How to Whiten Sand

By Mary Johnson-Gerard, Ph.D.
Lighten sand with the power of the sun's rays.
Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Sand is available in many forms for purchase. If you want pure white sand you will need to get it from a beach that creates white sand, such as Destin, Florida, or from a craft store. Pure white sand is chemically dyed. Natural sand gets it pigment from the things it is made up of. Different varieties of dirt, shells, gravel and organic material color the sand. If you have particularly dingy or brown sand, you can lighten it by bleaching it in the sun. It may not get pure white, but the sun will lighten it considerably.

Step 1

Spread the sand in shallow trays, such as cookie sheets or plastic tubs, so that it's one-half-inch thick. It needs to be thin for the sun to penetrate all the grains.

Step 2

Place the trays in a sunny spot where the sand will be protected from moisture. Don't put it outside until there are a few sunny days in the forecast.

Step 3

Bleach the sand in the sunlight for two to three days. Stir it around with your hand and spread it back out once a day.

Step 4

Leave it out longer to lighten it more. It will not lighten to a bright white no matter how long it sits in the sun.

About the Author

Mary Johnson-Gerard began writing professionally in 1975 and expanded to writing online in 2003. She has been published on the Frenzyness Divorce Blog and on Neumind International Pte Ltd. Her book "When Divorce Hurts Too Long—Ouch" was published in 2009. Johnson-Gerard holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Missouri.