How can you use bleach to bring an old T-shirt back to life?

Saving your old T-shirt using bleach

Do you have an old T-shirt just beg­ging to be thrown away? Don’t be hasty – in this ex­per­i­ment you’ll find out how to use bleach to turn an old gar­ment into a new one. Plus, you can be sure that no one else will have one like it!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear pro­tec­tive gloves, glass­es, and a mask. Work in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed area.

Reagents and equip­ment

  • bleach­ing agent (15% sodi­um hypochlo­rite so­lu­tion);
  • spray bot­tle;
  • T-shirt;
  • plas­tic or glass base plate;
  • sten­cil.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Put any base plate in­side the T-shirt and ap­ply bleach (a spray bot­tle might prove use­ful here). The fab­ric around the sten­cil will lose its col­or, and a clear print will “ap­pear” against its back­ground!

Process de­scrip­tion

Bleach usu­al­ly con­tains sodi­um hypochlo­rite. The hypochlo­rite ion is a strong ox­i­diz­er. This com­po­nent de­stroys the bonds in the dye mol­e­cules, light­en­ing the treat­ed fab­ric.