This washing technique could singlehandedly represent the 1980s. Acid wash used pumice stones soaked with chlorine. This would strip off the color of the top layer of the fabric creating sharp contrasts all over the jeans, which were popularized by hard rock and metal acts in the 80s. Candida Laundry patented the process in 1986.
Source: Nouvelle de Nîmes Nº 5: The Denim Dictionary