How to Bleach and Put Holes in Jeans

by Pamela Simmons

While perfectly polished jeans work well for most occasions, sometimes you want to sport a more roughed-up denim look. Instead of spending money on distressed denim, create your own bleached look with holes. Distressing your denim is a do-it-yourself project that's incredibly simple, quick and can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Bleached and Ripped

Put on your jeans to determine where you’d like your holes and bleach detailing to go. Mark these places with chalk and take your jeans off.

Cut a piece of cardboard so it will fit inside the leg of your jeans. Slide the cardboard in. It will protect the other side of your jeans so you don’t cut through them.

Rub over your chalk-marked places with a cheese grater. The more you rub, the more distressed your hole will be in appearance.

Slip on gloves to protect your hands.

Dab a sponge into bleach. Apply your bleach around the edges of your grated holes. For a more bleached look, apply bleach on random spots of your jeans as well.

Wash your jeans for a more authentically distressed look. The more you wash your jeans, the more the holes will soften.

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Items you will need

  • Jeans
  • Chalk
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Cheese grater
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Bleach


  • To add more distressed detail to your look, use sandpaper to gently fade your pockets and belt loops.

About the Author

Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.

Photo Credits

  • Mark Von Holden/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images