How To Acid Wash A Shirt – Steps

Acid washing may be the perfect solution if you want to add a unique, vintage flair to your wardrobe or a shirt. Also known as “stone washing,” this method can give denim and other fabrics an aged look by softening them with pumice stones or chemicals like sulfuric acid. Here we’ll outline all the items needed for the process, along with safety precautions and step-by-step instructions about acid wash a shirt so you can enjoy creating a stylish piece of clothing in no time.

What is acid washing?

1 How To Acid Wash A Shirt

Acid washing, or “stone washing,” is a widely-known technique to give jeans and other textiles an aged, faded look. Pumice stones or harsh chemicals like sulfuric acid can be used to achieve this effect on the fabric. The chemical dissolves fibers in the cloth giving it an antiqued visual vibe – commonly seen as vintage denim. However, this process isn’t limited to just blue jeans; its application offers many materials with that tasteful washed-out style you may be looking for.

How To Acid Wash A Shirt – complete process at home-step by step:

Unlock a one-of-a-kind look with acid washing. This technique involves the application of an acidic mixture to fabric to reveal a distressed, weathered effect. Follow these steps and learn how to easily transform any clothing article at home into something special.

Gather materials:

  • A plastic tub or basin
  • A gallon of chlorine bleach
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • An old shirt or apron (to protect your skin and clothes)
  • Your shirt that you want to acid wash

Prepare the solution:

When mixing chlorine bleach and water in a plastic basin, begin with a 1:10 ratio of bleach to water–as indicated in the container’s instructions.

Place the shirt in the solution:

Carefully submerge the shirt in the solution, and let it soak for at least 15 minutes. The longer you leave your clothes to absorb the liquid, the more worn-out they will turn out.

Check the progress:

Every 5 minutes, use tongs to take the shirt out of the solution and evaluate its progress. Observe how well the acid washing is working on your garment.

Rinse and dry:

When you feel the desired effect has been achieved, remove your shirt from the solution and give it a good rinse with water. Shift gears by tossing them into your washing machine for a cold cycle wash. Once complete, hang up the freshly-cleaned garment to let nature do its work.

Enjoy your new acid-washed shirt:

After your shirt has dried, you are ready to rock it. Show off the cool acid-washed design to your friends and family for a stylish new look. Exercise the utmost caution when dealing with chlorine bleach – don gloves and shielding clothing to safeguard yourself from harm. Before commencing, test a minor patch for desired results; take note that the process may affect both hue and texture.

Read: How to Wash Sublimation Shirts:

Another method- How To Acid Wash A Shirt

1 How To Acid Wash A Shirt

Pumice stone method:

  • Fill the washing machine with hot water and add your pumice stones.
  • Place the shirt in the machine, ensuring it is fully submerged in the water.
  • Run the washing machine on a normal cycle. The agitation of the machine, combined with the pumice stones, will create a distressed, worn look on the shirt.
  • Once the cycle is done, remove the shirt and inspect it for your desired level of distress. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • Once satisfied, wash the shirt with detergent to remove any dirt or debris from the pumice stones.

Chemical solution method:

1 How To Acid Wash A Shirt

  • Mix your chemical solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Fill the plastic container with the solution and place the shirt, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  • Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes from the chemicals.
  • Agitate the container for a few minutes to ensure that the solution is evenly distributed over the shirt.
  • Allow the shirt to soak in the solution for a time.
  • Once the soaking time is done, remove the shirt from the container and rinse it thoroughly with cold water to neutralize the chemicals.
  • Inspect the shirt for your desired level of distressing. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • Once satisfied, wash the shirt with detergent to remove any remaining chemicals.

Before beginning any acid cleaning, read the instructions and warning labels on all chemicals or products you use. Ensure to take special care when utilizing acids to protect yourself from harm and damage to your clothing. Keep these safety precautions top-of-mind at all times during an activity involving acids.


Can any fabric be acid washed?

Acid washing is often associated with denim, yet it can also be used on cotton and linen fabrics. It’s essential to remember that some materials may not be able to handle acid washing, so a small test patch should always be conducted beforehand.

Can I use regular detergent to wash my acid-washed shirt?

After acid washing, it is essential to use a conventional detergent for the garment to ensure all chemicals and debris have been properly removed.

Can I use a regular washing machine to acid wash my shirt?

If you’re using pumice stones, it’s possible to acid wash a shirt in your conventional washing machine. However, if you choose to use a chemical solution instead, remember that a plastic container is obligatory rather than an appliance such as a washer.


Acid washing effectively gives fabrics, like denim and other materials, a weathered, faded look. Pumice stones or chemicals such as sulfuric acid are utilized to soften the fabric while creating that aged aesthetic. Acid washing has become increasingly popular to obtain a vintage feel on garments like denim, but it can also be used for other types of cloth. Always consider safety when using acids or any chemical agent – follow all instructions closely. If you wish to acid wash your shirt at home, distinct instruments and supplies are necessary. When the entire process is completed, launder it with a regular detergent to remove any excess debris or chemicals.

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