How to Stone Wash Jeans at Home

by Sondra Crane ; Updated September 28, 2017

Soft and stone-washed look


Regular jeans are relatively stiff and tight when new. While many like that fresh "just from the store look," others prefer wearing jeans that are softer, with a worn and faded appearance. Purchasing ''stone-washed'' jeans is quite expensive. Creating ''stone-washed'' jeans at home, is relatively easy and inexpensive.

Search for pebbles or ball-sized round rocks at the seashore or near a running brook. Make sure that they are smooth and round so they will not cut the jeans.

Start the wash cycle in your washing machine. Add detergent, bleach and the rocks. When the washer tub is 1/4 filled, add the jeans that you want to stonewash.

Let it go through the wash cycle as usual. As the water begins to drain-just before the wash cycle-stop the machine. Allow the jeans to soak in the wash water for about 3-4 hours.

Return and once again turn on the washing machine. Let it continue to finish the entire wash and rinse cycle. When the washer stops, remove the jeans and check to see if you got the look you wanted.

Put the jeans in the dryer to dry. Wet jeans will not always show the faded or worn look of stonewashing. If not satisfied, go through the entire process once again, either immediately or at a later time.


  • Add jeans to the water in the washing machine, that has been well blended with the bleach and detergent. To balance the tumbler in the washer spin/cycle, add old towels along with the jeans. Adding rocks to the wash will cause them to bang against the interior of the washing machine. The towels should help deaden the sound and protect the washer walls from damage. If you feel you would like the jeans further stone-washed, it would be advisable to wait a few days. Wearing them out in the sun might make the fabric lighter and more to your liking.

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About the Author

Brooklyn-born Sondra Crane started writing at an early age and never stopped. She wrote Along Life's Path, her blog and a poetic glimpse into her life. She is a college graduate, piano teacher, classical pianist, copy editor, columnist and now a freelance writer. She has been interviewed in "The New York Times," [Orlando Sentinel," "Maclean's" magazine and in a radio interview by "Growing Bolder."