How to Make Acid Wash Jeans

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Acid wash jeans were at the height of popularity in the 1980s. Since then, they have always been around in varying degrees of popularity and availability. If you want to make your own acid wash jeans, there are a few simple steps that must be taken. This project uses chlorine, which is harmful to the skin, so only adults should complete this project. This project can be completed in two days.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 pumice stones
  • Old jeans
  • Chlorine
  • 2 industrial washing machines
  • Protective eye wear
  • Gloves
  • Old clothes
  • Sodium bisulfite

Purchase the necessary equipment for this project. Pumice stones can be purchased at any beauty supply store. Chlorine can be purchased from any household supply store. Sodium bisulfite can usually be found at hobby stores. Obtaining the industrial washing machines for personal use is the hardest step. Call local cleaners to see if they will allow you to use their machines.

Soak the pumice stones in chlorine overnight. This will allow them to soak up the bleach and create a good absorbency for an even acid wash. Make sure to wear gloves and old clothes that you don't mind having ruined, and work in a well-ventilated area.

Stick the stones and the jeans in a washer together. Run the washing machine on a small load setting. It is important that an industrial washing machine be used because this process can ruin a regular washing machine. Let the cycle run for 10 to 25 minutes. Take out the jeans once they have taken in the amount of dye that you want them to have.

Place the jeans in a different washing machine. Run the cycle for a small load. Add a tablespoon of sodium bisulfite to the water. This will help take out the bleach from the pants so that they do not get eaten by too much chlorine. It will also make it safe to wash the pants with other clothing without the risk of ruining the other clothing items.

Let the washer cycle complete. Dry the jeans in a standard dryer using whichever setting you prefer.

Use this process if you cannot get access to industrial washers. Take a spray bottle and mix it with two parts chlorine and one part water. Randomly spray the pants and wait for the bleached spots to appear. Spray more of the solution for a more bleached effect. Wash the pants with sodium bisulfite and then dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • The longer you wash the pants with the rocks the whiter the pants will be. Check the process of the jeans about half way through to see if you prefer darker or lighter jeans. Wash the jeans separately from other clothes a few times just to make sure all the bleach is removed.
  • Always wear gloves and protective eye wear when completing this project. Bleach is very harmful to the skin. Only work in a well-ventilated area.

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