The smart DIY way to lighten up your jeans

In order to lighten the color of your jeans, first think How? ‘Or’ What light you want to go. For gentler lightening, you can try a bleach like Rit Dye’s Laundry Treatment Bleach, which works in your washing machine (via Byrdie). Products like this exist for just that purpose, so the instructions on the back of the box should help you get the results you want.

If you’re looking for more extreme or faster fading, you can use bleach or hydrogen peroxide (mix one cup of the active ingredient in one gallon of water). Shake the denim in this mixture repeatedly for a few minutes. If you choose bleach, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.

If you’re hoping to create natural-looking spots on the jeans as well as fade the color, Cosmopolitan suggests starting at the pockets and edges, places where jeans naturally start to fray. To do this, you can use a disposable razor or sandpaper, but be sure to be careful with your hands. You can also rub the knees and other places with sandpaper to create a softer, finer fabric that looks like natural wear.

Combine it with a crop top, a plaid shirt or a bodysuit, and you will be perfectly trendy!