Surprisingly Effective Way To Bleach Pine Cones

Do you want to bleach pine cones for one of your decorative projects? Here's the way to do it!

How to bleach pine cones

The reasons that can make us want to whiten pine cones can be many, but they always come down to aesthetic reasons.

Pine cones are an inexhaustible source of inspiration and allow us to create an infinite number of DIY decorations.

Rarely, however, the color of pine cones is kept natural, sometimes they are painted with a clear spray that makes them more shiny, but in many other cases they are colored in a variety of ways, even adding glitter.

Bleaching pine cones gives them a slightly shabby chic tone, lightening the color of the wood but, at the same time, not losing anything of their rusticity.

The first thing to do is to have clean pine cones and, in case they are not, I have already written another article on how to clean pine cones.

NB: be very careful because, if you follow the directions in this article, as well as many others you can find on the net, on how to wash pine cones, traces of vinegar may remain on the cones and these traces of vinegar, coming into contact with bleach, can produce a chemical reaction that generates very dangerous chlorine vapors. So, when in doubt, always operate safely and outdoors when performing pine cone bleaching work!

But let's go straight to illustrating what materials are needed that, as we will see, are few and very easy to find.

What you need

  • Pine cones
  • Plastic basin
  • Bleach
  • Gloves and glasses
  • Essential Oil

As you can see, these are materials that you should already have in your home and that we will need to whiten our pine cones.

How to procede

Place the pine cones in a bowl, preferably tall and narrow. Probably if the pine cones were put one on top, the other inside another container (like the Pringles tube, just to give an example), I think you could save some bleach.

The pinecones must in fact remain covered by the liquid, and the wider the container, the more bleach will be needed.

If the pine cones don't stay totally immersed in the bleach there is a chance that they will bleach only the part in contact with the liquid.

So we pour the bleach over our pine cones and let them soak for 24 hours.

Since the pine cones will tend to come to the surface, we will need to add a weight to keep them below the surface of the liquid. To do this use a little of what you have available but do not load, as in some videos you can see, the pine cones with heavy weights because they are still quite fragile "fruits".

Bleach, as we know, has a bleaching action and this action also exerts on the bracts of our pine cones, discoloring them in a more or less marked way.

After 24 hours remove the pine cones and then rinse them with running water.

Some people complain that by using bleach, the pine cones will become impregnated with the smell of the bleach itself. Rinsing is also meant to remove some of the odor, but always remember that today's pine cones can also be found pleasantly scented.

So let your pine cones drain and then let them dry in the open air (if the season permits) or inside, near a radiator. The heat, in addition to drying the cones, also has the function of reopening them since in contact with liquids the pine cones tend to close.

Returning to the problem of any residual odor, in case it is not to your liking, you can add, on each pine cone and after they are perfectly dry, a few drops of essential oil of your taste, in this way along with the decorative effect your pine cones will also become dispensers of a pleasant scent.

Videos on how to bleach pine cones

DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.