How to Acid Wash a Shirt

Acid washing a shirt is a laundry technique where a compound, such as phosphoric acid, creates a pattern or color effect on a garment. The acid can remove stains and whiten clothing with a reasonably short soak time. While the technique may seem intimidating, it is quite simple to complete.

When you do it correctly, this makes your shirt look brand new again. Best of all, it doesn’t get rid of the entire piece like you might think.

In this article, we will show you how to acid wash a shirt, hoodie, and jeans. We’re going to cover what supplies you need and how to perform the process.

How to acid wash a shirt without bleach?

How to acid wash a shirt without bleach

What you will need:

  • 1 part liquid pool cleaner (like Comet)
  • 3 parts vinegar (like white vinegar)
  • 6 parts water (for the water wash)

Instructions:

1. Remove any buttons from the shirt and cut off any stains. If you’re going to be doing a proper wash or a first-time wash, it’s a good idea to remove as much as possible of the water from the shirt before washing it so that the acid

won’t have to work so hard on removing stains and dirt from your clothes.

2. Take one part pool cleaner and three parts vinegar in a spray bottle and fill with about 6 cups of water (your other option is using only three parts vinegar).

3. Add a little bit of bleach if you need to. I did not add any bleach because the color of my shirt was not at risk of fading or getting lighter after washing it.

4. Spray the solution onto the shirt and scrub it with a sponge or brush. Let it sit for at least five minutes to let the chemical work, and then wash it with your regular detergent as you normally would.

5. It will come out like new! Of course, depending on how often you wear this shirt, you may want to repeat this step every six months or so, but once your stain has faded enough that you feel comfortable wearing your shirt again, then that’s when you can stop cleaning your shirt with the chemical.

How to acid wash a hoodie?

How to acid wash a hoodie

What you will need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Aspirin (optional)
  • Large container with lid (preferably glass)

Instructions:

1. Rinse the outside of the hoodie and let it soak in a tub of water to remove any dirt and grime.

Make sure to wear some rubber gloves while you do this. You can also use some hand soap or some hand sanitizer if you want to be extra safe.

Also, make sure that all garment areas are rinsed well with clean water before continuing with the next step.

2. Pour about 4 tbsp of Hydrogen Peroxide into the container. Add about half a cup of white vinegar.

If you choose to add aspirin, do so. I did not add any.

3. Place the shirt back in the tub of water and submerge it for about 3 minutes.

Make sure that it is fully saturated with both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar solution. Let it sit for another 15 minutes to ensure that all stains are gone.

4. Do a second cycle of soaking and rinsing, repeating steps 1-3 above. The garment will again be stained. Let it sit for another 15 minutes.

5. Perform the third cycle of soaking and rinsing. If you notice some areas still have some stains, repeat step 4.

Repeat these steps until all areas are clean. You may need to soak your garments overnight if there is excessive staining or discoloration.

6. Perform the final cycle by just soaking your garments in the shower or bathtub for about 30 minutes.

Remove them after this period.

It’s OK if the garment is still a little damp; just run it through the wash with laundry detergent.

That should remove any remaining stains and leave them looking fresh! As soon as you notice that you have a stain on your clothes, do not wait too long to take action!

How to Acid Wash Jeans?

How to Acid Wash Jeans

What you will need:

  • Household bleach
  • Rubber bands
  • An empty spray bottle
  • Water
  • A large tub or large bowl
  • Gloves

Instructions:

The first thing is the most important

Take the pieces you wish to acid wash. Although jeans are the most popular, acid washing can be done with other denim clothing, such as jackets, vests, jumpsuits, and more.

Start twirling the fabric.

Use your rubber bands to gather the fabric in random places and wrap them around the item. You can also repeat this process on your back! It should look like a large, lumpy, tightly-knotted bundle when you’re done.

Get the bleach

You can adjust the intensity of the bleach to affect the degree of contrast. The bleach can look almost white with areas of dark blue, or you can make it more subtle by diluting the bleach with more water. If you decide to go with the latter and it isn’t showing enough, you can always go over the item again using more bleach.

You will generally mix three parts of water and one part of bleach. (e.g., three liters water to one-liter bleach). However, you can make the solution stronger or less depending on your aesthetic preference.

Use the bleach and water in a clean tub, sink with the drain blocked, or large bowl or bucket. Protect your hands with gloves and immerse the rubber-banded item in the solution until the bubbles disappear.

Spray the item with this solution in an empty spray bottle and let it sit outside or in the bathtub. The rubber bands can be left on the item while you spray, or you can spray directly onto the piece. Allow the bleach to work for two hours.

Let it sit for a while, then rinse with cold water.

It will take some time for the bleach to work. However, the rule of thumb is that the darker the color, the longer it sits. You can either soak it for longer than two hours if you desire more contrast or remove it sooner. After rinsing the solution, run the item under cold water to rinse it off.

Wash the rubber bands.

Remove all rubber bands, then wash the item on a regular cycle using cold water. Please put it in the dryer, and voila! With your acid-washed jeans, all of your 80s dreams are now a reality. For fashion inspiration, take a look at the photos below. If you realize that you are too lazy to do this DIY project (we have been there), we also have some pre-bleached designs for you.

Benefits of Acid Washing Clothes

Homeowners and industries alike wash tons of clothes every day. Acid washing your clothes is a great way to extend their life and keep them looking as good as new. This type of washing is almost entirely chemical-free, meaning they keep those natural fibers fresh and ready for wear again.

By using acid washing, you can gain confidence that your clothing is as good as new and there is no danger of fading and yellowing.

Acid washing will also ensure that your clothes are free of dirt and other particles.

When you use this method, you won’t have to worry about spots or spills being left behind on the fabric!

Acid washing works by using a lot of water and then adding acid to that mixture. The acid removes the unwanted particles from the clothing, leaving them clean and shiny.

By washing with acid, you can gain a brand new look for your clothing in less time and with the peace of mind that they will keep looking good for a long time.

It’s worth it to do so!

Conclusion

For many people, the thought of using acid on anything sounds like a nightmare. But the idea of acid washing your shirt instead of throwing it out is appealing.

We hope this guide helps you stop worrying about your stained clothes and sets you on the path to stain removal success.

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