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I have seen some really cool bleaching experiments out there on Pinterest! People are dipping garments in bleach to create ombre effects, splattering bleach in random patterns, and even bleaching out flannel shirts! I love all these ideas, but I wanted to give it my own twist. I found a basic cotton button-up in pastel plaid that could use a little livening up!
Since bleach was involved, I put on old clothes and turned my bathroom into a crafting room! I lined the bathtub workspace with plastic trash bags, and put another trash bag inside the shirt. (I didn’t want the bleach on the front of the shirt to run through to the back.) Rather than dipping the shirt into bleach, I opted to spray bleach on the shirt in random star-burst patterns. Since I couldn’t find my harmful-chemicals-only spray bottle to apply a bleach solution, I improvised. Bleach-containing bathroom cleaner came to the rescue! (Note: Some fabrics, especially some synthetics will NOT appreciate contact with bleach. Experiment, but know that it is at your own risk. I like using cottons (including denim) for projects like this.)
I spritzed the cleaner in random patches across the front of the shirt. Almost immediately, the plaid started to bleach. I quickly turned the shirt over and did the same for the back. I waited less than five minutes total before the colors were bleached to my liking. (I try to leave bleach on a garment for the shortest time possible since bleach can eventually damage the fabric and cause holes.)
To stop the bleaching, I got the shirt into the sink with lots of laundry soap and warm water. I changed the water and soap several times to get all the bleach out. Next, into the washing machine it went!
In hindsight, I would have used a little less bleach on the shirt so that the original colors showed more clearly. However, I do love how the plaid now has a tie-dyed effect! Traditional button-up goes rebel! 🙂