How to Bleach Shirts for Sublimation without Sun: 3 Steps Process

How to Bleach Shirts for Sublimation without Sun: 3 Steps Process

Ever found yourself itching to bleach a shirt for sublimation but the sun’s playing hide-and-seek? You’re in the right place! Sublimation printing is a special kind of printing that creates vivid, long-lasting graphics by using heat to transfer designs from paper to cloth. But here’s the hiccup: traditional methods for bleaching shirts usually call for a sunny day. So, what’s the workaround? This guide on How to Bleach Shirts for Sublimation Without Sun has got you covered. We’ll show you the ropes on bleaching shirts in your garage or indoors, so you can keep the creative juices flowing, sun or no sun.

The Essentials You’ll Need

  • A Plain Shirt: Cotton is your best bet for optimal bleach absorption.
  • Bleach: Clorox household bleach will do the job.
  • Spray Bottle or Paintbrush: A Bealee spray bottle is usually the go-to, but a Magimate paintbrush can also work if you’re in a pinch or dealing with a stubborn spray bottle.
  • Vinyl Decals (Optional): Great for adding intricate designs. Do not forget to wait at least 24 hours for them to cure before bleaching.
  • Gloves and Safety Gear: Don’t skimp on safety. Always wear COOLJOB gloves and consider Puzyun eye protection goggles when handling bleach.

There you have it! These are all the necessities you will require to begin your bleaching journey.

Process of How to Bleach Shirts for Sublimation without Sun

Prepping the Shirt

Prepping the Shirt

Alright, you’ve got your essentials lined up, so what’s next? Prepping your shirt, of course! First things first, give that shirt a good pre-wash. This removes any factory residues and helps the bleach absorb better. Once it’s washed, make sure to dry it completely. I promise you that bleach and a wet garment are not a match made in heaven.

Now, if you’re jazzing things up with vinyl decals, this is the time to apply them. Stick ’em on and let them cure for a full 24 hours. This ensures they’ll stay put when you start the bleaching process. And there you have it! Your shirt is now prepped and ready for its bleachy makeover.

The Bleaching Process

The Bleaching Process

So, you’ve got your shirt prepped and your essentials ready to go. Now comes the main event: the bleaching process. Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Mixing the Bleach

First up, you’ll need to dilute your bleach with water. A good rule of thumb is a 50/50 mix, but you can adjust based on how light or dark you want your design to be. Stir thoroughly in a well-ventilated space, and please, please, wear gloves!

Application Methods: Spray Bottle vs. Paintbrush

You’ve got two main options here: a spray bottle or a paintbrush. A spray bottle gives you a more even mist, but if it’s broken or you don’t have one, a paintbrush works just fine. It’s especially handy for more detailed work.

Note on Broken Spray Bottles and Alternatives

Speaking of broken spray bottles, they can be a real pain, can’t they? Don’t worry if you find yourself in this situation. A sponge or even a cloth can serve as a decent alternative.

Applying the Bleach

When applying the bleach, aim for even strokes or sprays to get a consistent look. You don’t want splotchy unless that’s the look you’re going for!

Timing: How Long to Let It Sit

Once applied, let the bleach sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on it, though; different fabrics react differently.

And voila! You’ll get the hang of bleaching clothes for sublimation without the sun in no time.

Final Steps and Results

Final Steps and Results

Alright, you’ve done the hard part, and now you’re on the home stretch. So what’s left to do? Let’s wrap this up!

Rinsing the Shirt

To start, make sure you’re still wearing your gloves and give the clothing a good rinse in cold water to remove any remaining bleach. Safety first, always!

Post-Bleach Wash

After rinsing, toss the shirt into the washing machine for a post-bleach wash. Use a mild detergent and cold water. This step ensures that all the bleach is completely gone and makes the shirt safe to wear.

Showcasing Results with a Similar Shirt as an Example

Now for the grand reveal! Since we didn’t take a pic of the original shirt (whoops!), let’s use a similar one as an example. You’ll get a decent notion of how your masterpiece turned out, and the results ought to be pretty darn close.

There you have it, then! You’ve finished the process of bleaching a shirt without exposure to sunlight. You deserve a pat on the back, so give yourself one!

Must read our article on how to wash sublimation shirts.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

So, you’ve followed all the steps but hit a few bumps along the way? Don’t worry; we’ve all been there. Let’s tackle some common issues you might encounter.

Uneven Bleaching

If your shirt looks like a patchwork quilt of light and dark spots, you probably didn’t apply the bleach evenly. Next time, try using a finer mist setting on your spray bottle or more controlled strokes with your paintbrush.

Vinyl Not Sticking

If your vinyl’s peeling off, it probably didn’t cure long enough. Make sure to give it a full 24 hours before you start the bleaching process.

Bleach Too Strong or Too Weak

If your shirt turned out too light or too dark, adjust your bleach-to-water ratio the next time around. More bleach for a lighter look, less for a darker one.

And there you go! A quick guide to troubleshooting those pesky issues that might crop up. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll become an expert bleacher quickly!

The Phenomenon of Waiting

So, you’re following our guide on how to bleach shirts for sublimation without sun, and you’ve reached the waiting stage. Ah, the suspense! When you’re not using sunlight, expect to wait a bit longer—around 30 minutes to an hour is a good ballpark. But keep in mind that this can change depending on the bleach mix and fabric you use.

Checking Progress at Intervals

Don’t play the guessing game. Check your shirt every 15-20 minutes to gauge how the bleaching is progressing.

What to Expect

As you wait, you’ll notice the fabric gradually lightening. It’s a slower process without the sun, but the results can be just as stunning.

And there you go! The waiting game, as it applies to how to bleach shirts for sublimation without sun, is all about patience and periodic checks. Keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully bleached shirt.


And there you have it, folks! The process of how to bleach shirts for sublimation without sun has been well explored and understood. From gathering your essentials to prepping the shirt, applying bleach, and finally, the waiting game, you’re now well-equipped to tackle this project, come rain or shine.

I strongly advise you to experiment with this methodology. It’s not just a workaround for cloudy days or late-night crafting urges; it’s a versatile and convenient approach that can yield stunning results. So go ahead, unleash your creativity, and don’t let the absence of sunlight hold you back.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What kind of bleach can I use for this?

A: It’s best to stick with standard household bleach. Avoid color-safe or scented bleaches because they might not work the way you want them to.

Q: Is it safe to bleach shirts indoors?

A: Yes, but make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area and wearing appropriate safety gear like gloves and eye protection.

Q: When I put the bleach on the shirt, how long should I wait?

A: Generally, 30 minutes to an hour should do the trick when you’re not using sunlight. But this can be different depending on the cloth and how strong the bleach is.

Q: Am I supposed to wash the shirt after bleaching it?

A: Yes, it’s crucial to wash the shirt after rinsing out the bleach to ensure all bleach residues are gone and the shirt is safe to wear.

Leave a Comment