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Holy Sh*t: Bottle Brush Trees Really Bleach

Before and after bleaching bottle brush trees

I have recently read a number of ‘How To Bleach Bottle Brush Tree’ tutorials.  All of them had a theme, grab some cheap bottle brush trees, throw some cap-fulls of bleach in water and glorious vintage looking trees shall emerge!!!


Bottle brush trees are not cheap and It takes a crap ton more bleach than anyone says.  BUT the vintage glorious-es-ness that appears is amazing. Now see how to really bleach bottle brush trees.

Before and after bleaching bottle brush trees



  • Bottle Brush Trees (Try Googling sisal trees too.  Honestly I got mine at Kmart (nope, they aren’t paying me).  I couldn’t beat 21 trees for $12.99 even online)
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Sink or Bowl to bleach them in

Step 1

Fill up a sink or bowl with warm/hot water.  The warmer water bleaches faster.  Faster, being relative.  This process is gonna take a couple hours.  Throw in the trees, if you have ones that are made of a material that will bleach then they are going to sink as the soak up water.  Throw in two cups, that’s right two CUPS of bleach.  Don’t pussy out here with a couple cap-fulls.  Let’s get this bleaching party started. Gently stir the trees around so they are evenly submerged.  Gently.  You don’t want a matted mess to deal with later.

First bleach bath for bottle brush trees
These dark trees really do turn cream. Trust me I was a freaking shocked as you when it worked.

Step 2

After letting the trees set for about 20 minutes the water will turn a lovely color of ick.  Drain all that out and repeat step 1.  Oh hell yeah I said 2 MORE cups of bleach.  We are bleaching trees here people.  Not coddling them.  Let this mixture set for 30 min to an hour.  Depending on the tree, they bleached fully white in that time frame.  Well except one… I had one dud tree that refused to bleach fully.  That puppy is red now, but that is another story…

Process of bleaching bottle brush trees
I am naming the color ‘ick’

Step 3

Rinse the trees out.  Lightly rub the trees to remove any stuck on fake snow if your trees had them on it. Lightly shake the trees upside down to remove extra water and fluff the fibers.  Set them aside to dry and marvel that an internet tutorial actually worked!

DIY bleached bottle brush trees

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8 thoughts on “Holy Sh*t: Bottle Brush Trees Really Bleach

  1. You have been a problem solver for me. I have some turquoise fabric with gold stars already printed on, but
    rather blah…….so off I went to Michaels to get the foil, of which I have a bit, but not enough. It has worked
    like a charm and I will send photo when I finish the pillow for a friend for Christmas.

    1. I would love to see.

  2. That is so cool! I love those little brushes but I’ve never cared for the green ones. This brings up a whole new world of possbilities! Thanks for linking up at Link It or Lump It this week!

    1. Thanks for hosting an excellent link exchange and stopping by.

  3. Wow… I don’t think it would ever have occurred to me to bleach those myself! (Still not sure I’m brave enough)… but you’re right, wow they are pretty!

    1. Try it! I think you’ll like it. Hmmm… Sounds like I am a tree pusher.

  4. I love how honest your post is! I was going to trying doing my own trees, but haven’t gotten to it yet. With this tutorial I finally feel like I can. ;)

    1. I promise this actually works!

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