How To Make Your Own Bleach Gel Pen

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I have been trying to figure out a way to make my own DIY bleach pen for MONTHS, but to no avail.  So when I saw this idea from Debbie at Me And My DIY I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

I don’t regularly purchase bleach pens because, quite frankly, I don’t think they are worth the price. But there are occasions when would one would come in handy. For stains on clothing, for ring around the collar, for cleaning grout, even for CRAFTING! So being able to make a do-it-yourself version that costs literally PENNIES is pretty exciting. :-)

Here is how it’s done:

In a saucepan, add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to a cup of water. Stir until completely dissolved. Place mixture on stove and continue stirring until it comes to a boil and then turn the stove off. The mixture will become quite thick.

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Allow mixture to COOL COMPLETELY…then add 5 to 6 Tablespoons of bleach. It should result in a nice gel, like the one you can see in this picture below.

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If yours is thicker or thinner…just adjust water and/or cornstarch until you achieve the result you are looking for.

Pour mixture into an empty squeeze bottle for dispensing.

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I haven’t actually added up the savings from this….but I’m betting someone far better at math than I will clue us in. :-)



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  1. Karen says

    I love all your ideas. I have been saving all your homemade cleaner ideas for our move. We just moved back from overseas, so needless to say, my cleaners all stayed behind. I made up my mind instead of replacing them all with expensive store brands, I was going to find the containers and start making my own…what better time to start! The apartment we are living in desperately needs grout cleaner, so this will be a great addition to the rest. Thanks!

  2. Amelia says

    I didn’t notice if anyone else did the math on this but I couldn’t resist. Based on a 2oz bleach pen selling for $6.56 on amazon and the cost of the ingredients in my own home I figured that buying the bleach pen works out to $3.28 an oz and making it cost me 5 cents an oz. Off to clean the grout!!

  3. Bev says

    Made the gel pen today. Had issues with the gel clumping when I added the bleach. So I poured my mixture into a tall cup and used my hand mixer to smooth it. Worked great BUT after I funneled it into my squeeze bottle, it got warm and then liquefied. Any thoughts?

  4. Kathy says

    I just popped the top off my purchased bleach stick and refilled it! I made a denim bean bag cover for a little boy’s birthday party and had everyone sign it with the bleach pen! (emptied 3 pens). This will save $$$$$
    Thanks so much,

  5. JEN C says

    I tried mixing this up today and it didn’t work for me. The first batch I let it cool while I did some other cleaning. Came back to it 3 hours later and it was a hard gel that broke up into clumps. I added the bleach, but it would go back to a gel (basically just a bunch of little clumps in bleach. I tried again, let it cool for about an hour while randomly coming back to stir and check temp. It seems to be turning into a solid right when it reaches room temp. I followed the recipe 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong. Too much cornstarch? Add the bleach sooner???????

  6. Toni says

    Love this idea! I use your homemade shout and was wondering if there was a way to make it in ‘gel’ form? I might play around with this a little. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  7. Karl Malone says

    Guys, I hate to break the news to you, but hypochlorite is not compatible with cornstarch. It will quickly react with the starch linkages and become sacrificial, killing the bleach in the process. The thickeners available for hypochlorite are very limited.

  8. Sarah says

    THANK YOU. I’m sure some of your readers will stroke out when they read this, but I hate crafts. I do not sew, and I do not make things, nor do I have the desire to do so. Whatever I want, I will go buy it… Simply because I am NO GOOD at crafts!! But I’m taking four little girls to Disney World tomorrow, and followed the instructions in another blog for bleached-out DIY shirts. The mixture was awful, it was runny and foamy and didn’t work, and I’ve made more trips to Michael’s for t-shirts in the past 24 hours than I care to admit. But YOUR bleach pen recipe is PERFECT. I cannot thank you enough. Seriously. You haven’t converted me to lcraftianity” or anything, but I don’t have to go to Michael’s again for a very long time.


  9. Vladka says

    It works!!! I have two little boys and husband who create tons of laundry and this is one of the best ideas ever!!! I just made a batch and filled three bottles from craft glue. And tested it on a tshirt with a tomato stain and just one minute or so later it was GONE!!! I am not worried about the bleach loosing potency. I keep two bottles in a box and the one I use is not going to last two long with all the craft projects and messy food. Thank you so much!

  10. Kelly P says

    I was really excited to make this, as I have a TON of grout to clean and just couldn’t bring myself to pay the $ for the number of bleach pens it would take me.
    Did anyone else have a problem where the solution turned to water quickly? It was a nice, thick glue texture when I put it into the bottle, but after about 35 minutes, it turned to water consistency :( I was bummed because it worked great for the first and second sections I did, but then I might as well have just been putting bleach & water mix on my floor after that.

  11. Nancy Jane says

    I shop at thrift stores quite often and would love a spot remover type “pen” (something small that I could take with me that does NOT require water to work) so that I can tell if something with a stain might be worth buying. (maybe I could carry it in a reused hand sanitizer bottle) Do you make or could you work on finding a recipe for something like that? Thanks so much. Blessings Nj

  12. Brittany says

    Thanks for sharing! So…do you apply it with a qtip then, I presume? What-if…one of you fabulous diyourselfers (I would be one but I have sever ADD…so the idea portion I can come up with but if you want a finished result don’t hold your breath) so what if we could find a way to create DRY MARKERS..?? That can let it absorb the solution or you can inject it if all else fails..and use that? Hey..! What – if…you could do that with fabric dyes too? That way you can create your own personalized shades for your needs and keep them for future use~no need to remix to get that perfect shade? Whattaya think? Dry markers. Blank dry empty colorless markers. I bet if we knew how markers were made…their could be a diy for that. Ok I’m done ill shut up now

  13. Iris says

    My dear Jillee: I’m new here, and I really love your ideas (I haven’t read much yet)
    Here in Australia don’t sell the bleach pen, now thank to you, I will be able to do my own bleach pen to used for the bathroom and cloths for now, on the way I will find more used ideas
    I will subscribe here now too, I son’t want to lost you lol


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