How To Bleach a Drop Cloth

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Bleaching a drop cloth is an affordable way to achieve a textured, linen-like, neutral piece of fabric for use in many crafting and sewing projects. Drop cloths are generally a very stiff piece of fabric, but following this process you can have yards and yards of soft, use-able material.


  • Painters Drop Cloth
  • 8 Cups of Bleach
  • Protective Gloves
  • Glass Measuring Cup
  • Top Loading Washing Machine
  • Dryer


  1. Shake out the painters drop cloth from it’s packaging, and insert it inside a top loading washing machine. Only fill as much drop cloth into the machine as fits comfortably and will not overload the machine. If you bought an extra large piece, you will need to split it in half and complete the process twice.
  2. Turn the washing machine on a regular cycle until it fills completely with water, submerging the drop cloth entirely with water.
  3. Open the lid of the washer and stop the machine before it continues the washing cycle.
  4. With your protective rubber gloves on your hands, measure 8 cups of bleach and pour into the water.
  5. If the drop cloth is not completely submerged, gently use your gloved hands to push it back down.
  6. Let the drop cloth sit in the bleached water for 3 hours.
  7. After that time, turn your washing cycle back on and let it mix, spin and drain the water.
  8. Run your drop cloth through 2 more complete cycles of washing, with your regular detergent included each time – but NO bleach. To be especially thorough, consider a third time.
  9. Insert the drop cloth into a dryer until dry.
  10. It is ready for use.