How to Acid Dye Joggers (using bleach!)
A few months ago I saw a pair of acid wash joggers that I fell in love with, but sadly they were men’s and my size was unavailable (they were also like $200). So, like I say in all my other DIY posts, I thought ‘why don’t I try to make my own!’
I found this pair of black, 100% cotton joggers at Ross for only $20 and transformed them into a dupe of the expensive pair I wanted. This DIY is super easy – read on to learn how you can create acid wash effect garments at home yourself!
What you need:
- A pair of black joggers (or any desired garment in a dark color)
- Gloves (recommended)
- Spray bottles/liquid containers
- Paint brushes or sponge
- Optional: Painters tape and rubber bands, if you want to create a specific design
If you can, do this project outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Using a Q-tip, dip into your bleach and test out a small area on the inside of your garment to see what the color lifts to. If your garment is black the bleached area will turn to a faded pink. Other colors will have a different effect when in contact with bleach (for example, navy tends to turn pinkish-orange). A little scientific fact for you: this method of removing colored dye from clothing is called discharge. Usually when thinking about printing, you are using additive dyes (adding color to something), but for this technique we’re taking the dye away!
Fill your spray bottle / liquid containers with half parts water, half parts bleach. Lay your garment out and begin your design. I wanted my joggers to have a paint splattered look, but get creative with how you apply your bleach mixture. Use painters tape or rubber bands to create a tie-dye effect, or use the spray bottle for lighter, less concentrated color fades.
Once you’re satisfied with the bleach application, let your garment sit for at least 30 minutes so the bleach will soak and lift the color.
Next, rinse off your garment in a sink or tub (or use a hose if outside) to wash off excess bleach. Then transfer the garment to your washer/dryer and wash inside out with desired detergent. I recommend washing and drying the bleached garment alone, as it may still have bleach residue and could ruin other clothes if washed together.
Once they’re dry, unveil your final creation!! I am SO happy with how these turned out – they seriously look EXACTLY like the expensive pair I saw in stores. Can’t wait to play around with different ways to style these!!
If you use this tutorial to make your own acid dye / acid wash creation, please tag me or send to me so I can see! I’m going to experiment with other colors and garment types using this same method – maybe next I’ll try it on some denim! Other ideas of products you could do this on: bedding, fabric napkins, tablecloths, curtains, headscarves, beach towels, etc.
As always, thank you for reading! XOXO