How Can I Stonewash a T-Shirt?

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Stonewashing can make your T-shirt more stylish and comfortable.

Stonewashed T-shirts are both fashionable and very comfortable. Shirts can be purchased already stonewashed, but if you want to save some money or simply want to add a stonewashed look to a favorite T-shirt, you can replicate the process at home.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 or 3 handfuls of small stones

  • Laundry detergent

  • Bleach

  • Washing machine

Step 1

Find several handfuls of round stones that are one or two inches in diameter. These can be located in a stream or river or purchased at a hardware store. Make sure they do not have sharp edges, which could damage the shirt and your washing machine.

Step 2

Place the stones in your washing machine along with a normal quantity of laundry detergent and a few tablespoons of bleach. Allow the washing machine to fill and begin to agitate before placing your shirt in the machine.

Step 3

Place your T-shirt in the machine and leave it until the wash cycle is almost finished. Shut off the washer and allow the shirt to soak for one or two hours.

Step 4

Restart the washing machine and allow the T-shirt to rinse and spin.

Step 5

Place the T-shirt in the dryer and examine the results when the shirt is dry.

Step 6

Repeat the process as many times as necessary to get the look you want.


Make certain that the water has filled before adding your shirt to the machine. Failing to do so could cause uneven discoloration.

Remember that the stones have the potential to damage your washing machine and could possibly void any warranty. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to undertake this process at home.