Clothing + Fashion

Published on March 9th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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Bleach Stencil Tutorial and the Environmental Impacts of Bleach

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bleach stencil shirt
Wait a second! Bleach is not exactly the most eco-friendly product. What sort of green crafting site would recommend using bleach? Don’t fret. I promise I wouldn’t recommend something that seems kind of sketchy from an environmental standpoint without doing my research.

After quite a bit of digging, I learned a lot about bleach and its environmental impacts. Before we get to the bleach stencil tutorial, let’s talk a bit about bleach and bleach alternatives.

Non-Chlorine Bleach

One of the major problems with conventional bleach is the chlorine. Chlorine is highly toxic, and bleach is one of the major culprits responsible for chlorine contamination. It pollutes water, harms wildlife, and is unhealthy for people. Luckily, there are many brands of non-chlorine bleach out there. If you’re going to craft with bleach, it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for something less toxic. Read over the ingredients to also make sure it doesn’t contain sodium hypochlorite.

Bleach Alternatives

If you’re just not wanting to use bleach, I don’t blame you. Alternatives might not get the same effect as bleach, but there are some other ways to achieve something similar. Try using lemon juice or diluted hydrogen peroxide in place of bleach. They might take a bit longer to bleach the fabric, so do a little bit of testing before using these alternatives on your final project.

Got your bleaching product of choice handy, and you’re ready to get crafty? On to the bleach stencil tutorial!

Next >> How To: Bleach Stencil

[Image Credit: Photo via Radical Cross Stitch]

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://radicalcrossstitch.com Rayna

    Thanks for the post Becky! I never really pointed it out in the original blog but one of the main reasons I use bleach is as a more sustainable alternative to screen printing with paints. While I love working with screens, you always seem to waste three times more paint than you use. With the spray on bleach technique, you use a tiny amount of bleach and it’s very easy to return all you haven’t used to the bottle. Certainly none gets washed down the sink!

    Also, in regards to the paper towel use, I have tried using cloth. The only problem is you need to absorb all the excess fluid super quick or it runs off the edges, spoiling your clean lines. I found that cloth was just a bit too clumsy and slow to absorb. Someone out there might be able to suggest a good type of fast absorbing material?

    Thanks again for the post! Hope your readers have fun with this one :)
    xox

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