One of the easiest and fastest ways to fade jeans is to bleach them. However, sunlight, water and sandpaper can create a more natural-looking fade.
To fade jeans with bleach, mix a capful of bleach into a large bucket of warm water, add the jeans and let them soak for around 10 minutes. Wash them in the regular cycle and repeat as desired.
Fade smaller areas such as knees and back pockets with a mixture of equal parts bleach and water. Work the solution into the jeans using a sponge.
For a naturally faded look, leave jeans out in direct sunlight on a warm day. Sunlight naturally bleaches fabric; however, it can take several weeks to get a dramatic effect.
"Water wearing" is another good way to fade jeans without bleach. Water wearing involves wearing the jeans while they are damp, which helps the fabric form to the body and creates more natural wear and tear. Wearing damp jeans on a hot day can boost the effect, as humidity is harder on fabric.
Sandpaper can fade jeans and create a distressed look at the same time. Use a fine-grade sandpaper or handfuls of real sand and gently rub the material into the fabric. Use rough-grade sandpaper around the hems, pockets and knees to add an authentic distressed effect.