Unleash Your Creativity: A Comprehensive Guide to Customizing Clothes with Bleach Pens

Bleach pens, with their unique ability to transform fabrics, have become a popular tool for DIY fashion enthusiasts seeking to add a personal touch to their wardrobe. This detailed guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to master the art of bleach pen customization, empowering you to create one-of-a-kind garments that reflect your style.

Understanding Bleach Pens

Bleach pens are essentially squeezable pens filled with a concentrated bleach solution. Unlike traditional bleach, which is used for stain removal, bleach pens are specifically designed for artistic purposes, allowing you to draw and write on fabrics, creating unique designs and patterns.

Materials Required

  • Bleach pen: Available at most craft stores or online retailers, bleach pens typically cost between $3-$5 and can be used for multiple projects.
  • Clothing item: Choose garments made primarily from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, or blends of these fibers for optimal results. Avoid delicate fabrics like silk or rayon, as they may be damaged by the bleach.
  • Protective surface: Place a paper bag, cardboard, or several layers of paper towels beneath the clothing item to protect the surface you’re working on.
  • Paper towels or scrap paper: Use these for testing the bleach pen and wiping off excess bleach.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare the Fabric: Iron or steam the garment to remove wrinkles and create a smooth surface for drawing. Place the protective surface underneath the fabric to prevent the bleach from seeping through to other surfaces.

  2. Shake the Pen: Shake the bleach pen vigorously to ensure the bleach solution is evenly mixed with the gel. This will prevent a spurt of pure bleach when you start drawing.

  3. Test the Bleach: Before applying the bleach pen to your garment, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of fabric or a separate piece of paper. This will help you determine the appropriate pressure and technique for drawing.

  4. Start Drawing: Unleash your creativity and draw your desired design or pattern onto the fabric. Apply gentle pressure and drag the tip of the pen to achieve the best results.

  5. Monitor the Bleaching Process: The time required for the bleach to take effect varies depending on the fabric type. For sturdy cotton fabrics, you may need to leave the bleach on overnight. For delicate fabrics like silk, limit the bleaching time to an hour or less. To check the progress, gently lift the fabric and observe the underside. If the fabric has changed color, the bleaching process is complete.

  6. Rinse and Wash: Rinse the garment thoroughly in cold water to remove the bleach. The “damage” to the fabric is already done, and the cold water will prevent the bleach from spreading. Next, wash the garment with hand or dish soap to “lock in” the design. For T-shirts or other machine-washable items, wash and dry as usual.

Tips for Success

  • Use a bleach pen specifically designed for fabric customization. Regular bleach may damage the fabric.
  • Test the bleach pen on an inconspicuous area of the garment or a separate piece of fabric to determine the appropriate bleaching time.
  • Apply gentle pressure and drag the tip of the pen to achieve clean lines and precise designs.
  • If you make a mistake, immediately rinse the area with cold water to minimize the damage.
  • For intricate designs, consider using a stencil to guide your drawing.
  • Bleach pens can be used to create a variety of effects, from subtle highlights to bold patterns. Experiment with different techniques to discover your unique style.


  • Orange discoloration on black fabrics: This can occur if the bleach is left on for too long. To avoid this, test the bleaching time on a small area and limit the exposure to an hour or less.
  • Bleeding or spreading of bleach: If the bleach spreads beyond the desired area, rinse the garment immediately with cold water. To prevent this, apply the bleach sparingly and avoid over-saturating the fabric.
  • Damage to delicate fabrics: Delicate fabrics like silk or rayon may be damaged by bleach. If you’re unsure about the suitability of a fabric, test the bleach pen on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Bleach pens offer a fun and easy way to customize your clothes, adding a personal touch to your wardrobe. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can master the art of bleach pen customization and create unique, eye-catching garments that express your creativity. Remember to experiment with different techniques and designs to discover your own unique style.

Have a question? Pick a topic to get answers:

  • Is it safe to take Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel on flights? − As with any packaged chemical product, there is a chance that it will leak. To protect the tool from harm while traveling of any kind, we advise packing it in a sealed plastic bag or container. * * The kinds of materials that are permitted for travel on airlines may differ.
  • Can I use Clorox® Bleach Pen® Gel to clean surfaces in addition to laundry stains? − The gel removes even the most stubborn stains from the kitchen and bathroom, including mold. Watch stains disappear from tile, grout, caulking, and porcelain. Do not use on silver. Avoid prolonged contact with metal surfaces, such as plastic laminate countertops, and always remember to rinse your hands quickly after using anything. Shake before use. Unscrew cap on chosen tip. Do not have both caps off at the same time. Squeeze and apply liberally. Replace cap after use. Rub stain. Rinse or wipe clean.
  • Is the gel in the tool Clorox® Bleach? − It contains sodium hypochlorite, but not as much of it as Clorox® Bleach. It also has surfactants, which are absent from liquid bleach, and the gel is thicker and simpler to work with.
  • Is it essential to shake the Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel tool before using it? − Absolutely, shaking the Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel before using it is crucial for ensuring correct application.
  • What happens if Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel dries on fabric? − It is advised to wash treated clothing in loads of mostly or all white. Before adding the treated clothes to a load, they could alternatively be washed with water.
  • Where can I purchase Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel? − Our Where to Buy page lists retailers in your area that carry Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel. To ensure they have it in stock, it’s a good idea to give the store a call before you visit.

Still have a question?

Do it Yourself – Bleach Pen Edition

How long does it take to make a bleach pen?

It only takes a few minutes to make too! To make a homemade bleach pen you will need a few things. Start with 3/4 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small pan. Cook on low heat until the mixture starts to boil and is thick like gravy. When it is thick enough remove it from heat and allow the mix to cool.

Does a DIY bleach pen really work?

This DIY bleach pen works great at removing stains and cleaning around the house! Years ago in our first house, we ripped up the vinyl flooring and added some tile. I picked out a beige tile with white grout and it looked fantastic for the first couple of months.

How do you use a Clorox bleach pen?

STAIN REMOVER: This laundry bleach stick removes tough stains like mold, mildew, coffee, tea, berry juice red wine, and is great for cleaning caulking and grout in kitchens and bathrooms PRECISION BLEACH APPLICATOR: This Clorox bleach pen requires immediate washing of fabric once applied so simply apply bleach where needed and launder as normal

How does Clorox zero splash bleach pen work?

Clorox Zero Splash Bleach Pen dispenses bleach where you need it without a splash. The bleach pen is dual tipped with a fine point and a broad scrubber to let you remove stains with precision and control with the power of Clorox bleach. It works on household surfaces and laundry so that you can write-off stains for good, wherever they are.

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