Making acid wash jeans is relatively straightforward, but it does involve some chemicals, so caution must be used. Acid wash jeans, which are jeans that have had some pigment removed, revealing a different color, are made in several different ways, but all involve chemicals. Some people simply apply bleach to the clothes, but others choose to use stones to change the way the bleach touches the fabric. Different techniques will result in minor variations, but the basic effect will usually be similar. It is important to note that not all jeans will acid wash in the same way, and the revealed color is not always white.
The first step to making acid wash jeans is getting set up. You should wear clothing that you do not mind ruining, as well as gloves to protect your hands. This project is best done in a bathroom or other area where the bleach cannot damage anything and where there is easy access to water.
You must get the jeans wet before bleaching them, which is usually accomplished by soaking the jeans in a bathtub. Next, you must apply the bleach liberally to the jeans. Some people soak the jeans in bleach in a bucket for a short period of time, but this will usually result in too much loss of color for the desired effect. Scrunching up the jeans in a fashion similar to the preparations for tie-dye will often help randomly distribute the bleach better if a bucket method must be used. Spraying the jeans with bleach in a random pattern can also be effective.
Some people choose to further distress the jeans by rubbing them with stones while the bleach is on the fabric. This results in a style similar to stone washing. True stone washing involves putting pumice stones that have been soaked in bleach in a washing machine with the jeans, allowing the movement of the machine to randomly distress the jeans. Putting stones in a home washing machine will likely destroy the machine, so this is not a recommended method.
Acid wash jeans are usually made out of blue denim jeans, but other colors will work as well. The difference is that not all jeans will bleach white in the same way blue acid wash jeans will. Black jeans, for example, often turn orange when exposed to bleach. This can be used in combination with dyes to create very unique acid washing effects, or you can simply test a spot on the fabric prior to bleaching it completely to ensure that the revealed color will be desirable.