We Lived Happily Ever After: How to Bleach Drop Cloths!

Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Bleach Drop Cloths!

Nice fabric for upholstery can run so expensive. But for those of us who love crisp whites & canvas textures, there is hope! Miss Mustard Seed has a wonderful post that inspired me to try this drop cloth bleaching method out. And today I thought I would share my experience with this technique,

The first time I did this, I just added a few cup fulls of bleach, and soaked for maybe hours. It really didn't make a difference. Here is the method that did work for me:

1. Fill the washer machine with hot water.

2. Pour a whole whooping god amount of bleach into the machine. A cup or two really won't do anything. I recommend using like half the container for best results. Let it run for a few minutes to mix up the bleach with the water. Press stop & open your washer machine up again.

3. Place your dropcloth(s) into the washer and make sure they are completely submerged. I recommend doing several at a time, if you are needing them for future projects. It's annoying to have to do this more than once. I did it like 3 times... yeah I'm a dropcloth hoarder! LOL!

4. Soak it. I let mine sit overnight. Make sure the area is well ventilated. That stuff smells awful! A good 10-15 hours will really make it brighter!

5. Run the load through.

6. Do another load, but this time add soap and peroxide to the water to neutralizer the bleach so it won't eat up the fabric.

7. Dry & admire your new canvas cloth!

I was trying to get mine the color of the blanket on my bed, so I really wanted it to be as white as possible. It's still a little off white, but no where close to the original color.

Doesn't it look great on my headboard?

Here's a chair I upholstered with the bleached drop cloth. I still need to add some trim though. :)

If you love drop cloths like me, try using one to make a rug! See my tutorial HERE!


  1. The second time you ran it through with soap and peroxide - did you add more bleach then or not? Thanks!

  2. Is there a way to do this with a front load machine?

  3. Don't add bleach the second time. Just the detergent & hydrogen peroxide for the second load. I'm unsure on a front load machine since I don't have one. You can bleach these in a utility sink, bathtub or a large bucket being careful. Other blogs talk about using these other methods also. Good luck!

  4. How much peroxide did you use? Very excited to try this! Thanks for the blog!