What You Need To Know To Acid-Wash Your Jeans

Before you throw away that old pair of jeans, consider giving it a twist — a DIY twist. According to InStyle, there are a few '80s fashion looks that are trending again. Have you seen someone rocking an oversized blazer recently? Or a pair of acid-washed jeans?

The acid wash craze started in the 1980s, according to Nostalgia Central. This treatment is similar to tie-dye. But, instead of adding color, you're bleaching it away. The clothing company Guess first emerged with stone-washed jeans, which were physically distressed to bring out lighter tones. Then came chemical distressing, aka acid wash.

This look isn't limited to jeans, either. Any denim material can get this classic upgrade, including jackets, shirts, and even bags. If you aren't fully committed to the idea, try acid-washing patches of denim. Then you can pin or sew the bleached patches onto bags or jackets for a trendy vintage vibe. 

To get started, let's save some denim from the landfill by discussing what you should know before acid-washing a pair of jeans.

How to acid-wash your jeans

According to Cosmopolitan, for this DIY, you will need a few things: jeans, rubber bands, bleach, water, gloves, a spray bottle, and a large container. Don't forget your creative spirit. Grab your pair of jeans, and bundle it with the rubber brands. Make sure it's tightly secured, like a stuffed chicken breast wrapped in twine. 

Silver Bobbins recommends blue jeans for this DIY because you can run into issues with acid-washing black jeans. Also, make sure your pick is actually denim. Synthetic materials can be destroyed through long bleach exposure. Sorry, jeggings!

Now for the bleach. Fill your large container with enough bleach to submerge your scrunched-up jeans. If you prefer a light acid wash, it's best to dilute the bleach. Cosmopolitan recommends a ratio of three parts water to one part bleach. When you're ready and suited in gloves, submerge the jeans into the bleach. After it stops bubbling, you're free to take your jeans out. 

Remember, the longer your denim soaks, the more extreme the acid wash will be. For a splatter effect, you can use the spray bottle to target specific areas with the bleach solution. When you're satisfied with your creation, give it a cold rinse. Once it dries, we can get to styling your distressed jeans.

How to style acid-wash jeans

Now that you've mastered acid-washing jeans, how to style them comes next. Since they're an '80s staple, Lady Refines suggests going for a full vintage look. Pair your jeans with an oversized blazer, a Bon Jovi band shirt, chunky boots, or a leather jacket. Dig through the attic or the racks of a vintage store for authentic '80s wear.

For a timeless outfit, there's only one way to go: black. Pair your acid-wash jeans with a black top and shoes. You can dress it up in a black blazer and heels or keep it casual with a black sweater and sneakers. Add some accessories for interest, but keep them simple so your jeans stand out. Or go full '80s with extravagant scrunchies, teased hair, and leg warmers.

The trend might be decades old, but your acid-wash jeans are definitely in style today