How to do reverse tie dye

Bleach-dyeing allows you to remove color from the fibers of the fabric rather than add it. With this method you can customize your clothes with a unique design and a simple and fast way.

Learn how to reverse tie dye to give your clothes a unique design.

reverse tie dye

Reverse tie dye

For this dyeing method you will need to use bleach. Bleach is a commonly used chemical product that, when it comes into contact with fabric, can remove its color.

You can use any folding technique on clothing to create different dye patterns (click here to find some interesting folding tie dye techniques). Also, once you’ve removed the color from the fabric, you can add new colors in the bleached spaces.

With this technique you can dye t-shirts, hoodies, socks, shorts, jeans, sneakers and everything you can imagine!

How to bleach tie dye?

Material’s list:

  • Dark colored cotton T-shirt or other garment that you want to dye
  • Cold water
  • Bleach
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Elastic bands
  • Plastic gloves
How to bleach tie dye


Gather your materials before you begin and prepare your work area.

For this bleach tie dye technique, preferably use a 100% cotton t-shirt in a dark color.

  • Step 1

    Moisten the shirt with water to make it easier to fold.

    Fold the shirt using the tie dye folding technique that you like best. The most common techniques are the crinkle, spiral and fan fold.

    Secure your wrinkled shirt with elastic bands to keep it in place.
  • Step 2

    Prepare a solution of bleach and cold water by mixing 1 cup of bleach with 1 cup of cold water. Don’t try to do this with straight bleach, as undiluted bleach could damage the fabric.

    This mixture only remains in good condition for 24 hours.
  • Step 3

    Wearing plastic gloves, apply the bleach and water solution to all exposed parts of the shirt, rotating the fabric as needed. Use as much liquid as you like.

    There are several ways to do this: pouring the liquid directly, immersing the shirt in the solution, using a spray bottle or a spout.

    Also, you can place the bleaching solution however you like to form the pattern: in lines, in sections, or randomly.
  • Step 4

    Let the bleach solution sit on the fabric for approximately 15 minutes.
  • The more time passes, the more color will be removed. The resulting color depends on the time and the initial color of the fabric.
  • Step 5

    Check it regularly and when you are satisfied with the effects, neutralize the bleach with hydrogen peroxide.

    Remove the elastic bands and pour hydrogen peroxide on the fabric. Let it sit for a few minutes so it seeps into the fabric.

    The hydrogen peroxide deactivates the bleach. If you skip this step, holes will eventually form in the fabric as the bleach molecules will continue to act and damage the fabric.
  • Step 6

    Rinse the shirt with water.

    Wash the shirt in the washing machine with cold water, using a small amount of soap, and finally, let the shirt dry.

Now you know how to bleach a shirt!

Use this reverse tie dye technique to personalize your clothes and give each garment a unique design.

If you forget to put on some gloves before dying with colors, don’t worry because here is an article about how to get fabric dye off skin.