Writing on Shirts with Bleach? On purpose? Found it on Pinterest

Did I ever tell you I invented the Clorox Bleach Pen? Well, I did. Not only am I smart, talented and flat-footed, I’m also a brilliant inventor.

It was mostly brought about by necessity, as trying to pour a gallon of bleach onto a striped shirt with ONE TINY SPOT ended up in a huge splash that obliterated half the stripes and yet somehow managed to keep the spot I was aiming for. So I wrote the bleach company and said hey, why don’t you come out with something like a little marker or roll on type of bleach? Lo and behold about a year later? Yup, the bleach pen. I’m taking full credit for it, even if I know it takes an average of two years for any new product to be added to a line.

So, anywhoo, I found this cool tutorial on Pinterest, on how to write on your shirt with a bleach pen. And me, being me, just had to try it.

So, I did. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the process. =( But, here’s the shirt! The lyrics on it are from Imagine by John Lennon.

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

It got a little blurry in trying to rinse the bleach OUT, but otherwise I was pleased.

So, this time, I’ll take photos AND write instructions – then you can see what happened the SECOND time I tried bleaching a shirt.

First we take our shirt. Mine is a v-neck in ash. I slide a trash bag in between the front and back – otherwise you’ll have words on the front and reverse words on the back. Here I wanted to try a design that would be on the lower right hand side of the front, wrapping to the back.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Think first of what you’re going to write, then grab your bleach pen and go. Don’t put it on too thick, you can use the point of the pen to spread the bleach out a bit. Since I did words the first time, this time I opted for a design. **I’ll also add an addendum that after you rinse your shirt, rinse it again with hydrogen peroxide to stop the bleaching process**

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Keep writing.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Ok, now let it sit for a bit. 20-30 min for min. I kept waiting, and waiting and waiting. 45 minutes and no visible sign of bleaching. Seriously? I have the only non-bleaching shirt in the world? Finally, I decided to rinse the shirt and see what happened. This is the tricky part. Trying to get the bleach off without bleaching the rest of the shirt. (in this case I doesn’t matter, as my shirt is impervious to bleach) So far, I can say I haven’t found a successful way of doing it, but I call the extraneous bleach spots “character” and everyone seems okay with that. You can try laying yours in the shower and rinsing it, or hit it in the sink with the faucet, or even outside with the garden hose. You’ll have to scrub at it a bit with your fingers, too.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

When I finished rinsing, (I’ll explain why the sink is orange in another post) I noticed a very vague, faint pattern. Hard to tell since the shirt had darkened so much with the rinsing. I decided to toss it in the washer and dryer, and see what came out on the other side.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Um. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not even a light colored outline.

After some research, I read the a cotton and man-made fiber blend will sometimes cause this effect. Something to remember if you ever play with bleach. Something FURTHER to remember if you’re deliberately TRYING to bleach a shirt.

So, of course I immediately made another, because of course, no guts, no glory.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Muuuuch better. =)

So did it work? Mostly. Was it as beautiful as the Pinterest pic? Not even close. Will I wear them in public? You bet.


4 Responses to “Writing on Shirts with Bleach? On purpose? Found it on Pinterest”

  • Hey! Congratulations on your invention … now if we could just get those royalties flooding in! Andy why aren’t they having you do commercials with these shirts. I’ll send them an e-mail (since yours worked so well!). I think the shirt with Lennon’s words looks cool and I’m forwarding this to my teenage granddaughters. It’s just the ticket for a quiet summer day!

    • It’s fast and easy Patricia – favorite lyrics, a poem, you name it! Just make sure it’s not cotton/poly, but 100% cotton shirt…..lesson learned!

  • Fabulous! Sounds a bit out of my usual scope but this something I might actually try…LOL!!

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