How to Mineral Wash Clothes

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Mineral washing was known as "acid washing" in the 1980s and was most commonly done with denim jeans, giving them a colored look that stood out from conventional denim. Mineral washing is not limited to just jeans, however. Shirts, socks and other fabrics are capable of mineral washing. The process requires some basic materials and the end result gives you a personalized wardrobe that speaks to your creativity.

Things You'll Need

  • Pumice stones
  • Bleach
  • Thick plastic container
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • Washing machine
  • Laundry detergent
  • Pour bleach over several pumice stones in a thick plastic container. Wear rubber gloves and ventilate the room because bleach is corrosive, with strong fumes. The stones should sit for at least six hours in the bleach solution.

  • Mix 2 parts bleach with 1 part water into a spray bottle and spray the clothing. Keep the clothes in a large sink or bathtub to prevent the bleach from affecting the surrounding area.

  • Rub the bleach-soaked pumice stones vigorously over the fabric to give it color. Let the clothing sit for 10 minutes once the stone rubbing is completed, then rinse the clothing with water to remove the bleach. The longer the bleach is in the fabric, the more it fades and corrodes the cloth.

  • Wash the clothes alone in a washing machine on a cool setting. Use laundry detergent to help remove any remaining bleach. Dry the clothes in the dryer or on a clothesline.

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