How to Make Acid Wash Denim

Written by geoff hineman Google
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How to Make Acid Wash Denim
Turn regular denim into acid-wash jeans in no time. (jeans... image by Saskia Massink from

For those of us who remember the fashion trends of the '80s, one of the most memorable styles was acid wash jeans. As fashion trends inevitably make their way back around, they also seem to get more expensive. Purchasing a pair of acid wash jeans at the mall or in a department store today can cost you a pretty penny. Instead, consider creating your own denim jacket or pair of jeans at home with these simple instructions.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Pumice stones

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  1. 1

    Choose a pair of older jeans, making sure that the fabric is strong. Using a pair you seldom wear can be a great way to practice the acid wash process.

  2. 2

    Soak the pumice stones overnight in bleach. Mix two parts bleach to one part water in your spray bottle.

  3. 3

    Soak the desired article of denim clothing in water until it is thoroughly saturated. Wring out the excess water and lie the clothing on a flat service that is covered with a bleach-resistant fabric. A garage floor or sidewalk would work as well. A well-ventilated space is necessary, as there will be fumes from the bleach.

  4. 4

    Put on your gloves. Spray the denim in random patterns and places. Adjust the spray pattern on your water bottle to get different variations. Be sure to spray all areas of the denim on the front and back. Work quickly, as the effect of the bleach mixture on the jeans will be instantaneous. Scrub the jeans with the bleach soaked pumice stones to achieve a more worn look on some areas of the jeans, like the seat or the knees.

  5. 5

    Wash the jeans immediately after rinsing out the bleach and water mixture, then dry them as usual.

Tips and warnings

  • Try completing this process in 10 minutes or less, and rinse the denim thoroughly. If you leave the bleach mixture on too long, the bleach may begin to eat the fabric, causing the fabric to turn white.
  • Wear a face mask to avoid breathing in the bleach fumes.
  • Wear old clothing to avoid accidentally bleaching the clothes you are wearing while spraying the denim.

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