Everybody has at least one in their wardrobe: that super comfortable t-shirt that you've had forever and love wearing on lazy days. Unfortunately, when you buy a new t-shirt, it can take hundreds of wears before it finally begins to feel "broken in" and gets that stylish, vintage look. Have you ever wished there was a way to speed up that process? Believe it or not, there is—and it's easier than you might think!
What You Need
Before you get started, make sure you've got all the necessary supplies on hand to distress and soften your t-shirt. Some supplies you'll need include:
- the shirt itself (preferably one that's a size larger than what you usually wear)
- table salt
- sodium carbonate washing soda
- a washing machine and dryer
- time and patience
Creating the Mixture
Because the distressing process usually causes the t-shirt to shrink some, it's a good idea to start with a shirt that's a little larger than what you need. From there, you can create the distressing/softening mixture by combining a couple cups of table salt with a couple spoonfuls of the sodium carbonate washing soda. The washing soda will soften the shirt while the salt (which is a natural abrasive) will cause the shirt to appear more worn after you wash it.
Washing, Drying, and Repeating
Once you have your mixture ready, toss your t-shirt in the wash along with the mixture and run the cycle as you normally would, but make sure the water temperature is on "high," as this will help to further weaken the shirt's fibers. Once the wash cycle is done, toss the shirt in your clothes dryer on high heat. If you're happy with the appearance and feel of the shirt, you can stop here. If you want it to be a little softer and more distressed, repeat the process a few more times.
Scrubbing Away Graphics
Finally, if your t-shirt has any graphics or logos on it that you'd like to distress for that vintage look, this can be easily accomplished with a little bit of sandpaper and elbow grease. Simply rub a piece of fine-grit sandpaper in circular motions over the logo or graphic until you've achieved the desired look. Be patient, though, as this may take a few minutes. From there, you'll have a comfy, vintage-looking, and fashionable t-shirt that you can enjoy wearing for many more years to come.