>

The main agents are Sodium carbonate and Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate. Of these two agents, it's the Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate that works to discharge the dye through oxidation. The carbonate alkalizes the pH, stabilizing the dihydrates reaction with the dye (it's basically a water softener). It also helps ensure proper chemical bonding between the dye and the fibers of the denim.

A quick check on the Household Products Database provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services website brought to light products still at market with these ingredients. <http://househol  ov/index.htm> It looks like Sunlight Machine Dishwashing Powder has both of these agents and would be relatively safe to use at home. I do NOT recommend any novice go out and buy Pool Shock which is 99% Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate and start messing around in their washing machine. Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate is not to be trifled with! So give the Sunlight a try.

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September 23, 20080 found this helpful

I'm not sure if this will work, but my friend told me that if you put zero calorie soda all over your jeans, then put it straight to the washing machine alone. Then air dry the jeans.don't use the dryer. NOTE: I never tried it, so I'm not 100% sure if this will work.

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December 12, 20090 found this helpful

Maybe if we all got together and asked, they would bring it back? I sure do miss it!

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April 22, 20130 found this helpful

I bought 5 lbs and will sell 2oz for anyone wanting the original RIT Fast Fade. Message me if interested.

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June 2, 20140 found this helpful

OMG! Rit Color Remover did nothing to dark colored jeans. I did it twice, one entire package on each wash and let it sit for an additional 20 minutes. Nothing.


(submitted via email)

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June 2, 20140 found this helpful

Fast Fade is back on the market by the way. I've seen it at many fabric and costume places in LA and NY. In fact here is a place in Manhattan you can order it from on-line: http://www.ward  ts/rit-fast-fade

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

I used to buy a product called Soft n Fade. I have looked in many stores and can't find it. I can't find it on the internet either. It's a boxed powder that you pour into the washer and just wash your jeans. When done they are very soft and at least two shades lighter. I saw a box of it a few weeks ago, but I don't remember where. Now I need it and can't find it. Can you help?

By Nancy

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