Lightening the color of your jeans can give a new look to a pair of jeans you've had for a long time. It can also modernize your current wardrobe by giving it your jeans a designer, distressed look. Jeans can be faded or lightened using items that can be found at your local hardware store, or by using household bleach. When using bleach, use protective gloves and remove the bleach from your jeans quickly so that you don't obtain a lighter color of jean than you want.
How to Lighten Your Jeans Using Bleach
Fill your bathtub halfway with hot water. Add 1/2 cup of bleach.
Iron your jeans to ensure that there are no wrinkles that might produce an uneven, faded pattern on your jeans.
Lay the jeans in the hot water and bleach until you reach your desired shade. Immediately remove the jeans from the water and rinse thoroughly in cold water (you can refill the bathtub with cold water). If you do not throughly rinse the jeans in cold water the bleach will continue to lighten the jeans beyond your desired color. You can also soak a sponge in bleach, squeeze out the excess bleach and gently rub the sponge over your jeans until you reach the desired lighter color (alternative to the bathtub method).
Wash the jeans in a washing machine separate from other garments so that the excess bleach will not damage other colored garments in your washing machine. Rinse in cold water. After the initial wash, you can wash your jeans with other colored clothing.
How to Lighten Your Jeans Using Sandpaper or Pumice
Lay your jeans on a flat surface like a table. Purchase a pumice stone or heavy-grade sandpaper from a skin care or hardware store, respectively.
Carefully rub the sandpaper or pumice stone against the jean until you reach the lighter faded color you're looking for.
Use a brush or paper towel to remove any access fibers or debris from the sandpaper that may be left on the jeans.
Using the sandpaper method to lighten jeans may take longer, but it usually helps your jeans feel softer.